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College. “ The nature and guilt of Schism considered “ with a particular reference to the principles of the “ Reformation.”

1808. John Penrose, M. A. of Corpus Christi College.

“ An attempt to prove the truth of Christianity from
“ the wisdom displayed in its original establishment,
“ and from the history of false and corrupted systems
of religion.”

1809. JOHN BAYLEY SOMERS CARWITHEN, M. A. of St.

Mary Hall. « A view of the Brahminical religion in “ its confirmation of the truth of the sacred history, and « in its influence on the moral character.”

1810. Thomas FALCONER, M. A. of Corpus Christi College.

« Certain principles in Evanson's · Dissonance of the “ four generally received Evangelists,' &c. examined.”

1811. JOHN BIDLAKE, D. D. of Christ Church. " The

“ truth and consistency of divine revelation ; with some “ remarks on the contrary extremes of Infidelity and En- thusiasm.”

1812. RICHARD MANT, M. A. late Fellow of Oriel College.

An appeal to the Gospel ; or an inquiry into the jus“ tice of the charge, alleged by Methodists and other “ objectors, that the Gospel is not preached by the Na" tional Clergy."

1813. John COLLINSON, M. A. of Queen's College. “A

“ key to the writings of the principal Fathers of the “ Christian Church, who flourished during the first

“ three centuries." 1814. WILLIAM VAN MILDERT, D. D. Regius Professor of

Divinity, and Canon of Christ Church. “An inquiry “ into the general principles of Scripture-interpreta« tion."

1815. REGINALD HEBER, M. A. late Fellow of All Souls' :: College. « The personality and office of the Christian

“ Comforter asserted and explained."..

1816. JOHN Hume SPRY, M, A, of Oriel College. “ Chris

“ tian Unity doctrinally and historically considered.”

LECTURE 1.

10TH

. 2 Timothyiii. 14, 15.

. ..in . But continue, thou in the things which thou hast learned

and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

IN whatever manner we may be disposed to interpret these words of St. Paul, with respect to verbal or circumstantial differences, their general precept must surely be pronounced, in these our own days, of universal application. Neither can the passage, as now belonging to ourselves, be understood otherwise than of the whole volume of canonical Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, of which we have virtually learnt 80 great a portion from St. Paul himself, as well as Timothy did; and all from the same source from whence that portion was derived to him,the Spirit of wisdom and of truth. · In the Scriptures, then, we have received a solemn trust committed to us; and here is an apostolical exhortation directing us to hold fast . a Maçknight renders the verb {mışágns, “ with which thou “ hast been intrusted.” See also Benson, on this place.

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by them. The very tenor of the exhortation
implies that we may let slip our hold: but the
inference is equally clear, that we can only do
so under peril of an awful penalty,--no less,
than the loss of that wisdom which maketh
“ wise unto salvation."

Now looking at this passage of divine writ in this manner, and then glancing to the real, existing state of men and things around us, a very familiar picture presents itself to the mind, of no small interest..

It is manifest, that this our hereditary possession is bequeathed to a vast diversity and inequality, as well of tempers and moral dispositions, as of intellectual faculties, and consequent attainments in human knowledge. In connec

tion with which remark the thought will naCf. Matth. turally suggest itself,—that the Bible contem1 Cor. ii. 2. plates and recognizes such a diversity, and pro

vides for all accordingly.

It does. And in our further progress, when we come to search into the fulness of holy Scripture, once received as a law of life, we shall have occasion to perceive what a support is here to its divine authority.

But while it does, and while we rejoice in it, and give thanks unto the Giver of all good that the case is so; there is yet an earlier point to be considered, of very vital importance, to which this comfortable thought does not extend.

xix. 11, 12

Heb. v. 12, 14.

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We, at this day, cannot produce any present visible attestation of a Deity, in confirmation of our faith. The great mystery of our faith and hope has been confided to a written volume. Christianity has long become, in this respect, only a record of historical transmission. And, by natural consequence, lapse of time, and change of languages,-in short, all the common outward wearing of the world's progress, have so wrought upon its external evidences, that to digest and handle these properly has come to require a very considerable portion indeed of ability and learning. The point, therefore, just above referred to is involved in this question; “What effect may “ this inequality of powers be likely to produce, “ (under certain very supposable circumstances ;) “ not, in respect of the interpretation of truth " once admitted ; but in respect of the reception " of Christianity, as a divine revelation, in the “ first instance ?” And a point of especial interest this is, at a time when so much boast is made of knowledge, as an universal possession : so much, that piety which cannot speak is often forced to sit down almost abashed before a many-worded tyranny of mere perishable human wisdom; and the homage of assent, which is due only to the majesty of eternal truth, is yielded to a phantom of assumed superiority, whose arguments may justly be characterized, as “ admitting of “ no answer, and yet producing no conviction."

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