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I venture to take this public and early opportunity of acknowledging, with great grátitude, the obligations which I owe to your Lordship's unsolicited kind
I feel it an honourable distinction to be ranked among the number of those Clergymen whom, with a single view to the welfare of Religion and the Established Church, you have been pleased so frequently to recommend to the Royal Favour. Instances of such disinterested Patronage are, however, no longer a matter of surprise, though they never can to be a subject of admiration and praise. Your Lordship’s life has, indeed, been devoted to the public service; and during that life, the exertion of your power, and the influence of your example, have been
so continually directed, not only to the political, but also to the moral and religious welfare of the Nation, that they have deservedly secured for your person and administration, both the confidence and the affections of the country—both the voice and the heart of the people.
My Lord, to promote what I believe to be one of the first of your Lordship's wishes—to promote the practice and principles of the Christian Religion in that Church to which I have the privilege to belong, will, I trust, be
my constant endeavour. And that Providence
continue your valuable life, in health, and strength, and honour, for the public benefit and your own individual and increasing happiness, will ever be the earnest prayer of
THE origin and reason of the present publication are
so fully detailed in the first and second Discourses, that I deem it unnecessary to make any further extracts from Mr. Hulse's Will. In future years it may be incumbent on the Lecturer to do so; but at present it is only requisite to state why this is the first series of Discourses wbich has ever been either preached or published in pursuance of Mr. Hulse's bequests, although he died so long ago as 1789. One principal reason, among many others, I believe to have been this, that the proceeds of his estates were not at an earlier period sufficient to repay the Preacher for the expense of printing, much less to remunerate him for 'the anxious labour of composing twenty Discourses fit to be delivered before
such an audience, and afterwards submitted to the criticisms of the world. Even at present the whole emoluments of the office are nearly absorbed by the printer's bills, and little is left to the Lecturer, but the consciousness of labouring in an honourable appointment, and, if not successfully, at least in a good and holy cause.
The Volume now laid before the Public, may be divided into three parts.
1. The first two Discourses are merely introductory, and were printed some time ago, for the reasons specified in the Appendix. They consist of a few preliminary remarks, and a slight sketch of the life and bequests of Mr. Hulse (in the first); and of a more lengthened detail and examination of the duties of the Hulsean Lecturer or Christian Preacher (in the second Discourse).
2. The eleven following Discourses, from the third to the thirteenth, inclusive,
are occupied with considerations upon the Evidences of Christianity. This is the first subject pointed out by Mr. Hulse to the attention of the preacher, and neither “ the signs of the times," nor the order of religious inquiries seemed to admit of such a subject being forgotten at the present moment. In treating a question so often and ably investigated, it has been my object to systematize, what we may call, the evangelical Demonstration, and to arrange its parts so as to give them their proper application, and their greatest force. The works of most writers either mistake, or do not point out at all, what is the peculiar office of each branch of evidence. Even the work of Paley (I mention it because so much and deservedly studied) establishes the credibility of the Messengers, rather than estimates the sufficiency of their testimony, and speaks only in general terms of the argument from miracles, the argument from prophecy, and that from the internal frame and constitution of the Gospel, without marking how far and to