« AnteriorContinuar »
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
OF THE LATE
REV. JOHN BAMPTON, A.M.
CANON OF SALISBURY.
"I give and bequeath my. Lands and “ Estates to the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars “ of the University of Oxford for ever, to have < and to hold all and singular the said Lands and “Estates upon trust, and to the intents and pur“poses hereinafter mentioned ; that is to say, I “ will and appoint that the Vice-Chancellor of the “ University of Oxford for the time being shall take " and receive all the rents, issues, and profits 6. thereof, and (after all taxes, reparations, and ne“cessary deductions inade) that he pay all the “ remainder to the endowment of eight Divinity “ Lecture Sermons, to be established for ever in “ the said University,
" I direct and appoint, that the eight Divinity “ Lecture Sermons shall be preached upon either “of the following subjects—to confirm and " establish the Christian Faith, and to confute all “heretics and schismatics-upon the divine autho
rity of the Holy Scriptures—upon the authority “ of the writings of the primitive Fathers, as to the “faith and practice of the primitive Church - upon “ the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus “ Christ - upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost "-upon the Articles of the Christian Faith, as “comprehended in the Apostles' and Nicene “ Creeds.”
The Books of Moses constitute a part of divine revelation, against which Infidelity has of 'late years directed her principal attack. They have been studiously represented as a collection of popular traditions, built upon scarcely a stronger foundation than the legendary tales of classical antiquity. They have been pronounced to resemble the writings of Herodotus, rather, than those of Thucydides; and to approximate in a still higher degree to the poems of Homer. Sometimes, their credibility has been even totally denied ; and the whole Volume contemptuously assigned to an age of fabulous uncertainty. At other times, the mode of attack has been
changed ; and the hidden sap of treachery has been adopted, in preference to the open threats of defiance. Difficulties have then been industriously started; the language of profane ridicule has been sedulously adopted ; and plausible objections have been urged in the shape of argument or insinuated under the mask of an affected liberality. Nor are these antichristian efforts confined, in the present generation, to the subtle treatise, or the elaborate disquisition. Every vehicle of knowledge is seized upon : and, while the bowels of the earth are ransacked to convince the literary world of the erroneousness of the Mosaical chronology; history and travels, satire and tragedy, nay even romances and novels, are employed to disseminate the poison among other classes of readers. Such are the labours of modern infidelity ; and thus, through the medium of Judaism, is a blow aimed at the vitals of Christianity.
On the other hand, many persons, who firmly believe in the great truths of the Gospel, “and who fully admit the authority of the Pentateuch, seem to fancy, that there is very little connection between them. From this mistaken idea, their whole attention is directed to the New Testament; while the venerable code of the Hebrew Scriptures is neglected and almost despised. They appear to imagine, that, as Patriarchism has passed away, and as Judaism has been abrogated; they, as. „Christians, have very little concern with the history of the one or with the institutes of the other. Thus, by deeming it useless to pay any great degree of attention to a volume of obsolete precepts, they virtually, though perhaps not verbally, deny the connection of the Pentateuch with the Gospel: and thence in effect they pronounce, however unintentionally, that the ancient oracles of God are become a mere dead letter.