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Wenn Christus nicht wahrer Gott ist, die mahometanische Religion eine unstreitige Verbesserung der christlichen war, und Mahomet selbst ein ungleich grössrer und würdigerer Mann gewesen ist als Christus,
Lessing, Sämmtl. Schriften, Bd. 9, p. 291.
*Simul quoque cum beatis videamus
“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 or “Estates upon trust, and to the intents and
purposes 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 thereof, and “(after all taxes, reparations, and necessary deductions made) " that he pay all the remainder to the endowment of eight · Divinity Lecture Sermons, to be established for ever in the “said University, and to be performed in the manner following:
“I direct and appoint, that, upon the first Tuesday in Easter “ Term, a Lecturer may be yearly chosen by the Heads of Col"leges only, and by no others, in the room adjoining to the “Printing-House, between the hours of ten in the morning and “two in the afternoon, to preach eight Divinity Lecture “Sermons, the year following, at St. Mary's in Oxford, between “the commencement of the last month in Lent Term, and the “Also 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 "authority 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 Creed.
“ Also I direct, that thirty copies of the eight Divinity Lec"ture Sermons shall be always printed, within two months after
they are preached; and one copy shall be given to the Chan“cellor of the University, and one copy to the Head of every “College, and one copy to the Mayor of the city of Oxford, and one copy to be put into the Bodleian Library; and the
expense of printing them shall be paid out of the revenue of “the Land or Estates given for establishing the Divinity Lecture “Sermons; and the Preacher shall not be paid, nor be entitled 'to the revenue, before they are printed.
“ Also I direct and appoint, that no person shall be qualified "to preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons, unless he hath taken “the degree of Master of Arts at least, in one of the two Uni66 versities of Oxford or Cambridge; and that the same person “shall never preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons twice.”
TO THE FIRST EDITION.
PERHAPS an apology may be due to the University for the delay which has occurred in the appearance of this volume. If 80, the writer would venture to plead that he undertook the duties of the Bampton Lecturer at a very short notice, and, it may be, without sufficiently considering what they involved. When, however, the accomplished Clergyman whom the University had chosen to lecture in the year 1866 was obliged by a serious illness to seek a release from his engagement, the vacant post was offered to the present writer with a kindness and generosity which, as he thought, obliged him, although entirely unprepared, to accept it and to meet its requirements as well as he could.
Under such circumstances, the materials which were made ready in some haste for use in the pulpit seemed to require a close revision before publication. In making this revisionwhich has been somewhat seriously interrupted by other duties -the writer has not felt at liberty to introduce alterations except in the way of phrase and illustration. He has, however, availed himself of the customary licence to print at length some considerable paragraphs, the sense of which, in order to save time, was only summarily given when the lectures were delivered. And he has subjoined the Greek text of the more important passages of the New Testament to which he has had readers do not verify quotations from Holy Scripture for themselves, or at least that they content themselves with examining the few which are generally thought to be of most importance. Whereas, the force of the argument for our Lord's Divinity, as indeed is the case with other truths of the New Testament, is eminently cumulative. Such an argument is to be appreciated, not by studying the comparatively few texts which expressly assert the doctrine, but that large number of passages which indirectly, but most vividly, imply it.
It is perhaps superfluous to observe that eight lectures can deal with little beyond the outskirts of a vast, or to speak more accurately, of an exhaustless subject. The present volume atte ots only to notice, more or less directly, some of those assaults upon the doctrine of our Lord's Divinity which have been prominent or popular of late years, and which have, unhappily, had a certain weight among persons with whom the writer is acquainted.
Whatever disturbing influence the modern destructive criticism may have exerted upon the form of the old argument for the Divinity of Christ, the main features of that argument remain substantially unchanged. The writer will have deer reason for thankfulness, if any of those whose inclination or duty leads them to pursue the subject, should be guided by his references to the pages of those great theologians whose names, whether in our own country or in the wider field of Catholic Christendom, are for ever associated with the vindication of this most fundamental truth of the Faith.
In passing the sheets of this work through the press, the writer has been more largely indebted than he can well say to the invigorating sympathy and varied learning of the Rev. W. Bright, Fellow of University College; while the Index is due to the friendly interest of another Fellow of that College, the Rev. P. G. Medd.
That in so wide and so mysterious a subject all errors have