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THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
REV. JOHN BAMPTON,
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 sin
gular 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 be yearly chosen by the Heads “ of Colleges only, and by no others, in the room adjoin“ ing 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 end of the third week “ in Act Term.
viii EXTRACT FROM CANON BAMPTON'S WILL.
“ 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 Chris “ tian 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 Fa“thers, 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.
“ Also I direct, that thirty copies of the eight Divinity “ Lecture Sermons shall be always printed, within two “ months after they are preached, and one copy shall be “ given to the Chancellor 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, un“ less he hath taken the degree of Master of Arts at least, “ in one of the two Universities of Oxford or Cambridge; " and that the same person shall never preach the Divinity 6 Lecture Sermons twice.”
THE first of the following Lectures sufficiently explains the nature of the subject, which is proposed for discussion : and I shall employ this Introduction in giving some account of the authors, whose works I have either myself consulted, or a perusal of which is recommended as useful for making us acquainted with the heresies of the apostolic age.
It is hardly necessary to observe, that the writings of the early Christians, who are commonly quoted under the name of the Fathers, constitute the most valuable authority upon this point a. They are in fact the only original works to which we can appeal: and though the minds of men will differ exceedingly as to the degree of credit which is to be given to the Fathers in particular instances, yet we cannot reject them altogether: and the most critical or most sceptical reader must consent to receive the little which he admits to be true in ecclesiastical history, upon the testimony of the Fathers. I do not mean to say that it is necessary to peruse all the patristical writings in order to obtain a knowledge of the early heresies. There are perhaps none of these works, which do not contain some scattered and incidental notices connected with this subject : and it would be rash to pronounce a decided opinion upon controverted points, or to give a critical delineation of heretical and orthodox belief, without some acquaintance at least with the Fathers of the three, or even the four, first centuries of the Christian era. Most of the professed heresiologists lived later than this period: and we generally find the most systematic classification, and the most detailed accounts, of heretics in the works of more recent writers. This is a circumstance, which requires us to read such works with
. In quoting from the Fathers, 1 list at the end of the last volume of have always intended to refer to the Bishop Bull's Works, published at best editions, of which I have given 4 Oxford in 1827.
caution : but even where they stand alone, we must not always entirely reject their statements: and although we may sometimes suspect them, and not unfrequently convict them of contradictions, they have often been the means of preserving information, which would otherwise have been lost; and we must in fairness consider them not as always speaking the language of their own day, but as having copied from much older and more valuable documents. For a minute and critical account of the principal ancient writers, who have treated of heresies, I would refer to the work of Ittigius, de Hæresiarchis ævi Apostolici et Apostolico proximi, Lipsiæ, 1690. from the Preface to which I have extracted the greatest part of the following statement.
Justin Martyr, in the former part of the second century, wrote a work against Marcion, and another against all heresies: but neither of them has come down to us.
The great work of Irenæus was directed, according to the Latin translation, against Heresies : but Eusebius and Photius, who have preserved the Greek title, represent it as being, A Refutation and Subversion of Knowledge falsely so called : which shews, as I shall observe in the course of these Lectures, that it was intended as a refutation of the Gnostic heresies. It was in fact directed chiefly against the heresy of Valentinus: but the writer takes the opportunity of giving a short account of all the heretics who preceded him, beginning with Simon Magus. Irenæus flourished about the year 185. The Greek original of bis work is unfortunately lost, except the greater part of the first book and a few occasional fragments: but the whole of it is preserved in a very ancient Latin translation. The best edition was published by Massuet, at Paris, in 1710; and was reprinted at Venice in 1734, page for page, with some new fragments discovered at Turin, and edited by Pfaffius: but the genuineness of these fragments is extremely doubtful.
Tertullian, who flourished about the year 200, has left several works, which are of value in a history of heresies. He treated of all the heresies which preceded his own day, in