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might prompt the inquiry, to follow the steps of our benefactor through all the changes and chances of his transitory being. The claims of Mr. Hulse upon our affectionate remembrance rest not so much upon the deeds of his life, as of his death,upon those wise and holy bequests in which we may read the indelible traces of his piety towards God, his love for the everlasting welfare of mankind, and his commendable interest for the prosperity of that University, which had been the mother of his knowledge and the nurse of his faith. To these bequests, therefore, I would now beg leave to direct your momentary attention, whilst I endeavour to lay before you the excellent and unexceptionable ends they have in view, and the pure and unmingled motives which would seem to have prompted their original establishment.
The estates which Mr. Hulse has bequeathed to the University of Cambridge are of considerable value, and the whole of the revenue is directed to one and the same object, the advancement and reward of religious learning. This general stream of benevolence is divided, however, into three principal channels, one of which is intended to recompense the exertions of the Hulsean Prizeman;
There is also an endowment for two Hulsean Scholarships, in St. John's College, Cambridge.
another, those of the Christian Advocate; and the third, those of the Christian Preacher, or Hulsean Lecturer, by whichever title it may be thought proper to distinguish the character in which I now appear before you.
With regard to the first of these institutions which awards an annual prize of forty pounds to the writer of the best Dissertation upon some subject connected with the direct or collateral evidences of the Christian Revelation; we may observe, that it ought principally to be considered as a means of exciting the zeal, and directing the studies of intelligent and younger men into a course of theological and religious inquiries. It is, in fact, strictly confined to those who are neither of the degree nor of the standing of Masters of Arts, and can be conferred but once upon the same individual; thus plainly proving, that it was intended by the Founder to stimulate the industry of the slumbering, and draw forth latent talent in defence of the Gospel. In this point of view it is scarce possible to imagine an appointment more useful in itself, or better calculated to raise up a succession of able and godly men to fill the other and more laborious situations for which Mr. Hulse has provided, and to discharge their duties with such fidelity and power, as may reflect honour upon themselves, bring credit to their University,
and communicate to the world the inestimable blessing of a sound instruction in righteousness.
The office of Christian Advocate is the second institution of Mr. Hulse, and though it cannot be more beneficial in its remoter consequences, it certainly may be regarded as more immediately useful and positively important in checking the progress and prevalence of Infidelity and Scepticism. The duty of the Christian Advocate is, in the first place, to obviate by annual or more frequent answers, such popular objections as may be raised either against natural or revealed religion, whether those objections be new or old, original or revived. It is in the second place, to be ready to satisfy, in a private way, those real scruples and doubts which may be felt by any fair and candid inquirer, who is sorrowfully and perhaps hopelessly struggling, unaided and alone, against the darkness of ignorance and the burthen of difficulties. In one word, the Christian Advocate is to go forth and meet the spirit of Infidelity in all the varied forms which it may assume, to unmask the hideousness ofits seeming beauty to the eye of the unwary, and to calm the bewildered mind, by showing it the unsubstantial nature of the phantom of doubt by which it is disturbed. I can scarce conceive of any possible mode of exerting the talents of a man or of a minister, which could be more actually useful and
satisfactory than this; and if the office itself have not hitherto produced so many publications, as the number of years during which it has been established would seem to promise, the deficiency must be referred rather to the circumstances of the times than to any other cause. Since the year 1803, when the first appointment took place, until the present time, but few novelties have appeared in the unbelieving world. The awful issue of irreligion and insubordination in the crimes and horrors of the French Revolution, gave a practical demonstration of the beneficial influence of Christianity which, for a moment at least, hushed every murmur against its utility, and silenced every sophism against its truth. But as the remembrance of those calamities and iniquities has gradually died away, and the return of peace has restored men to leisure for other thoughts than those of securing their own immediate safety, the voice of daring disbelief has again been heard in our cities and our streets, and it is greatly to be feared, that few of the years that are about to come, will come unaccompanied with some sneer against what we believe, or some blasphemy against what we adore. Happy is he who has been called to the task, and may possibly become the providential instrument of enlightening the unlearned and confirming the unstable in the principles and practice of a saving faith!
The third and last appointment of Mr. Hulse, is that of the Christian Preacher, and it forms indeed an admirable completion of the whole scheme of this excellent man for the benefit and promotion of religious truth. The task of the Christian Preacher is, as far as relates to the subject matter of his labours, the same with that of the Christian Advocate, and the only difference lies in the method he is to pursue in his religious lucubrations. As the Advocate is to guard the frivolous and unwary against the fallacy of prevalent and particular objections to the truth or holiness of religion; so the Preacher is to employ himself in a more general statement of the evidences of revelation, and a more copious and systematic elucidation of its difficulties. The Advocate is to prop the falling or recal the wandering Christian. The Preacher is to build up the unestablished babe in Christ, in the solidity of a reasonable faith; and both together are to bend their unremitting energies to the same holy end, the glory of God and the salvation of souls, by the propagation of the pure and undefiled religion of the gospel.
Such are the wise foundations of Mr. Hulse. The first is intended to rouse the mind to religious pursuits, the two latter to employ it, when trained, in the actual labours of religious useful.