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1. "The son of any Clergyman, who shall at any time officiate as Curate to the Vicar of Sandbach; or next to him the son of any Vicar or Curate, who shall then live and officiate in the parish of Middlewich, as the proper Minister or Curate of Middlewich; or lastly of any Minister or Curate of the Chapel of Witton, or who shall reside and live in the town of Northwich or Witton, or the adjacent townships of Castle Northwich and Winnington, and shall do the duty of the said Chapel as the proper Minister of Witton (all of them in the said. county of Chester.)"

2. "And in default of such persons, then the son of any other Clergyman, who (that is which son) shall be born in either of the said parishes of Sandbach or Middlewich, or in the said Chapelry of Middlewich, shall have the preference. And if none shall be admitted, then the son of any other Clergyman shall be preferred, who (that is which son) shall be born in the said county of Chester, and next in any of the four following counties of Stafford, Salop, Derby, or Lancaster; or lastly, elsewhere in any other county or part of England, provided that it shall appear that the Clergyman who is father to such Scholar is not, if living, or, if dead, was not at the time of his death possessed of any spiritual preferment of more than one hundred and forty pounds a year, clear income; or whose income in every respect shall not exceed the clear yearly value of two hundred pounds in the whole."

"But if no son of any Clergyman, so entitled as aforesaid, shall be elected into such Scholarship, the same shall be given to the son of some lay person, whose clear yearly income does not, if living, and, if dead, did not at the time of his death amount to more than two hundred pounds; and such son being born in the counties of Chester, Stafford, Salop, Derby, and Lancaster, the counties in that order having a preference; or lastly, elsewhere in England."


"And such Scholar, whether the son of a Clergyman, or Layman, to be elected in manner aforesaid, shall continue to enjoy this my benefaction until he shall take, or be of standing to take his first degree of Bachelor of Arts, unless some other person, being the son of some of the officiating ministers at some of the Churches or Chapels before mentioned, and otherwise qualified as aforesaid, and which qualification, had he been a member of the said College at the time the party in possession of the Scholarship had been elected, would have been entitled to the preference, shall be admitted a member of the said College; in which case the Scholar, who shall then be in possession, shall only hold the same for that year; and the other, with a prior right, shall be elected to the same the year following. And I do appoint the Master and senior Fellows of St. John's College Trustees for the said Scholarships."


FOR 1822.



2 PET. III. 16.

"In which are some things hard to be understood."

THE Scriptures profess to have been "< given by inspiration," and to have been "written for our learning";" and yet they have been so given and so written that the very wisest and most intellectual of men cannot but feel, that the general clearness of what they teach is obscured and encumbered, in many instances, by "things hard to be understood." But not only are the readers of Revelation distressed by the existence; they are harassed also by objections deduced from the very nature of the difficulties which

a Rom. xv. 4.


occur. It is in vain for the Apostle of the Gentiles to declare that "all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness." The unbeliever rejects his authority and denies the fact. He maintains that a variety of passages in the Bible are so abstruse as to be altogether unintelligible, and, of course, profitless; whilst others are, in his opinion, both immoral and irrational:-immoral, because repugnant to the fundamental principles of his moral philosophy; and irrational, because irreconcileable with the ordinary processes of his logical reasoning. These are serious accusations. It becomes a matter of considerable importance, therefore, to examine, first, whence these difficulties in the Jewish and Christian Revelations arise, and secondly, whether their existence, their nature, and their extent, be consistent with the character of the Scriptures as an inspired, and their object as a religiously instructive works.

With regard to the origin of Scripture difficulties, it is evident, that such is the manner and such the circumstances under which we believe the Bible to have been composed, that, if we

a 2 Tim. iii. 16.

b The subject of the present Lecture.

See Lectures 2d, 3d, and 4th.

take its genuineness and authenticity for granted, and suppose it to be nothing more than a mere human production, it is quite impossible but that difficulties of various kinds must be found to exist in it. If the several Books of the canonical Scriptures be attributed to their proper authors; if they were written in the different ages and countries to which they are generally ascribed; if they were composed in the languages in which they now exist; and if they contain a faithful representation of the transactions to which they refer, it would have been most unnatural had there not, in a period so remote from their origin as the present, been numerous passages which were quite unintelligible to the majority of readers, and dark even to the most profoundly erudite.

1. The first cause of these Scripture difficulties is to be found in the remote, yet various persons, and periods, and countries, in which and by whom the Bible was composed.

The mutability of sublunary things extends itself even to the minds of men; and there is not a greater fluctuation in the orders of architecture and modes of dress in different ages, than in their forms of expression and habits of thought. Not only do words themselves suffer a change of meaning, but their combinations also are

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