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(Extract from Mr. Hulse's Will.)
“ Clause from the Will of the Rev. John Hulse, late of Elworth, in the county of Chester, Clerk, deceased, dated the 21st day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1777, expressed in the words of the testator, as he, in order to prevent mistakes, thought proper to draw and write the same himself, and directed that such clause should be every year printed, to the intent that the several persons whom it might concern and be of service to might know that there were such special donations and endowments left for the encouragement of piety and learning, in an age unfortunately addicted to infidelity and luxury, and that others might be invited to the like charitable, and as he humbly hoped, seasonable and useful benefactions.”
“ I direct that four parts out of six (of his property in Clive) shall be paid on St. John the Evangelist's day following the preaching the lectures or sermons after-mentioned annually, to such learned and ingenious clergyman in the said university of the degree of Master of Arts, and under the age of 40 years, as shall be duly chosen or elected on Christmas-day, or within seven days after, by the Vice-Chancellor then for the time being, and by the Master or Head of Trinity College, and the Master of St. John's College, or by any two of them, in order to preach twenty sermons in the whole year, (i. e.) ten sermons in the following spring in St. Mary's great church in Cambridge, namely, one sermon on the Friday morning, or else on Sunday afternoon, in every week during the months of April and May, and
the two first weeks in June, and likewise ten sermons in the same church in the following autumn, either on the Friday morning or else on the Sunday afternoon in every week during the months of September and October, and during the two first weeks in November. The subject' of which discourses shall be as followeth-that is, the subject of five sermons in the spring, and of five sermons in the autumn shall be to shew the evidence for revealed religion, and to demonstrate in the most convincing and persuasive manner the truth and excellence of Christianity, so as to include not only the prophecies and miracles general and particular, but also any other proper or useful arguments, whether the same be direct or collateral proofs of the Christian religion, which he may think fittest to discourse upon, either in general or particular, especially the collateral arguments or else any particular argument or branch thereof, and chiefly against notorious Infidels, whether Atheists or Deists, not descending to any particular sects or controversies (so much to be lamented) among Christians themselves, except some new or dangerous error either of superstition or enthusiasm, as of Popery or Methodism, or the like, either in opinion or practice, should prevail, in which cause only it may be necessary for that time to preach against the same. Nevertheless the preacher of the ten sermons last mentioned, to shew the truth and excellence of revealed religion and the evidence of Christianity, may at his own discretion preach either more or fewer than ten sermons on this great argument, only provided he shall in consequence thereof lessen or increase the number of the other ten remaining sermons which are hereinafter directed to be on the more obscure parts of Holy Scripture in a due proportion, so as that he shall every year preach twenty sermons on those subjects on the whole.
And as to the ten sermons that remain, of which five were to be preached in the spring and five in the autumn, as before mentioned, the Lecturer or Preacher shall take for his subject some of the more difficult texts or obscure parts of the Holy Scriptures, such as might appear to be more generally useful
and necessary to be explainel, and which might best admit of such a comment and explanation without presuming to pry too far into the profound secrets and awful mysteries of the Almighty; and in all the said twenty sermons such practical observations shall be made, and such useful conclusions added, as may instruct and edify mankind. The said twenty sermons shall be every year printed, and a new preacher every year elected, (except in the case of the extraordinary merit of the preacher), when it may be sometimes thought proper to continue the same person for five, or at the most six years together; but for no longer period, nor shall he ever afterwards be elected to the same duty."
Substance of the order of the Court of Chancery in the matter of the Hulsean Lectureship, in the university of Cambridge, dated 21st December, 1830:
On the Petition of the Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the university of Cambridge.
After reciting the property left by Mr. Hulse for the endowment of a Lectureship in Cambridge, and the conditions attached to the office, the petition states that owing to the number of lectures required to be delivered and printed by the Lecturer within the year, no sufficiently qualified person could be induced to hold the office, and suggests that the number might be conveniently reduced to eight, which was the number appointed by Mr. Boyle, or to any other which the Chancellor might think fit. Whereupon,” to use the words of the order, “ all parties concerned were ordered to attend his lordship on the matter of the said petition ; and counsel for the petitioners this day attending accordingly, upon hearing of the said petition, and of the said Will of the said John Hulse, dated the 21st day of July, 1777, read, and what was alleged by the counsel of the petitioners, this court doth order that the number of the lectures in the petition mentioned be reduced to eight; and it is ordered that the time limited for printing the said lectures be enlarged for the term of one year from the delivery of the last of such lectures."
And he directed that such clause should always be concluded with the following prayer:
“May the Divine blessing for ever go along with all my benefactions; and may the greatest and best of Beings, by his all-wise Providence and gracious infinence, make the same effectual to his own glory and the good of my fellow-creatures ! Amen.”