Boyle Lectures

Boyle Lectures a foundation under the will of the Hon. Robert Boyle in 1691, which charged upon his dwelling-house in St. Michael's, Crooked Lane, London, an annual stipend for "a divine or preaching minister to preach eight sermons in the year for proving the Christian religion against Atheists, Deists, Pagans, Jews, and Mohammedans, not descending to any controversies among Christians themselves." The lecturer is to be "assisting to all companies, and encouraging them in any undertaking for propagating the Christian religion, and is farther to be ready to satisfy such real scruples as any have concerning such matters." This provision shows that Boyle desired to make England's then increasing colonies a means of extending Christianity. The preacher is elected for a period not exceeding three years. A collection of the lectures delivered up to 1732 was published in 1739

(Lond. 3 vols. fol.), and over fifty volumes have been printed of those since preached. The most important are, Bentley, Confutation of Atheism (1692); Kidder, Demonstration of Messiah (1694); Williams, On Divine Revelation (1696); Gastrell, Certainty and Necessity of Religion (1697); Harris, Refutation of Atheism (1698); Bradford, Credibility of Revelation (1700); Blackhall, Suffciency of Revelation (1717); Stanhope, Truth of the Christian Religion (1702); Clarke, Demonstration of Being of God (1705); Hancock, Being of God (1707); Turner, Wisdom of God in Redemption (1709); Woodward, Divine Excellency of Christianity (1712); Derham, Physico-Theology (1711-12); Benjamin, On Free-thinking (1727); Clarke, Origin of Eil (1720-21); Gurdon, Dificulties no Excusefor Infidelity (1723); Burnet, Demonstration of True Religion (1726); Berriman, Gradual Revelation of the Gospel (1733); Biscoe, On the Acts (1736-8; reprinted 1829); Stebbing, Controversy between Christians and Deists (1747-49); Heathcote, Against Atheists (1763); Worthington, Evidence of Christianity (1766-8); Owen, On Scripture Miracles (1769-71); Williamson, Comparison of Revelation with Operation of the Human Mind (1778-80); Van Mildert, Rise and Progress of Infidelity (1802; reprinted 1838); Harness, Connection of Christianity with Happiness (1821); Maurice, Religions of the World in their Relations to Christianity (1846).- Darling, Cyclopcdia Bibliographica, i, 406.

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