Sermons Preached Before the University of Oxford In the Year 1784, at the Lecture
Founded by the Rev. John Bampton, M.A. late Canon of Salisbury.
The Second Edition.
To Which Is Now Added,
A Sermon Preached before the University of Oxford, July 4, 1784,
On the Duty of attempting the Propagation of the Gospel
among our Mahometan and Gentoo Subjects in India
By Joseph White, B.D.
Fellow of Wadham College,
Archbishop Laud's Professor of Arabic, and
One of His Majesty's Preachers at Whitehall
Printed for G. G. J. and J. Robinson, Paternoster-Row,
The Rev. John Bampton, 1690-1751, was a B.A. and M.A. graduate of Trinity College, University of Oxford. Bampton served as prebendary (i.e., canon) at Salisbury Cathedral, 1718-1751, and through his will (p. 1; p. 2), he established the Bampton Lectureship, one of the most eminent lectureships on Protestant Christian theology. The Bampton Lectureship consists of eight lecture-sermons. The University of Oxford describes the Bampton Lectureship as follows:
The University [Oxford] in 1779 accepted a benefaction to establish the Bampton Lecturership,
the holder of which is required to give eight divinity lecture sermons in Hilary and Trinity Full
Terms annually (or, since 1910, biennially) in the Church of St Mary's. Although this is not
specified in the original bequest, the lectures have traditionally been given on Sundays, and
it is laid down in the present statute that they should be. . . . It is also now expedient to abolish
the Sarum Lectures, which are considered to have become unnecessary in so far as since 1990
the Bampton Lecturership has been open to both men and women, and to suitable persons
unconnected with churches within the Anglican Communion (Oxford University Gazette,
20 March 1997, University Agenda).
Since 1952, the Bampton Lectureship fund also supported the Sarum Lectureship in theology at the University of Oxford. In 1997, the Sarum Lectureship was abolished so that the Bampton Lectureship, and theology at Oxford in general, could receive greater acclaim and exposure.
Joseph White, 1745-1814, a commoner in 1765 when he entered Wadham College, University of Oxford, earned the B.A., M.A., B.D., and D.D. degrees from Wadham College, University of Oxford. He also took prizes in Hebrew and other subjects, and became an orthodox Anglican minister and scholar. He held the position of Laudian Chair of Arabic after completing his studies in Syriac, Arabic, and Persian, and later in 1804 became the eminent Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford and Canon of Christ Church, Oxford. White published widely in the areas of textual studies of Near Eastern languages and Greek, including the following:
De utilitate linguæ Arabicæ, in studiis theologicis, oratio, 1776 [The Utility of the Arabic Language in Theological Study]
Sacrorum Evangeliorum versio Syriaca Philoxeniana, 2 vols., 1778 [Syriac Gospels]
Actuum Apostolorum et Epistolarum tam catholicarum quam Paulinarum versio Syriaca Philoxeniana, 2 vols., 1799-1803 [the New Testament books of Acts, Paul, and General Epistles in Syriac]
A Specimen of the Civil and Military Institutes of Timour, or Tamerlane, translated from Persian into English by Joseph White
Diatessaron: sive integra historia Jesu Christi, 1799 [harmony of the Gospels]
Ægyptiaca: or, Observations on certain antiquities of Egypt, 1801
Novum Testamentum Græce: Lectiones variantes, Griesbachii judicio iis quas textus receptus exhibet anteponendas, 1808 [Greek New Testament],
editor of Criseos Griesbachianae in Novum Testamentum Synopsis, 1811
He also proposed a new edition of the Septuagint based on the Hexaplar-Syriac manuscript discovered in Milan.
In 1784, White delivered the prestigious Bampton Lectureship on a comparison of "Mahometism and Christianity." In light of his background in Near Eastern languages, he was well prepared for the lectures. The ten lecture-sermons that he delivered and published included:
|SERMON I.||Matt. xi. 19.||
Wisdom is justified of her Children.
|SERMON II.||Acts v. 38, 39.||If this Counsel, or this Work, be of Men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.|
|SERMON III.||Acts v. 38, 39.||If this Counsel, or this Work, be of Men, it will come to nought: but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it.|
|SERMON IV.||John vii. 12.||
Some said, He is a good Man: other said, Nay, but he deceiveth the People.
|SERMON V.||II Cor,. iv. 10.||That the Life also of Jesus might be made manifest.|
|SERMON VI.||I Kings xiii. 18.||He said--I am a Prophet also--and an Angel spake to me by the Word of the Lord. But he lied--|
|SERMON VII.||John x. 25.||Jesus answered--The works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.|
|SERMON VIII.||Luke xix. 22.||Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee.|
|SERMON IX.||Matt. vii. 16.||Ye shall know them by their fruits.|
|SERMON X.||Mark xvi. 15.||Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.|
Of particular interest to William Carey enthusiasts, the last lecture-sermon touches directly upon the issue of whether European Christians (i.e. Anglicans) should attempt to convert the natives of India to Christianity. The sermon's inclusion of the Markan version of Jesus' post-resurrection command to preach to the world predates--by eight years--Carey's 1792 pamphlet An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens, in which Carey used the same scriptural text for his argument.
Full-Text Image of the Rev. Joseph White, M.A.
The Bampton Lectureship, 1784
Title Page Dedication Page Bampton Will, p. 1 Bampton Will, p. 2
"Sermon X.--Mark xvi. 15.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
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White dedicated his lecture-sermons to John Moore. Dr. Moore (1730-1805) served as Archbishop of Canterbury, 1783-1805, after having ministered in churches at Durham, Christ Church, Oxford, and Bangor. White dedicated the volume to Moore, since Moore was the reason for White's pursuit of oriental studies at Oxford. In addition, Moore was a supporter of the Christian missionary enterprise, possibly another reason for White's dedication of the volume to him.
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Created: March 18, 2002 Updated: March 26, 2003