THE delivery of the Dudleian lecture this year has been offered by the committee to Rev. W. E. Griffis D. D., of Boston, although as yet no official acceptance of the offer has been received. We give in another column the extract from the will of the founder stating what shall be the subject of the fourth lecture. Rev. Mr. Griffis is a man of considerable prominence in his church and well able to treat this subject.
It will be interesting to those who do not know the history of these Dudleian lectures to state briefly the conditions upon which they were founded. In 1750 Paul Dudley, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court made a bequest of $23 to be used in giving a series of four lectures on religious subjects, one lecture to be given each year. Justice Dudley was a man much interested in matters of theology and his desire in founding this course of lectures was to afford a means for broad and comprehensive treatment of what seemed to him important theological questions. The lectures were given regularly from 1753 to 1857 when the fund becoming low the course was suspended till four years ago.
The subject this year is different and 1 ss difficult from that of last year, though none the less interesting. "The explanation and proof of the validity of the organization of ministers or Pastors of the churches and so their administration of the sacraments of religion as they have been practiced in New England" is a topic which, historically treated, would cover a great deal of ground and give a good comparison of the progress of church ritual and sacrament in New England.