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called for, with regard to the latter case. But was it equitably called a "misrepresentation"? I continue to think that it was; because, in a professedly calm and dispassionate investigation, it is not fair to take our representations of a sentiment from the extravagant amplifications and exaggerations of rhetorical authors, whose taste led them, in other instances as well as in this, to sacrifice the strict accuracy of truth in order to produce a striking effect. Yet I do not fully approve of the language which I used; and, if the passage could be written again, I would try to find some milder terms of disapprobation. I likewise think it to be hazarding no improbable assertion, to say that, if my venerated friend, Dr. Edward Williams, were now alive, he would readily have joined in this declaration.
If now, Sir, I may hope that the patience of your readers can indulge me so far, I will transcribe some paragraphs from a well-known, highly esteemed, and unquestionably orthodox divine; the one whose statements may be regarded, probably more than those of any other writer, as a fair representation of the sentiments held by the majority of Calvinistic divines, particularly the Nonconformists of England and the Presbyterians of Scotland and America, from the era of the Reformation (and indeed long before) to the present time;-Dr. JOHN OWEN. The quotation will shew in what manner the most judicious and approved writers of this class have thought it fit and scriptural to represent their doctrine, on the union of the human and the divine natures in the person of Christ.
"This union, the ancient church affirmed to be made, aтpεTws, without any change in the person of the Son of God, which the Divine Nature is not sub. ject to; adiapers, with a distinction of natures, but without any division of them by separate subsistences; aσvyxvtws, without mixture or confusion ; axwpiss, without separation or distance; and eowows, substantially, because it was of two substances or essences in the same person, in opposition to all accidental union; as the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily.'
"Each nature doth preserve its own natural, essential properties, entirely to and in itself; without mixture; without a real communication of the one to the composition or confusion; without such other, as that the one should become the subject of the properties of the other. The Deity, in the abstract, is not made the humanity; nor on the contrary. The Divine Nature is not by this union made temporary, finite, limited, subject to passion or alteration: nor is the human nature rendered immense, infinite, omniwill not be two natures in Christ, a potent. Unless this be granted, there divine and a human; nor indeed either of them; but somewhat else, composed of both."- Owen's Christologia, chap. xviii.
One of the Reviewers whom Benevolus quotes, represents me as having used " compliments" towards some of the writers whose opinions I have opposed. I really cannot acknowledge myself chargeable with this fault. Compliments, understanding by the term expressions of honour or respect bordering upon the adulatory or exaggerated style, I should think miserably out of place in a serious discussion of the most important religious subjects. Whatever language of respect I have used in relation to any of those whose doctrines or arguments I have disputed, has been no more than what I sincerely believe to be required by truth and uprightness. My situation is a little remarkable, but by no means unexampled. While your worthy correspondent has taken so much pains to convict me of an uncharitable spirit; another periodical work has made me the object of thundering rebukes, for undue complacency,"
excessive liberality," ❞—and even "abandonment of principle." But I
say, with the poet, aμsive d aμa yra and comfort myself with the conscientious persuasion that both classes of my reprovers are mistaken.
This letter has run out to a much greater length than I expected. I must, therefore, defer till the next month my request for the admission of what I may have to reply to my learned friend Dr. Jones.
J. P. SMITH.
"Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blame."-POPE.
ART. I.-A Vindication of 1 John v. 7, from the Objections of M. Griesbach, in which is given a New View of the External Evidence, with Greek Authorities for the Authenticity of the Verse not hitherto adduced in its Defence. By the Bishop of St. David's. Rivingtons. Pp. 70.
CCUSTOMED as we have been
venturing on the forlorn hope in defence of orthodoxy, we confess that we were not prepared for his present undertaking. The publication of Griesbach's New Testament, in which that great master of the art of sacred criticism, himself a Trinitarian, declared that there is no such thing as a rule of evidence for the text of the New Testament, if 1 John v. 7 be not spurious, with the works of Porson and Marsh in the Travisian controversy, seemed to have convinced the orthodox of that day, that it was a hopeless task to defend its authenticity, and no man, with the smallest pretensions to the character of a scholar ventured to quote it as Scripture. The cause of truth, it was said, needs no such support; the doctrine of the Trinity can be established to demonstration from a multitude of other passages; let the Unitarians make what they can of the concession that this is spurious; we have other arrows in abundance in our quiver for their discomfiture. Soon, however, they found that their glorying had not been good, and that the doctrine of the Trinity was so far from being supported by such an exuberance of proof, that if this text were taken away there would not remain in the New Testament a single passage in which it even seemed to be taught. The weapon which had been thrown by was again brought forth from the armoury, to dazzle, at least, if it could not wound. The text of the Heavenly Witnesses again made its appearance in the controversy with the Unitarians, timidly and cautiously indeed at first, more boldly afterwards when it appeared that the authors of its former disgrace were no longer to be dreaded.
Griesbach and Marsh were gone to their reward, the arm that smote the wretched Travis into atoms was paralyzed by death; so the Nolans and the Hales' thought they might come forth in safety, and parade to the sound of their own acclamations over the deserted field. For the honour of criticism we are grieved to see Bishop Burgess lend to these empty boasters
associated the recollection of services rendered in former days to classical literature: we were indeed aware, from his former works, that his zeal against Unitarianism had overpowered not only his judgment but his learning: still we were not prepared to expect from him any thing quite so weak, superficial and disingenuous as this Vindication.
Our readers, we presume, are generally aware, that the text of the three Heavenly Witnesses, and the words
in the eighth verse, are found in no Greek MS. except that of Dublin College; that they are cited by no Greek father in all those violent controversies about the Trinity and the person of Christ, when heaven and earth were moved to furnish arguments against the heretics; when the most strained and absurd allegorical interpretations of Scripture, and of the eighth verse in particular, were resorted to; when the words which precede and the words which follow, the text in question were quoted; that they are found in the MSS. of no one ancient version but the Vulgate; that even of this, though the majority retain, the oldest and the best MSS. reject the seventh verse; that of the Latin Fathers, many, to whose arguments it would have been invaluable, have not quoted it; and that Vigilius Tapsensis, at the close of the fifth century, is the first in whose works a
the verse are as much superior to the "The few Latin MSS. that reject herd of incorrect and modern copies that retain it, as a small, well-trained band of soldiers to a numerous rabble destitute of discipline and unanimity."-Pors. p. 154.
distinct citation of it appears. We should think that it needed no profound knowledge of the art of criticism, but only a little of that common sense which learning unfortunately cannot teach, to see that such a passage must be spurious, or that there is an end of all critical certainty. The Bishop of St. David's thinks he can set all this evidence aside, and these are his arguments: that the sense is imperfect and the construction solecistic, if the seventh verse be taken away; that our Greek MSS. of this Epistle are comparatively modern, and, therefore, cannot prove what was the reading of the early ages: that the Latin Fathers quote it as early as Tertullian; that Mr. Nolan, in his "profound and interesting Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate," has made it probable that Eusebius struck out the Heavenly Witnesses in the days of Constantine: lastly, that Mr. Porson declared his willingness to come over to Mr. Travis' opinion, if two Greek MSS., 500 years old, could be produced, containing the verse, and that Dr. Adam Clarke thinks that one, the Dublin MS., is more likely to have been written in the thirteenth century than in the fifteenth. Let us examine these arguments separately.
1. The harshness of construction and solecism, produced by the omission of the seventh verse, consists in this; that τὸ πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα, in the eighth verse are all neuters; and yet the apostle says of them, τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυρώντες. Assuming it, therefore, to be a rule of Greek construction, (for his argument implies this, though he does not expressly state it, that nouns in apposition must be of the same gender as those to which they are apposed, the Bishop argues that St. John could never have fallen into such a solecism, as to use the masculine in the eighth verse, but for the circumstance of his having the moment before used of paprugerTec in the seventh, in connexion with aτὴς, ὁ λόγος, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον πνεῦμα, where the masculine is grammatically correct. Now it is very obvious to reply to this, Dr. J. P. Smith has I. 545,) that the because the words Bishop Burgess, inThat yeμa cannot be
personified in the eighth verse, because in the sixth we read kai to zveɔ̃μa 51 To μaprupev; but, in the first place, there is no reason that an author should always personify, because he sometimes does it; and, in the second place, the constructions have no analogy; To paprupy, in the sixth verse, is the predicate of the proposition, in which it would certainly have been a harsh, though by no means unauthorized, construction, to have departed from the gender of the subject; the neuters in the eighth verse, instead of being either the predicate or the subject, are apposed, exegetically, to of papropers, the subject. The logical order of the words is this; or si μαρτυρῶντες (τὸ πνεῦμα. κ. τ. λ.) εἰσι pa. This distinction either Bishop Burgess and his oracles, Mr. Nolan and Dr. Hales, have overlooked, or they mean to maintain, that in all cases nouns in apposition must be in the same gender as those which they are introduced to explain. Let us hear the opinion of a much better grammarian than any of the three. "The apposed substantive should in strictness be of the same number and gender as the first; but they are often different, especially when the apposed word is an abstractum pro concreto." (Matthiä, § 431 of the smaller gram mar; for the passage is not contained in the larger, translated by E. V. Blomfield.) He quotes, as examples, Eur. Troad. 429, απέχθηκα πάγκοινον βροτοῖς οἱ περὶ τυράννες καὶ πόλεις ὑπη ρεται. Hes. Scut. Herc. 296, 313, ἄρχος, (τρίπος,) κλυτὰ ἔργα περίφρονος 'Hpaíso. Will it be said that Matthia's examples are all from poets? In the book of Proverbs, xxx. 29, we read, Τρία ἔςιν ἃ ἐυόδως πορεύεται καὶ τέταρτον ὁ καλῶς διαβαίνει· σκύμνος λέοντος καὶ ἀλέκτωρ καὶ τράγος καὶ βασιλεύς. Here are four masculine nouns in the enumeration, but the relative and numerals are neuter; while, in the passage in John, the nouns in the enumeration are neuter, and the numeral and participle mas culine. No doubt, had the author of the Proverb chosen, he might have said, rpes elow oi, and the author of the Epistle, pía or a but the former wished to make his predicate as indefinite as possible, and the latter to make his as definite and personal as he could; and we humbly maintain
that neither of them has written in "defiance of grammar.”
But there is another reason why the seventh verse must be retained. Wolfius and the Bishop of Calcutta have observed, that without the of the seventh verse, the to v of the ́eighth is unaccountable. Let us see, then, what sense we get by making the Toy of the eighth refer to the of the seventh. "There are three which bear witness in heaven, the Father and the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one thing; and there are three which bear witness on earth, the Spirit, the water and the blood, and these three are to that one thing." What meaning can be attached to these words we cannot imagine. There is no need of any new theory of the Greek article, to explain the use of ro before v; it marks more emphatically the absolute unity of purpose of the Three Witnesses. Unquestionably this might have been expressed by els v, but less forcibly. So the Apostle, 1 Cor. xii. 11, might have contented himself with saying, Ey Kai Tò avrò пveõμz, but he has chosen to say τὸ ἕν.
2. Bishop Burgess allows, that all the Greek MSS., save one, (the Codex Ravienus he abandons to its fate,) omit the seventh verse; but not at all dismayed by this circumstance, he sets himself to prove, by a most extraordinary process, that this is no reason for doubting its authenticity. He divides the whole time, from the composition of the Epistle to the invention of printing, into three periods, the first extending to the end of the third century, the second to the end of the ninth; and he observes, that during the first period there is no external evidence against the verse, because none of our present MSS. are as old as the third century. If this remark had proceeded from some one devoid of every tincture of critical knowledge, the confusion of ideas which it indicates, might be explained; if a Toland or a Collins had thrown it out as an insinuation against the evidence of the authenticity of Scripture, the motive would have been intelligible: but, surely, nothing except the blind zeal which leads a man to demolish the bulwarks of our common faith, if he thinks he can bury an adversary under the ruin, could have
induced the learned and pious Bishop of St. David's to have furnished the infidels with such an argument as this. No external evidence, it seems, as derived from MSS., can be of higher date than the MSS. themselves, Now, it is pretty generally admitted that our present copies of the Hebrew Scriptures are not older than the tenth century; consequently there is an interval, from the time of Moses, of 2500 years, during which we have no external evidence of the existence of the Pentateuch. It is vain to talk of the collateral evidence of translations, &c.; nemo dat quod non habet; they all exist in MSS. equally recent with those of the Hebrew Scriptures, and having no evidence themselves, they can lend none to others. But to add inconsistency to absurdity, the Bishop goes on to say, that the “oldest Greek MS. extant is of much later date than the Latin Version of the Western Church." Has, then, this version come down to us on some tablet of brass or marble, while the Greek original is only to be found in modern and perishable parchment? If not, then we have as little external evidence of the one as of the other, not only during the first period, but down to the time when our present MSS. of each were written. We may be thought, perhaps, to pay a poor compliment to the sagacity of our readers, even by observing, in passing, that as MSS. are not created, TWY,
but copied from each other, the MS. of the fourth century, which is still preserved, is external evidence-not demonstration, but evidence of the existence of its TEXT in the preceding centuries, the MSS. of which have perished, and that thus the chain is carried up to the autograph of the author. Allowances must be made for the human infirmities of transcribers, and as these are repeated with every act of copying, the oldest MSS. are reasonably considered as the most valuable: but if, according to Bishop Burgess's principle, there could be no external evidence of the existence of a text, before the time when the existing MSS. of it were written, the scepticism of Harduin was moderate and rational.
But, on what ground does our author so confidently, and without giving his reader the smallest hint that
the matter is doubtful, speak of the Latin Version as having contained this verse during his first period? Did he not know that this very point is most strenuously contested by the opponents of the verse? Did he not know that the greatest critic of the age had pronounced the Latin MSS. which omit the verse, to be infinitely superior to the herd in which it is found? (See the passage quoted from Porson before.) Is he prepared to deny this? He knows himself, we apprehend, better than to venture to oppose himself on such a point to such an authority. He has dealt most disingenuously by Porson, in representing him as allowing that the verse in dispute was in the Latin Version, even from the end of the second century. How could he, unless the clearest of heads had become all at once as confused as that of certain defenders of orthodoxy, admit that a text was in the Latin Version, at this early period, and yet condemn the copies which contain this text as a worthless rabble? Porson is arguing for the moment upon a supposition (Letters, p. 143) which, in the whole of his subsequent reasoning, he refutes, that this text had been in the Vulgate from the end of the second century, and maintains, that even in that case, its authenticity would not be certain: the very next paragraph (p. 144) begins with these words : "Thus I should argue if all the MSS. consented in the received reading." We confess it to be a very difficult stretch of our charity to believe, that Bishop Burgess mistook so common a phrase as allowing that it had been," for "I allow that it was;" at any rate, the man who can so misunderstand a plain sentence of his mother tongue, must excuse us if we do not attach much value to his judgment, when he talks of the internal evidence which arises from the connexion of an author's ideas and the coherence of his arguments.
Again, before we quit the subject of this first period, we must ask, is the Vulgate Latin Version the only one of this age which exists? A reader of Bishop Burgess might naturally suppose that it was; for we do not recollect that he enters into the slightest explanation, why I John v. 7, is wanting in the Syriac, the carli
est, probably, of all the translations of the New Testament, and all the other oriental versions, which are not known to have been corrupted from the Latin in very recent times. Here is no discordancy of MSS., as in the case of the Latin Version; their testimony is clear and consistent, and the absence of the disputed text is to be accounted for in no other way than its absence in the Greek MSS. from which they were made. What are we to say of the dead silence of the Greek fathers, who never once, during this period, quote the verse in question? Bishop Burgess will not allow that a defender of the text is bound to explain this. It is an approved method of getting rid of a toublesome claimant, to deny the debt; but this silence of the fathers will remain an invincible argument of spuriousness till it is explained,* and that too in some better way the disciplina arcani, or Mr. Nolan's dream of the erasure of the text by Eusebius. It is true, the Bishop does make a feeble effort to prove that the Greek original must have contained it in the two first centuries. The Alogi were a set of heretics, who rejected the writings of St. John, on account of their denial of his doctrine of the Logos. Now, it has been thought, that as the divinity of the Logos is. taught in no part of the first Epistle, but in the text of the Heavenly Witnesses, they could have had no reason for quarrelling with it, had this text not been found in it from the earliest times. The reader will perceive, that this argument can have no force whatever, unless we are assured that the Alogi rejected the first Epistle, as well as the other works of the Apostle. But the proof of this completely fails. Epiphanius, who gives this account of the Alogi, only says, that they rejected the Gospel and the Apocalypse. O, but," says the Bishop,
they must have rejected the Epistle, because the doctrine of Christ's divinity is much more clearly taught in it
quæstione repudiari nequit ; nil id valet "Negativum argumentum in tali de uno alterove scriptore, valet de permultis, dictum tam insigne, ad controversias decidendas singulariter opportunum prætereuntibus." Bengelius Gnom. ad 1 Joan. v. 7.