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than in the Gospel or the Apocalypse." Taught where? In other passages of the Epistle, or in the text of the Heavenly Witnesses? If in other passages, then the Alogi, on the Bishop's own shewing, had their reasons for rejecting the Epistle, though the disputed text never made a part of it; if in this text itself, we shall have a beautiful specimen of the argument in a circle; the text is genuine, because the Alogi rejected the Epistle; and the Alogi must have rejected the Epistle because the text is genuine.* The bishop himself is not only ahoyos but dλsywráros. On the whole, he has been as completely foiled as his pre. decessors have been in the attempt to produce even a tittle of evidence, that this verse existed in the earliest copies of the New Testament.
It is not without reason that he makes his second period to extend from A. D. 300 to 900, a division of which we did not at first discern the motive. In this period, the external evidence, even according to his own very original definition, begins to press hard upon his favourite text. The oldest MSS. of the Greek Testament fall within this period, perhaps not far from the commencement of it, and they with one consent omit the Heavenly Witnesses; no version except the Latin, and that only in the most modern and corrupted copies, exhibits them; no Greek father quotes them as a proof of the Trinity. What can be set against these proofs of spuriousness? The Bishop finds, that towards the end of what he makes his second period, after the Latin fathers had begun to use the words as Scripture, a Latin writer, (a forger of a prologue in the name of Jerome,) speaks of the verse as being exant in
The fact is, that Epiphanius says expressly (Hær. li. 34), "that the Alogi rejected the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse, perhaps, also, (τaxa de Kai,) the Epistles, because they harmonize with the Gospels and the Apocalypse." It is evident that he had no other reason for believing that they did reject the Epistles, than this conjecture of his own; and of a multitude of authors who mention the Alogi as rejecting the Gospel and the Apocalypse, not one mentions the Epistles. See Michaëlis Introd. Ch. xxx. $5.
the Greek. See, now, the advantage of the skilful construction of a period. Had he said that till the eighth century, to which this respectable testimony belongs, there was no proof of the existence of the text of the Heavenly Witnesses in the Greek, even his orthodox readers would have been startled; but by speaking of the whole 600 years as a period, he hoped that they would forget that his argument (such as it is) applied only to the latter part of it, and agree with him that, in this period, there is positive evidence of the existence of the text in the Greek. And of what kind is this testimony? The author of it comes before us with a lie in his mouth; for he pretends that he is St. Jerome, a falsehood so glaring, that even the Bishop of St. David's gives him up; and he does not after all assert, but only insinuate, that the verse was found in Greek MSS. If, then, in spite of the disciplina arcani and the Arian erasures of Eusebius, this occidental forger found the Heavenly Witnesses in the Greek text, in the eighth century, what is become of those orthodox MSS.? A false witness, not unfrequently, by some casual concession, ruins the cause which he is produced to support, and such is the case with the Pseudo-Jerome. When he reproaches the Latin copies with the omission of the Heavenly Witnesses, he plainly shews, that in his time that version did not generally contain them; and what, then, becomes of its testimony to their having been in the Greek, in the age succeeding that of the Apostles? As to Walafrid Strabus, in the ninth century, who, in a Latin commentary, glosses on this verse, there is no proof that he had compared the Latin and Greek texts together, nor does he himself profess to have done it. That he includes 1 John v. 7 in his commentary, only shews, that in the ninth century it had gained a footing in the Latin MSS. The reader of Bishop Burgess would, indeed, conclude, from the Walafrid Strabus had asserted the artful arrangement of his words, that
"Ut libere dicam quod sentio, testimonio illo (sc. prologi) auctoritatem textui conciliare velle nihil aliud esse puto quam, ἀπὸ τοῦ ψεύδους την αλήθειαν συςήσασθαι.” Millius ad loc.
superior authority of the Greek to
words qui tres unum sunt of the Fa
3. We are next to accompany the Bishop in his inquiry into the citations of the Latin Fathers, the only part of the argument which affords even the shadow of a reason for maintaining the authenticity of the common reading. He asserts that Tertullian, because (C. Praxean, 25) he uses the
But as Fulgentius lived after Vigilius Tapsensis, who clearly quotes the seventh verse, his evidence adds nothing to the antiquity of the reading; and Facundus is a sufficient proof, that the words of Cyprian do not necessarily imply that it was extant in Cyprian's time.
We pass over two or three authors who use the phrase tres unum sunt, which only expresses a doctrine un-. questionably then prevalent in the church, but are no proof of a quotation to reach Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, in the fifth century.
Bishop of St. David's thinks he has detected Porson and Griesbach in an error respecting him, and we must, therefore, quote the whole passage to which his remarks apply. There are two works of Eucherius, the Formula Intelligentia Spiritualis, and the Liber Quæstionum. Now, in the first of these, one edition, that of Brassicanus, Basil, 1531, has the following passage: "En Joannis Epistola: Tres sunt qui testimonium dant in cœlo, Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus S., et tres sunt qui testimonium dant in terrâ, Spiritus, aqua et sanguis;" and this reading has been found in two MSS. Two other editiones principes, however, exhibit the passage as follows: "In Joannis Epistolâ: Tria sunt quæ testimonium perhibent, aqua, sanguis et spiritus," and that is all. The question then is, which of these readings is genuine. If this were not a question of theological criticism, we believe no critic would hesitate to prefer the shorter reading; since it is very explicable how a transcriber should be led to alter the text of Eucherius to conformity with the Vulgate, but to correct it according to the Greek was a thing which would never enter into any one's mind in those ages. And here the matter might be left. But it has been argued by Lardner, Porson, and others, from a passage in the Quæstiones, that the shorter reading must be the true one, and it is here that the Bishop thinks he has found them all in error. The passage is this, "Interrog. Item in Epistola suâ Joannes ponit: Tria sunt quæ testimonium perhibent, aqua, sanguis et spiritus. Quid in hoe indicatur? Resp. Simile huic loco etiam illud mihi videtur, quod ipse in Evangelio suo de passione Christi loquitur dicens; unus militum lanceâ latus ejus aperuit et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua; et qui vidit testimonium perhibuit. In eodem ipse de Jesu supra dixerat: Inclinato capite tradidit spiritum. Quidam ergo ex hoc loco ita disputant: Aqua baptistnum sanguis videtur indicare martyrium, spiritus vero ipse est qui transit ad Dominum. Plures tamen hie ipsam interpretatione mystica intelligunt Trinitatem," &c., and he goes on, elaborately, to explain its application to the Trinity. Now, Porson and others have argued, that Euche
rius himself meant to be reckoned with the Plures, who adopt the mys tical interpretation, and that he would never have allegorized the eighth verse for an argument, if he had found a literal one in the seventh. We confess that we are not satisfied with their reasoning. Had Eucherius been arguing in favour of the Trinity, and had he passed over the seventh verse to allegorize the eighth, as many have done, the argument that he could not have had the seventh in his Bible would have been decisive: but we see' no reason why the same man, in the abundance of his zeal to extract the Trinity, per fus et nefas, from every part of Scripture, might not allegorize the eighth verse as well as apply the seventh. Bishop Burgess, however, assails them on a different ground, and maintains that they have misunderstood Eucherius, who, as he says, enumerates three opinions: his own, "mihi videtur;" that of those who, explained the water of baptism, &c., quidam ergo ex hoc loco disputant" and that of the majority, "Plures tamen." But would any man, writing in Latin, and intending to oppose his own opinion and that of certain others, have said, "mihi videtur," " quidam ergo disputant." Ergo is surely no adversative_particle; had he meant what the Bishop supposes, he would have said quidam tamen-plures vero. The fact is, that the only opposition is between the second and the third opinions. He first explains the water, &c., correctly and historically of the death of Christ, and then goes on to mention two kinds of spiritual application deduced from it, and these he opposes to each other by quidam and plures tamen. Porson concluded from the labour which he has bestowed upon the second, which applies it to the Trinity, that it was to this he himself inclined, and there is certainly nothing in the words which implies that it was not.
But allowing that Eucherius did not apply the eighth verse mystically to the Trinity, (should the Bishop cast his eyes on these humble pages we hope he will not say, the Unitarian Reviewer allows,) this passage is most important to the opponents of the Heavenly Witnesses. The Bishop endeavours to shew, against
Marsh, that Augustine was not generally followed in applying the eighth verse to the Trinity, and actually produces this passage from Eucherius, with his new interpretation, as a proof that Marsh is wrong. And what does Eucherius say in the New Version? " I interpret the water and the blood of the crucifixion; certain persons of baptism; THE MAJORITY, HOWEVER, explain it mystically of the Trinity." Is not the Bishop “ a truly polite and moderate arguer, when every third word is in favour of his antagonist?"
The opponents of the Heavenly Witnesses have observed, that as the Latin Fathers very seldom understood Greek, they can only be considered, even when they use the seventh verse, as evidences of the reading in the Latin Version. This, Bishop Burgess will by no means allow, and produces some reasons why they must have been good Greek scholars: "Justinian published his Laws in Greek as well as in Latin." This is a specimen of the ignoratio elenchi worthy to stand beside the reasoning in a circle which we quoted before it is a very good proof that many Greeks understood no Latin; how it proves that most of the Latins understood Greek we are utterly at a loss to conceive. Again, "Greek was spoken and written at Carthage in its Pagan state," and, hence, it is inferred that it cannot have been neglected in the Christian church of that place. This is the argument à fortiori; let us try its validity by a parallel case. The youth of Britain, in its Pagan state, spoke Latin fluently, (Tac. Agr. 21, Juv. Sat. 15,) of course Alfred cannot have told the truth when he says, that at his accession there was not, to his knowledge, a priest south of the Thames who could translate a piece of Latin.
4. Although Bishop Burgess denies that he is bound to give any explanation of the disappearance of 1 John v. 7, from the Greek MSS., and its nonquotation by the Fathers, he appears to rely not a little on Mr. Nolan's "profound and interesting Inquiry" into the Greek Vulgate, and the reasons which he gives for believing that Eusebius cut this text out. We have no intention of entering into any minute examination of that confused and
prolix performance; but in connexion with our present topic we cannot help remarking, that the charge against Eusebius rests on a most stupendous blunder or a most disingenuous perversion of Mr. Nolan's. The copies of the Scriptures having been reduced in number by the persecutions of Dioclesian and Maximian, Constantine Commissions Eusebius to cause fifty legible and portable MSS. to be prepared by calligraphi; Tv Stwv dyλady γραφῶν, ὧν μαλιςα τὴν τε ἐπισκευὴν καὶ τὴν χρήσιν τῷ τῆς ἐκκλησίας λόγῳ ἀναγκάιαν ειναι γινώσκεις. See Nolan, p. 26. If he really believes that this passage confers on Eusebius " a power to select those Scriptures chiefly which he knew to be useful to the doctrine of the church," he construes Greek as no man, we believe, ever did before him, and as we hope no man, at least no man who writes a book on the Greek Testament, ever will again. Where the whole charge rests on the ignorance of the accuser, it is useless to argue its absurdity. The Bishop of St. David's and Mr. Nolan are worthy of each other's panegyric. Qui Bavium non odit amet tua carmina Mari.
5. The Codex Dublinensis, the only Greek MS. which contains the Heavenly Witnesses, was thought at first to have been purposely forged to meet the natural demand for some testimony which might justify editors in inserting the text. Mr. Porson, who had seen copies of the hand-writing, pronounced it to be "certainly not earlier than the fifteenth, and possibly as late as the sixteenth century." Dr. Adam Clarke, it seems, thinks it more likely to have been written in the thirteenth than in the fifteenth. We have a great respect for Dr. A. Clarke, as a learned and an honest man; but we have yet to be informed of the reasons why we should prefer his judgment on the age of a MS. to that of Porson, That it was forged for the purpose of fraud we see no reason to maintain; but the same author has observed a circumstance which is quite as fatal to its authority; viz. that the controverted passage is translated in a bungling manner from the modern copies of the Vulgate. Letters, p. 117. Yet this is the MS. which Bishop Burgess vaunts as sufficient, with his collateral evidence already examined, to counter
balance all the arguments against the authenticity of the verse. He deprecates, however, the supposition that because no other Greek MSS. have been produced, none ever will; and not dismayed by the delay of its accomplishment, renews the pious hope of Bengelius, that many such will hereafter come to light. It is contrary to the practice of all tribunals, we believe, to defer a decision, when both parties have had a reasonable time to produce their vouchers, because one of them makes affidavit that he believes the "bookshelves of Divine Providence" to contain documents which, could he only get at them, would be very important to his cause. On the evidence produced, 1 John v. 7 must be condemned as spurious. When another Greek MS. containing it comes to light, the cause can be reheard; by that time the Dublin MS. will be at
least 500 years old, and consequently competent to fulfil the conditions of Mr. Porson's challenge.
We had intended to have concluded with some remarks on what Bishop Burgess says of Unitarians, but we trust that what we have already said will enable them to bear with equanimity his harsh words and his unfavourable opinion. The cross fire of our unskilful enemies is destructive only to themselves. While an Irish Bishop complains that we take as much or as little of Griesbach as we like, his Cambrian brother declares that our cry is "Griesbach, all or none." We are pretty well accustomed to the charge of pride of understanding and overweening confidence in our own judgments; but, according to Bishop Burgess, our crime is a Popish deference to authority. They trust to their auxiliar, M. Griesbach. He is the rock of their infidelity and the pope of their system. His single authority is sufficient for mutilating the received text of the New Testament. On him they repose as their security, and content themselves with retailing his objections." Another charge is, that the Unitarians have done nothing themselves in this controversy, and only avail themselves of the labours of others. If by Unitarians the Bishop means those of the present day, the answer is ready, that there was nothing left to be done, in a case
where the truth has long been esta blished to the satisfaction of all competent judges, except now and then to expose the feeble sophistry which endeavours to revive exploded errors. Whether the Unitarians are unable or unwilling to do this the Bishop himself may judge. If he means by Unitarians all impugners of the doctrine of the Trinity, he has forgotten surely what Emlyn and Benson, and Newton and Porson, have done in this controversy. The Unitarians, it is true, prefer to appeal to Trinitarian authority; but are they answerable for those prejudices of the orthodox which make them attach more weight to a name than an argument? Aoyos yap en T αδοξοντων ἰων, κακ τῶν δοκέντων αὐτὸς ε Tavrov σOÉVEL.
WCountry Minister" with the
E rise from the perusal of "The
delight we feel after having enjoyed the conversation of a man endued with good sense, benevolent sensibility and true piety: though pleased with the sweetness of the versification, the truth and tenderness impressed on every paragraph make us appear to listen to the voice of a companion rather than to the studied strains of a poet. The subject did not call forth the loftier diction of genius; but if the work afford not the highest gratification of taste, it gives ample enjoyment to the benevolent heart; for although there are little incongruities in the character of the hero, which convince us that the poem portrays only the circumstances belonging to the situation of the Country Minister, not the history of any individual, yet we feel impelled to believe that the purest feelings and noblest sentiments attributed to the subject of the work are a transcript of the mind of the author, and lament that we are acquainted with him only through the medium of his book.
There is so little inequality in this poem, that it is difficult to select particular passages for extracting. In pages 38 and 39 the union of ener