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Now, if in my objections to the consequently we are fully authorised falsified passage, I had laid any to expound it of the Father only in special stress on its not having the text before us. I beg, however, been quoted by the Fathers of the to be understood as by no means first three centuries; it would have quarrelling with T. M. for applying been nothing more than just in T.M. the last clausule to the divinity of to bave exacted from me some An- Christ; knowing as I do, that it is te-Nicene testimony for the two even so applied by several of the verses which he has alleged: butchief Fathers. What I would sugsince my complaint is, that of all gest, is, the folly and inexpediency, the Greek Fathers put together, at all times, of bringing to bear on not one ; and of all the Latin Fa. contested points wbat easily admits thers, next to none have cited the of being viberwise expounded, and disputed text; I may venture, surely, that, too, in a catholic and orthoto appeal to the candour of T. M., dox sense. whether, on being required to com- If T. M. will allow any cre/lit to pare the negative evidence of the the Pontifical Epistles, there is exChristian Fathers against any verse press Ante-Nicene testimony for the of the New Testament, with the twentieth verse. In an epistle assame kind of evidence against the cribed to Pope Evaristus, and adHeavenly Witnesses, I ought to be dressed to the African bishops, it is restricted to the writers of the first cited and applied to prove, that the three centuries only; and not Son is not separated from the Falikewise allowed the best Post-Nic ther; and that, where we read, in cene testimony, as is every where the apostle, of God alone having demanded by me for the passage in immortality, and dwelling in that dispute. To convince T. M. how light which none can approach, we ever, how little advantage he has are not to expound this of the Fagained from any concession which ther exclusively; but also of the i may have made, I will briefly de. Son, who is in the bosom of the monstrate to him, first, that neither Father. It is quoted, together with of his two texts can strictly and nearly the whole of the chapter, in esclusively apply to the divinity of an epistle of Pope Eusebius to the Christ; and that, as to the testi- Gallican bishops; in wbich we find, mony afforded them by the Fathers, at the same time, a fatal blow dithey have tive times, yea, ten times rected against the anthenticity of the support of the Heavenly Wit- the Heavenly Witnesses.--Et spiritus nesses.
est qui testificatur, quoniam ChrisIn considering 1 John v. 20. the tus est veritas. Quoniam tres sunt first thing which the mind collects qui testimonium dant, spiritus, san. from the construction of, His Son, guis, et aqua ; et bi tres unum sunt, is, that this, Son, cannot possibly Si testimonium hominum accipimus, be the chief subject of what imme- &c. In this epistle, I say, we have diately goes before ; but the, He, not merely the twentieth verse fully that is, the Father, to whom the cited; but what highly concerns, the pronominal, His, refers; and, there. main controversy, the most complete fore, we seem under the necessity and positive evidence against the of expounding the expression of interpolation of the Heavenly WitThe true One, in both the places in nesses in the present Latin Version ; which it occurs, of God the Father and that, too, from a document of only. It is equally superfluous to which the Latin church herself is observe, that in the Gospel of St. both the author and, the keeper. John the exalted appellation of, It will be in vain to reply, that this The true God, is appropriated and epistle, may have been penned by confined to the Father alone; and some later land than Pope Eusebius
REMEMBRANCER, No. 41.
himself, for whoever the author of any Greek manuscript till within a it might be, he was doubtless a century or two before the invention sound trinitarian, a member of the of printing; and would tend to reRomish church, and had before hiin strain other objectors from treating at the time that Latin Version of it with that scorn and contempt to the tirst epistle of St. John, which which, in the present lack of Greek was current at the period in which testimony, it seems so unfortunately he flourished.
exposed. · But as to the further testimony of I would further ask him, too, the primitive Fathers for the twen- whether he does not consider the tieth verse, we have the best possi- argument drawn from the supposed ble Post-Nicene evidence that can fact, that the interpolation in the be adduced for any text, whatever. Vulgate was never objected to by It is cited at full length, by Cyrillus the Greeks, a sort of weapon which Alexandrinus at the close of his may be equally used by both par. celebrated Tract on the true faith ; ties. For if the Latin church really addressed to the emperor Theodo- regarded this verse as the genuine sius. By Augustinus, in the very text of St. John, and as having been first of his fifteen books on the doc- faithfully preserved in her version of trine of the Trinity; and that too, in the New Testament; why did she support of the divinity of Christ. not upbraid the Greek church with, It is quoted, moreover, by Hilary, the loss of it, and urge it as an unAmbrose, Facundus, &c. not to deniable proof of her great want of mention Vigilius and Fulgentius, vigilance in maintaining the true the two grand props for the Hea- faith. This, I say, would have venly Witnesses.
been a triumphant ground of exul. In respect of 1 Tim. iii. 16. there tation to the Western over the Eassurely must be some mistake; as tern church; and which, I think, Sir Isaac Newton could never mean could scarcely have been overto assert, that the text was never looked, had there been the least cited at all by the Fathers of the opportunity for doing it. The truth , first five centuries ; but, that it was is, there was no mighty advantage never cited, as now corruptly read, to be taken by either side ; for if for the purpose of proving the divi- the Latins had been called to an nity of Christ. So far from not account by the Greeks, their anbeing cited at all in its genuine swer would unquestionably have form, T. M. will find it to have been been, that their oldest and principal quoted, either wholly or in part, manuscripts contained it not. even by Origen, Hilary, Jerome, But to come to a close with your Austin, Chrysostom, and Isidore; worthy correspondent. My condiFathers of acknowledged and distin. tions of peace were, that, if any guished pre-eminence in the church other authentic and important pasof God.
of the New Testament could In more places than one T. M. be shewn to have been equally unhas intimated to me, that even the noticed by the great body of the Greek Fathers are not without their Greek and Latin Fathers, I would testimony for the Heavenly Wit. offer no further hostility to the inter
Now, I wish from my polation of the Heavenly Witnesses. heart, that he would condescend to T. M. has challenged me with two produce one of these testimonies, different verses. I cheerfully acif even he should have to come cept his challenge. If he can al. down so low as to a Father of the lege me testimony for the disputed tenth century; as it would at least passage equal to that which I may cure me of my present belief, that have already cited, or shall here. the passage never found its way into after be able to produce for either,
of his two verses, I will immediately it resolved itself, the eviction of the acknowledge, not indeed its certain opposite became unnecessary; as of authenticity, but what ought equally two contradictions, if one is false to satisfy your worthy correspon the other is necessarily true. But, dent, the reasonableness of allowing as both fortunately admit of the it to remain undisturbed in the sa- same method of demonstration; as cred Canon; with a promise never the integrity of the Latin text may to discountenance, but rather to be satisfactorily established by the sanction it as the language of St. same method of proof wbich bas John. By way of arranging the been employed to invalidate that of prelimioaries, I would merely sub- the Greek; and as the deductions, join, that I shall not exaci from thus separately conducted, when T. M. the precise Fathers that I brought to bear connectedly on the may adduce for his two verses ; but point at issue, afford each other muany others that were contemporary tual confirmation, the attainment of with them, and of equal celebrity in an object so important in the dis. the church; and that I shall not cussion ought not to be disregarded. trouble him to descend farther down In giving up Eusebius as the prothan to the end of the fifth century. bable mutilator of the sacred text, I remain, &c.
I justified the presumption on a RECTOR OF SCAWTON. written instrument, ascribed by him Stonegrave Parsonage,
to Constantine the Great, at whose April 5th.
comniand be prepared his edition of the Bible. That document was produced for the purpose merely of
identifying him as the compiler of To the Editor of the Remembrancer. an edition of the Scriptures, under
discretionary powers, which I held SIR,
it to be probable he had carried to The incomparable Newton, in call- their utmost limits. The proof of the ing upon the advocates of the Hea- charge with which I was so advenvenly Witnesses, to point out in what turous as to accuse bim, in assertmanner the text was erased from ing, “ that the probabilities were the canon, fixed the aš otativ, from decidedly in favour of his having whence, if practicable, the difficuk expunged, rather than the Catholics ties which embarrassed the question having interpolated the sacred text,”: of its authenticity were to be moved. were exclusively deduced from the Under a conviction that no way possibility of “ establishing two could be made, in detending the points;" it having been most remote contested passage, until this just from my intention to establish the challenge was answered, I gave up charge directly, much less to prove Eusebius of Cæsarea, as the author it, as has been stupidly or dishoof the defalcation, and offered, in nestly asserted, by the alleged do. bis publication of the Scriptures, cument, which must have made after their distruction in the perse- Constantine an accomplice in his cution of Diocletian, the grounds of act. In the most perfect indepen. a case competent to answer the de.. dence on so sepseless a conception, mauds of Newton, and adequate to I had maintained, that if two points solve the conditions of the problem could be established against Eusewhich he had proposed.
bius, that he wanted neither the As the evidence borne to the dis- power nor the will to suppress the puted passage, in the Scriptures of passages under consideration, the the Eastern and Western Churches establishment of that relative probais contradictory, on establishing one bility which presumed him to have of the two propositions into which mutilated the Scripture, would fol.
low. as matter of course. As no that is, of the Water, Spirit and effort bas been made to disturb this Blood,' and omitting the testimony position, I am of course at liberty of the Father, Word, and Spirit, to consider it effectually established. by which chiefly botb the Catholic
In proceeding to identify the au- faith, and the one substance of the thor of the disputed passage in the divinity of the Father, the Son, and Latin version, I appeal to a docu- the Holy Ghost is proved.” ment of the same nature, profess- That the author of the Prologue edly written by the author of the possessed not only the will but the version, and prefixed, as a prologue, power to insert the disputed text in to the Catholic Epistles. And that the Latin version, is no matter of my purpose may not be again blindly conjecture, but of fact. Not to or wilfully misrepresented, I beg to speak of the passage which is its be understood, that the position common attendant, the Prologue which I now maintain is, that the has insinuated itself into the entire author of this prologue, as I for- body of the translation. The tesmerly observed respecting Eusebius, timony of every researcher into the wanted neither the will nor the power manuscripts of the Latin version, to insert the disputed passage in the brings but an accumulation of proofs Latin Vulgate. In confining our in support of this position. The views to this point, while the sub- Benedictine editors of the Vulgate ject is kept within the bounds which Bible, and of St. Jerome's Works, I originally assigned it, the discus- who have furnished the principal sion is reduced to still narrower evidence against the contested verse, grounds. For this position being and have given up the prologue to established, the question no longer the mercy of its impugners, bear rests between the heterodox as mu- the fullest testimony to its general tilators and the orthodox as inter- prevalence in the manuscripts, inpolators, but between Eusebius, as cluding those of the most venerable having suppressed the disputed text antiquity. It exists in all the stanin the Greek, and the true or fictie dard copies, some of which have tious Jerome, as having interpolated the disputed passage inserted only or replaced it in the Latin.
in the margin ; it is thus found in That the author of the Prologue the Vatican MS. Bible, which is the to the Catholic Epistles wanted not authentic exemplar of the printed the will to insert the disputed pas- Vulgate, and in the Valicella Bible, sage, is at once evident in the terms which is the model and witness of in which he has expressed himself its integrity; in the Bible of St. respecting it. Having mentioned Germain des Prez, wbich is the the Epistles, with the Apostles who oldest and best manuscript in France, wrote them, he observes," which in the Caroline Bible, which is the (Epistles), if they bad- been faith- oldest and best in Spain, and in that fully turned into the Latin speech, of the Royal Library in the British as they have been digested by these Museum, which is the oldest and (their authors), would have neither best in England. Father Simon, occasioned ambiguity to the readers, who first disputed its authenticity, nor would the variety of the expres- seems to have found it absent from sion have impugned itself, particu- no Bible in France; from the search larly in that place of the First Epis. of Montfaucon and Mabillon in Italy; tle of St. John, where the unity of in a tour having such researches for the Trinity is mentioned. In which its object, we deduce the same con(Epistle) I find that unfaithful trans- clusion relative to the latter country. lalors have also much erred against They mention, each of them, a mathe truth of the faith, setting down nuscript wbich wanted the disputed in their edition the dames of three, verse; but Mabillon assures us of the one which he examined, that it those who demand it." The same contained the prologue; and the conclusion follows with respect to same conclusion is implied in the every transcriber by whom the prosilence of Montfaucon, relative to logue was copied. As its express the one which he saw, as is further object is to denounce, under the confirmed by the silence of Bishop sentence of the translator, those Buruet, who examined the library who omitted the verse, as baving ia which it was found by Mont- sioned against the Catholic faith, faucon. The testimony of that pre- and the truth of Scripture; the late, who has collected the strongest transcriber who inserted the promanuscript evidence against the dis, logue, while he omitted the verse, puted verse, is of itself decisive as gave equal, or indeed greater, proof to the point at issue. He assures of its author's power, than if he folus, that in a research prosecuted lowed the direct course of transcribthrough France, Italy, Germany, ing it into his copy; as, when it and Switzerland, he had taken was thus inserted without the verse, some pains to examine all the MSS. . it could serve no purpose but that of the New Testament, concerning of leaving a memorial, that could that doubted passage in St. John's only perish with his work, to record Epistles.” But the result of his his own criminal negligence. scratiny is a plenary concession of If the Latin Vulgate is corrupt in the point for which I contend, its testimony to the Heavenly Wit" that preface,” as he assures us, nesses, as the corruption pervades " being in all the manuscripts, an- the whole body of its text, a difficient or modern, of those Bibles that culty consequently arises to emhave the other prefaces in them that barrass the impugners of the conbe ever saw:” and his researches, tested verse, commensurate with that it should be added, discovered but which they oppose to its advocates. a single Bible, which wanted both In disposing of this difficulty, howthe prologue and the passage.
ever it may serve to deceive the That the power, however origi- reader witñ the illusion of a solusating, by which the prologue has tion, where nothing is really solved, thus taken universal possession of it is perfectly insignificant, as to the the version, was adequate to pro- question at issue, in what manner cure the passage an insertion in its the disputed passage originated ; text, directly follows from its object whether it was immediately transand intention. That, in the first ferred from the baptismal commiscopy in which it found a place, the sion, or arose out of an allegorical will and power were followed by the interpretation of the context. Were act, and the disputed verse accord- even a demonstration attainable, of ingly inserted in the Epistle which what must ever continue matter of follows it, the terms in which it is vague conjecture, and we could be expressed place beyond mere pro. infallibly assured, in what manner bability. “How much the edition the disputed passage first existed, of others differs from mine, I leave it would still leave an immeasurable to the prudence of others. But thou, distance between the difficulty to be Eustochiun, virgin of Christ, whilst solved, and the illusory solution by thou seekest the truth of Scripture, which it was in reality evaded. And exposest, in some measure, my old until the manner were pointed out, age to the gnawing tooth of envy, in which the passage, however ori.
pronounces me a falsifier and ginating, had usurped its place in corrupter of the Sacred Scriptures. The whole body of the text, the reBut I, in such a work, neither fear solver would not have come even in the envy of rivals, nor will deny the sight of the difficulty to be concurity of the Holy Seriplures, to quered.