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a feeling of displeasure may be traced in the manner in which he has replied to our remarks upon his · Vindication of 1 John v. 7.' The respect, however, which we have long entertained for his character has not, on that account, undergone the slightest diminution, and in the observations which we are now about to offer, the world, we should be sorry to let fall a single expression, which might be justly thought offensive. We shall certainly, we trust, write temperately and respectfully, though we must write firmly, in what we believe to be the cause of truth.
Since the publication of our first remarks on the Vindication,' his lordship has collected into one volume various dissertations on the disputed verse, by Mill, Wetstem, Bengelius, Sabatier, Selden, and other eminent writers. These dissertations are, for the most part, in favour of its authenticity. The volume contains also a few remarks from the pen of the right reverend editor. We mention it principally for the purpose of introducing some observations on the sentiments of Dr. Bentley with regard to the subject under discussion. The bishop is ansious—and very naturallyto strike out the name of that great critic from the list of those against whom he must contend in support of the authenticity of the verse.
In a letter wlrich is reprinted in the volume jast mentioned, Dr. Bentley, after giving a short account of his projected edition of the New Testament, proceeds in the following manner :
• Now in this work I indulge nothing to any conjecture, not even in a letter; but proceed solely upon authority of copies, and fathers of that age (the age of Jerome). And wbat will be the event about the said verse of John, I myself know not yet; having not used all the old copies that I have information of.
• But by this you will see that, in my proposed work, the fate of that verse will be a mere question of fact. You endeavour to prove (and that is all you aspire to) that it may have been writ by the Apostle, being consonant to his other doctrine. This I concede to you; and if the fourth century knew the text, let it come in, in God's name.'- (Adnotationes ad 1 Joan.' v. 7. p. 203.)
To this part of Dr. Bentley's letter, Bishop Burgess subjoins the following note:
• Dr. Bentley's judgment here, and his preference (in a letter to Wetstein) of the most ancient Latin copies even to the Greek, Chujusmodi Latinos veterrimos vel Græcis ipsis prætulerim), are much more in favour of the verse than against it; for the verse was certainly known to the Latin Fathers of the fourth century. Yet Mr. Porson says that “ Dr. Bentley read a lecture to prove this verse spurious.”—(Preface to Letters, P. viii.) If Dr. Bentley expressed himself in his lecture so decidedly as Mr. Porson supposes, the lecture and letters must have been very much at variance. Whether the lecture be still extant or not; and, if extant,
what were its contents, we shall soon be informed by Professor Monk, in bis life of Dr. Bentley, from which we may expect a large and interesting addition to the literary history of our country.'
From Dr. Bentley's preference of the most ancient Latin copies to the Greek, nothing, we apprehend, can be justly inferred in favour of the verse. In some of the very old MSS. which give both the Greek text and a Latin version (such as the Beza MS. at Cambridge), the Greek and the Latin correspond almost word for word in the ordo verborum. Bentley, relying upon this, believed that, if he could completely ascertain the old Latin version, he should be enabled to settle the Greek text with the utmost accuracy.
The general opinion among the learned, we believe, is, that the great critic expected more advantage from the Latin version than he would have obtained. Be that however as it may, the disputed verse is not contained in any of * the ancient Latin copies' to which he alluded; and, as we shall soon perceive, his own declared principles forbid us to suppose that he would have introduced it, on the authority of the more recent Latin manuscripts.
It is moreover to be observed, that Bentley's letter, above cited, bears the date of Jan. 1, 1717; and that his election to the Regius Professorship of Divinity, on which occasion his lecture was delivered, took place on the 2d day of May, in the same year. Now whatever was ultimately the decision of Dr. Bentley on the subject, it is not easy to imagine how the Lecture and the Letters can have been very much at variance. In his letter, he mentions the reception or rejection of the verse as a question of fact, the grounds of which he had not then completely ascertained. After further inquiry, for which the interval afforded ample time to a critic of his learning and acuteness, he determines that the verse is spurious. There is surely no inconsistency in this.
T'he sentiments of Dr. Bentley, on the disputed verse, excited great attention at the time. In an · Address to the Bishops and Clergy, by a Layman,* is the following declaration” We have of late been alarmed with reports that a very learned critic, a member of the lower house, Dr. Bentley, Master of Trinity College, being an Archdeacon, is upon an edition of the Greek Testament, and intends to omit that text.' And that his Prælection was altogether opposed to its genuineness, is a fact as well attested as any in literary history. Mr. Whiston-a man well acquainted with the proceedings at Cambridge, and, however eccentric in his opinions, of great integrity—has on several occasions alluded to the subject.
See the quotation by Emlyn, at the close of his Inquiry into the Authority of 1 John v. 7.'
In his · Memoirs of Dr. Clarke,' (p. 61. ed. 1730.) he mentions Dr. Bentley's “ famous Lecture'—' wherein he entirely gave up the text, and publicly proved it to be spurious. - I have been also ina. formed,' continues Whiston, that when Dr. Waterland was asked, whether Dr. Bentley's arguments did not convince him ;-he replied, no, for he was convinced before. Nor does the doctor, I think, ever quote that text as genuine in any of his writings. Which in so zealous and warm a Trinitarian deserves to be taken notice of, as a singular instance of honesty and impartiality.' On this anecdote the learned and excellent Bishop of Llandaff makes the. following observations, in his valuable · Review of the Life and Writings of Dr. Waterland.'
• The correctness of this anecdote, to which much importance bas been attached by those who relate it, appears to be somewhat questionable. It is asserted with great confidence, and with some degree of triumph, by Whiston, in his Memoirs of Dr. Clarke; and probably has been repeated after him by others, without further inquiry. Few authorities, however, on a matter like this, are less to be depended upon than that of Whiston; who readily caught up any current story which might furnish a ground of sarcasm on those who opposed his own opinions. Waterland has not, in any of his writings, disputed the genuineness of this text. On the contrary, in bis Sermon on the Doctrine of the Trinity, published many years afterwards, he says, “ that though a disputed text, it is yet not without very many and very considerable appearances of being truly genuine.” And in one of his letters to Mr. Loveday, he takes notice of this anecdote related by Whiston, and treats it as a weak device or mis-. representation, for the purpose of charging him with inconsistency. But even if the statement were correct, it can be of little weight, unless the occasion and circumstances were distinctly known. It inight be, that the arguments used by Bentley were such as Waterland was already well acquainted with, and brought no more conviction to his mind than what he had received before: and it might also be, that Bentley himself went no fartber than to state the considerations which rendered the matter questionable, without inferring a positive conclusion that the text was spurious ; to all which Waterland might accede, and yet deem the evidence insufficient to warrant its omission. And this is the more probable, since it appears that Bentley hinself, in his proposal for a new edition of the Greek Testament, about four years afterwards, considered. the point as still open to discussion.'-(pp. 25, 26.)
We have not, in this instance, the good fortune to agree with the Bishop of Llandaff; Whiston, as it appears to us, tells the story relating to Dr. Waterland, as he had heard it; he says nothing of any change of sentiment in him; and he praises him sina, cerely for not having quoted the text as genuine. At all events, from the statement, given in his own words, our readers will be enabled to judge whether the anecdote be related either with
great confidence,' or with some degree of triumph.' Beyond all doubt, Whiston was sufficiently credulous, but he was also very honest, and one of the last persons to be suspected of seeking for · grounds of sarcasm on those who opposed his opinions. We camot perceive that Dr. Waterland, in his letter to Mr. Loveday, renies the truth of the story. He attempts rather to remove any impressions which it might have produced to his disadvantage. That he changed his opinion respecting the verse, we do not affirm ; but we maintain that, if he changed it on sufficient grounds, there would be great injustice in charging him with inconsistency on that account. Whenever the verse shall be found in good old Greek MSS. and express quotations of it produced from the early fathers, we shall ourselves avow very different sentiments, with regard to it, from those which we now entertain. As to Dr. Bentley, it is well known that he was exceedingly annoyed by the outcry which assailed him; and we think it probable that he learned to express his notions on the verse, with somewhat of reserve and ainbiguity. Indeed it was owing to this outcry, that the world was deprived of the benefit of his critical labours on the New Testament. It appears, according to the Bishop of Llandaff, that Bentley himself, in his proposal for a new edition of the Greek Testament, considered the point as still open to discussion. We feel great perplexity in reading this statement; for in no copy of Bentley's proposals that we have seen, can we discover the most dis!ant allusion to 1 Joha v.7. There must, therefore, be some mistake, either on our own part or that of the learned prelate. But we now return to the Bishop of St. David's.
The evidence about to be adduced will, we believe, entirely destroy the notion that Dr. Bentley, in his celebrated lecture, was not opposed to the authenticity of the disputed passage. While, however, we withdraw that profound scholar from the advocates of the cause which Bishop Burgess is maintaining, it may be some satisfaction that we are able to substitute, in his place, a person of high consideration in the republic of letters. ' In eschange for the name of Richard Bentley, we tender to his lordship that of Conyers Middleton, who in the second series of his remarks on Bentley's proposals, writes thus:-
• He (Bentley) bas already, we know, determined against the genuineness of the famous passage; 1 John v. 7 ; a reading by far the most important of all the thirty thousand (of Dr. Mill's edition); supported by good authority; and consonant and agreeable to the doctrine of the apostle. For what reason, then, has he condemned it as spurions ? Why, because some manuscripts and some fathers have omitted it. And this sure is' carrying the rule of omissions much farther than Dr. Mill diselt; though it was, he tells us, liis peculiar foible. For the doctor (Mill) happens here to be on the other side of the question ; and in this instance has declared, even against his favourite rule, for the common reading of our printed copies.'--Middleton's Works, vol. iii. p. 362. 8vo.
Now it must be observed that this account was published at Cambridge, at a time when the purport of Bentley's lecture must have been a matter of universal notoriety. Here, then, we have the statement of a fact, and of an opinion. The fact is, that • Dr. Bentley had determined against the genuineness of the verse:*-the opinion is, that the verse is ' supported by good authorities.' Perfectly contented with the fact, we will resign the opinion to the learned prelate. His lordship writes thus:- If Dr, Bentley expressed himself in his lecture so decidedly as Mr. Porson supposes'-—which might lead the reader to infer that Mr. Porson spoke merely from conjecture. But there is good reason to think that he had read the lecture; although he does not say so, in the place alluded to. That Mr. Porson · bad perused' the lecture we are informed in the preface to a collection of his tracts published by Mr. Kidd (p. xlvi); and when that eminent scholar was lately consulted on this point, he stated that he had derived his know·ledge of the circumstance from Mr. Porson himself. On the
whole, therefore, it seems impossible to entertain a doubt of the decided character of Bentley's lecture. Whether the work itself be still extant or not, is uncertain. We understand that, many years ago, the manuscript was lent to Dr. Vincent, the late Dean of Westminster; by whom it was perhaps mislaid and forgotten. This is mentioned for the purpose of directing attention to the subject; and we are not without hopes that the lecture may be again brought to light.
We now proceed to notice the second edition of the Vindication. The work opens with an advertisement containing remarks upon the sixth part of Bishop Marsh's Theological Lectures ;' then comes ' a preface, in reply to the Quarterly Review;' at the close of the Vindication is “ a postscript, in answer to a recent publication entitled Palæo-romaica;' and the whole is terminated by a very useful index. Our principal concern is with the preface in reply to the Quarterly Review;' but before we advert to it, we may be allowed to mention a few of the alterations which have been made in the original tract.
When we reviewed the first edition of the Vindication, the highest expectation which we could entertain was-that our remarks might possibly obtain a passing notice from its right reverend
The word determined is probably here used in its academical meaning. A thesis or prælection read in the schools, by a doctor in any faculty, is called a Determination ; and the Reader is said to determine.