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Codex Alexandr'inus and the Codex Beza, or Canterborgiensit, the former by Dr. Woide, and the latter by Dr. Kipling; and having expressed the impatience of the learned public, for the completion of Dr. Holmes's edition of the Septuagint; he relates a circumstance in which our zeal in the cause of charity is as conspicuous as Out zeal for the faith. We shall state it in Mr. Butler's own words:
* Yet, useful and magnificent as these exertions have been, au edition of the New Testament has lately appeared in this country, which, in one point of view, eclipses them all. It has been our lot to be witnesses of the most tremendous revolution that Christian Europe has known: a new race of enemies to the Christian religion has arisen, and shaken every throne, and struck at every altar, from the Atlantic to the Don One of their first enormities was, the murde/ of a large proportion of their clergy, and the banishment of almost the whole of the remaining part. Some thousands of those respectable exiles found refuge in England. A private subscription of 33,7751. 15s. 9 |d. was immediately made for tliem. When it waj (exhausted, a second was collected, under the auspices of his Majesty, and produced 41,304. , 23. 6jd. Nor is it too much to say, that the beneficence ot individuals, whose charities on this occasion were known to God alone, raised for the sufferers a sum much exceeding the amount of the larger of the two subscriptions. When, at length, the wants of the sufferers exceeded the measure of private charity, Government took them under its protection; and, though engaged in a war, ex» ceeding all former wars in expence, appropriated, with the approbation of the whole kingdom, a monthly allowance of about 8000I. for their support; an instance of splendid munificence and systematic liberality of which the annals of the world do not furnish another example. The management of the contributions was entrusted to a committee, of whom Mr. Wilmot, then oHe of the members of Parliament for the city of Coventry, was president: on him the burthen jaf the trust almost wholly fell; and his humanity, judgment, and perseverance in the discharge of it, did honour to himself and his country.
* It should be observed, that the contributions we have mentioned are exclusive of those which were granted for the relief of the Lay Emigrants.
'So suddenly had the unhappy sufferers been driven from their country, that few had brought with them any of those books of religion or devotion, which their clerical character and habits of prayer had made the companions of their past life, and which were to become almost the chief comfort of their future years. To relieve them from this misfortune, the University of Oxford, at her sole expence, print-! ed for them, at the Clarendon Press, two thousand copies of the Latin Vulgate of the New Testament, from an edition of Barbou; but this number not being deemed sufficient to satisfy their demand, two thousand more copies were added, at the expence of the Marquis of Buckingham. Few will forget the piety, the blameless demeanor, the long patient suffering of these respectable men. Thrown on a
sudden Hidden into a foreign country, differing from theirs in religion,language manners, and habits, the uniform tenor of their pious and unoffending lives procured them universal respect and good will. The country that received them has been favoured. In the midst of the public and private calamity, which almost every other nation has experienced, Providence has crowned her with glory and honour; peace has dwelt in her palaces, plenty within her walla; every climate has been tributary to her commerce, every sea has been witness of her victories.'
On the fashness of the German literati, as scripture critics, and on their propensity to adopt extreme opinions, some temperate animadversions are subjoined.—An additional or XVIlIth section closes the first volume of the impression now before us, in which « some account is given of the principal authors of whose labours the writer has availed himself ia this compilation.' The theological student will feel himself obliged to Mr. Butler for the references which this part of his work contains.—Of the second volume, also, the bulk is augmented : but we question whether the palpable fiction of * a Great Council of the Jews assembled on the plain of Ageda, in Hungary, about thirty leagues from Buda, to examine the Sctiptures concerning Christ, on the twelfth of October 1650/ merited the labour which Mr. Butler has bestowed on it in a dissertation prefixed, or a place in an Appendix to his H»r<t Bibliea.
We are not disposed, however, to extend a similar remark to his short historical outline of th'- disputes re.-ptcting the authenticity of the Three Heavenly if it ties set, ijuhn v. 7. addressed in a letter to Mr. Herbert Marsh. This paper contains a very clear and sacisfactory view of the subject, which is arranged under the following heads:
* 1. Some account of the State of the Question; II. Of the History of the Geneial Admission of I he Verse into the printed Text; III. Of the Principal Disputes to which it has given rise; IV. An enquiry whether the General Sense of the text is affected by the omission of The Verse; V. Some account of the argument in favour of its authenticity from Prescription; VI. Some account of the arguments against it from its absence fiom the Greek Manuscripts; VII. Of the answers to those arguments, from its supposed existence in the Manuscripts of Valla; VIII from its supposed existence in the Manuscripts of the Complutensian Edition; IX. from its supposed existence in the Manuscripts used by Robert Stephens; X Some observations on the argument arising on its not being inserted in the Apostolos or Collection of Epistles read in the Greek Church; XI. On its not being inserted in the Oriental versions; XII. On its rot being inserted in the most antient Latin Manuscripts; XIII. On the silence of all the Greek Fathers re,., specting it; XIV. On the silence of the most antient of the Latin Fathers respecting it; XV. Some aceount will then be given of what has been written respecting its first introduction into the Greek and Latin Manuscripts.'
Under the fourth head, the author observes,
• The ascertainment of this fact will establish a strong argument for or against the internal evidence of the Text. This is an enquiry of some nicety; the verse is obscure, is susceptible of more than one construction, and the partisans of each opinion, have attempted to fix; that sense on it, which best suits their cause.
■ This much must be granted, that the Vcr6e is not absolutely necessary to the sense of the text. Without it, the text will stand as follows. "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he, who bclitveth that Jesus is the Son ef God? This is he who came by water and blood, even Jesus the Christ; not, by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And it is the Spirit who witnesstth: because the spirit i9 truth. Thus there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree in one."
* Whatever be its right construction, the sentence is compleat and perfect in itself. Jesus, the Christ, is the person to whom testimony is borne ; the spirit, the water, and the blood, are the witnesses bearing testimony to him. Thus, without further aid, the construction and meaning of the sentence are compleat. The verse therefore is not essentially necessary to the Uxt.'
When an appeal is made to the authority of MSS. the adversaries of the verse are very triumphant:
• They say, that there is hardly a library in Europe, in which the Manuscripts of the Greek Tatamcnt have not been examined, in order to determine, whether the Vtrse really proceeded from the pen of St. John; and that the result of this long and laborious examination is, that, of all the Greek Manuscripts of the Catholic Epistles, now extant, of which more than a hundred have been quoted by name, independently of those which have been quoted in the aggregate, (as where Dr Griesbach, Professor Birch or Professor Alter speak, at large, of all the Manuscripts they have seen), the passage has been discovered in one Manuscript only,—the Codex Montfortianus, which is neither of sufficient antiquity nor of sufficient integrity, to be intitled to a voice in a question of sacred criticism.
* Thia, the advocates of the Verse generally admit ;—but reply that, though no such Manuscript be now extant, there existed formerly Greek Manuscripts, which contained the Verse,—for which they cite those, which were in the possession of Valla, the Complutensian editors, and Robert Stephens.'
Another strong argument against its authenticity is adduced from its having been never quoted by the Fathers, and its adversaries thus account for its interpolation into the text of the manuscripts:
'The mystical interpretation of the 8th verse, which some of the fa'thers adopted, was, as they alledge, frequently inserted in their
commentaries, commentaries, and sometimes in the margin of their copies: by do greet it slid from the margin into the text; insensibly it came to be considered as part of it: at first, it appeared sometimes in one form, and sometimes in another, and was inserted sometimes before, and sometimes after the eighth verse: at length the dignity of the subject gave it a precedence over the eighth verse: and thus it came to be considered as the seventh verse of the chapter. Probably it had gained a place in no Manuscript, as part of the text till some time after the death of St. Austin: and the eighth century may be considered as the xra of its final settlement in the Latin Text.
* From the Latin Text it was transplanted into the Greek. At the General Council of Lateran, held in 121?, the Verse was quoted from the Greek. The Acts of the Council with the quotation of the Vulgate, were translated into the Greek, and sent to the Greek churches. About a century after this period, the Greeks began tet quote the Verse; the first Greek writers who have quoted it, are Manuel Calheas, who lived its the fourteenth, and Bryennius, who lived in the fifteenth century ; and it is observable, that, when the passage first appeared in Greek, it presented itself under as many different shapes, as when it first made its appearance in Latin.*
With all possible fairness and strength, the arguments in favour «f the authenticity of the verse in question are stated by Mr. B.} and he lays great stress on the circumstance of its insertion in the Confession of Faith presented by the Catholic Bishops to Huncric in 484: but we believe that all Scripture Critics are now thoroughly persuaded that the verse is spurious; and that, after the labours of Forson, Marsh, and Griesbach, they do not expect to see the question farther agitated. If, however, this passage be excluded from the Sacred text, it is a matter of pleasing reflection that the controversy concerning it has been of essential service to Biblical criticism ; having, as Mr. B. remarks, ' led to a minute discussion of several curious and interesting topics of literary history, particularly the rules for judging of the age of Manuscripts, the nature of Manuscript collations, the different merits of the principal editions of the Old and New Testament, the early versions of them, and the characters of the different persons, by whom they were edited or published.' It may in short be adduced, among a variety of instances, in proof of the beneficial effects which result from a patient and full examination of a subject. Though we may not always obtain the object of which we are in pursuit, we shall perhaps secure something abundantly more valuable.
Art. IV. The Exodiai. A Poem. By the Author* of Calvary and Richard the First 4to. pp.425. iL JO». Boards. Lackington and Co. 1808.
AN impression remains on our minds, after the perusal of the whole of this poem, similar to that which was produced by the portion of it which recently came under our notice*. The task appears to us too easy for men of proud genius; while the liberty which is taken with sacred history, in order to effect a resemblance of poetry, is not gratifying to the sericus christian. At the conclusion of the seventh book, the authors introduce themselves to their readers in propriis fertonii, and
'ask if those
Surely no one will cavil at a faithful exhibition of the Mosaic narrative, and at the introduction of those passages into the Exodiad which point to a future dispensation more glorious than that of the law: but the question is whether they can be said to have 'faithfully detailed their sacred author,' who have inserted matter not to be found in the original record; and who have endeavoured from the store of the imagination to supply the deficiencies of history, and to expand a few short verses into several hundred lines? Numbers xiii. 17—30 is spun out to such a length as to occupy the whole of the fifth book, which treats of the expedition of the twelve spies and their Yetilrn to Kadesh-Barnea. As Moses sent the spies to discover the nature of Qanaan, and the military state of the inhabitants, it must be presumed not only N that he delivered a prepared speech to them on the occasion, but that Caleb and Joshua, who were at the head of this enterprise, made also various orstions as circumstancts occurred, and endeavoured to resist by their eloquence those of the spies who were desirous of giving a discouraging report. Now all these supposed dialogues the poets before us have supplied, and they moreover detail the particulars of this exploring expedition; informing us of the visit of the spies to the shores of the Asphaltic lake, which is delicately termed ' a
* See M. R. Vol. liv. N. S. p. 78,