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Owen, misconstrued the design of the were immediately applied by the infiundertaking, and attacked it in a del to a very different purpose. Anpamphlet, entitled, “Considerations on thony Collins, one of the most subtle the Prolegomena, and Appendix of the and dangerous enemies whom ChristiBiblia Polyglotta." Walton replied in anity has had to encounter, seized the the same year,* (1659) but, notwith- occasion to undermine the authority of standing his able vindication of the the Christian religion, by an argument great undertaking, the prejudices ex- drawn from the uncertainty of the Greek cited by Owen's pamphlet did not im- text; for Whitby had confessed that mediately subside.
Dr. Mill's labours made the whole text We hear nothing more of the contro- precarious: and another English diversy, till Dr. Mill published his edi- vine, (Dr. John Gregory,) had asserttion of the Greek Testament, in 1707, ed, that "no author had suffered so in which it appeared that the various much by the hand of time as the Bireadings had increased to the enormous ble." The unreasonableness of Whitsum of thirty thousand. This increase by's fears, and the futility of Collins' was thought, even by those who had arguments, were exposed in a very able been esteemed as the most learned and and triumphant manner, by one of the judicious men of the age, to have a ten- "greatest critics the world has ever dency to diminish the confidence in the produced." The thirty-second of Dr. Scriptures : without, therefore, reflect- Bentley's “Remarks on a late Discourse ing that faithful manuscripts and ver- of Freethinking,” (the title of Collins sions did really exist with these read- book) was devoted to this subject. As ings, without reflecting that Dr. Mil! every thing coming from the pen of this had not "coined,” but only brought divine is worthy of notice, and as his them to light-Dr. Whitby very injudi- work is not easily procured in this counciously sent forth into the world his ex- try, we shall take occasion to makesome amination of Mill's edition, (Examen extracts from him before we conclude. Millii,) in which he contended that No writer of note, it is believed, has every single passage of the Elzevir edi- since presumed to repeat the objection, tion (or "Textus Receptus, 1624) was excepting Dr. Tindal, whose Christithe genuine production of the inspired anity as old as the Creation first saw writers.t These ill judged remarks the light in 1730. In the 14th chapter not be concealed, tlie enemies of our religion “If no court of judicature, though in a
he makes the following observations: would have taken from thence an occasion of insulting, and magnifying this difference. But thing of small moment, will admit of a by being made public, we find, with pleasure, copy, though taken from the original, that these variations consist in indifferent points, without gath made by a disinterested and that they are almost every where nothing but pure mistakes of the transcribei's. 2. It is person of his having compared it; beevident from these various readings, that the cause the least mistake, a various readbooks of the New Testament bave not been corrupted by the malice of heretics." If the tran
ing, a parenthesis, a letter misplaced, scribers had been directed by heretics, they may alter the sense; how can we absowould have made sach alterations as counte- lutely depend, in things of the greatest danced their errors and prejudices,” &c. moment, on voluminous writings, which Beuu sobre and L'Enfant's litrod. In a work entitled, “Considerator con
have been so often transcribed by men sidered; or a brief view of certain considera; who never saw the original; (as none, Lions upon the Biblia Polyglotta, the Prolego- even of the most early writers, pretend mena, and the Appendix thereof, wherein, amongst other things, the certainty, integrity; they did ;) and men, too, who, even in and divine authority of the original texts is de. the earliest times, if we may judge by fended against the consequences of Atheists, the number of forged passages, and Papists, Antiscripturists, &c. ivferred from the various readings and novelty of the Hebrew
even forged books, would scruple no points, by the author of the said considerations." pious frauds?” “For my part, I think
† Ex nostra variantium lectionum uberiori ihe best way, not to be mistaken, is to discussione in capitibus cjusiem libri sequentiluus, liquirlo constabit, nec in minutioribus istis, admit all for divine Scripture that tends et pæne frivolis, deesse nobis, potissima saltem to the honour of God and the good of ex parle, testimonia, quibus hodierni textus
man: and nothing which does not." ** lectio stabiliatur, et cet. Preface to Examen, concluding paragraph.
Upon further investigation, it is tound lhar
Upon a very slight examination, it have been used by Dr. Mill) in twice will
appear that the arguments of Col- as many for the New Testament, the lins and Tindal are of little weight. number of variations would amount to We grant, that in the numerous manu- thirty thousand." The reason why scripts of the New Testament there are there appears so great disparity bethirty thousand various readingsm-nay, tween the variations of the classic and that since Griesbach's compilation, they Scripture exemplars is evident. Thehave increased to one hundred and fifty editors of the former have not thought thousand : but what does this prove? it necessary to note every blunder made Does it justify Dr. Gregory's assertion, by careless or ignorant scribes; such a that “no profane author has suffered só particularity would be considered as much by the hand of time as the New impertinent, and as unnecessarily inTestament has done?" An accurate creasing the size and cost of the works. investigation of the remains of Greek If the editors be acknowledged as men and Roman literature would have led of integrity and learning, the public him to another conclusion. We deny voice agrees to receive their editions, that the New Testament, although its and hence those not versed in manuseveral manuscripts have been collated scripts imagine that no variations occur with the most rigorous accuracy, al- but what are communicated by the edithough every word, syllable, and letter, tors. In the sacred writings, on the has been weighed with the most scrų- other hand, the variations have been pulous exactness, we deny that it pos- noted with a religious, not to say susesses proportionably as many readings perstitious accuracy. A large number as any other writing of equal antiquity: of manuscripts, the ancient versions, the on the contrary, we affirm that it has Latin Vulgate, the two Syriacs, the no more variations than what must ne. Æthiopic, the Arabic, the Coptic, the cessarily have happened from the na-, Armenian, the Gothic, and the Saxon ture of things--variations which are all the dispersed citations of the Greek , common to all classics whatever. « Te- and Latin fathers in a course of 500 rence," Dr. Bentley remarks," is now. years have been diligently compared, in one of the best conditions of any of and recompared : why then should our the classic writers; the oldest and best surprise be excited, that in these numercopy which approaches nearest to the ous authorities, the differences in Dr. autograph is preserved in the Vatican Mill's time amounted to 30,000, when library; but even that has hundreds of the inost perfect exemplars of profane errors, most of which may be corrected authors of equal size contained as many, from other exemplars that are other. although they had but half the manuwise more recent and of inferior value. scripts, and not a single version. 1, myself, have collated several, and do The difference on the side of the affirm, that I have seen twenty thou- sacred writings will appear much greater sand various lections in that little au- upon a comparison of the poetical thor, not near so large as the whole classics with the New Testament. The New Testament; and, I am morally former, it is evident, were by no means sure, that if half the number of manu- as liable to mistakes as the latter; for scripts were collated for Terence, with unless the scribes were to the last dethat niceness and minuteness, which gree ignorant, the measure of the verse
would have been in some measure a preseveral writers since Collins, have repeated the ventive of corruptions. But in the poeobjection; still the expression in the text, as to tic writers the number of variations is writers of noie, is correct. Leland's Deistical Writers, Letter VII. Whether any of the
inimense. “ In the late edition of Ținumerous opponents of Tindal have noticed the bullus," says Dr. Bentley, you
have above observations, we cannot say: judging for ourselves, the world would be in a sorry condi
a register of various lections in the close tion, were it to admit all for divine Scripture which Dr. Tindal, and some later rationalists, The same remarks are applicable at the have imagined conducive to “the honour of
present day, even although Griesbach's labonrs God and the good of man." " Rara temporum have increased the various readings 1o 150,000, felicitate, ubi sentire quæ velis, et que sentias for the manuscripts have increased propordicere licet."
of that book; where you may see, at main uncorrected. As the exemplars the first view, that they are as many as multiply, the probability of improving the lines. I myself, during my travels, the text increases; each manuscript have had the opportunity to examine furnishes a help, the exemplars become several manuscripts of the poet Mani- subservient to mutual correction, till at lius, and can assure you, that the varia- last we obtain a copy nearly faultless. tions I have met with are twice as Instead, therefore, of starting at the fu. many as all the lines of that book."*
tile objection of the infidel, we should If, at the revival of literature, but one be thankful to divine Providence for manuscript of the New Testament had his mercy, vouchsafed in the preserva been found, we should have had no va- tion of so large a quantity of ancient rious readings. Would this want of au- manuscripts, which have been disa thorities have rendered the text less covered in different quarters of the precarious ? Directly the reverse would globe in Syria, and in Italy-in Egypt, have been the fact. If the best and Æthiopia, and in Britain all resempurest copy now extant had alone been bling each other in the general, and preserved, we should have possessed a differing only in verbal particulars. If text with a number of faults; suspi- the unbeliever can resist this evidence, cions of fraud would immediately have which in itself is demonstrative of the been excited, and we could have arrived truth of our religion, we can only imat no definite conclusion with respect pute to that principle of obstinacy into its integrity. Add a second manu- herent in some breasts, generated by script: the authority and integrity of the devil, and nurtured by self-sufithe text will be strengthened; but, take ciency, which would never submit to this where you please, it will contain a revealed truth, even though it were inthousand variations from the first, and scribed in the heavens.* R. still half the faults of the first will re.
* “ The result of the whole is this, that ei
For the Christian Journal. ther, a posteriori, all ancient bookş, as well as
EASTER. the sacred, must now be laid aside as uncertain and precarious; or else to say, a priori, that all i Cor. xv. 20.-Now is Christ risen the transcripts of sacred books should have been from the dead, and become the firstprivileged against the common fate, and ex. empted from all slips and errors whatever.
fruits of them that slept. There is in each of them such a gust of the pa. THESE triumphant words were utradox and perverse, that they equally suit with tered by an apostle exercised in persea modern freethinker's palate."" " But I have too much value for the ancients to play booty about their works and monuments, for the sake * Since the above was put in type, we have of a short answer to a fool according to his been favoured with the perusual of the British folly. All those passages, and all the rest of Critic for December, 1822, which contains a their remains, are sufficiently pure and genuine review of four works on subjects connected to make us sure of the writer's design. Terence, with the criticism of the Scriptures. After hapfor instance, has as many variations as any book pily illustrating the above remarks, and making whatever, in proportion to its bulk; and yet, several quotations from Dr. Bentley, and Bishop with all its interpolations, omissions, additions, Marsh, whose "evidence is unexceptionable or glosses, (choose the worst of them on pur- authority, for they are competent witnesses in pose,) you cannot deface the contrivance and point of information, whilst their pursuits and plot of one play; no, not of a single scene; but attainments might have been expected to have its sense, design, and subserviency, to the last given them prejudices inclining ihem to assert issue and conclusion, shall be visible and plain the contrary of wbat they are found to do," the through all the mist of various lections. And editors observe"We should have spared our so it is with the sacred text; make your 30,000 remarks ou this topic, important as it is, if Dr. as many more, it' numbers of copies can over- Bentley's admirable tract was known and reads reach that sum: all the better to a knowing and any thing like so extensively as it ought to be. serious reader, who is thereby more richly fur. But though the letters under the name of Phi. nished to select what he sees genuine. But leleutherus Lipsiensis have been very judicieven put them into the hands of a knave or a, ously reprinted by the University of Oxford, in fool; and yet, with the most sinistrous and ab. the Enchiridion Theologicum, we had lately surd choice, he shall not extinguish the light of occasion to ascertain that their merit was un. any one chapter; nor so disguise Christianity, known, or overlooked to a degree which surbut that every feature of it will be the same. prised us exceedingly. What we bave said has Phileleutherus Lipsiensis (Dr. Bentley). Re- been almost entirely borrowed from his nervous marks on Collins Discourse, p. 113. " Lond. and lucid. Answer to Collins' Discourse of 1737.
cution, and grown old amid its sorrows. fect pattern by his life, he poured out They are chiefly interesting to us as for them his blood upon Calvary, and containing the true secret of his support, breathed out his spirit in the heavenly the ground of his confidence, and the prayer, “ Father, forgive them, for they crown of his rejoicing. It was this know not what they do.” But the perwhich winged his hope, which animated fect pattern which Christ by his life afhis efforts, and alleviated his distresses. forded us—the excellent truths which Now, a principle of such astonishing distilled from his lips--and the heavenly efficacy must needs be always valuable, benefits which resulted from his passion, and always interesting. The condition received not their full perfection until of an is, by nature, so vile and help- the performance of that gracious proless, that he wants a medium of sup- mise which foretold his resurrection port and consolation.—The passions from the dead. Then it was that conwhich he cherishes are so violent and viction burst upon the doubting minds unreasonable, that he needs a protec- of the disciples-collected their wavertion even against his fellow-being.-The ing thoughts, and settled them in one good which the world affords is so uniform, unchanging point of action. blended with evil, that we require some They knew that he whom they had folsource of satisfaction beyond its influ- lowed during his tribulation and disence.—Now, if we regard the authority tress, had promised that they should in of St. Paul, who attested his sincerity no wise lose their reward: that he by his blood, we must recognize all this went to prepare a place for them, that in the joyful fact which our text com- where he was, there they might be also. memorates—Christ is risen from the They knew that he was able to protect dead, and become the first-fruits of them whom God had raised up, havthem that slept.”
ing lgosed the pains of death, because it 1. The foundation of all human mi
was not possible that he should be sery and woe is the curse which was holden by it." They knew and felt the pronounced for transgression and sin. truth that “ Christ Jesus came into the The stream must partake of the nature world to save sinners”-that he “bore of its fountain, and, according to that, the offences of many," and "made inmust flow in transparent waters, or roll tercession for the transgressors." May in darkened floods. Corrupted in soul, we noi, then, in imitation of these holy and depraved in principle, man was men, safely resort to Christ, the Rock violently incited to indulgence and ex, of our Salvation ?"-remembering that cess, and foolishly driven to war against « being dead in our sins, and the uncirhis Maker. The sonl, created in the cumcision of our flesh, God has quickimage of God-replete with knowledge, ened us together with him, having forwith purity, and love, became changed given us all trespasses.' from its purpose, and fallen from its 2. But the Christian, though freed high estate. The body-which had by grace from the power of sin, and risen in beauty and freshness under the placed in a state of acceptance, is not plastic hand of the Almighty--was thereby exempt from suffering. By converted into vileness, and ready ta his profession he is placed at enmity fall away into its kindred dust. Pride, with the flesh, and in opposition to carbust, and anger, usurped “the habita- nal and ungodly men. Hence, the adtion of the Spirit of God," and strove versaries of divine truth, inflamed with hard for the mastery of the whole inner diabolical malice, have ever bent their
But when there was no eye to efforts to the suppression of a faith pity, and no arm to save," the Lord which exposes their vices, and excites I looked down from the habitation of their fears. Oh, what bitter persecuhis throne," and kindly regarded the. tions--what heart-rending afflictionscondition of his servant. The “ Lamb what grievous trials did they occasion! slain from the foundation of the world” The followers of the “meek and lowly satisfied his justice, and restored his fa- Jesus,” driven from city to city, from
“ In due time, Christ died for country to country, found no rest for the the ungodly." Having set them a per- sole of their feet. " Some had trials of
cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, word which animated their hopes, and moreover, of bonds and imprisonment: guided them to victory. they were stoned, they were
3. This was the source of satisfacasunder, were tempted, were slain with tion which was above the influence of the sword: they wandered about in things temporal; the peace which “ the sheep-skins and goat-skins; being des- world can neither give, nor take away.”
" titute, afflicted, tormented.” Now, “ Christ has risen from the dead”-he what was it which supported these holy has set this glorious seal to his doctrine, men under their multiplied afflictions— in testimony whereof he has ascended which transformed their bonds into the up on high, and led captive the powers strong liganients of love their crown of sin and Satan.
He has become of thorns into the helmet of joy? It the first-fruits of them that slept”-he was not fleshly lust or gratification, has illumined the dark chambers of the for the world was crucified unto them, tomb, and called to its sleeping inhabitand they unto the world.” It was not ants to come forth.” He has sanctithe hope of worldly distinctions, ho- fied them by the offering of himself, nours, or emoluments—for “he that " the first-fruits,” and placed within was greatest among them was to be as their reach the rich rewards of heaven. a servant”-meek, lowly, and unpre- Oh, then, let us obey his gracious insuming. When they looked around vitation! Let us rise with him to life, them, they saw few of those things and not sink unwarily into the bottom which are usually considered the very less pit of destruction ! 66 Christ is objects of life. Lo! said Peter to his risen from the dead, and become the Master, we have left all and followed first-fruits of them that slept.” O joythee. Many of them, when they em- ful thought !
ful thought! We know that our Rebraced the faith of Jesus, sold their pos- deemer has ariser, and that “he ever sessions, and gave to the poor. In the liveth to make intercession for us.”_ conflict of opinions and passions, many We know that “if any man sinneth, he realized the awful declaration of the hath an Advocate with the Father, JeSaviour, that he came not to send sus Christ the Righteous." But let us,
, " peace upon earth, but a sword.” They at the same time, remember that witlis witnessed the destruction of their do- out holiness, no man shall see the mestic peace; the loss of their social Lord!" When the dread trumpet shall joys. The fire of persecution raged sound, all that are in their graves shall wildly and horribly, and many were de- arise, and stand before the judgmentterred by its awful glare. The feel- seat of Christ; but the righteous only ings of relationship, the ties of blood, shall be admitted into the mansions of the calls of affliction, were often disre- peace and joy. Christ died for all, and garded for the more immediate and thus commended the transcendent love pressing considerations of self-indul of his heavenly Father; but they alone gence, and self-preservation. But still who “repent, and are converted," many faithful spirits were found, who shall taste the benefits of his passion. persevered under all these trials, priva- Let man be wise, and consider his lattions, and dangers. Many there were ter end. Let him lay hold on the hope who gloried in their tribulations—who which is set before him-which alone went with alacrity to the cross and the giveth life, and support, and consolastake, and mingled the shouts of spi- tion.
X. ritual triumph with the irrepressible March 30th, 1823. groans of suffering humanity. The thoughts of these surely were not bounded by this mortal life; they did not, “in To the Editors of the Christian Journal.
" this life only, have hope in Christ.”
MESSRS. EDITORS, No! They triumphantly exclaimed On taking up your last number, I " Now is Christ risen from the dead, was much pleased to observe some and become the first-fruits of them that excellent remarks « on devout attenslept." This was the rallying point dance at church." They are unforof their spiritual warfare--the watch- tunately too much needed, and it is