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Xk Collected by 

^ JaredSparks,LL. D., 

■v'' President of Harvard College, 

t. Purchased by the Cornell University, 

Cornell University Library 
BT112 .P83 

Letters to Mr. Archdeacon Travis, in ans 


3 1924 029 373 770 

Cornell University 

The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



T O 

Mr. archdeacon TRAVIS. 



Mr. archdeacon TRAVIS, 


D E F E N d E 


I John V. 7. 

By R. P O R S O N. " 

Tun'' ut ornnes in omni doQrina liberalis genere principes adlatres, et 
cenfeas fore, ut qffam laudis tibi objiciamus, qua: te nobis tranquil- 
liorem faciat, potius quam rationibus te verberemus, et Ji opus 
fuerit, etiam de canina tua facundia mu^uemur aliquid, quo 
tanquam fufte' probe dedolatus, incipias 'uelle mujjare, et modera- 
tionis, modejiiee, niefecundiie Umites non migrare ? 

^ MusAMBEKTius Commonitorio ot^RAMiRESiuM ue Frado. 

L O N D O -N: 
Printed for T. and J. Egerton, Whitehall. 


P R E F A C E. 

IT is fcarcely tieqeffary to tell the reader, 
that in the years 1516 and 1519 Erafmus 
puMiftied his firfl: and fecond editions of the 
Greek Teftament, both whith omitted the 
three heavenly witnefles. That having pro- 
mifed Lee to infert them in his text, if they 
were found in a fingle Greek MS. he was 
foon informed of the exiftence of fuch a MS. 
in England, and confequently inferted i John 
V. 7. in his third edition, 1522. That this 
MS. after a profound fleep of turo centuries, 
has at laft been found in the library of ^ri- 
nity^college, Dublin. That the Gonipluten* 
fian edition, which was not publilhed till 
1522, though it profefies to be printed in 


1514, has the feventh and eighth verfes 
patched up from the modern Latin MSS. 
and the final claufe of the eighth verfe, 
which is omitted in its proper place, tranf- 

' ferred to the end of the feventh. That Cdi- 
naeus in i^|2|^ oi^tted,fehe verfe, on the 'faith 
of MSS. That R. Stephens, in his famous 
edition of 1550, inferted the verfe, and 
marked the words ev r.m. ou^mm as wanting 
in feven MSS. That Beza, fufpeding no mif- 
take, concluded that thefe feven MSS. con- 
tained the reft of the feventh verfe, , and the 
eighth with the words Iv rijr yi?.".. Ail tfe^ft 
circumftanjces are either fo.w^l knows, off 
mentioned fo fully in the following Leitefsy 
that it would be a tedious, repetition to dweU. 
Jonget upon them at prefent. 

; In the year 1670, the Ariaa Sandiws Eaade 
a fbrmidable attack upon: the verfe, which 
-was followed by a more fotsmidable atfeot 
from Simon in his Critical Hiftory oJ^ the 
N. T. and other works pertaining to. the 
fame fubjeft. Soon after the appearaace of 
Simon's book,- betweea the years, 1690 and 
1 700, Sir Ifaac Newton, wrote a diflfertaitioqi 
-Upon r JohnV. 7. in which, he ooUeaei, 


F R E F A E ill 

in,ents, and; gave a clear, 'exaft, and ccfflnpire- 
kenfive view of the whole qweftioiirn This 
dlfleJrtation, which was not publKhed tUl 
1754, and then imperfe£Hj, has been lately^ 
reflored byi Vs. Horfley in the laft edition of 
Newton's works, from an original MS. ; In 
the mean time Kettner anfweried Simon in 
three publications, in which he has produced 
Hooft of the arguments ufuallyalkdged oa 
his fide, but mixed with fo many abfurd and 
trifling ohfervationa, that td read through 
them is no moderate exercife of patience. 
He reckons in the fecond century twenty- 
ieven, in the third twenty-nine^ in the fourth 
forty-two reafons, which might hinder the 
Fathers fi-om appealing 10 the heavenly wit- 
■neffes. Qf the third fet of reafons, his 
eighteenth is, left that text might feem to 
favour Sahellianifm ; his twenty- fourth, left 
Gonftantine the Greatv being then a cate- 
chumen, (hould be f(5andalized ! At the end 
of his dilSxiation he burfts out into the fol- 
lowing-rapturous exprefEons, which Ifliall 
dJDpy, without (attempting; to*traiisfufe their 
-cieg^aMe^into Engliih^ /• 

./'f a 2 *' Nihil 

iv - PREFACE. 

" Nihil eiiim mihi gratius qiiam bene me" 
ttn de hoc illuftri difto, quod eft' Theologia 
Johannea in nuce, eft inftar ftellas primae 
magnitudinis in Scriptura, eft maVgarita Bi- 
bllca pretibfiffima,, & flos Novi Teftamentl 
pulcherrimus, -eft compendium analogia^ fidei 
de Triaitate, ut alia elogia in dedicatione ad- 
du(5la taceamus^ 

*' Latet inexhauftus fcientranim thefaurus 
in hoc excellentiffimo dido* Hie enim Theo- 
log't tres articubs fidei, Jurifconfulti tres ad- 
vocates coeleftes et teftes fummos, Medici tres 
animarum medicos inveniunt. Siftitur nobis 
in hoc difto Philofophia et Panfophia quaedana 
fublimior. Metaphyfici ens unum verum* 
bonum, Logici praedicationes inufitatas con* 
templari poffunt. Ethicus cernit in hoc loco 
fummumBonum, Phyficus If idem trium co- 
torum, et Aftrologiis concurfum trium pla- 
netarum five tres ibles obfervat. Mathe- 
maticus difcit, . quomodo tres fint unum in 
Arithmetica Divina. Muficus Muficam fua- 
vlffimam trium vocum in textu concentum- 
que harmonicum audire poteft. Opticus, fi 
quid videt, ^ddet TpeGulum Deitatis et in fuo 
intelleftu ob hujus ttiyfterii altitudinem in- 


veiiit Cameram quandam obfci^ram.^ Pnexi- 
maticl fpiritualitatem Dei cognofcere poffunt. 
Rhetores hoc diftum confiderantes, afFedtum 
admirationis moverc coguatur et exclattiaEe^ 
O profuxiditas fapienti« Dei ! Aulici tres grd- 
tiofiflimos MonarchasLCceJeftes, erga fubditos 
in regno gratiae venerari poflunt." 

At laft Miir.s long-expefted edition of the 
N. T, was.publiflied, - Still more and more 
evidence pj^duced agaihft the.verfe!: Mill, 
after fiiirljf fumming up the evidence on both 
iides, juft as we fhould expedl him to declare 
the verfe; Ipurious, is unaccountably trans- 
formed into a defender. Abbe L. Roger, Dean 
of Bourges, publiflied,, Par. 17 15, two dif- 
fertations, in the firfl of which he defends 
f JohnV. 7. It ought to be mentioned , to 
his credit, that, having examined the MSS. 
jn the Foyal library at Paris, he fubfcribed to 
the opinion of Lueas Brugenfis, Simon, and 
he Long, and ingenuoufly cdnfellcd that the 
femicircle In Stephens's edition, which now 
follows the words ev rat ev^avut in the feventh 
•yerfe, ought to be, placed after the -words Iv 
j^r yi^r in the eighth, _ , 

51 3 3&ut 

1/f preface; 

Biafe Mftrtiftj l^ftoT of thfe Prfflich i^tSirGh 
at the H^gue, thought fuch mcwlenatiott as 
this a bafe defertion of the caiafe, 1^ hb 
Treatife on Revealed Religion he^fpetids agreat 
paft upon thefingle qneftion of i John V. ^- 
He afterwards defen^d the geKwlimKtaefs «0 
the verfe in three books agaii^A Etniyn's Full 
E'nquiry, Anfwer and Reply. In all thefe 
performances he taaa^fully a!^r»?ed thieirigM 
portion of Stephens's femiciTcle. This, he 
did by a flight aflunnption, that Stsephecs and 
aii his afliftants, qompofitors, &c. were Ja?* 
fallible ; an aflumption which Mr. Travis has 
fince borrowed. Emlyn, it mufl be owned^ 
left Mat^tin in pofi^fliba of the 6eld ; and 
yetj I imow not how, the opinion of Emlyn 
made many converts; and Bifhop Small*' 
brooke* feems riot to have been ifatisfiEd with 
Martin's defence ; jfor he fays, that little ihas 
been faid agaiuft Mr* Emlyn, except what 
has been offered by the ingenious Mr, Martin* 

* In a letter to Pr. Bentley concerning the Compiyten- 
fian edition. ' jSee the beginning of De Mijffs firft letter, 
Journ. Brit, Vol. VIJI, and FeltknS Meyer's LeSures, 

F R E F A C B. Til 

The Grei^-EngJHh e4itor of the N. T. in 
1789 threw the Verfe out of his text, and 
fiibjbined a long note to the place, whiqh, 
tiiot^h it is apparently written -with great 
labour^ does not deiferye th« ipraiieS. bellowed 
tipon it by Sofipatct^. Twells refuted this 
editor after his toanner ; but he fcarcely quits 
Mar-tin, except in giving up the Ipurious Pro- 
logue, and appeaUdag ffo the new-found tefti* 
^ony of Caffiodtenus* i : ; 

Ben^lius, whofe edkioa was publiflied in 
1734J -allows, in his note on this pafl^e, 
that it ^% in no genuine MS. ; that the Com- 
plutanfian editors ihtetpoUtod it from the 
Laton verGon ; litflt the Codex Britannicus is 
good for nothing ; tha* Stephens's femidrcle 
^s miiplaced ; that no ancient Gf eek Writer 
dtes the heavenly witneffes ; that many La- 
tins omniit them I and that they were neithe* 
erafed by the Arians^ «ror abferbed by th6 
homceotekutcn. Surely then the verfc is Spu- 
rious. No; this learned man finds out a 
way of efcape ; the paffage was of £0 fublime 

* Commentaries and Eflays» Vol. I, p. 145, 

a 4 and 

viu t» R E F MC E. 

and fnyfterioias a nature, that tha/ecret SfcU 
ptine of the church ' withdrew it from the 
public books, till it was gradually loft. Un- 
der what' a want of evidence muft a cti^ 
labour,^ who refbrts to fuch an argumeBil 
Wctftein* and Mr. Griefl>ach h^ve in tfeelf' 
re^e£tive editions given judicious abridger 
tnents of the authorities and arguments on 
both fides ; but from the neceflary brevity of 
notes, fome previous information is requifite, 
before they can be perfedly uhderftood. 

Such was the ftate of the controverfyj 
and all the learned ^ had abandoned,, the -de- 
fence of the verfe. Mr. Gibbon expreffed the 
general opinion with grea^jexaftnefs and im- 
partiality in a paffage of the third volume of 
his Hiftory. Perhaps the hiftorian, who muft 
have forefeen many attacks upon other, parts 
of his work, apprehended none on this paf? 
fage. Perhaps he thought, that' an opimoni 

*■ ■ " • ' 

* Bentiey read a public kaure, which is ftill extant, 
and Abbe Longuerue wrote a diflbrtation, vyhjcii perhaps 
is ftill extant, to prove this yerfe fpurious. Semler too 
has written a Critical Hiftory pf the text, ip German, 
which I .have hot been able to orocure. 


which he poffeffed in common with many 
orthodox critics, might be fuffered to pafs 
without moleftation. 

But if thefe were his hopes, he was difap- 

The Rev. Mr.Ti-avis published three (host 
letters againfl him in the Gentleman's Maga-r 
zine, 1782. Thefe letters he afterwards re- 
printed (4to.' 1784), with two others, much 
longer, addrefled to Mr. Gibbon, in which 
he profeffed to difcufs tlie whole quefiion, 
Diid vindicate the authenticity of i John V. 7. 
Afterwards having learned -that Sir Ifaac 
Newton, Mr. Grielbach, and others, had writ- 
ten upon the fubje£ii;, he publifhed a fecond 
edition (8vo. 1786), with fbme alterations, 
and a confiderable increale of bulk. 

I had read, though without exaniining 
every minute particle of their reafbnuig, 
Alill, Wetftein, Newton, and I was fully 
Satisfied of the ipuripufnefs of the verfe from 
my general recolledion of their arguments. 
But I muft thus far confefs my obligations 
to Mr. Travis, that the appearance of his 
book induced me to reconfider the fubje6t 
with a41ttle more attention. In the courfe 


X- fre.face: 

^{ thk.mqaxty^rl found lliirch aftonifliirig iir- 
;ftances of error, fuch inti«pid affertiDns icoa^ 
trary to fad, that I almoft doubted, whether 
I -were awake whildcfead them. But at laft 
I difcovered that Mr. Travis was a ftraagef 
toaH Cfiticifaij-facred a'Brd .prbi≠ and that 
he had read fcarfieiy toy thing even on the 
fubjeitof the conteftad verfe, isxcept Martin's 
publication^,. This jtiifeovery opened rnyeyesi 
and made jne iee why Mr. Travis wasj ai 
Profeffor Michaelis. rightly fays, ba§^ a cen^ 
iury behind-hand h his ii^ormat'um. r. 

The reader will hardly thank me- for re- 
pfeatamg. ihy dwtv opinion of Mr. Ttavis ; but 
it may amufe him to know the fentiments 
pf leaniied foreigners. I ihall therefore giv« 
fome extra£ts, communicated to me by a 
friend, from Michaelis's N^uc Orientalifche und 
E^getifche Bibliothek, Gottihgen, 1 786, p. 144. 
He fays, that " Mr. Travis is indifputahly 
half a century behind-hand in critical know- 
ledge ; and, confequently, unacqi&inted with 
matters univerfally known ; a proof this, thsE 
the verfe i John V. 7. has more and warmer 
friends in England thacb in Germany." Ht 
declares that he ihall not honour Mr. Travis 


Vnih. a particular review, to the lafs of his 
own time, and of his reader's money aftd 
paibence j that inoft of Mr. Travis's argu- 
znents have been already anfwefed, or givea 
up. by the very defenders of the verfe.; that 
if he vfibre difpo&d to re-examine the queftio}!^ 
he ihouid be obliged to tram&ribe his own 
htmdudiion, which Mr. Travis cJUbtes i« th« 
£l»gli{h tranilation of the Jirft edition ; bl4: 
Ikough he has not feen the kH: edition of 
J 777, he might have found the partioilars 
in other «QthorSi He proceeds to rema«|: 
how fhamefully Mr. Travis trea|ts Dr.Bea&n^ 
while he himfelf betrays a more Hacaeab]^ 
ignorance concerning the Slavonic vei!S£^* 
After quoting Mr, Travis's words on that 
iubjed, «* Now," fays the Profeffor, " let 
iiny brie compare my 88th fedtion, and thfe 
jjote from Mr. Poletika's letter*, and judge. 

I do 

* The fum of Mr. Poletika's note is, tliat heljeiKevcs 
1 John V. 7. to have been inferted in the Slavonic verfioir 
during the life-time of the patriarch Nicon ; for it is ih 
the edition of 1653, but not in the preceding editions 
printed at Mofcow and Kiow. All thefe editions M^. 
Poletika poflefles ; he Ukewife poiTefles fome MSS. 'of the 

Kii P R E F A C E. 

i^o'noi here complain of dif|imuIation,;ibut' 
of extreme ignorance;" ' 

- . «« Againft Mr. GriefbaA, Mr. Travis writes 
'«vith incredible ignorance.. If Mr.Griefbach 
fchufes to ■ defend himfelf, Jie may ; \>}it I 
ihould judge it perfeiSly needlefs. Why is 
there not a word for or againft Matthasi, an 
orthodox Athanafiaa j^jefter of the. verfe ? 
He wrote too in Latin, and might have been 
read by Mr. Travis, who feems to underftand 
no living languages but French and Englifh. 
But perhaps" (and I, firmly :laelieve the Pxot 
feffor in the right) " Mr. Travis did not 
know that, there, was .fuch. a man or fuch a 
book in the v/orld;," 
'^■■■'' ' -.ts' 

.A3s apd Epiftles written befar? th5,a?ra.Qf printSngj, bi^t 
neither in tiiem;^ nor in any copies, tli^t ever c^mc into % 
"hands, could he find the paffage. -' 

'* Michaelis adds, that it is not in the OArow edition 
nor in ancient MSS, He doubts whether the edition of 
^i5s3 has it in the text or .margin. I am ^Imcjl perfuided 
jthat it. is in the ixiargin, becaufe e'l'fe I fee np reafon why 
.th? oyerfeprs of the edition of 1663 fliould not have taken 
^it at once into the text, if they borrowed it from an edition 
where it. was already in full, poffeffion. Sec the latto- part 
of my eighth letter, . 




Mr. Zoellner loudly complains that Mft 
Travis has not only disfigured his letter bjf 
errors of the prefs, but alio mutilated It in 
fuch a manner, as to make him appear the 
defender of a bad caufe*. He then adds 
that part of his letter which Mr. Travis had 
fuppreii&d after the fecond break in his Ap- 
pendix, p. 59i It confifts of two paragraphs*, 
which together would have made, as I calcur 
late, about thirty lines of Mr. Travis's book. 
Thefe are fome of his words ; ** Omnia haec 
accuratius perpendenti^ mlhl quidem vldetur^ 
codicem Ravianum adhuc tion Jatls cerio pio 
apographo poly^lottocum Complutenfium har 
beri." Mr. Travis, by the prudent omifnon 
of this hefitating fentencej has made Mr. Zo- 
ellner feem to give a final opinion in favour 
of the gehuinenefs of the MS. There is no 
mark of defe£l in the letter, as it is print^^ 
in the Appendix ; fo that the reader cannot 
help taking it for the whole that Mr. Zoellner 
wrote. Being curious therefore to know how 
Mir. Travis had exprefled his promife to print 

* I had myfelf obfervcd, that Mr. Zoellner watratha" 
«{^dydbte than a judge, Letter V. p. 123. 



this letter, I turaed to p. 304, and faiand^ tJiis 
wutious. note^ . '"i Appendix, No., XXill.' 
mhece tbis letter is given more, at large.''* 
But who would' believe chat in Mr. Zeellne/i 
letter thefDlldf^il^ing fentenceoiiginally eiiiled 3 
Exira omnem duhitatioaii akam, Ji nihil aBtd', 
id guidem p^um ^, codicem Ravianum in re 
(riiica vix ulMm fmmenii affe ; non tarn gmd mn 
vojta Jitfpicione fremaiur, fed quod valde recens 
Jk, St^ehio ^iS^SHie jitc^iah^i certe pofi anmMi 
t/^$j Jeripius. Let aajr man believe Mr. 
Tisivis hereafter, when he talks of his own 
tnith, canda^r, charitjj and upright iaten*- 
tbhs, or when be is angry with others for 
their deficiency in thofe qualities. Wh6ne««Jr 
J hear fuch zealous flicklers for truth, they 
bring to my mind thofe undate<3:ed femaiLes 
■who rail With all the bitternefs and ijpfetence 
of confciotis virtue againft the frailties ®f 
-their lefs prudent fiftera. Mr. Papptdbaura 
yMa wrote a letter to Mr. Travis on the fub- 
jt<a of his book ; but, as Mr. Travis has not 
thought fit to publiilh it, Michaelis promifes 
to print it, if he can obtain the author's 

I» R E. F A C E^ yx 

Mefirs. Henke and Britns^ in their Armki 
Lii0-am (Helmftadt) May 1786, p. jSj— * 
394)^ l^ave given a ihort review of th^e faxae 
work. After qu®tin.g Mr. Gibbon's note, thejr 
psoceed ill- tihis manner: " Thefe few words 
©£ Mr., Gibhom, w,ko perhaps never uttejred 
snore truth ih his Hfe, have £>; vexed thd 
writer: of thefe letters, that he has reftmaed 
the whole difpute, as if it were flill unde- 
cided, and has. brought forth this child, of 
his diligence, or rather- this abortion, with a 

vadk body, but no brain. The {i!:^ular 

good'fortune of this Hz^ork, to be twice pdah 
lifhed m a fhoit fpac& of time, has ilnfpii:^ 
ouc arfiiiH: with a woEideiifutl confidence, which 
he himfelf proffeffes ; . others perhaps may call 
it impudence." They then give a brief fketch 
of the. work, with fbme proper^ remarks i 
they nAake themfelyes very merry with Mr. 
Travis's fufpicions of Erafmus and the ai^i^ 
ment drawn irom ^ his- Paraphrafes, toigethaaf > 
with the accurate chronology of making 
EraCtous publifli his.^iP^raphrafes in 1541, 
five years after he was .4eftd, and twrenty-onc 
years after they w*ere Jwtitte^* , They laijgh 
at Mr. Travis's credulity in relying upoii 




P R E- F A C E, 

Stephens's accuracy, and Beza's ocular In- 
lpe6:ion of the 1 5, not 1.6 MSS. ; at his repe- 
tition of Martin's miferable reafons; at his 
appeal to L. Valla^ and the only edition extant 
in Europe \ sit his implicit truft in the later 
Latins, Ljranus, Aquinas, Durandus, Lom- 
bard, &c. ; at his infallible method of arguing 
to prove thatWalafrid Strabus found the hea- 
venly witneffes in Greek MSS. With equal 
co&tempt they pafs over his preference of the 
interpolated edition of Eucherius to the ge- 
luline ; his fecurity in the proldgue of Pfeudo- 
Jerome addrefled to Damafus (read ,Eufto- 
chium) ; his confidence in the teftimony of 
Cyprian backed by Fulgentius, in the La- 
te fan council, in the revifion of Charlemagne, 
the hiftory of Viftor, the Apoftolos, the mo- 
dern Greek confeffion of faith, &c. &c.* 

Though I had by fome pains andiludy 
qualified myfelf to pronounce the faftie fen- 
tence on Mr. Travis's book, I (hould have 

« What thefe gentlemen fay, in their concife manner, 
fo well 4grees with the obferwtions fcattered through the 
fpflowing letters, Aat, if I had met with their review 
fqoner, I would have infertcd it entire. 

P RE FACE. . xvU 

ftill kept my opinions to myfelf. My natural 
iiidolence, my engagemeiit in other ftudies, 
niy contempt of the work, hindered me from 
troubling the public with my thoughts. I 
read with a fmile commendations* of Mr. 
Travis in print, and found no inclination to 
contradidt opinions, which (with Vindex's 
leave) could only proceed from ignorwice or 
bigotry. At laft appeared, in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for Auguft 1788, p. 700. a letter 
ligned Eblanenfis, challenging Mr. Gibbbn 
to come forth in peffon and break a lajnce 
with that valiant knight of the holy brother- 
hoodj Mr. Travis. So much ignorance of 
the queftion joined with an equal quantity of 
infolence, as well to Mr. Gibbon as to others, 
excited my indignation, and raifed an hafty 
refolution of writing fome remarks upon 
Mr. Travis's letters, and fending them to the 
fame journal in which his own firft letters, 
and this ihagnanimous challenge, had ap- 
peared'.. I meant at firfl rather to expofe 

* Gent. Mag.' Aug. 1784, p. 565.— Aug. 1^85, p. 
584.— Sept. 1785, p. 686, 687.— March 1787, p. 211. 

b Mr, 

xviii PREFACE. 

Mr. Travis's way of ihanaglng this contro- 
verfy, than to enter into the controveffy itfelf. 
But when I confidered that it would be little 
mere trod'ble to undertake the one than the 
other ; that it would be a good deed to let 
the public know how far they nligfct truft 
big words and bold promifes ; that, though 
rnany Were fitter for this tafk than myfelf, 
fomewere averfe to labour, and others per- 
haps afraid of confequences ; when I confi- 
dered dl thefe things, I changed my plan, 
and determined, befides occafional animad- 
verfions on Mr. Travis, to give a general 
abftraCt of the main queftion. Meafuitfim^ 
per huec in hue re liolufifas et Jentertti^^ quemvis 
at hod mallem de its qui ejfent idonei^ fufcipere 
quant me", me ut mallem, quam neminem. In 
confequeuee of this refolution, I inferted {tvtn, 
letters (which make the five firft- of this 
colle£lion) in the Gentleman's- Maigazine 
for dftober and December 1788, February, 
April, May, June^ Auguft, 1 789^ A gen-* 
tletpan who called himfelf Vindex, in the 
fame Magazine for January 1789, p. 12, after 
mentioning «* Mr. Gibbon's contemptuous 
inattention to Mr. Travis's irrefragable* de- 

1» R E F A C E. xix 

fence," added the following note : * " KCam- 
.^rf(d§^<? correfpondent has not rendered it lefs 
ib 'by his feebk ftridlures in your Magazine 
for Odtober laft, p. 876. Dat vemam corvis." 
I gave Vindex a gentle rebuke in my next 
letter (II. p. 17.), but he was too headftron^ 
to take advice, and replied in the Gentleman's 
Magazine for March, ^. 225. I Ihall only 
tranfcribe a part of his lettei^. 

Mr. Urban, 

Your* zealous, knowing, and dlf- ' 
creet correfpondent, in p. 10 1 — 105 of yoUt 
laft: Magazine, who is happily exenipt from 
*' ^the weaknefs that fbbls call candour," is 
pleafed to infinuate that ^ " bigotry" alone 
can fupport the authenticity of the famotis 
text i John V. 7. This furely is " 'the ex- 
cefs of Chriftian benevolence/' Let this lite- 
rary Goliath " " beware of meafuring the 
integrity of other men by his own narrow 
conceptions." ****** As to Mr.Tra^ris, 
*' '\vith whom I hav^e hot the pleafure of be- 
ing acquainted," I flatter myfelf that he will 
*' • never be weary of anfwering" thofe op-' 
pdnents who "are never wear^ of tepeatiiig 
b z the 


the fame baffled and exploded reafbns." Coit- 
temptuous Inattention will juftly be conftrued 
as *' * a proof of confcious impotence." Let 
him therefore, " * compliments being paffcd, 
begin upon bufinefs." To him it may be 
fafely left. In the mean time, " * will you^ 
Mr. Urban, advife" his fupercilious antagonift 
in a whliper," not to iflue his didates quq^ 
ex cathedra f though he may have a fufficiency 
of learning to fill the chair. But does not 
his " " good mother" know him too well to 
place him in the chair. Feerium habet in 

I quote this trafli merely to fhew how 
ready any perfon is to decide upon thefe 
points, though neither qualified by nature noc 
art for the difcuffion of them, and to think 
he benefits the world by pubhfliing hia opi^ 
nion. As If truth in thefe cafes always de- 
pended upon a majority of voices ! , 

But being tired of this tedious method of 
publication, I quitted it, as foon as I had 
finlflied the fubjeft of Greek MSS. with a 
promife to refume the difpute in another 
form. Some time afterwards, while thefe 
letters were in theprefs, Mr. Travis fent to the 

P R E F AC E. xxi 

Gentleman's Magazine for January 1 790 fuch 
a defence of Stephens and Beza, as Martin 
himfelf would have bluflied to father. He 
there repeated, alrhoft word for word, what 
he had already faid in his book, and I had 
confuted. He had not even knowledge enough 
to fee, or candour enough to own, the moft 
palpable errors of the prefs ; but ftill afl'umed, 
without ■ fhame, a pofition in itfelf abfurd, 
and fhewn by me to be totally groundlefs, 
the perpetual infallibility of Stephens's mar^ 
gin. I replied in the next month minutely 
to every article of the defence ; and, as Mr. 
Travis, in his zeal for Stephens's chara£ler, 
had forgotten his own, I reminded him of a 
few offences that he had committed againft 
his favourite virtue. Truth. But he declined 
my propofal of retracing or defending his 
his affertions, by calling me TherJStes, faying 
that he defpifedmy railings^ and making a fort 
of ppomife, that when my volume came out, 
he would take it into confideratioh. We fhall 
therefpre foon lee what efforts his ingenuoiis 
temper will make to acknowledge or exculfe 
bis errors. 

b 5 - liiere 

xxii P R E F A G E. 

I herfe perform my promlfe, which per- 
haps Mr. Travis and my readers woul4. have 
forgiven me for breaking. Such as thefe 
letters are, I deliver them to the judgment of 
the public. I Ihall make no profeffions of 
diligence and fidelity, for two reafoiis ; i. be^r 
caufe I conceive, .that fuch a profeflion is 
always implied in the very circumftance of 
becoming an author 5 and, 2, becaufe in the 
prefent cafe it would be dangerous as vvell as 
unneceflaryi For ajl that are well acquainte4 
with Mr. Travis's book would infallibly .feel 
either their fufpiqions roufed, or their laugh- 
ter provoked, if I pretended, like him, -that 
" Truth was the fole aim, objed, and end,'* 
of the following letters. But before I take 
my leave, I would gladly prevent two or 

three objedions, which I fqrefee; That 

I have treated a grave fubjefl- witk too much 
levity ; and a dignitary of the church with 
too much freedom; and, what is a much 
more grievous crime, that I may be thought 
to defend hprefy, m^ to attack the Catholic 

To the firft and fecond objedlions I anfwer, 
|;h8tl, could not treat ^Jie fubje£b in any other 




manner, if I treated it at all. To perufe fuch 
a mafs of falfehood and fophiftry ; and to write 
remarks upon it, without -fometimes giving 
way to laughter, and fometimes to indigna^ 
tion, was, to me at leaft, impoffible. For 
the firft, let Tertullian* plead my excufe. 
Si et ridehitur alicuhi, materiis ipjis fatisfiet. 
Multa funt Jic digtifl fevinci, ne gravitate ado' 
rentur. Vaniiati proprie fejiivitas ceditl Can- 
gruit et veritati rider e^ quia lat-am ; de a mult s 
Juis luderei quiafecura eji. For the fecond, I 
am perfuaded that every attentive reader, who 
believes me right in the ftatement o£ my fafts, 
and th« tenour of my argument, will allow, 
that even harflier exprefiions would in fuch a 
cafe be juftified. Befides, I confefs, I never 
much admired that mock politenefs, .which 
expreffes a ftrong charge in a long-winded 
periphrafis of half a dozen lines, when the 
'complete fenfe might be conveyed in as many 

ye ne puis rien ndmmer, Ji ce f^efl par fon mm ; 
J'appelh m chat m chat ********** ***** 

* Adverfus Valentinianos, § 6. 

b 4 Mr. 

xxiv P,R E F A C E. 

Mr. Gibbon, after anfwering an accufatlon 
brought againft him by Mr. Davis, thus pro- 
ceeds : *' I difdain to ^dd a fingle reflexion ; 
nor (hall I qualify the condudt of my adver- 
fary with any of thofe epithets, which might 
feem to be the expreflious of refentment, 
though I fhould be conftraiued to make ufe 
of them as the only terms io the Englifli 
language which could accurately reprefent 
my cool and unprejudiced fentiments." I 
defire to know whether Mr. Davis was at all 
obliged to Mr. Gibbon for this exertion of 
his good-nature ? Or who fees not that fuoh 
moderation proceeds from malice, and, is only 
affedled in order to polfefs the reader with a 
more lively refentment againft the offender? 

As a river taftes of the foil through which 
it laft flowed, our ftyle generally takes a tinc- 
ture from the laft book we read. This muft 
be my excufe, if I have too much difre- 
garded the laws of civility, that by reading 
Mr. Travis,'! have been infenfibly infeAed 
with his fpirit. But whatever apology I owe 
to others on this fcore, I owe none tp him. 
He thinks himfelf authori:^ed to treat the 
moft eminent rfien foj learning and virtue 



with the utmoft contempt and inibleiice. He 
is th<2 laft man that Ihould be permitted to 
be angry with others for railing. Idne alteri 
crimini dabis^ quod eodem tempore^ in eademfro- 
vincia tu ipfe fecifti ? audebifne it a accufare al- 
terum, ut quo minus iuie condemnere, recufari 

The truth of the third objedion I deny, 
I maintain that my book is virtually a defence 
of orthodoxy. He, I apprehend, does the 
bed fervice to truth, who hinders it from 
being fuppotted by falfehood. To ufe a weajc 
argument in behalf of a good caufe, can 
only tend to infufe a fufpicion of the caufe 
itfelf into the minds of all who fee the weak- 
nefs of the argument. Such a procedure is 
fcarcely a remove (hort of pious fraud. Pro 
pietate nojlra tarn multafunt vera, ut falfa, tan- 
quam ignavi miliies atque inutiks onerifint magis 
quatn auxilio. What good can we expeiSt to 
work upon heretics or infidels by producing 
the heavenly witnefles ? Will they fubmit to 
dilpute with us, if we revive fuch ftale and 
exploded reafons ? Will they not believe, or 
afFed to believe, that this text is the only, 
at leaft the chief pillar, of our faith, and 


xxvi PREFACE. 

that, like Sir Martin Mar-all, we, continue 
to fumble upon the lute,, long after the mufic 
is over ? . 

':- What candour or. fairnefs in difpute, ex- 
claims a Papift, can be expeded frorn the 
Proteftant heretics, who ftill maintain the 
•bbfdlete fcandal of Pope Joan, which has 
been' fo frequently and fully confuted ? What 
juftice, might a Mahometan exclaim, can we 
hope frain the Chriftian dogs, who ftill pro- 
pagate the ridiculous tale of the Prophet's 
pigeon ? 

• ) If any expreffions occur, where I feem to 
ipeak flightingly of orthodoxy, let the reader 
confider, that in difputing againft a paffage 
generally fuppofed to favour the caufe of or- 
thodoxy, my fubjedt fometimes compelled 
me to affume the perfbn of an heretic. But 
when, for the fake of brevity, i ufe the word 
orthodoxy in a bad fenfe, I mean, not that re- 
fpedable orthodoxy, which defends the doc- 
trine, of the Trinity with fair argument and 
genuine fcripture ; but that fpurious ortho- 
doxy, which is the overflowing of zeal with- 
out knowledge — which is not contented with 
pur profeffing the qommon faith, but would 


P R E F A C E. Kxvli 

force us to defend it by all afid fingular the 
arguments, whether weak or ftrong, and all 
the texts, whether fpurioys or genuine, that 
have ever been employed in its defence;^— 
which, whenever a rotten and ruinous out- 
work of religion is demolilhed, utters as hi-^ 
deous a fhriek, as if the very foundations of 
the building were Ihaken, and the chureh of 
Chrlft nodded to her fall. 

Yet why defend Mr. Gibbon, an enemy ? 
1 do not defend Mr. Gibbon, except by acci- 
dent. I defend Erafmus, Sir I. Newton, 
La Croze, Mr. G^iefb'ach, and other Chrijl-T ■ 
tans. But where would have been the harm, 
if I had Avowed rpyfelf the defender of Mr, 
Gibbon ? Becaufe he is an enemy ? For 
that very reafon I would defend him. And 
I wi(h that every writer who attacks the in- 
fidels, would weigh the accufations, and. 
keep a ftrift watch over himfelf, left his zeal 
fliould hurry him too far. For when an ad- 
verfary can efFe<9:ually overthrow one ferious 
charge out of ten brought againft him, the 
other nine, though they may be both true and 
important, will pafs uniieedgd by the greater 
part of readerSj 


xxvui PREFACE. 

An impartial judge, I think, muft allow, 
that Mr. Gibbon's Hiftory is one of the 
ableft performances of its kind that has ever 
appeared. liis induftry is indefatigable ; his 
accuracy ferupulous ; his reading, which in* 
deed is fometimes oftentatieully difplayed, 
immenfe ; his attention always awake ; his 
memory retentive ; his ftyle emphatic and 
expreffive ; his periods harmonious. His re- 
flexions are often }uft i^nA profound I he 
pleads eloquently for the rights of mankind, 
and the duty of toleration ; nor does his hu- 
manity ever flumber, unlefs when women* 
are ravifhed, or the Chriftians t perfecuted. 

Mr. Gibbon fhews, it is true, fq ftrong a 
diflike to Chfiftianity, as vifibly difqualifies 
him for that Ibciety, of which he has created 
Ammianus Marceillnus prefident. I confefs 
that I fee nothing wrong iii Mr. Gibbon's 
attack on Ghriftianity. It proceeded, I doubt 
not, from the pureft and moil virtuous mo- 
tive. We can only blame him for carrying 
on the attack in an infidious manner, and 

* Chapter LVII. note 54. 

t See the whole fixteenth Chapter. 


PREFACE. xxix 

with improper Weapons* He often makes, 
when he cannot readily find, an occafion to 
infult our religion ; which he hates fo cor- 
dially, that he might feem to revenge ibme 
perfonal injury. Such is his eagernefs -in the 
ea^ife, that he ftoops to the moft defpicable 
pun, or to the mc^ aukward perverfion of 
language, for the pleafure of turning * the 
Scripttrre into ribaldry, or of calling Jefus f 

, *' Though his ftyle is in general corred and 
^legant, he fometlmes draws out the thread of 
his verhofity finer than thefiaple of his argumen(. % 
In endeavouring to avoid vulgar terms, he 
too frequently dignifies trifles, and clothes 
common thoughts in a fplendid drefs, that 
would be rich enough for the nobleft ideas. 
In fhort, we are too often reminded of that' 
great man, Mr. Prig, the au£iioneer^ § whofe 
manner was fo inimitahlf fine, that he had as 
much to fay upon a ribbon as a Raphael. 

Sometimes in his anxiety to vary his 
phraie, he becomes obfcure ; and, inftead of 

* Chapter LIX. note 32. f Chapter XI. note 63. 
% Love's Labour Loft. § Foote's Minor. 



calling his perfenagesby their narries^; dearies 
them by their birth, alliance, office, or 6tber 
circumftances of their hiflory. Thus an ho- 
neft gentleman is often defcribed by a cir- 
cumlocution, left the fame word Should be 
twice repeated in thb fame page. Sometimes 
epithets are addedj which the tenoUr of the 
fentenoe renders unneceffary. Sotnetimes in 
his atterft.f'ts at elegance, he lofes fight of 
Englifh*, and fometimes of fenfe;' 

A kfs pardonable fault is that rage for in- 
decmcy Whigh pervades the whole work, 
but efpeGJa:lIy the laft Volumes. And, to the 
honour 'df his conMency^ this' is the lame 
man who is fo prudi(h that he dares 'not call 
Belifaitius a cuckold, becaufe it is too bad a 
word for a decent hiftorian to ufe. If the 
hiftory w«re anonymous, I Ihould guefs that 

* Ch-apter XLVII. near note 19. «« Yet "a latent and 
almoft invifible fpavfc ftill lurked among the embers of- 
controverfy," If it lurked, it was probably latent. Chap- 
ter Lt near note 153. " The author of a mighty revolu- 
tion appears to have been endowed with a pious and con- 
templative difpofition." I might with equal want of pre- 
cifion fay of Mr. Gibbon, " The author of a bnlliyhiftory 
appears to be perfedly free from fuperffitioh.'* ' ■ 

' thefe 


thefe dKgraceful obfcenities were wi^tten by 
Ibme debauchee, who having fromi age, of 
accident, or excefs, furvived the practice of 
luft, ftill indulged himfelf in the luxury of 
fpeculation ; and 'exposed the imfotent imbecitUt^\ 
i^Ur he had loft the vigour of the f^JJions.^ 

But thefe few faults make no confiderable 
abatement in my general efteem. Notwith-' 
ftandiug ail its particular defedls, I greatly 
admire the whole ; as I fhould admire a beau- 
tiful face in the author, though it were tar-, 
nifhed with a few freckles ; or as I fliould 
admire an elegant perfon and addrefs, though 
they were blemifhed with a little affe£lati<in. 

Yet, to fay-tbe truth, I have one .cenfure 
in referve. A candid acknowledgment -of 
error does not feem to be Mr. Gibbon's fhining 
virtue. He promifed t (if I underftand him 
rightly) that in a future edidonhe would 
expunge the words, of Armenia, or make ap 
equivalent alteratidtli A n'ew edition has 
appeared ; but 1 have looked in vain to find 

* Junius. 

+ Vindication, p. 75. Chapter XV". nearnott 178. 

a cor- 


a Correftion of that paffage; I am almofl: 
perfuaded, that the mifreprefentation of Gen- 
iiadius was riot wilfiil ; but that Mr. Gibbon 
tranfcribing the Greek from the margin of 
Petaviu9, wrote by miftake eu^aoitat for eu- 
^ouuTM. iThis error has now been fo long 
publifhed, that it is fcarcely poffible to fup- 
pofe him ignorant of the charge. He has 
had an opportunity of confeffing and cor- 
reding the mlftake. Yet ftill it keeps its . 
place in th^ a£tavo edition. 

For my own part, having profeifed in the 
following letters to retradt any miftake upon; 
convidtion, I here prefent the reader with ar 
lift of additions and corre£tions, ^yhich I have 
internli?ced with the typographical faults. 



P. 7. I.a.fir p. read pp. N. B. 35, ij. the'txceft 

p. 12^1 375- meanv the corre- g6, 15. The rbader 

fponding pages of the two cdi- 37, 1. fame with 

tions; pp. 9, 79. mean pagei of 42, 8. Aquinas. 

the fecond edition ; and all lingle 44, 1. quotes 

references mean the. fecond cdi. 49, 13. that 

tion, when notice is not given to 51, a. r^e'c 

to the contrary. jb. 9. tit 

g, ig. /or would mi/coalil. ib. 13. tjsTj *!( t5 "»• 

■«», 19. editions. S^t9- Martin, Veritc, p. ITl. 

22, 18. "tHrtf-cee >. ib. n. tic to tv 

«4. ult.y«r £ "«</»>, ib. 14. 16. IV sin 

tS, 8. |re, £t 53, y. Sfta. 

ib. to.Jttlritf ib. 8. cfficiuat ' 

65> 7' 

PR E F A C E. 


£8, 23, 241 clearer. In 

it). Sj« Matthew 

6a, 14. addition 

ib. 15. h 

jb. 17. iif 

x64. penult. MS.) 

7», 16. i* iiirg- tnly fayt that be 
Jaind ELEVEN MSS, vibich bc^ 
langfd to Kitig Henry. For ivz- 
VEN therefore read eight, and 
Hot out the next/etrlencet 

74, 8. .refers, £mlyn, 

75*3' MSS.? 

ib. j. as it may, 

ib. 8r fent them 

78, 7, ayaSn ^nrtie-irxi 

83, zo.jfor pp. read p, 

84, 15. manufcript 
ib. pen. a. a. 
^i,S, Gal. IV. 14, 
ib. 15. 80. XXI. 
ib. 23. IV. 31. 
94, g. where even 
97, >8. it is 

V)8, 4. '/« cala,' 

ib. 6, 7. Brugenfis's editions, 

99, 2o. at laft, 

110,8. P;S7'43- 
133, 22. itTKL 

tia, 17, 18, ig. adds ta Chrl/la 
yefu in the eighth verfe ; which 
IS added in the feventh by the> 
antbor de Trinitate, publifhed, 
together with the writer againil 
Varimadus, by Chifflet. 

147, 6. farther, 

^67> 171 18. Mark IV. g, &c. a great 
number of MSS. adds it inMati)i. 
XIII. 23. XXV. 30. Luke 

182, 6. Add as a rate : BengeliuSj 
who fays on Apoc. XIII. j. that 
Ufcan prints his additions \p a 
difiirrent charafler, millook the 
edition of 1698 for Ufcan's. 

188, 16. My memtry has here grifsly 
deceived me. Sor meant to print 
read printed, and btot out the note, 

igo, 14. fcripture? 

S18, 12. adds And Mr.Grielbach 
informs us. Symbol. Crit. p. 225. 
that the French King's M.S. No. - 
60. reads, mH A t^t "f' If t^T^. 
the precife words quoted in tl>e 

223, 6. add, this Mote: From this 
place to 1. 17, except the paren- 
^the{(S, the Emperor Jullin II. has 
ftolen word for word in his epif- 
tle to all the Cfarillians in the 
Vorld; and towards the end of 
the epillle employs almoii the 
very words of the parenthefis. 
Evagrius Hift. Ecdef. V. 4. p. 

229. 5. in the epillle for 

ib. 11. Inftcad oifpuriaus I ought 
rather to have inA. Interpolated. 
The words licet camalUer et -uiji- 
iiliter corporis et/anguiais Chrijil. 
facramentum dentibus premant are 
rejeScd by all the MSS. (a'bout 
twenty) that have been collated 
by the Lauvain and the Paris edi- 
tors. Augufiine, Traft. in Joann. 
XXVI. near the end. 
' B36. Note +. Combefs, Grate. Patr. 
Au6ar. Noviff. PartH. p. 215," 

272, 7. On tie word Father* add 
this note : * How eafily this.mighc 
happen, will appearfrom the fol- 
lowing pafTage of Epiphanius, 
Hacr. LXVI. 69. p.69i...OiSsic 

i| n Ta, ftailA. Keu sT^ Kuplo^ Iha-Que 
Xfifif, h' oi Tat itiila,, >uti h miifta 
7fl a^iov, Jv auTa vivlttf ael oSa-a. h - 

275. note §. Haref. XXX. 30. p. 

192, 1 g. Read, for the fake ofclear- 
tiefs, happened to authors. 

293, 7. dele a 

,301, 26. Add this note on " montefji' 
*yim;" • I follow Markland's 
emendation, which Mr.Heyne has 
tnifreprefented. He imputes to 
Markland an abfurd reading, moif 
tefq; feras, jtl-aafque, and con- 
demns the emendation for its 
aukward arrangement of the 
mourners, in putting the wild 
beaflsbetween the mountains and 
woods. I mention this oyerfight, 
merely to llrengthen an opinion, 
which I have long entertained, 
and Ihallalways refolutelydefend. 
That am. men A;tx liable 


gigj J. yfoold have been. * 

c 31S. 



1116 «*ft*;otev€n /«/4c/a*M; th« author 9! which 

322, II, 14; Pricftley borrow* the fubflanoe of gregt 

144 for r,±s- for I ill''"' "o prorf h P»" °^ '''<= '^^"^ book, with ad- 

^ej, after Rom. VIII. 16. adii ditions,trahrpolBaons,an<i.aUera- 

Comparealfo the nineteenth chap- tionsj but he too ia flfcnfupon 

ter of the firft book. And on the the text, of the. ihrco heavenly 

eniof thifttritgrttfh add thli note t witneffes. 

InS/cMOKi/'s works, Vol.1, p.377 ' 354, 17. fifth". 

—^400. is an anonymous treatife, 381, 1 j. or by chariee. 


If I difcover any frelh ihiftakes, I fliall be 
happy to have an early opportunity of cor- 
refting them. I flipuld be extremely obliged 
to the candour or curiofity of the public, if 
they would give me this opportunity by call- ^ 
ing for a fecond edition. On that joyful oC- 
cafion, I engage to amend all the errors de- 
te£ted in this book, either by myfelf or others. 
Nor will I Wot out the traces of thef©, errors, 
as if I was afhartied of the common lot of 
authorfliip, but let them remain, and fubj<)in 
to each a cqireOimg note. This will, 1 think, 
be the futeft pledge gf the innocence of my 
intentions, if any of my miftakes "fhould 
chance to wear a fufpicious appearance. With 
refped to a public confeffipn of error, I.fhould 
think i.t a duty, and not a merit, if | did 
not fee how reluftantly and ungracefuil:^^ 
moft men fubmit to it. . My exainpie- there- 
fore may perhaps contluce' to the inftruai'oh 



of younger or more bafhful authors, whom 
the dread of a rpfcaiitation, natural in the 
outfet of a literary career, might tempt to 
dangerous and diflioneft concealments. I 
fliould rejoice to be able to add, that my 
■example may conduce to the inftiu£tion of 
pofterity, if I were not too well acquainted 
with the weaknefs both of my own and my 
adverfaries abilities, to nourlflvfo groundlefy 
an hope. Mr. Travis and I may addrefs our 
letters to pofterity ; but they 'will never be de- 
livered according to the direSHon. 

c a CON- 


L E T T E a I. 

Of Mr. 7ravis*s candour in correBiing hh 
miflakes. In/iances in what he fays of 
Erdfmus, of the, Dublin, MS, and of 
Bede. Page i — 15 

Letter II, 

Of Vall(Cs Greek.MSS. fuppofed to contain the 
difputed verfe, i John F. 7, ^6 — 40 

Letter III. 

Of the Complutenfian edition, 41 — S3 


xxxviii CONTENTS. 

Letter IV. 

Of the MSS. ufed hy.R. Stephens and Be%a. 

54— roo 

Lett e'R V. 

Of the MSS. fuppofed to befeen by the Louvain 
divines, vf the Dublin ■ and BerJih~^ copies'. 
An enumeration of all the Greek MSS. that 
emit the vetfe. i loi — 135 

Letter VI. 
€)f the Ful^ate Latin verjion. i ^6 — - 1 5 6 

Letter VII. 
Of the Syriae and Coptic verfms. 1 5 7 — 177 

Letter VIII. • 

Of the Arabic, Mthiopic, Armenian, and Sla- 
vonic verfons. 178 — 208 

L E T- 

CONTENTS. xxxix 

Letter IX. 

Of the Greek writers that are quoted in favour 
of the verfe, ■ 209—238 

Letter X. 

Of the Latin writers before Jerome that are 
quoted in favour of the verfe. 239 — 282 

Letter XI. 

Of the later Latin writers that are quoted in 
favour of the verfe. 283 — ^362 

Letter XII. 

Of the Greek and Latin writers^ who, though 
they had fufficient occajion, have not quoted 
the verfe. Recapitulation and condufion. 



the Rev' Mr. TRAFI S. 

L E T 1: E R I. 

J. A M of the fame opinion with yoUf friend 
Eblanenfis * upon the paffage quoted from 
Gennadius by Mr. Gibbon (which Mr. Davis f 
mentioned before you) and I think that Mr. 
Gibbon is bound in honour to retra£t and 
amend that fentence of his hiftory. I alfo 
think that Mr. Travis's book is a compofition 
Jcarcely to be parallelled in am age, but not for 

• Gentleman's Magazine for Augiift 1788, p. 701. \ 
f Gentleman's Mag. 1782, p. iSi. 1784. p. 4i9< 

B thofe 

[ - 1 

iho(e qualities which EliknenfiS fuppofe^ 
For, in my judgment, the character whiefe 
you give of Dr. Berilbn''s differtation (p. 98^ 
221) will much better fijit your own book; that 
*' for intrepidity of affertion, difingenuoufnefs 
of quotation, and defedivenefs of conclufion, 
it has'nb equal, ^ftands aloof heydnd "atl pa- 
rallel, as far as my reading extends, either 
in ancient or modern times !"' 

Since this queftion, after having been I^g 
decided, is now revived, I mean to trouble 
you with rfome'animadverfions- on -your ma- 
nagement of the controverfy. But firft let me 
pay a juft tribute of pra'ife to your candid 
and ingenuous temper. You had got a con- 
ceit into your head, that Erafmus <lid list 
publifh Valla's Commentary before 1516 ; 
and, in confequence of this blunder, went 
"on to charge Era<mus with a wilful fup-- 
iprfeffion of the truth. Can a man, who writes 
•of others at this rate, expeft any tfendet^nefs 
•for his own errors? When you found out, 
what you ought to have known long before, 
that Erafmus did publifh Valla in 1505, you 
omitted the paffages in your book which con- 
tfttdided that faa, but without iriaking'the 


I 3 ] 

fii^vhteft apology for this fhameful treatment 
of Erafmiis. On the coutrary, you labour 
to bring frefti proof of that argh-heretie's ro- 
guery. For it is a maxim iwith you, Sir, that 
all Arians are wholly poflefled by the. devil, 
and that it is impoffible for them to quote fa^- 
ly, to argue candidly, and to /peak truly, (p. 127^ 
374.) While the orthodox may fay what 
they pleafe, and their bare word is taken 
without farther enquiry ; nay, even Ame- 
lotte's tefiimony was urged as an argument 
in the firft edition, but omitted in the fecond, 
at the defire perfiaps of fome cautious friend, 
who feared it wpuld he too barefaced an in- 
fult upon any tolerably wjell-informed reader. 
In the 17th page of your fecond edition yoa 
tell us, that you have .omitted Amelotte's 
teftimony, ibut beiug loth to give him up 
entirely, you add, "the deduiStiotis from the 
whole of this accufation and defence, feem 
to be greatly in favour of Amelotte." You, 
Sir,'Mame Erafmus, ^.147. for giving up th 
emt^. in ,a -^moji unchearful and dijingenuous man^ 
mr. If Erafmus were .now alive, . he might 
f (etoit the acculation with tenfolH force .againfl 
Ms'accufer. But to return, rlu.the fifth page 

B 3 of 

[ 4 J 

of the preface to your fecond editiott, yoti 
confefs your miftake about the time tvhen 
Erafmus publiflied Valla's collafion ; but, at 
the fame time, you would fain make us be- 
lieve that you kneW of its being publifhed iii 
1505, though not of its being publiflied by 
Erafmus. You talk of the only editlon-^'m 
1505, which is, perhaps, to be found in England 
(if not in Europe.) What do you mean by 
the only edition in 1505 ? There never was but 
one edition in 1505. But if you mean copy, 
you might have fpared your parenthefis, and 
cor reeled your miftakes by looking into 
Wetfteiu's Prolegomena, p. 55 ; who informs 
us,' that he ufed a copy of that very edition. 
I intend. Sir, in due time, to produce other 
proofs that you have never , read through 
Wetfteiu's Prolegomena (whether from idle- 
nefs, or/fear of being infefted with the poifon 
of Arianifm, I leave to the confideration of 
others) ; at prefent I ihall content myfelf 
with one iuftance, that will ferve to fhew the 
extent and accuracy of your reading. You? 
predeceiibr Martin in his defence of the fpu- 
ripus verfe, i John, v. 7, had mlftaken the 
date of Mark's GofpeLfor the date .of the MS: 


[ 5 ] 

itfelf, thus turning years in centuries (pcf '='"") 
^nd "St. Mark into the traufcriber, as Wetfteiii 
expreffes it, Prol. p. 52. You copied this 
ridiculous blunder (errorem valde ridiculum, 
Wetstein), which Sofipater expqfed: in his 
remarks *. Now let the reader, fee with what 
grace a candid man retrafts.his error. Ed. 2. 
p.. J58. "The words rpfpe£ling the date 
of this MS. which were copied from it in the 
former edition of thefe letters', are here omit- 
ted ; becaufe they nury f be applied, to the 
time when St. Mark's Gofpel itfelf was ori- 
gmallywritten." Diffideut creature ! you feem 
indeed fti.ll to retain your former opinion, 
but will not pofitively aflert that the words 
admit no other conftrudipn. I (incerely cont- 
gratulate you on this acceiiion of knowledge, 
and confequently- of modefty. I hope that 
in the next edition of your book you will be 
fartljer enlightened, fo as to perceive that 
the words in queftion can poffibly mean iiQf 

* Commentaries and Eflays, Vol. I. p. 525. 

I Ay, - upon proof pojitive, it muji : but upon proof 
prefumptwe,.\t only may ; that's^ logical diftinftion, Mgr. 
(}a{ti. JVittvoud^ in Congreve's Way of the World. 

B 3 ^h^^§,. 

[ 6 ] 

{h'ffig but the time" wheri the gofp&l was firrt 
written by the evangelift. I hope too, that 
you will then have acquired' a little rij'ore 
charity than you poflefs at prefent ; and thatj 
from the recolleftion of ydur oWn blunders, 
you will find fome fofter names for the frif- 
Ihi^ flips of your adverfaries, than "wdHt of 
lifiowledge, or Want of integrity (p. 39, 79O' 

*' But why," you will fay, " Attack with 
fuch violence errors which the author himf^f 
has c6rre'£i:ed in a fubfequent edition? why 
reproach a man with his fins after he has re-* 
pented of them ?" Certainly, Sir, this w6uld 
be unfair treatment, if ydu had redly and 
fincerely repented of them. 5ut repentance, 
I think, is never reckoned fufRcient without 
reparation. And what reparation have you 
inade ? You pubhlh letters to Mr. Gibbon, 
in which Erafmus, Dr. Benfon, la Groze, 
Simon, Bovs'yer^ and Mr. Gibbdn himfelfi 
are frequently taxed, in the plainfeft term?, 
with ignorance or diflione%. In a queftion 
that branches itfelf out into fo many mitiute 
)5attlculars, it is difficult for the moft cautidu? 
pr fagacious critic td fteer clear df all miftakes. 
He might hope, however, in cafe of error, for 

a milder 

•[ 7 3 

a. HjUdgr altero^tive (ojc, if you ^h^fr^, t'Wf^ 
milder <?%«^^5^«, p. 9, 79, 80, 143, ^zs* 
3263 tb.aii.\yhat, yp^u, Sir, ^a,ve thought fit tq 
grant thyafo, unhappy men. Pid i^ ij^ver ocr 
<;ur to yoy, while, you were revifing your owa 
vyork, and correfling fo^iie ojf the moil nor 
tpri9y,s errors, that it w;as po^ble for the of- 
fence^, F.liich you punifli in, others with fucR 
fe^ed.ty, to be {hf mere offspring of inadver- 
t^jjce and ^ijjcpan infirmity ? For hafle you 
^pijJ4. b^rdfef admit as a good excufe ; at leaft 
YQu igen^ \(x ^laye ^ifqlaimed this plea for 
youjrfelf, p. 127, ^75, though your friend 
!p.b.laq^^n|(is. i;s not a^^med to make this 
wretched ^pp^ogy for you. Would ypu b@ 
content t(a(,h^^e thefe miftakes urged againfl 
you as arguments of your own wcint. of know* 
fedggi ox want of inUgrity f And why ^ould 
you think lefs favoural^ly of others, unjefs 
plain proof appears to the contrary \ As tp 
your correfting your errors upon du^ notice 
and convi<3:ion, / would applaud you to the very 
echo, th(t^ fhould applaud ^galn^ but not with: 
out iniijfting on two conditions ; i. That' you , 
(hpvild fairly, withqi^t Ruffling or prevaricat- 
fngi recant } 2, That you ^Ihould, in errors 
'S 4 ®^ 

[ -8 1 • 

of 'iny momeu^, give a feparate fet of addi- 
tions and corfedions for the ufe of the pur- 
chafers, of the former edition. For whoever 
reads the former without the latter, which is 
likely enough to happen, will be as liable td 
believe andfpread its errors, as'if the' lattet 
had never been publifhed. Till thefe condi- 
tions are' fulfilled, .1 Ihall look upon myfelf a4 
fully authdrized to cenfvTre the faults of fhe 
firft edition, whether they be corrected in the 
fecvind or not. That one of thefe 'conditions 
has not. been' fulfilled, is plain to every bbdy. 
That the other has not, I think' will Se plains 
jpartly from what I have already fald, and 
partly from what I am going to fay. 

■^You confidently SfBrra, 'in '^'e preface 
to your fecond edition, that the errtrs there 
raentioned do. Not at all c^eSl the' gnat quef- 
zlon. The oppofers of the 'doubtful text 
had concluded that Bede knew nothing of it, 
becaufe in his comri:ientary upon the fifth 
chapter of the firft Eprftle of John,' he is very 
difFafe upon the fixth and eighth verfes, but 
n-iakes nt) nlentlon of the fdventh. ^'No !" ex- 
claim j^^bii boldly without underftandirig a 
fy ll^ble^ of the matte>,- "tiheymight as well 


C 9 ] 

argtie, that Bede knew nothing of John VIII. 
^2, 54. A(Ss II. 12 — 22. Rom. I. 20 — 22. 
becaule he makes no mention of fuch paf- 
fages in his Commentary." This remark and 
thefe citations are fuppreffed in the fecond 
edition : in the preface to which you fay^ if 
I take your meaning rightly, that this error 
arofe from trufting implicitly to the infor- 
ihatioh'of others. Now I would fain know 
two things : i . Upon whole information you 
made the aflertion ', 2. If you took it from 
Martin, as I fufpe£t (Diff. Part. 2. c. 5. p-. 
196.) how it came to pafs that you changed 
I Pet. to JRom. Martin quotes, for examples 
of Bede's omiffions, i Pet. I. 20 — 22. yobn 
VIII. §2, 54. ^^s II, ver/es 12 ei les fuhants 
jujq'au 23.) Suppofing this remark to be true, 
it might, perhaps, feem plaufible enough to 
fay, that nothing would be prefumed againft 
any particular verfe from Bede's- filence, be- 
caufe he has omitted many other paflagesj 
which yet all critics believe to be genuine. 
But if the premifes be withdrawn, what be- 
c6mes of the conelufion ? Did you mean to 
prove any thing when you niade this obfer^ 
' yation ? If you meant it for a proof, furely 


your main argutment myfl:./ be weakened in 
proportion t.o the weight .tl^titijch a. proof 
would have had* i-f the; fa<^?,; on which it is 
grounded, were admitted* Still I agree, that 
the 4xpu^mt of thefe errors. y6^i nof. mfi^kd^or 
impaired your argumeaf. And, while I axa; in 
the generousr humour of making conceffionsi 
J, will farther allow, . rfiat tia^ caufe which 
you haye efpoufed would have been in fi^iL a^ 
good a fituation, ;f you had :never written, ift 
^s defence. When firft I ij^aid your |jre;^e, 
I thpught that, not having;]^^d?*s Works in 
your ,pofleffion, you had en%uIiFed of for^e 
perfon at Ojcford, (perhaps the. fame whci 
gave you fo exajSt an account of t)i^ only edi- 
iion of Valla) and that thiis perfopt had iedi yo% 
into the miftake. But being now convinced 
that you took your citations ixoax^ Martin, 
I would gladly learn, why you exprefled 
yourfelf in fuch vague term-s as, " tlie other 
jmiftake arofe in the fame manner." Wh^ 
did you not father fay, " the other rnift^f 
J copied from Maiptia." I think I cap g^f^ 
the reaibn of this managenjent,- Suqh a cqiit 
feffion would have fliewn you to h^ a fervile 
gopier, a. Ww4 follQWsr gf the hlia4,;and 


r «i ] 

Vii'ourd have dpawn up6n you the fam* cen- 
iifte' tfe^t ^'CrtPhaVe pal&d upon Dr. Benfon, 
p. 56, iig. If ^ou demand, and certainly 
you have a right to demand, why I infihuatfe 
fo injurious a fufpicion, I fhall at prefent 
refer ytW to ^ges 13 ah'd 76 of your former 
■gditisni. (Seo hereafter. Letter V,y If you 
afe flot fallsfi«d with this anfwer, I promife 
to gi>^ ym fome additioiiab reafons for niy 
Opinion, befoit L end my remarks upon you. 

Anothef diftinguiftiing quality of your, ex- 
ttiaoirdiliaPy compofition is what the bafe vulgal: 
would eall cantiiig. For inftance: " Theo- 
** dore Be:&a, whoft erudition and piety* 

_ * His piety was fo fetvent, that an inftapce or two of 
Jt may not be araifs. He wrote a book to prove, that he- 
retics may jjilitly be punifhed with de^th. It is well known 
that ^erV^tus Wa's grieVoufly affliSed wfth that peftilentml 
difbrdfer^ herefy . Calvin prefcrfbed roafiing by a flow fire, 
as an «ffe9ual oirei which was accordingly tried, but the 
ftatient unluckily hq>pened to die in the operation. Beza, 
fpeaking of this accident. In a note on 2 Pet. I. 4. face- 
tioufly aifdis, " and yet' there arefopae who think the good 
nian forfboth wis vel-y ill ufed." Emlyn indeed, Vol. II. 
]).'253» is pleafed to complain df this as a cruel fcdfF, but 
lie hafd no tafte for raillery. I mufl'own, to the difgrace 
pf piety and orthodoxy, that 3?z^ QmjWed this ientence in 
^is latter ecfition;, 

*^ 4id 

," did honour to the agej-.&c:" p. 6. ":Th© 
*:' celebrated,. Durandus,"jp, 40. " iCfcis ce- 
^' lebrated comqientator" (WalafridrStaabo) 
p. 23. " The good Eucherius ■ — "there 
*' was not a bifhopmQre. revered, for- tlearn- 
*' ing and piety."- " The pious Jerome," p. 
32. *' This holy "martyr" (Cyprian); p. -3 7. 
** Jerome fpeaks in thefe glowing terms" 
(glowing (indeed I.) "Qui fic non ^credit, 
", alienus a Chrifto eft," p. 108. ; But 
jenbugh of this drudgery. Neither fhall I 
•take any notice of-your cqnfufed manner of 
stating the objeftions of the adverfaries. ' 0ne 
thing ought tp^be recorded, to, the honour of 
your diligence and learning, that at firft yon 
"^either knew not or entirely negle£led, New- 
ton, De Miffy Srid Griefbach, and very rarei 
ly confulted Emlyn', Bengeliqs, afid W^tftein. 
In your fecond edition, p. 17, you tell us^ 
that you are indebted for the knowledge of 
De Mifly toMaty's Review. Ifhall not expedt 
the reader to believe, but upon the teftimony 
of his own eyes^' that in Mr. Gibbqn's note 
upon the very paffage of his hiftory, which 
gave occafion to Mr." Travis to expofe him- 
ie^f in print, there is ^n a,ccurate reference 


[ ^3 ] 

to De Mifly ; nor (hall I exped Inm to bq* 
lieve, but upon the fame teftlmony, thaE 
you, Sir, haVe favoured us with that felf- 
feme. note In p. 367. But you feeni to have 
too high a Kpirit to receive inftrudlion from 
aq enemy; I fhall leave you, for this time, 
with the following dilemma. If you have 
r^ad through De Mifly 's. Letters in the Journal 
Britannique, either your fenle or your ho- 
nefty is in imminent danger : your fenfe, 
that you have not feen caufe to make more 
alterations in your book; your honefty, that 
having feen caufe, you have fuffered the ob- 
noxious paflages, to remain unaltered. But if 
you have not yet read through De Mifly's Let- 
ters, I call upon you to juftify your indolence 
to the public ; an indolence, which in any 
writer, who afpires' to the chara£i:er of a 
patient ^nd impartial iuveftigator, (p. ,375^ 
amounts to a crirninal inattention. Sed haec 
fuer'it fiobis, tanquam kvis armatur^e^ prima 
erathnh excwjio; nunc commmus ^agamus, expe-. 
riamurque, Ji pffimus corma commovere dihuiU'^ 
tlom tua. 

. PoSTSCpiETi, 

1 14 H 


EUTPHCA! What I ■defpaired -of ^ndang, 
fchance at laft threw in -njy - way. Ma«»y 
fl^eplefs nights ^d I pafs ia ©ndgavour- 
ing to -MJc&ver -why Mr. Tr«v-is, in -cevpy* 
ing Martin, fhould change i P*^. into ^o^» 
Bat looiki^g into the Engli0i tran^-atlon of 
Martial's book, I faw the reafoa of 'the 
miftake. The tranflator, f. id'S, an^ead 
elf faying St. Peter'-s fir/i Epi^k, fiiys, St* 
VavtVs _fir/i E^iftle. Mr. Travis foKdly Tt^feh- 
ed, that St. Paul's firft Epiftle was in iOinf 
Teftameiyts the Epiftle to the Romans-; fet 
it -down without farther enquiry, and 'fulfilled 
the old adage by robbing Peter to, giv^e to 
Paul. - Are Bede's Works (lo very fcarce or 
expeiifive, that they were inaeeeffible to Mr* 
Travis ? Had lie no correfpondent at'Cam- 
bridge or Oxford to examine them for him'? 
Gr could not *' the (where merit is pre- 
eminently confpicuous, eptthets ^ve needlefe) 
** pRfitATE, to w^hom Mr. Travis's work -is 
*' humbly infcribed," p. 357, lend Bina ^a 
copy ? Gentle reader, admire this patient 
gnd .mpantidl inve/tigafor, who takes a quo- 

tation at fecond-hand, and that he may 
enjoy every poffible opportunity of blunder- 
ing, confults even the copy of a copy. 
Thus in liis firft edition, p. 76. he quotes 
avTEXaspev for dye\oi{icvf a mere typographical 
error in the Etiglifh tranflatlon of JWfertin. 
To the fame caufe are owing the quotatiqii 
and refer&nce, both inaccurate, p. 74, 1 64. 

-N. B. See Vindex's remark upan the 
forlrie^r -part of this letter, in'the preface, ot 
ill* the 'Gentleman's ' Magazine for January, 

I7IS9, p. 12'. 

t i6 3 


^ I R, 

I HEREBY give noticci once for all, 
-to you and my readers, that I pretend not 
^to produce any new arguments upon fb 
beaten a topic as I have chofen. It will be 
enough for me, if I can colie£l what is fcatter- 
ed through many works ; dtfpofe in a better 
order, or fet in a clearer light, what others 
have written; fo that thofe who want 
leifure or courage to wade through the 
whole controverly may form fome general 
notion of' the difpute, without the labour 
of collefting and comparing a multitude of 
polemical authors, or, the danger of bping 
mifled by the hardy aifertions of a partial 
and fophiftlcal declaimer. Perhaps, after this 
confeflion, I ftiall be thought to ftand ia 
need of fome excufe. I (hall therefore (helter 
myfeif under the example of Mr. Travis, 
who has himfelf condefcended to pick up the 


[ n ] 

blunted weapons that poor Martin wielded 
without fuccelsj.and to brandifh them a'gainft 
the Philiftines, As the or^hpdox ' aife n^er 
weary of repeating the faine'ljaffled and ex- 
ploded reafons, we heretics rntift never be 
weary of anfwering them.'' For filehcei as I 
learn from yoti. Sir, .'p. ^.(69-, is " a proof of 
eonfcious impotence. I oiice thought that it 
might fometimes proceed' from coritenipt*. 
But left ybii Ihould be wife in your own con- 
ceit, you Ihall be anfwered. I cair myfelf 
an heretic, becaufe \ know that the diftielief 
of the authenticity of thi^s text is the Shib- 
boleth of the party ; and' that it would be 
equally abfurd and frui'tlefs, after llKe rafh 
and unguarded opinion that I have advanced, 

* Vindex alfo, ' with whom I have not the pleafure of 
being acquainted, in the Gent. Mag. 1789, p. 12, atlrlbotes 
Mr. Gibbon's inattention, with great juflice, in my opirfion, 
to contempt.. In anfwer to Vindex's note, I would * ad- 
vife him in a whifper, to temper liis zeal with a fittle know- 
ledge and difcrefion. * I muft fell liini at the "ftme timie, 
that they?r/i?am,'^wh'idh he ob%ingIy calls /«*/*, -did not 
profefe'to enter inta the merits of; the caufe; but only ta 
convitS): Mr. Travis of' ignorance and" jM-ev-arication : in 
which, if I am not mifinformed, they have had fome 
(uQcefs, '" 

C to 


[ i8 ] 

to make any proteftations of innocence. 
*' It were to be wifhed," fays Martin, 
*' that this ftrange opinion had never 
** quitted the Arians or Socinians; but we 
have the grief to fee it pafs from them to 
fome Chriftians, who thotigh content to 
retain the do£trine of the trinity, abandon 
this fine paffage, where that holy doftrine 
is fo clearly taught. 'They have, however, 
*' fhe^ misfortune to find thernfelves confounded 
*' 'wHh ihefecrei enemies of the dpSirine." In 
vain may Simon, La Croze, . Michaelis, and 
Griefbach, declare their belief of the do£lrine ; 
they muft defend it in the catholic manner, 
and with the catholic texts:' nor is all this 
enough ; but in defending the genuinenefs of 
a particular text, they muft ufe every one of 
the fame arguments that have already been 
tjfed, without reje61:ing, any upon the idle 
pretence that they are falfe or trifling. I 
pity Bengelius, He had * the weaknefs 
(whicb,fbols call candour) to rejed fome of 
the arguments that had been employed in 
defence'of this celebrated verfe, and brought 
\]pou himfelf a fevere but juft rebuke from 




[ '9 ] 

an oppofer of De Mifly * (Joiira. Brk. X. ] 
133) ; where he is ranked with thofe, " wh 
under pretext of defending the three he! 
venly witneffes with moderation, defer 
them fo gently, that a fufpicious read( 
might doubt whether they defended thei 
in earneft ; though God forbid that nvejhou 
•wijh to injimate any fufpicion of Mr. Beng 
lius's orthodoxy." You fee. Sir, what a mi 
take I have made in taking my fide . of tl: 
queftion. But there is no help ; it is too la 
to recant. Fortem hoc animum tolerare jubel 
et quondam majora iuli. I wifh your frier 
Eblanenfis had favoured us with the nam 
of thofe eminent men who are convinced I 
the extenfive learning and clofe reafoning f 
which your work is {6 remarkable. Th* 
rauft have been candid pcribns, and extreme 

* De Mifly's fate too has been fomewhat hard. 1 
was bdld enough to attack Amelotte's veracity and M: 
tin's underilanding. This provoked a neft of home 
Four anonymous writers fell upon him ; three with p( 
fonal abufej the fourth (who is here quoted) with a 
%nity under the mafk of moderation. 

g a op 

[ 20 ] 

open' ,tb conviftion. * I will mention 
ihariy as I can recoileca at prefent, who ha^ 
publicly declared themfelves on your fide 
Biftio^s Horfley arid Seabury, Bamptoni; 
Leauref s'y Dr. Ci<5ff, a^d Mr. Hawkins i 
arid laftly, Sir, our * good mbther pays 
due refpedt to the rnerit of her Ion. For 
arS credibly informed, that on the 30th ( 
NoA^isrtiber 1 788', at Great St. Mary's Churcl 
Cambridge, the Rev. Mr. Coulthurft told 

* The excellent Dr. Wateriand being corapliinenti 
by Whifton andEttilyn (feeEmlyn, Vol. II. p. 236.) f 
his impartiality in not infiiltng upon this text, thought pn 
per in his "Importance of theDodJrineof the Trinity, 
p. 271, to be convinced by Twells tliat it was genuine. [I 
I mean to acknowledge a mirtalce or to fapply a defei 
Whenever I pferceive it, I think it neceflary to obferve, th 
the foregoing hote contains the truth indeed, but not tl 

• - - 

whole truth. For 1 have fiiice learned that Dr. Wate 
land had declared himfelf in favour of the fpurious ver 
in the year 17^3, but in a more guarded and dpubtf 

t To *.hefe I ought perhaps to a'dd the atliinynTOU^ ai 
thor of « A Summary of the moft irttereffing EvideiK 
on a mbft. important TVySl," who calls Mr, Travis 
book, p. 9. zmafterphte ifWUfariihg attd corhfofttim, Bi 
whether he be in jeft or eameft, depends upon a previ 
bus^ueftion. ■ : 

" brilliar 

brillKUJt and crowded, as well as a learne 
audience, that " the authenticity of i. John ^ 
% has been clearly and fubftantinlly eftablid 
ed." When Eblanenfis (hall be pleafed i 
increafe this lift with the names of' his cot 
verts nf tJye firfi eminence^ they will all t( 
gather compofe a very amiable fet, and ei 
tirely free from ^ bigotry. And now, Sir, 
compliments being pafled, I (hall begin upc 

Mr. Gibbon affirmed in that fentenc 
upon which' Mr. Travis has written a lop 
commentary, that the memorable text oftt 
three heavenly witnefTes is condemned t 
irhe (ilence of Greek MS^. of verfions, and i 
fathers. In a note, he, explains liis fent 
ments more openly with refpeft to the Grei 
MSS. and the origin of the verfe in our pr 
fent edition. A Writer in the Gentleman 
Magazine (Nov. .1782, p. 521} to whorayc 
yourfelf referred iii your firft edition, p. 3 
fufficiently juftified Mr, ;Gibbon , upon tl 
fubjeft of the ofFenfive note. Since the e: 
temal authority of any text in fcripture 
founded on the concurrence of ancient MS 
of aiiciejit veriions, and citations x>i ancie 
C 3 , writer 

L ,22 ] 

writers, it will readily be granted; that wher 
ever any of thefe three- pillars of evidence 
withdrawn or weakened, the fuperftruftu 
which they were intended to fupport, mv 
totter of courfe ; and that if all three be ui 
found, it muft be in great danger of ft 



Let us then enquire into the Greek MS 
iuppofed to contain the difputed verfe. Yo 
Sir, reckon up feven belonging to Vail 
one to Erafmus, fome (you * are {o modei 
you will not fay, p. 280, how many) to tl 
Complutenfian editors, lixteen to Robe 
Stephens, and fome that the Louvain d 
vines had feen. You afterwards make;, 
282 — 5, a very pretty calculation (foryc 
are an excellent arithmetician) and find tha 
thirty-one [MSS.] out of eighty-one, or (moi 
than) three out of eight, or (nearly) one hai 
of that WHOLE number\^ — adtually did ej 
hibit, or do exhibit, the verfe i John, "\ 
7!" Inquifitlve people will fay, how haj 
pens it that none of thefe MSS. now n 
main, except the Dublin copy, which Wei 
ftein is fo cruel as to attribute to the fij 
teenth century; for concerning tlie Berli 


L 23 J 

MS. they will, I fear, rather chufe to belie\ 
La <^roze and Griefljach than Martin arid M 
Travis. But the anfwer is eafy. The 
are loft. Either they have been burned, ^ 
have been eaten by the worms, or bet 
gnawed in pieces by the rats, or been rott< 
with the damps, or been deftroyed by tho 
peftilent fellows the Arians ; which w 
very feafible ; for they had only to get ini 
their power all the MSS. of the New Te 
tament in the worlds and to mutilate or d 
ftrpy thofe which contained un des plus_ heai 
paffages dans rEcrhure Samte^. Or, if a 
thefe poffibilities fliould fail, the devil 'm£ 
play his part in the drama to great advai 
tage. For it is a fa£t of which Beza poj 
tively affures us, that the devil ha;s been tan 
pering with the text, i Tim. III. 1 6 ; ar 
that Erafmus lent him an helping hani 
Beza indeed, being a man btimful of cai 
^3our, fubjoins, that he believes Erafmus a 
i^&di Satan unwittingly t. This perha] 

* Martin. 

f A diabolo depravatum : cui fane hac in parte (dica 
fcnim libere qi|od res eft} fuam operam impruden; quidc 

[ H ] 

tnzy be fome excufe for Erafmus. But what 
hopes of falvation are left for your Wetfteins, 
your Grie{bachs, your Sofipaters, who have 
the front to perfift in their damnable errors ; 
the two fiirft in fpite of 350 pages of Berri- 
man, the other In fpite of 400 of Mr. Travis. 
After all, I rather prefer the fuppofition that 
the Arians deftroyed the fald MSS. becaufe it 
fhews the orthodox in fo fuperior a light ; 
who have not, to my knowledge at leafl-, 
deftroyed a fingle MS. that omitted their 
darling text, while the Arians, In lefs than 
a century and half, fuppreffed, thirty that 
-contained It. Yet Ipt us hear what may be 
fald in their favour ; not out of tendernefs to 
them (they deferve no mercy) but merely 
for our own juflificatlon. 

The earlieft collator of Greek MSS. of the 
New Teftament was Laurentius Valla, who 
had feven, according toyou, Sir, p. 18. For 
this, p. 144, you quote his note on John yil. 
29, where It feems. Valla " pofitively af- 

(Jic enim arbitror) fed fuam operam tamen Erafmus com- 
modavit. InBeza's ^r{^ edition it is. sic, enim malo 
ARBiTRARi. Lentor et melior fis acce^nte JeneSta ! See 
above, Letter I. p. 5, note. 


C '^5 ] 

firms*' It. -I can fee no /i^//i>^«^ m Valf; 

expreffion; however, it Is a word- of . e^cee 

ifi'g good Command, and is of great ufe elj 

where, as in'njj, iy$pi4.yy i8o, 296. B 

■I fee'a'great deal f of pojiftvenefs in the atfd 

tioh, that this pelage was found in all Fati, 

M^S. and is •commented ' upon'^ by htm,, p. 1 

Valla's words are, \Et hi ires unum fui 

Gr^cs eji,' ET hi tres in unUm^sunt, «i? tc 

£iVj. Now, Sir, point but, if you can, a finj 

Greek MS.' in which the' feventh^'verfe'' 

thus read. ' (I except the Cbmplutenfiart i 

vifibles.) 'Explain why R. Stiephfins's fixte 

"MSS.'fltould, according to yoXir 6Wii hy^ 

thefiSj'all'agree in' the other rfea'ding, '^?lfl 

is now ''adopted for text fe^cdmrndn'Con'ffe 

One very notable circuniffdnce in the cfdjp 

is, that they are fuch gregarious attittiE 

AH Vafla's^MSS. agree" in' ha\^iHg 'iH M 

' iU T9 fi/ 'tis-EJo-jK, in theTeventh' Vdrf^ ; aftd 

the Cortipluterifian 'agree 'with' tKfem in d 

' Variation,' and* with one ahbther,' as V^elt 

with theTJublin copyj Tin oniittiBg the'fii 

. claufe of the eighth verfe. . Seven of 

. Stephens s MSS. omit the words « rm oupai 

and the other nine, if we may believe a 


t »« ] 

Travis, for Martin is not quite fa.fanguin 
correfpond with the received i-eading. ^ 
the reft of the Greek MSS. which, if I hai 
counted right, amount to ninety- feven ' 
ancient and modern, oriental and Occidents 
good, bad, and indifferent, do with oneco] 
lent, wholly omit the feventh verfe, and tl 
words " TJirynr of the eighth. , You have fa 
I know, p. 339, that the words « r^ryjir feei 
to have been omitted in a few copies onl 
But this is a little pious fraud, which is vei 
excufable, when it tends to promote the cau 
of truth and the glory of God. If you thin 
this charge of fraud too fevere, I fhall I 
very happy to feize; the flighteft probabilitii 
that may acquit you of fb odious an imput; 
tion, and fhall acquiefce in the milder acci 
fation of fliameful and enormous ignprauG 
But be this aflertion of yours owing to fran 
or toJgnorance, I defy you to fpecify a fing! 
Greek MS. that omits the feventh verfe, iiD 
retains thefe words. Simon indeed^ mentior 
No. 2247, as having the wordsj h ti{C ynX i h} 

* This muft be uhderftood only of Mr. Grielbach 
lift. See a more exa£): computation at the end of Le 
xaYi ' - 

[ V ] 

it feems to be a miftake committed in tl 
hurry of copying, and to have proceeded froi 
the idea of the vulgar reading, which w: 
then prefent to his mind: i. Becaufe F. I 
Long (Emlyn Vol. II. p. 277.) teftifies, th; 
having looked over all the MSS. quoted b 
Simon, he could find hrtl^yn^ in none < 
them: 2. Becaufe Mr. Griefbach, who h^ 
re-examined the fame MSS. with a partici 
larview to. this paflage, fets down No^ 224; 
as in perfed harmony with the reft, wit! 
out taking notice of any variation. It is,noi 
high time to awake you. Sir, from your naj 
and to inform you, that Valla's note is wri 
ten upon the eighth and not the feventh vejri^ 
This is acknowledged by Martin, wh< 
though a :^mple man, and totally deftitui 
of tafte and criticifm, had yet more leacnio 
and honefty than his humble imitator. Mard 
only argues that Valla had the feventh yer: 
in his Greek copies, becaufe Val^a is quii 
filent. This argument, as every body knowi 
that knows any thing of collations,, is ver 
deceitful ; for in half the collations that evf 
were made, and more efpecially the jiean 
we mount to the revival of letters, the editpi 


[ 28 :] 

and critics confulted their 'MSS. only upon 
difficult places, or where they themfelves 
felt ariy curiofity. And to conclude that 
•Valla or any critic of that age, -had any par- 
ticular text in his MSS. becaufe he does not 
texfirefsly fay that they omitted it, is to pn(h a 
negative afgunvent much farther than it will 
go by its own -ftrength. But I Ihall fpeak 
more fiilly on this head, when I come to 
treat of' R. Stephens's edition. Meflieurs 
Martin and Co. feem at other times to decry 
allnttgdtive arguments ; but that is only when 
the Inference bears hard upon their favourite ; 
Vhen the admiffion of fuch an argument 
liirts 'their purpofe, they are as vigilant in 
feizing it, and as adroit in managing it as 
heart bould wifh. You will fay, pp.288, 
313, (foryoU have a fine bold Way of talking) 
*'' that the hi)anaMe tenor* of the eighth verfe 
in the Latin Vulgate is, with fo few excep- 
tions as not to merit notice, in unumfunt ;" 
and confequently that Valla, who quotes 

limply, unumfunVy withdut the prepofitibn, 

■■•v.. ;■; . ■. .'( ;. i;.' 

' * Mr. Travis had the aflurahce to affert this without 
anylimitation, Ed. i. p;Jioo. 


E 29 ] 

from the Latin, mufl mpan the feventh, an4 
not the eighth verfe. I rauft defire you to 
produce a, competent number of aijthorities 
for this invariable tenor. I have feen, I be- 
lieve, as many MSS. of the Latin Vulgate a? 
you. I have compared moft of the editions^ 
printed in the fifteenth centutjy, and ia3,any 
fubfequent to that aera ; particularly fuch ag^ 
have various readings ; I have examised ^h^ 
early French, Italian, and Eriglifli verfions 
(which were ^\\ made from copies of tb% 
Vulgate) and I folcmnly declajre, that I t>a,Ye 
not beeri able to find, even in a ^ngle copy, 
even as a variation, that reading whiel) M-c. 
Travis affirms to be the invariable tenor of the 
eighth verfe. Will he prove it to us f He does 
not attempt it. He trujis to find readers as fuli 
of zeal as himjelf\ and then— no proof will be 


• This decent language is applied to Dr. Benfon, p. 83, 
1S2. I (hall here propofe a conjefture, how Mr. Travis 
fell into this ftrange nvftake. He knew nothing of the 
Latin copies : he fcorned to foil his hands witlj kiufljr 
MSS. and editions; but Mr. Bowyer had faid (falfely 
indeed) that Cyprian has quoted tres in unumfunt; and 


[^ 30 I 

The whole qireftion is reduced to one point. 
"Vafla f^ys nothing of this vferfe in his cbl- 
lation. Is his filehce a good proof that the 
ferfe-was in Kis Greek copies ? 'By no means. 
That exadriefs of collation which is nbwjuft- 
ly thought neceflary, was. Unhappily, never 
atteitfpted by the critics of the fifteenth and 
fixt^rith centuries.' The methbd in which 
Vaik performed his talk was, probably, to, 
chule the MS. that he judged to be the beft,? 
f o read; It . diligently^ and wherever he was 
ft6pp©J by a' difficulty, or was defirous to 
Ictidw hbw the fame paflage was read in other 
Batiii or in the Greek MSS. to have recourf© 

afterVrafds had fuppofed that Cypriart referred to the 
eighth verfe. Mr. Travis feems to have joined thefe pro- 
pofitions together, and thence to have concluded that th^ 
reading of the V^ulgate was in unumfunf, in which opi- 
nion he might perhaps be confirmed by finding it thus 
quoted in the treatife de Baptifmo, annexed to Cyprian's 
works. Part of this treatife Mr. Travis has printed in 
hi» appendix, which part contains the only Latin authoi;ity 
that I know for tjie jHepofitioq. Mr. Bowyer has led 
Mr. Travis into another miftake, and perfuaded him pp. 
^T^i EsioJi 3Vi» to give Biftiop Pearfon the notes on 
Gyprian,' which are the property ofEiihop Fell. /</« 
W»* kvt thtti DgSior Fill ! 

[31 } 

to them. So Erafmus, when he publifhed 
his New Teftament, gave the printer a MS. 
correfted in the margin from other copies ; 
and this is the way ui which firft editions are 
priftted, whofe text is fettled from difFeretit 
MSS. The editors {eled: one, which thfey 
intend generally to follow, and fometimes 
C0rre£t it by the aid of the others. But as 
the faithful difcharge of thi^ office depends 
on the Ikill and induftry of the correftor, ino 
wdnder that the good readings pafs often un- 
Obferved or negle£ted, and that the bad are 
preferved or' preferred. If, therefore, li. Valla 
found the feventh verfe in the Latin copy or 
copies theii before him, he might be fo^ well 
fatisfied of its authenticity, as not to think of 
confulting his Grecian oracles. If upoti 
coming to the eighth verfe, he found the 
I^atin MSS. vary, fome omitting hi, others 
the whole final claufe, he might jufl: caft his 
eye upon the Greek MSS. and having caught 
the words that he wanted, let them dowrri for 
future ufe, without returning to the former 
verfe, which he had already difmifled from 
Jiis mind, and cbncernitlg which he had no 
fcruples, Again : fuppdfing that Valla per- 

X 3« 3 

ceived this omlffion of the feventh verfe in hh 
Greek MSS. is it certain that he would have. 
mentioned it ? He misht know that the verfe 
ijad been frequently quoted by the Latiti 
writers of the later ages, 5s ^ ftrong proof of 
tl;ie \n\-\\ty. Might he not therefore be ap- 
pr^henfive of the clamours of the orthodox, if 
%Q fhould difclofe fo unwelcome a truth, as 
the abfence of this text from the originals ?, 
I dare not make the defence for Valla that 
Leq 9^akes, whQ fays that Valla did right, if 
the text were not in his MSS^ to be filent, 
beqaufe to aft otherwife would be to furnifh 
1^ ^eretiqs yojtk hor^m tp butt ogainjl the faith. 
\ pan however eafily imagine that in fucli a 
cgfe ValU might have a prudent regard to 
9i9pfequences, aijq^ preferve himfelf by a dif- 
ffeet filence from the attacks, which an 
|ignef^ avowal of the fa£t would infallibly 
h^p-e provoked. l^Jor is tjiis barely a furmife, 
^ut foupded on rgafon aqd analogy. In the 
^pAfT 1,698, Zacagni, an Italian, publilhed 
aippng other, things a epilation of a Greek 
]ip. containing the Catholic Epiftles., ' This 
j^S. agrees \y:ith all the others in omitting 
.that pf},uch7iijured text of the three heavenly 


[ d3 ] 

witneflfes. Zacagni mentions this circum- 
ftance ; and at the fame time being fenfible 
that it was neceffary to fcem to produce fome 
authority in behalf of the common interpola- 
tion, he boldly fays, that the feyenth verfe is 
extant in our Alexandrian. Who fees not 
thatthisaflertion of a palpable falfehood was 
made only to flop the mouths of the bigots, 
and not meant to impofe but upon voluntary- 
dupes ? * 

But what if Valla's Latin MSS. omitted 
this verfe ? Certainly it is much more likely 
to fuppofe Latin MSS. that want the verfe 
than Greek that have it. For the former, 
almoft thirty in number, are real, vifible, 
tangible, legible manufcripts, and not like 
thofe coy, bafliful Grecian beauties, that 
withdraw themfelves not only from the touch 
but from the fight 

^a nee mortaks dignantur vifere cceius, 
Necfe contingi patiuntur liimine claro, 

I argue* therefore that this text might be ab- 
fent both from Valla's ©reek and Latin MSS. 
(which feems to be Mr. Griefbach's opinion) 

* 'See 3 full and entertaining account of this whole farce, 
inDe Mifiy's fourth letter, Journ. Brit. IX, p. 295—310. 

[ 3+ ] 

and that his faying nothing about it does ncif 
prove that he read it. But that his Greek 
MSS. wanted it, is clear and certain, and 
fairly admitted by Bengelius. Here follows 
a lift of propofitions which you muft demon- 
ftrate (at leaft the greater part) before Valla*s 
collations will ftand you in any ftea'd. 

1. That Valla intended to give a perfeft 
and exa(9: collation of all his MSS. 

2. That he never miftook, or 'omitted 
any thing through hafte, inattention, 
&c.'but collated them all and fingular 
with the utmoft accuracy. 

2. That from his mentioning feven Greek 

MSS. upon John's Gofpel, it follow* 

, ■-; that he had the fame number throughout 

; V T' the whole New Teftament ; though ia 

another place he fpeaks only of feven 

Latin copies ; in a third fays, Tres codi" 

ces hatinos habeo et totidem Gracos, cum 

hiS<i compono, et fubinde alios confulo. Be- 

frdes it is well known that Greek MSS. 

of the Epifties,* and efpeciallj of the* 

Catholick Epiftles, are much, fcareer than 

of the Gofpels. 

4. That he had the perpetual ufe of thefe 

MSS. and did not only confult them 

[ 35 ] 

Upon occafion, as the laft quoted wordg 
feem to hint. 

5. That Valla's Lathi MSS. all agreed in 
' retainuig the feventh verfe, together 

with the words in terra and the final 
claufe of the eighth. 

6. That if he had perceived the want of 
the feventh verfe in his Greek MSS. he 
would have had courage enough to de* 
clare it. 

After a blundering note, p. 143, which 
would lead us to think that Erafmus knew of 
Cafliodorus's teftimony in favour of the verfe, 
two hundred years before it was publtfhed, 
you proceed, Sir, in the excefs of Chriftlaii 
benevolence, p^ 147, to iitform us, that Eraf- 
Tnus at laft gave up the conteft,, being fearful 
of the argument deducible-from Valla's MSSi 
Youquahfy indeed your accufation with an 
as itfeems. ' But you play that trick too often. 
I find you generally moft peremptory when 
you aflume this air of moderation*. I fhall 


* Not to tire the reader's patience, 1 fhall trouble him 
only with a fitigle inftance, P. 8. It seems mpejjible to 
0C(ount for the behaviour of Erafmus— 'but upon one ♦ 

D 2 thtfe 

t 3« 1 

therefore in future omit fucli expletives, and 
by contradling the fentence reftore it to its 
genuine meaning. Concerning this liberal 
infinuation, be it noted, that Erafmus^ in his 
fourth and fifth editions fays ■ (what he had 
long before hinted in his anfwer to Lee) ^id 
Laurentius legerity non Jatis liquet ; plainly 
meaning that it was not clear whether Valla 
had this text in his MSS. or not: Martin 
affirms that this is not the true fenfe of the 
words ; that Erafmus allows the verfe to have 
flood in Valla's MSS. but that he was in doubt 
whether they' had any (lighter variations ; 
(fuch for inftance, as the omiffion of the 
words h roj! wf»vm, &c.) the reader will hardly 
expeft me to anfwer fuch abfurdity. I give 
it merely for a fcantling of that good man's 
rcafoning, who, as De Mifly fays of him, 
Stoit fait pour dermfonner avec toute la confiatfce 
dun viejllard d. quifes cheveux blancs, une rept^- 
tdtion populaire et des complimens deplach avoient 
faire accroire quUl etoit fort capable. I fhall 
leave the fubjed of the Codex Britannicus 

thefe pAppoJittons^ &c. p. 9. A proceeding which must /all 
under one of thfje inevitable alternatives, &c. Com- 
|)arc ed. i. p. 10. 1. 21. ed. 2. p. 13. I. 17. 


C zi ] 

which Is the famewith the Dublin MS. 
rhatiever Mr. Travis may fay) to another^ 
jtter ; at prefent it remains to vindicate 
irafmus from another charitajale innuendo, 
''ou afFedl to doubt, p. 8, 9, and p. 66, 14a, 
/herher Erafmus could produce the five MSS. 
' in which he alledged the verfe to be omit- 
ed." I vvifli you. Sir, could defend all youn 
negations as well as I can this of Erafmu5 ; 
ar of the five Greek MSS. that Erafmus faw 
if Erafmus affirms that he himfelfy^rw. five* 
i^hich I forget at prefent, not havixig the book 
t hand) four are flill aftually extant ; the 
/"atican is extant, to which Erafnpus appeals 
m the credit- of an extract made by his friend 
Jombafius ; a Latin copy, which Erafmus 
[uotes as omitting this verfe in the text, is 
low in the Berlin libfary, '" Beware, Sir, of 
neafuring the integrity of other men by your 
wn narrow conceptions. I have dwelt the 
anger upon this article, bepayfe I have fome- 
imes regretted that the oppofers of the verfq 
1 queflion felcioni explain their own argu-> 
aents fo copioufly as might be expefbed, but 
:udy brevity too much, and do not fufficient ^ 
■\( qonfult the apprehenfion of common read-. 

P ^ ersi 

I 38 y 

ers. Thus fen fe is in danger of being t over- 
powered by words, and reafonjng by decla- 
mation. Befides, I {hould be happy to im- 
print fome few elementary ideas of criticifna 
upon the . ra/a tabula, of Mr. Travis's mind. 
For I can affure him that ^t prefent hepoflef- 
les not even the rudiments of that ufeful-^ 

N. B. See Vindex's anfwer in the preface 
or in the Gentleman's Magazine for 
March, 1789, p. 225. Th^ pafl'agea 
which Vindex anitiidfed himfelf with 
quoting, are marked. with correfpond-? 
ing numbers in his anfwer, and in the 
foregoing letter. 

P o s T s c R I P T. 

If I were writing for the learned, the itiquir 
fitive or the impartial, I fhould think that I 
had already trefpaffed too much upon th^ir 
patience. But that the unlearned and lefs-atf 
tentive reader may be enabled, and the par- 
tial compelled to fee how much credit is due 
to Valla's filence ; I fhaliadda Abort obferva- 
tion or two to prove what I have ^alfle^ted con- 
cerning the defefts of his collation, i. In 

I John, 

[ 39 1 

I John, V. 9, the Vulgate reads, ^oniam hoc 
eft teftimottium Dei, quod majus eft. The claufe 
quod mains eft, is peculiar to the Latin tranfla- 
tion. But Valla, who juft now was fo mi- 
nute as to inform us that the Greek added 
two fmall ■^ords {tU to) here fays nothing of 
three (5} /*£i'{w» kC) apparently more important. 
a. Though the firft epiftle of Peter is not 
quite fo long as the firft of John, Valla has 
beftowed upon it almoft twice as many anno- 
tations. Jf therefore it were probable that no 
various readings- of confequence efcaped him 
in the latter, much greater would be the 
chance that none efcaped him in the former. 
At the end of the third chapter after Dei in 
the Latin copies we read deglutiens mortem, ut 
mta tsetern^e haredes efficeremur. No Greek 
MS. has the flighteft traces of this impertinent 
addition. But Valla, in fpite of his diflike to 
the Vulgate, in fpite of his readinefs at once 
to difplay his own acutenefs and to gratify his 
refentment, by confronting the verfion with 
the original, was either too negligent to detect 
this blemifli or too merciful to expofe it. 

I am aware of an alternative that may be 
Xjrgfdagainft this argument,. which alternative I 

D 4 ihall 

[ 40 ] 

all fairly ftate, and let it produce its utmoft 
xd: upon the mind of the reader. Either 
dla's Greek MSS. might be more bountiful 
an others, and contain this fentence ; 

yivotfiAu) or his L^tin MSS, might be more 
aring than others, andpreferve the genuine 
I, undebafed by impure alloy. Which of 
e two fuppofitians be farther diftant from 
e boundaries of reafon, muft be left a quef- 
•n, till a certain critic fhall havo made bis, 
tion in favour of one or the other. 

I ♦' 3 


Hcis Rtj jt fliouI4 be fliewn what an arguer he is, and how 
well lie deferves for his performance to be dubbed by 

himfelf IRREFRAGABLE.* LoCIfE.' 

In fchool-divinity as able 
As he that hight irrefragable*} 
A fecond Thomas, or at once. 
To name them all, another Duns. 



W E are now arrived at the Complutenfiaa 
edition, in which the honejl bigotry of the 

* See Vindex on the ufe of epithets, Gent. Mag. for 
Jan. 1789, p. 12. I perceive, from the fame Magazine 
for March 1789, p. 225, that he has not profited by the 
wholefome advice which I gave him. And how ungene- 
rous it is, as well as cowardly, after fwaggering and bluf- 
terihg, to fneak away from the combat, arid leave Mr. 
Travis alone to bear the burthen and heat of the day ! In 
the mean time I earneftly intreat Mr. Travis's admirers to 
refrain fromboafting of their profelytes and repeating their 
defiances. Such quacke;ry is qnwQrtJ^y any perfon who 
pretends to learning, 


t 4a ] 

editors has inferted the doubtful text. By 
honejt bigotry Mr. Gibbon probably means, 
that the editors thought the verfe genuine 
indeed, but inferted it contrary to their Greek 
MSS. If they thought it genuine upon fuch 
flight grounds as the authority of the Vul- 
gate, of Pfeudo-Jerorn,e, and of Thomas 
Aquinus, they w&rt bigots. But if they re- 
ally thought i't genuine, their 6igotry was £o 
fo far honejt. The fame fort of bigotry pre- 
dominated in your mind, when, you quoted 
p. 286, the barbarous Greek of the Lateran 
council, and finding a chafm, fupplied^ it by 
a jftiil more barbarous tranflation of your 
own from the Latin. Thus would the Cotti- 
plutenfian editors reafon : " This verfe is 
genuine, though it is not id the Greek copies. 
We will tranflate it therefore from the Latin 
Verity, and reftore it to the context." Bu|; 
you. Sir, take for granted without proving 
(a vice very frequent in, you, thougb y^u 
reprove others fpr it, p, 182,) tjiat thjs verf? 
was in all their MSS. ; you hint Mr, Gib? 
bon's wiihes to be, that the editors had or^itr 
%%i. it in oppofition to all their auth'Ofities 5 and 
you profefs aii uuwillingnefs'{i; e, a willing- 


[ 43 ] 

nefs) tQ believe that Mr. Gibbon himfelf 
would in fuch a cafe have betrayed his truft. 
Merugo^ meral Mr. Gibbon juftifies the inten- 
tion of the Complutenfian editors, and only 
blames their prejudice. And who can deny 
their prejudice in favour of the Vulgate to 
have been exceflive and abfurd, after rfead-« 
ing the follovring fentence from their pre- 
face to the Old Teftament ? Mediam Latinam 
beati Hieranymi tranjlaiionem, velut inter fyna^ 
gogam et orienUdem ecclejiam pofuimus, tan^am 
duos him: inde htrones^ medium autem Jefum 
h. e. Romanamjive Latinam ecclejiam colheantes. 
Or who can wonder that men, fo blindly 
devoted to a verfion, (hould fometimes pre- 
fume to oorre£t the originals from that ver- 
lion^ efpecially in a paffage, * in quo max'ime 
et fides cathoUca rohoratur, et Patris et Filii et 
Spiritus SanSli. una divinkatis Juhjianiia compro- ^ 
bdtur f But in fait we have all the evidence 
neceffary to prove that they aftually paid this 
"extravagant compliment to the Vulgate. 
For Stunica, who would have been extremely- 
glad to have had the ppwer of appealing to 

f PfewdQ-HifTopytn, Prolog. }n Epifl:. Canon. 


[ 44 ] 

the Greek > MSS. againft. Erafmus, qetes 
none in favour of this unfortunate verfe, but 
Tefts the whole merits of the caufe Upon the 
Latin copies, and the impoftor who ufurpS 
the name of Jerome. You, Sir, to do 
you juftice, think there is fome force in this 
obje(9:ion ; and in a momentary fit of impru-^ 
dence or modefty, p. 280, Gwn yourfelf unable 
fatisfaSlorJly to account for it. But thefe are 
the laft ftmggles of expiring fliame. For 
though you faw the unavoidable confequence 
of this conceflion, you add, that you have 
proved the Complutenfian Greek not to be a 
tranflation from the Latin. Your tacit, in- 
ference then is, I fuppofe, tliat it could only 
' come from the Greek MSS. But this infer- 
ence is a little too hafty. The Complutenfian. 
Greek may be a tranflation from the Latin, 
though not an exact tranflation. Let us fupr 
pofe that Mr. Travis, while he was difput- 
iug againft Mr. Gibbon, had the ufe of a MS. 
which contained the fufpe(3;ed verfe ; would 
he neglefl: to produce its teftimony in defenqe 
xi£ this very verfe and aigainft a man whona 
he hated ? If he believes this poflible, or pro- 
fefle? to believe it poffible, I Ihall believe hin? 


' t- 45 ] 

cither mad, aut Ulud quod dkere nolo, I alk 
therefor© what could induce Stunica, who is 
at other times fcarcely lefs virulent againil 
Erafmus than Mr, Travis himfelf is, what 
could induce him to be fo mild and tame in 
this particular inftance ? What but the con- 
fcioufnefsthathe knew of no Greek MS. which 
contained the paffage in queftion ? Twell^ 
indeed has bethought himfelf of a falvo, and 
a precious falvo it is (Exam. P. II. p. 142.) 
that the labour of collating the Catholic 
Epiftles did not fall to Stunica's fhare. In 
the year when Stunica wrote his remarks on 
Erafmus, all his fellow-labourers were on the 
ipot, able and willing, I hope, to inform him 
of the manufcrlpt readings of this or of any 
other paflage. For furely they had fome dif- 
courfe together upon the difficult places, and 
did not perform each man his taflc in filence 
and folitude, without any confultation or com- 
munication. If Stunica had faid nothing 
upon this Epiftle of John, we might notper- 
haps be able to extract any certain conclufion 
from his filence. But Stunica quotes his 
Rhodian MS. frequently in oppofition to 
Erafmus, once upon the i6th verfe of the 


[ 46 3 

t^ird chaptef of this Epiftle, once upon the 
' 3oth vei-^ of this very fifth chapter, and both 
times in defence of the Complutenfian 
readings Yet upon the 7th verfe, where there 
was a preffing neceflity, if ever neceffity ex- 
ifbed, of fupporting his opinion by the au- 
thority of the Greek MSS. Stunica appeals 
to none. *' Wliere," cries ErafmHis, *' fleeps 
this Rhodian MS. ?" But the Oodex Rhodienfis 
was as deaf to the reproaches of Erafmus, as 
Baal to the farcafms of Elija!!-. No man in 
hts fenfes would ever omit to urge evidence 
that was fo much w'anted and that would, have 
fo much weight. Poor Stunica moft piteouf^ 
ly cries out, Sciemdum eft Gri^comm codices ^Jfe 
corrup/w; noJiros-n}eroipfam veritateifi continere. 
Now if this be not a full and clear confeffionj 
that he knew of no MS. containing the dif^ 
puted verfe, I cannot tell what is. If the 
Codex Rhodienlis had been drthodox, he 
would have written to this efFeft : ^idamfane 
codices Gracorum hate verba omittunt ; Rhodien- 
Jis vero if Jam veritatem continet: I need not 
obferve, that fince this MS. leans very much 
to the Vulgate and particularly ^dds, tou @toZ 
in the former of the two places above quoted, 


:[ 47 ] 

words f6uh{3 in no bther Greek MS. naf vet- 
fioi>':whatfoever, its omilTion of the Seventh 
v^rreof thfe fifth Jcba)pt€^ will form a ftrong 
arguraent againft 'the geb'iitinenefs of the p^f- 
fage. Allowing then that the Codex Rho- 
dienlis dmitted, as it certainly did omit, this 
exulk'nt paffage, why did not Stmiica confult 
others ? Either he bad no more to confult, of 
t-h'^ other editors, and not Stunica, had colla* 
ted them. If he had only the Codex Rho- 
^ieiifis, why is he not ingenuous enough to 
c^6nfefs it ?. If he or his brother editors had 
more, why did he not inform himfelf of their 
teading in this place, either from his OWn in- 
fpe<Slion or from thofe who had confiilted 
them ? They would natttrally be anxious to 
confirm their own credit and veracity ; they 
would be eager to tell him, if they could tell 
him with truth, that their MSS. gave the 
very reading which they bad followed in their 
edition. When that edition was publifhed, 
Krafmus's challenge had been madefome time. 
While they were giving us a marginal note 
from Beatus Thomas, to account for their 
eighth verfe, welhould have efteemed it a fa- 
vour if they had added a little poftfcript or pre- 

[ -48 ] 

face, to inform us of theftateof their MSS* 
in the foregoing part of the fentence. Nay, 
they ought to have done it ; and as you fay. 
Sir, p. 2Z3, Where it is a dutyjo /peak, to be 

^lent is to be criminal. To which I add, that 
where we (hould be fure to gain our caufe by 
ipeaking, to be filent is to be foolifh. " But 

c if the Complutenfian editors took not this 
verfefrom Greek MSS.. whence did they take 
it ?" I anfwer, as others have anfw.ered, from 
the; modern copies of the Vulgate, from the 
furious Jerome and the Angelic j-Dofltpr. 
-J^ This would be to cha|rge thofe illti/irious. edi- 
tors with FORGERY." I fliould be loth to call 
it ■ by fo harfh a name ; bone/i bigotry better 
fuits the purpofe ; but fuch is the everlafting 
fophiftry which you and Ma:rtin employ. You 
aggravate the faults or negligences of the 
Complutenfian editors, of Stephens and Bezaj 
into crimes ; and then, from the enormity of 
the offence argue againft the probability of its 
being committed. Your reafoning may thus 
be reduced to the form of a fyllogifm. 

Stunica, Stephens, JSeza, &c. did not infert 
this verfe in their editions contrary to the au- 
thority of their Greek MSS. unlefs they were 


I ,49 J 

itflpious. hypocrites, abandoned ebeats, noto- 
rious irapoftots, &c. 

But they were not impious hypocrites, 
abandoned cheats, notorious impoftors, -&c. 
Ergo, they inferted this verfe from the autho- 
rity of their Greek MSS. 

As I flatter myfelf that .every unbiafled 

reader will fee through and defpife this paltry 

artifice, I fhall give myfelf no farther trouble 

a"bout iif, but proceed to confider the ob- 

jeftions that may be rpadc to my pofition. 

You tell us, Sir, and truly too ! That the 

Latin Copies differ from the Complutenfian. 

They do- differ ; but only in the fe- 

venth 'verfe by reading (hi tres unumfunt) 

ouTo* o( r^tXi 'iv inftead of o* tj f"? ti? to eV ;- which 

feems at firfl fight a confiderable difference. 

You of courfe exult upon it, and civilly alk, 

p. 184,'*' Can any man be fo much a Bcsoiian, 

as to imagine, that if thiefe ec^tors had meant 

to forge a Greek text, io follow the rea4ing of 

the luziin copies y they would not have forged 

one which would have 'followed thofe copies 

exadlly ?*' I confefs, moH learned Tbeban, that 

till I was' enlightened by you, I was fo rnuch 

oi a Boeotian as to imagine, that if the intention 

i 50 J 

of- the pocopluteoiiian Qclitors \vas fraudulent, 
they might have wit or caurion enough %o make 
theirtranflation vary, frorn the Latin copies, the 
better to impofe upon the world by the ap- 
parent difference. They would difguife the 
child they had ftokn, in order to conceal 
the theft. But I, who poflefs more charity 
than perhaps any other perfon in the world 
(always excepting you, Sir, apd, your, humble 
admirers, Vindex, Eblanenfis and Kufter*) 
will try to give a more candid reprefenr 
tation of this matter. The Complutenfian 
editors believed i John V- 7, to be genuine 
and determined to infert it in their text. They 
alfo believed to be fpurious and determined to 
expunge the final claufe of the eighth verfe.-f', 

* Gen. Mag. March 1787, p. 211.. , 

t This claufe is omitted in many of the Latin MSS. 
Mr. Travis, with his ufual modefty, afferts, p. 28^, that 
the Latin copies have univerfally the concluding claufe of 
the eighth verfe. A dire£t falfehood ! Ufque adio lec- 
tores fuos fro Jiupidis et bqrdis habet, quibuS quidvis im- 
■ponere fibi licere fecure confidit. I appeal to the. read-. 
er, -whether a man who is c4pable of making fuch roi^nd, 
affertions wilfully or ignor^ntly, be not latterly difqua- 
lificd to manage a controverfy, or to accufe, others of mif- 


r 5* ] 

^hus then I fuppofe them to have tranflated 
the Latin nito Greek ; on r^n iI<t)v ol lAoofTH' 

ayiov ■ZTVsufji.oCf xcii outoi oi rpsif ek fio"!'. x«i Tf£4? £icr(» 

«r |UapTUfOUVT£5 i-w\ TJIJ y>)?, to WVlZ(/.X X«l to V9«|» 

«al TO «Tj«.fl:. In their Greek Manufcript ot 
Manufcripts, they found, Cn Tpsr? £iVi» oj ^«p- 

>.~ \ ~ \ \ tfr, . \ \ t \ 

TUj50Ul'T£?, TO 7rViVfJI.» KOii TO udwp XOi( TO OilfAlX X«J 

oi T/>£K £('? TO eV £iV». What was now to be 
done ? They were not willing entirely to 
abandon their originals ; they accordingly 
patched up a motley text, and dexteroufly 
tranfplanted the claufe xasI ol r^tTg to h eIo-i, to 
the end of the feventh verfe. So that as far 
as they could without damage to the orthodox 
faith, they followed the reading of the Greek 
manufcript. They thought this claufe of 
too great fize and importance to be turned 
out of doors without ceremony ; they there- 
fore fufFered it to flay, though they provided 
it with rather an indifferent lodging. If Mr. 
Gibbon obferved this, he had a frefh reafon for 
iattributing their conduct to hones'J bigotry^ 
And it is no more than juftice to allow that 
they at leaft did their work like workmen. 
They made good Greek of their Latin ; a talk 

E 2 W 

L 5^ J 

to which the trau^ator of the Lateran Decrees 
and the writer of the Publiti MS. were 
unequal. In my. next I intend to , travel, 
through Stephens's, and the other manu- 
fcriptg that.have been faid to contain this £x-,- 
cellent verfe. . 

I fliall not quit this .article without taking 
notice of an objeftion, which you, p. i S5, and 
Martin feem rather to infinuate darkly, than, 
to.propofe in form : " that the Cdmpluten- 
iian reading of -the fevfenth verfe, tk to h il<ri, 
weakens the evidence for the do6:rine.of the 
Trinity that ,m,ight otherwife be drawn from 
this paffage." Or that the words eU ro ev dirt 
may be underfteod of an unity of will and tef- . 
timony ; whereas, the iikiple expreffion 'iy £iVt 
muft be uhderftood of the unity.of eflence. 
Now, Sir, if I have rightly divined your 
meaning, be;fo good as to tell us whether we 
are' to think the former reading genmine or 
not ? If we accept it for genuine, and main- 
tain, even from your own conceffions, that 
the text is nothing to the purpofe of the or- 
thodox, all fufpiciori of fraud on the part of 
the heretics vvill be at an end, and yo,u will 
be compelled to acquit the Arians of a' 


[ S3 3 

fcandalous accufation, which at prefent you 
have neither courage enough to avow, nor 
generofity enough to abandon, (p. 339—341.) 
But to me, I confefs, the Conlplutenfian 
lU TO iv appears full as orthodox as the more 
common '(v alone ; and may be thus para- 
phrafed ; ol TPEI2 to EN ©EION &(*,» a-vi/leXBTiv. hi 
TREs conjunSii unum efficient Deum ; in the 
iame manner as ca-ovrxi ol ato lU ffxfDiu, MIAN 
is exadlly lynonymous with mxiri tla-f 

ATO, a'AXa <r»fl^ MIA, Matth. XIX. 5, 6, Tp 

fliew my uncommon civility, I advertife iny 
reader, that I fhall impartially tranfcribe every 
argument in your favour that has come to my 
knowledge ; but I fhall fbmetimes be content 
With tranfcribing them ; for many are fuch 
U Patience herfejf would'^difdain to refiate, 

l;^i,. B3 LETTER 

t 54 3 


JWfhat ! will the line flretch out to thecr^ck otdqom} 


Jtrl O \y^ formidable an holl you are now 
leading to battle ! Sixteen MSS. of Robert 
Stephens, all containing the heavenly witr 
^efles ! We may however fpare our alarrns ; 
for all thefe MSS. upon a nearer infpeftiptii 
will ipxoyc Pbanto/jfs bqdilefi affdvain, entpf^ 
vtfipns ofth^ brain. I Ihall flrft lay dpwn the 
real ftate of the cafe, and then confute your 
cavils. Mr. Gibbon gives his readers the, 
pption between fraud and error, I am al- 
ways unwilling to attribute to fraud what I 
can vpith any reafonable pretence attribute to 
error. But if any perfon be more fufpicious^ 
than I am, he needs not be frightened from, 
his opinioi^ by your declamaljjon. For when 


t 55 ] 

he confiders how Eraftnus was worried foi: 
fpeaking his mind tob freelyj and v^ith Vvh&t 
jfealoufy R. Stephens was watched by the 
Paris divines, it cannot appear incredible that 
Stephens might make this feetning miflake 
6a putpofe ; fo far, like Zacagni (fee Letter 
II. p. 13) honeft in his fraud, that ho 
furnifhes every inquifitive reader with the 
means of deteftion. But as I ahx content 
«rith the other fuppofition, I fay, i. That 
Henry Stephens, and not Robert, collated the 
MSS. 2. That the collatioh was probably- 
inaccurate and imperfe£l. 3. That it ce'r- 
tainly|was not publilhed entire. 4. That; 
Stephfens's margin is full of nliftakes in the 
numbers and readings of the MSS. 5. That 
the marks iff the text aite often mifplaoed or 
opaitted. 6. That {ovat of ^he very MSS. 
ufed by Stephens having been again collated,- 
are found to agrefe in this critical palfege with' 
all the r0fi: that have been hitherto examin- 
ed. And, 7. That therefore the femicircle, 
which now comes after the wordsr £» -rwr oi^amT 
in the feventh verfe, ought to be pisced after 
the word's' Ic mTyrii in the eighth. 

Youg Sir, anfwer in the firft piace^ i^at H. 
£ 4 ^teph€i)i« 

I 56 ■] 

Stephens was not the fol6 collator 6f the 
MSS. '^ becaufe there is no pretencej^r the 
affertlon, arid" becaufe reafon, propriety, and 
probability, are all uniformly /sg-a/w/? it," p. 
297. Now this is fo fully prbved in Wet- 
ftein's Prolegomena, p. 143 — 144, that I 
fhbuid even be tempted to hope that if you 
had read them before yoi> wrote your letters,' 
you would have fp''ared yourfelf a conlider- 
able quantity of difgrace and repentance. I 
Ihall repeat Wetftein*s laft quotation. .Pater 
■meus — cum' N. 1". Gruecttni cum multis vetujtis 
ei^mpiaribm opera- mea collatum, primo 
quid^ minuiionbus hph^ — mox autem grandibus 
chdraiieribus., &t:. •■ To which add Beza's tef- the fame purpofe. Ad hac omnia 
accejjit. exemplar ex Stephani mjiri hiblibibkor 
cum viginti ■ quikqueoplus minus mamfcnptis eo^ 
dicibtts et omnibus pene imprejfts^ditigentiffime col-^ 
latum. Thus Beza in his firft edition of 1 5 5 6. 
But in his fecond edition, when R. Stephens 
was dead, thefe important words follow after 
impejjis', ab' Henrico St eph a no ejus filiq 
et' patern^ sedulitatis h^rede qu'am 
diligentijjime collatum.' Obferve in all this pro- 
ceeding the craft .of a printer and editor. Ro- 

[ 57 1 

bert was aware 4:hat, by telling his readers 
who was the collator, he might infufe a fuf*- 
-picion into their minds, that the work was 
negligently performed : he therefore carefully 
avoided * mentioning that circumftance. 
Another inftanpe of this management maiy 
be feen in the preface to his firft edition^ 
where he lays, that he has not fuffered a letter 
to be printed but what the greater part of the 
better MSS. like fo many witnefles unani- 
moufly approved. This boaft is indeed 

* With the fame caution, fpeaking of his No. 2, (now 
our Cambridge MS.) he calls it, exemplar vetuftijjimum 
in Italia ae'amicis coUatum, dtli^M^tt- Without fairly 
confeffing or openly violating the truth, that it was col- 
lated by his fon Henry, he difguifes the faft in a general 
'expreffion. I have not forgotten Mr. Travis's maAerly 
conftru£lion of the fentence, p. 284; " It was the ex- 
emplar, the book it/elf, then, (and not the leSlions out of 
it) which was fa//^(f?^i5? or (jzXha) procured for R. Stephens^ 
by his friends in Italy." I have heard of a learned Do6lor 
in our wniverfity, who confounded the colleSiion with th? 
collation of MSS. but I never till now fieard of. a fingle 
copy being colleSfed.^ That the reader may not fufpe(9t me 
of inventing nonfenfe for the pleafufe of fathering it upon 
Mr. Travis (4 fuppofition which at firft fight - may feem 
not improl^able) I affute him th^tl have honeftly copied 
the very words, and can only beg of hinj tp verify my 
citation by the evidence of his own fenfes. 


r 5? I 

utterly falfc, as all critics agfee, who have 
taken any pains in Comparing Stephfens's edi- 
tions. They know that Stephens has not 
obferved this rule conftantly, becaufe his 
editions often vary from one another, and his 
third edition often from all his MSS, eveti by 
his own confeffion. But becaufe Mr. Grief- 
bach took this point for granted ; not 
forefeeing that a man would be found fo 
hardy or ignorant as to deny it, you in- 
fult him, p. spSj and call his affertton. ground* 
lefsy improbable, uncandld, and injurious. Thefe 
are the magic words that have charmed your 
converts of the firji eminence. Editors and 
printers are fuch confcientious people, that 
we may be fur-e^they will never pradife any 
tricks of their profeffion, or give their owii 
publications und'eferved praife. And whoever 
offers to think that they may fometimes bfeftow 
extravagant commendations oh their own la- 
bour, diligence, or fidelity, is totally Voidbf //- 
terary candoufdnd'Cb'ri/iian charity ^ (p. 5 9, 1 2 5 .) 
But an example will make this pofition clear-. 
fjf in th? eleventh verfe of the fecond chap- 
ter of Matfeew, all the MSS. the Com^lu^ 
^nfiaii edition, nay the veiry MS, froifi wHich 


[ 59 ] 

^rafmus published his edition, have i7hy In- 
.^€ad of sSjjoi/, byt Erafrnus upon the fingle 
authority of ^ faulty copy of Theophyla£t, 
altered it to cv^ov ; Stephens in his third edi- 
tion followed Erafmus, and (Sf.oM infefts, our 
printed Teftanients to this day, I can only 
excufe Stephens b.y the univerfaJ: cuftom of 
dealers who think it an innocen.t deceit to 
cry up the value qf their wares. Stephens 
inferted nothing in his text (miftakes except- 
ed) which he, did not find in the Conxpluten^ 
lian edition, or in Erafmus, or in his MSS. 
But he frequently quits all his MSS. to fol-. 
low bis prii^ted guides, and frequently, fal- 
lows Erafmus without attending tq the refl^ 
of which partiality I have already given a 
ipecin^en. Let ns be no more peftered with- 
the ftale common-places of honour, honefty, 
yeraqity, judgment, diligence, erudition, &c. 
If R. Stephens's MSS. all omitted the con* 
trpvertedpaffage, he woujd ftill retain it in 
his ejditipn; becaufc; he. has the fame vicious^ 
<:pm!p,la.ifance for many other paflages, with- 
out hgiVing equal feeming authority. ][iere 
he had; the Qonfeiit of both editions for hi^ 
lyarrant ; ir^ ,othef plaices, he follows Erafmus? 
^9p.!^ YoUa Sir, proye, with admirable con- 


[ i6o j] 

d.'fcnefs, In fomething lefs than fix pagesf 
(p. 78—81, 1.72--177) that' Stephens did 
NOT take this verfe from the Complutenfian 
edition. Granted. He did not take it 
tvholfy' from tHe Complutenfian. He took it 
partly from- the Compliiteniian and partly 
from Erafmus. He differs from Erafmus 
in adding- the artiole thrice, and in tranf- 
ppfing the vvord^ioi/ ; and in thefe fouir differ- 
ences, he followed the Complutenfian edition 
and the. genius of the language. 
. Mr. Grrefhach aflerts, as quoted by "yoUj 
Sir,' pJ 297, tHat there are iri R. Stephens's 
MSS.' many good readings, which are noC 
ijifertedin his margin. " Youanfwer him by 
a flat denial. This is indeed a compendious 
ahd convenient method of anfwering ; but I 
would counfel you not to, make it too cheap 
by frequent ufe. Mr. Griefbach thought,' 
that this and fome other of his aflertions 
were fb generally allowed, that it would be 
wafte of time and paper to prove them in 
form. At laff up ftarts a grave and reverend 
gentleman-, and tells us with a feflous face, 
tiiat it is not day/ at noon. And this trafli 
we are expefted to refute, or the MiMipfiMm 

'i^- regiment 

[ 6i ] 

reglei^nt will hoaft hereafter that we have 
not accepted; their lea<Jer's challenge. . Let 
ijs Jiowever undertake the tirefome talk of 
flaying the flain. . Firft then I affirm, that 
Stephens has omitted, to mark in his marghi* 
at leaft one half of .the Complutenfian various 
readings. Have -you a mind to difpute this. 
Sir ? Will you give Mill the lie as you have 
gandius (p. 199) and others? Now, if the 
collator wasfo negligent in noting the vari- 
ous readings of an edition, which was printed 
from moji ancient copies ^ and had a wonderful agree- 
ment with Stephens'' s own MSS. (Steph. Praef. 
ad N, T.) is it not extremely probable, nay, 
morally certain, that. he was equally inatten- 
tive to, his MSS- ? I fhall therefore' affume, 
what fems . to me fufliciently.proved ; that 
l^tephens's coUation was imperfeftly publif^ed; 
which if you chufe to deny, you muft con- 
fute Wetftein alfo, who fays that Beza pro- 
duces fiom,;Stephens*s MSS.. above an hun- 
dred various readings not, nptieed in Stephens's 
margin. \Vhen Emlyn argued from-MiU's 
authority, Pro]. 1 226, p* 1 26,-th^t Stephens's 
collation was imperfed:, and- p relied- Maartin 
with this objedion, that good old man told, 


C 61 1 

lilm, for want of a better afifwei", that 
Stephens had only negle£led the trifling va- 
riations of the Complutenfiali edition, and 
feieded the important. Not to infift, that 
by this method an editor claims the right 
of judging for the reader, what is trifling 
and what important ; the hdu is notorioufly 
falfe : for whoever will look into Stephens 
or Mr. Travis, p. y^,- 172, will find, that of 
Jhar diiFerences from the Complutenliah upon 
this very place, Stephens mentions not fewer 
than— o«?. He mentions only his omiffion of 
tli ri in the feventh verfe, and is altogether 
lilent upon the adition oiovroi fupOn the changci 
of pt\ Tflr y5)f into Iv rm yuT in the eighth verle* 
and upon the addition of the whole claufei 
Hast w T^r? sU to eV ila-iv. After this flagrant in- 
ftance of Stephens's inaccuracy, I ejipeft to 
hear no more of his diligence and fidelity. 

R. Stephens had fifteen MSS. feven of 
which— ^Fifteen ! cries Martin in a rage ; h6 
hadjMtgen. You, Sir, fui cum Martino errari 
malts f quam cum allis re^e fenlire, fiug to thd 
fame tuncj pj z^e^^ 116, and to prove it, quote' 
from the preface to Steiphens's third edition^ 
turn [edetim fcrlptis exemplar ibus. You bright" 


[ 63 ] 

Wits foar far above the reach of common 
fenfe, or clfe you might have compared thef» 
words with the following : Its namque placuit, 
prima, fecundo, adfextum decimum ufque nomlna 
impQtiere, ut prima Complutenfem editionem in- 
telligas^ quiC olim ad antiqu'tffima exemplaria 
fuit excufa. This fentence to an ordinary- 
reader would be very intelligible, but Mr. 
Travis is no ordinary reader. Can any thing 
be plainer than that Stephens calls the Com- 
plutenfian edition a MS. when he reckons 
his fixteen copies in the grofs, becaufe that 
edition had with him the weight and value 
of a MS. And if it was really printed, as 
Stephens believed, from mo/l ancient manujcripts, 
he was reafonable and moderate enough in 
treating It as a feparatc MS. But if befideSi 
No. I, which fignifies this edition, Stephens 
had fixteen MSS. his fixteenth MS. would 
then be marked No. 17. Unluckily no fuch. 
number appears in any part of the margin. 
However, as I love to be generous, I will 
help you to an argument, that will 4iot only: 
prove what you want, but fomething more; 
No. 19. (t6) is quoted in the margin, Matth. 
XXIV. 30, from which dedu£ting one foe 


[ 64 ] 

the Complutenfian feditioHj there will remara 
eighteen MSS. belonging to Stephens, and a 
fortiori Jtxteen. I know that foolilh people 
vvho are called critics will ftart an ob]e£tion. 
They will affed to think it, with Mill, a 
itiifprint for la; (*9.i/3.) but you. Sir, will 
wifely difregard what fuch fellows think. 
Tour foul never came into their fecret^ nor to their 
ajferhbly has jour honour been united. But what 
am 1 doing ? Teaching the rudiments of 
arithmetic to a couple of Cloiens^ who can^t 
take two from twenty for 'their heartSy and leave' 
eighteen! (Cymbelinel.) > 

Whethet Stephens had fixteen or only 
fift^n MSS. in all, is not of fo much con- 
fluence as the next queftion, how many of 
thele contained the Catholic Epiftles. Martin' 
(Verite, p*' 171) partof whofe reafoning you' 
have adopted, (p. 80, 175} fays, nine at; 
leaft ; and' thus he argues;: If Stephens had 
only feven MSS. in all, he would not have' 
iHacfe a piarticular enumeratioh,' but have faid, 
Tfjioiffi'Tao-n' in the margin. If he had only 
eight, he would have faid, ir. itx^v (adding 
the':nurober of the diffentiezit MS. fuch be- 
ing bis "'cnftpm ' iii other places? I anrwer,*" 
-■^ • I. That 

[ 65 ] ' 

\. That Stephens could not, confiftently with 
truth, as Martin hinifelf owns, ufe the mark 
T. m this place, becaufe the Complutenfian 
edition, his No. i. diffents J nor, '%. could 
he, confiftently with himfelf, fay, t. tta-^h — ^ 
becaufe he never does fay foin his fecond vo- 
lume, the epiftles and apocalypfe. But you 
are not content with Martin's fcanty allow- 
ance, your lively imagination hurries you 
beyond the bounds of fober reafon ; and iij. 
one of your happy inventive moments you 
iet down the whole fixteen, p. 284, as con"- 
taining thh difputed pajfage. A jolly com* 
pany I What luck old Robert had to light 
upon thefe MSS. and fettle the true reading 
from them, before Satan and his Ariana 
had laid their claws upon them ! Did you 
ever hear, Sir, of any large colledion of MSS. 
all containing the whole Greek Teftament ? 
Or, to deal liberally, let the apocalypfe be 
excepted, did you ever hear of fo many as 
fifteen all containing the remainder ? Take 
the trouble of confulting fifteen at hazard, 
you will be very fortunate if feven of theni 
contain the Catholic Epiftles. ^ Or do you 
pioufly believe, that an editor who has not 
F defcribed 

. i 66 ] 

4efcribed his MSS. may have found only fucfi 
as are complete, while fearce a fixth part of 
thofe MSS. whieh have been particularly de- 
feribed, contains the N. T. entire, even with 
the exception mentioned ? You inform us, 
p. 275, (fee alfo p. 295-6) " that it does not 
follow from R. Stephens's not citing all his' 
MS^. to all parts of his Greek Teftament, 
that all his MSS. did not contain all the 
Greek Teftament." But I can tell you what 
does follow. If R. Stephens^s MSS. all con- 
tain the whole N. T. either the MSS. fo rare- 
ly cited had a miraculous agreement with his 
text, fuch as never has been fince found m 
any dne MS. or R. Stephens's collator was fo 
infamoufly negligent, that his filence and his 
teftimony are equally undeferving of regard. 
A ray of light however pierced through the 
Egyptian darknefs . of your mind, when you 
wrote the following fentence, p. 136 : " The 
MS. of R. Stephens marked 15^ does not 
feeni to have contained the Gofpel of St. 
John at all ; for there is no reference to this 
MS. in. the margin. But to what purpofe d^ 
we prolong this childifh play ? Newton, 
Wetftcin, and Mr. Griefbiach knew well 


[ 67 ] 

(though that Stephens's No. 2 , was once 
q^ioted u'pori the Epiilie to the Romans, 
No. 5, twice upon the apoealypfe, No. 7, up- 
on the A<fts, ^C. but they expe£led that an 
adverfafy,' who had the leaft fliare of fen'le or 
Candour', would not build any argument uJ)on 
^he infallibility of a printer or compofitor. 
They knew too, that Stephens's margiri'was 
full of liiift'akes in the numbers of the MSS. 
and they judged it niu'c'h more likely that 
^ (hould be a miftake for fome other le,ter, 
{perhaps for ?) than that the fariie MS, which 
m the Gofpels atid Ads was fo prolific as to 
|iroduce near four Hundred various i-eadings, 
fliould become fo barren oh a fudd^h as to 
;^ieid only one ih the epiftles. Whoever can 
bring his mind to believe thisi poflefles a 
faith that difdains all ihtdrco'u'rfe with reafon ; 
a faith that not only can reiiibve, but has aftu- 
Efliy removed mountains.' Nor would it be 
difficult to re£lify many of thefe mifiakes 
fro'm the internal evidence of the margin. 
For'iriftance, No. 5, ought to be 15 in both 
places of the kpocalypfe ; and, though it rh'ay 
feern ftrange, that the letters a, and ^ (hould 
eVer be' cbiifoufaded, 1 " can with' certainty 
' F 2 pronounce 

[ 68 3 

pronounce this td have have happened in 
Acts XVII. 5. . But let a fingle number be 
once quoted in Stephens's margin, you bold- 
ly {et it down as beyond all coniradiSiion, p. 295, 
containing that whole book of the N. T. 
where the marginal reference is fouad. In 
the firfl: place, you take for granted that no 
MS. of Stephens was mutilated. Secondly, 
though Stephens has given us as vague and 
unlearned an account of his MSS. as if he 
intended to keep us in the dark, we are yet, 
with the few lights we have, oft^n able to 
deteft his miftakes. This argument there- 
fore will do you no fervice, unlefs you can 
Ihew that it was impoffible for Stephens to 
err in his marginal numbers, I know fuch 
iin accident is impoffible in your creed ; yet 
I have been told that it fometimes happens 
in printing ; and perhaps you may find, that 
in your own enumeration of Stephens's MSS. p. 
295, (where, by the way, you have been abk 
to reckon up only fifteen) by the author's 
or printer's fault »r is left for »^. I fhall there- 
fore. Sir, Yequeji your permijjion (p. 16) to 
believe that Stephens had only feven MSS. of 
the Catholic Epiftles, and that if any of them 


[ 69 V 

omitted i John, V. 7. they all omitted It, 
To which Important difcuffion we now 

Nearly two hundred and forty years are pdft 
iinceR. Stephens publifhed his famous Greek 
edition of the N. T. with various readings. 
The marginal note upon the contefted place 
Would undoubtedly fay, if there be no error, 
that his feven MSS. all have the feventh 
verfe, except the words iv rm oypcivm. But 
that feven Greek MSS. colleded by the fame 
perfon from different places? feven MSS. of 
different ages and^merits, fhould all confenc 
in a reading, that no critic or editor has been 
able, during the fpace of two centuries and an 
half, to find in any other MS. whatever^ 
Greek or Latin, is fiich an excefs of impro- 
bability, as the very men who maintain here, 
would be foremoft ta ridicule in any other 
dilpute. For let us fuppofe, by way pf ar- 
gument, that fome other Greek MSS. retain 
the text, ftill thefe retain at the fame time 
the words iv ru7 ovfuvuT. How comes it to 
pafs, that none of thefe feven orthodox MSS. 
agrees with that nobfle pair the Dublin and 
Berlin in rejedmg the final clawfe of the eighth 
.F 3 verfe? 

[ 7° 3 

verfe ? And what makes the wonder of thq, 
thinff is, that the feven MSS. which omit 
the words Iv rwT ovpomaT fhould all fall into the. 
fame hands, perform the talk impofed upon 
them, and then vanilh for ever. All thefe 
difficulties you obviate by anfwering, that the, 
MSS. are loft. If fuch MSS. ever exifted, 
they are certainly loft ; but how do you prove 
that they ever exifted ? Becaufe R. Stephens 
and T. Beza fay that they exifted. What 
fays the former ? He puts a mark in his 
margia that implies fuch an aftertion. Surely 
this is not the eighteenth century, the age of 
criticifm and learning, when fuch arguments 
as thele are heard with patience, and thought, 
to need a ferious refutation. Does an editor, 
when he marks various readings in the margin, 
of his edition, intend foiemnly to pledge 
his \vord, or to take an oath upon the truth 
of every aflertion which thofe marginal notes 
virtually contain ? If fuch be the conditions 
of pubiiiliing ancient authors, the pubUfhers 
are of all men the moft miferable ; and no 
man in his fti^fes will undertake {o painful, 
and thankiefs an office. A critic who eX" 
prefles his various readings without abbrevia- 

[ V ] 

tlons, has a much better chance of avoid- 
ing miftakes ; and yet mlftakes occur very 
frequently, notwithftanding all precautions. 
Thus Grotius, in his note upon this paflage 
folemnly declares ^ud. pojitively affirms that our 
Alexandrian MS, omits the final claufe of the 
eighth verfe. What would you. Sir, fay upon 
this, if you found it your intereft to de-' 
fend Grotius ? Any thing rather than acqui- 
efce in the true folution, that Grotius did not 
rightly underfland or rightly copy the colla- 
tion that was fent him- from England. 
*' That Grotius was a man of fo much fenfe ' 
and veracity, that he could neither be de- 
ceived nor deceive ; and that therefore the 
Alexandrian MS. wanted this claufe : that 
to fuppofe the contrary would be to accufe 
Grotius of teUing a wilful lie ; or that the 
MS. which he quotes upon this verfe was 
not the Alexandrian, &c," This, Sir, I take 
to be the fubftance of what you would fay in 
Grotius's defence ; which would make a very 
handfome figure when it was trimmed in. 
your gorgeous eloquence, and fpread through 
two pages in a mixture of declamation and 
Irjvedive, in which it would be aj^edled to teach 
F 4 «^» 

[ 72 3 

«j, that ieacblng Mr. Travis would be in vain, 
(p. 125—126.) 

But how could-feven MSS. be loft at Paris? 
Many MSS. ufed by editors of that age arc 
ilill preferved. Beza's two, the Clermont 
and Cambridge, are ftill extant, and in good 
condition. Moft of the MSS. which Eraf- 
mus ufed, are ftill extant, and in good con- 
dition. Were they in fafer places or more 
likely to Survive than Stephen s*s ? What was 
Robert doing not to reftore to the king's li- 
brary the eight MSS. that he had borrowed ? 
Le Long's teftimony would indeed fave Ste-. 
|)hens's honefty ; but alas ! at the fame time 
it would denaolifh a main fupport of the verfe. 
For Le Long fays, that eleven of the very 
MSS. that R. Stephens yfed (not fifteen, as 
you imagine, p. 128) are now in the king's 
library, four of which oniit the difputed 
paffage. We might hence conclude, that 
R. Stephen^ had reftored all the eight that 
he had borrowed, and meant to give the li- 
brary the reft of the fifteen that were hia 
own, But you, Sir, are fo offended with this 
teftimony, that Le Long, Stephens, and the 
^vhole world^ ftiall be liars, fooner than this 


[ 73 ] 

charming text fhall come to any harm. You 
therefore find a trifling error or two in Le 
Long's* account, make feveral more, and 
thence take occafion to fet afide his whole 
evidence. But your chief argument is a tacit 
affumption, (which I have already confider- 
ed) that Stephens could not commit a typo- 
graphical error. This however is fo impor- 
tant an axiom, that you ought beforehand to 
be very fure of its truth. Again, Le Long 
fays, that the eleven MSS. in the king's li- 
brary have the infignia of K. Henry II. upon 
the covers. Then, you exclaim, they are 
not the MSS. of Stephens ; for his were bor- 
rowed of Francis, Henry's predeceflbr. The 
minor of this argument you have omitted^ 
but the fame thinking minds, that you have 
preffed into your opinion, p. 270, will be 
compelled, I doubt not, to acknowledge it 
for an eternal and felf-evident truth, viz, that 

* Le Long is miftaken, i. In making Stephens's No. 15, 
Contain only feven Epiftles of Paul, which contains alfo 
the Catholic Epiftles, and the Apocalypfe; and, 2. In 
ipaking No. 16. contain two of the Gofpels, which con- 
tains only the Apocalypfe. See Mr. Travis's Appendix, 
f, 47—48. 

[ 74 3 

no king * ever fends his books to be new-" 
bound. I told you, Sir, in my firft letter, 
thai you never read through Wetftein's Pro- 
legomena. I now add, that you have not 
read through Wetftein'"s note upon the very 
paflage that you defend. For there you would 
have found thefe words (to which alfo Ld 
Long refers, (Emlyn, Vol. II. p. 274) 
quoted from R. Stephens's anfwer to the 
Paris divines : Pqftulant afferri vetus exemplar — 
rejpondeo non fojfe fieri', quod non unum ejfet, fed 
quindecim relata in bibliothecam regiam, quae mihi 
precario data fuer ant. You fay, " that it does 
not concord with the known probity of R, Ste- 
phens, that he, who had only borrowed eight 
MSS. from the royal library fhould return 
^^^^« thither, for no other purpofe, as it 
fhould feem, than to abufe the confidence of 
thofe friends, who had lent to him the other' 
MSS. and to deprive them of their property.'* 
Who told you they were lent ? ^a undique 
(orrogare Ijcuit. Pops cQrrogare fignify fq 

* Stephani ie. Codex Reg. 2869. Compaftus eft ite- 
rum Honrico ILG^lliarum Rege, Wetst$in. Toin-n, 
p. 12. 


[ 75 ] 

ftrlftly tp borrow, that Stephens's friends 
could not have made him a prefent of thefe 
MSS. The word TiSpoiVa/Atc in the Greek pre- 
face intimates nothing about borrowing. But 
be that as may, R. Stephens affirms two 
things, 1. That he once had fifteen MSS. 
(not fixteen) ; 2. That he now had them na 
longer, but had them fent to the king's li- 
brary. There is indeed a fmall inaccuracy 
in this account, but of no confequence. 
Stephens probably fpoke from memory. 
The manufcripts had long been returned % 
and it concerned not his examiners, who 
required him to produce them, to know 
the exa£l hiftory of every MS. its quondam 
poffeffor, &c. It was enough to tell them 
in general terms, that he was unable to com- 
ply with their demand, that the manufcripts 
were gone out of his hands ; that they be- 
longed to the royal library, and were now 
reflored. Or he might perhaps forget the 
precife words of his anfwer to the examiners, 
and only retain the fubftance. However, if 
you chufe to take advantage of this flight 
miftake, and to give Stephens the lie, what 
will become of your pathetic declamation 


[ 76 ] 

about worth and probity and honour? (p. 59, 
125.) I cannot help obferving how amiable 
this concern for Stephens*s character is, and 
how well it fits upon a man, who, though he 
is (hocked at the idea of that learned printer 
cheating his friends, feels no fcruple in mak- 
ing him cheat the king, and carry off the 
•royal manufcriptS to Geneva, as his own pri- 
vate property. From this confeffion of Ste- 
phens in the year 1552, four years before 
Beza's firft * edition, that he then had na 
Greek MSS. in his pofleffion, it follows that 
Beza never had the ufe of any from Stephens, 
and that all your affertions and conje<Stures 
tipon that fubje£t fall to the ground. 

But why. Sir, do you attempt to confute 
\j& Long, and leave Wetflein untouched ? 
Wetftein affirms, that he with his own eyes 
faw at Paris five of the feven MSS. that Ste- 
jbeos ufed in publifliing the Catholic Epiflles 

'* Beza firft publifhed his N. T. in 1556, though Mr. 
Travis erroneoufly, asliis manner is, (p. 7. ed. i and 2) 
Slakes it 1551. In his fecond edition he twice contra- 
di£ls himfelf, and fays 1556, pp. 130, 275. With no 
lefe exadinefs he makes (p. in, 337) Erafmus publifh 
his Paraghrafe in 1^41, feveral years after his death. 

(4j 5> 

t n 1 

(4, 5, 7, 9, lo.) and that thefe all omit from 
the words Iv tu? oupavw? to the words «» th? yjir, 
iuclufive. And I have fuch an opinion of 
Wetftein's fehfe and honefty (though he was 
an heretic) that I fhall venture to think him 
In the right, till you. Sir, talk fomething 
more to the purpofe. If you aik, how Wet- 
ftein came to know, that they were the fame 
manufcripts. I anfwer, by collating them, and 
finding them agree with Stephens's margin in 
other places. And left you (hould reply, that 
the readings of thefe MSS. as given by Wetftein 
fometimes differ fromthe readings of Stephens's 
margin, cognofce ex me, quoniam hoc primum 
iempus dijcendi naSlui «, that in thefe cafes a 
general and remarkable fimilarity is aftronger 
argument for the affirmative, than a few Va- 
riations for the negative. If we rejeft this 
canon, fuch a monftrous abfurdity as this 
will enfue ; that if a collator makes here and 
there a miftake, whoever afterwards confults 
the fame manufcript, muft nof infer the 
identity of the manufcript from the peffeit 
agreement of the reft of the collation. Thus 
the opginufcrlpts. vyill be daily multiplied, in 


[ 78- ] 

the joint ratio of the number and jieghgence 
of the collators* 

Having before fhewn that R. Stephens's 
work was in general inaccurate and imperfeft, 
I proceed in the next place, to point out fome 
particular faults. In i Pet. III. ii, the 
words dyec^ov ^mra-aru, are omitted, contrary to 
all manufcripts, verfions, and former editions. 
Was this the effedt of fraud or miftake ? If we 
dare to fiifpe£t any fraud, you will remind us 
that it, will become us to conjider how we can 
jujiify our [elves either in literary candour or 
Chrijiian charity, &CC. (p. lo, 13.) And we 
ihall get very little by taking the other [part 
of the] alternative, thzt Stephens omitted thefe 
words by miftake. For, by the help of the 
^ravifian \o^\c, which is of the fort that de- 
duces oyiDLiBET EX QuoLiBET, I wiU prove 
that Stephens omitted them upon the autho- 
rity of manufcripts. Now he omitted them 
NOT BY MISTAKE ; becaufi he would in that 
cafe have replaced in his fiibfequent edition of 
155^9 ^P^Jf^S^ 'which he had left out of this edi- 
tim by mere overfghi. Not by mistake ; 
hecaufe a man who had been fo painfully accurate 
as to pint out in his errata the mifplacing of one 


[ 79 ] 

comma, and the omijjion of another, cannot he 
fuppofed to have fuffered two fuch important words 
to have efcaped his notice. Not by mistake ; 
becaufe the words In quejiion are omitted in the 
edition of John Crifpin i$S3y '^^'^ '^^^ t^^ 
friend and fellow: citizen of Robert Stephens, and 
mujl he concluded to have puhlifhed with his af- 
fiftance^for it is impoffible to fuppofe, that Crifpin 
would not. Sec. Not by mistake ; becaufe 
the Latin verf on in the edition of 155 1, which 
is placed by thefde of the Greek,, contains thefe 
words, and mufi confequently force them upon 
the attention of Stephens, ivhofe duty and interejl 
would confpire to make him infert them in the 
original, unlefs he had (upon good grounds doubt- 
lefsj determined to reje£l them. If fuch labour- 
ed nothings (which I have faithfully imitat- 
ed from you, p. 57, 122, except that I have 
retrenched fome of your redundancifs) had 
any-force, what would they prove ? That a 
reading is fupported by authority, which, 
as far as I can learn, every man hitherto has 
_ believed to be a mere error of the -prefs. Yet 
tbis error paiTed at leaft four .editions * with- 

* Stephens, fol. 1550. 8vo. 1553. Criip. 8vo, 1551. 
Francf. fol. iboi, 


t 80 ] 

tvtt obfervation or correftion. With refpeA 
to the marginal numbers and the marks in the 
text, errors abound in Stephens's edition. 
To fet this matter in a clear light, I will 
give a collation of two pages of the Apoca- 
lypfe 176 — 177. In thefe two pages Ste- 
phens's margin omits eighteen various 
areadings of the Complutenfian edition, and 
notes nineteen. Of thefe nineteen two are 
inaccurate and two palpably falfc. Three 
times the femlcircle which ought to deter- 
mine the quantity of text is omitted, and in 
a fourth paflage it is at leafl once mifplaced, 
for it is twice printed. Tvyenty-fix * faults in 
the compafs of two pages ! In Apoc. XV". 
2. "«« is marked as wanting in two copies, 
whereas x«« is extant in thofe copies and the 
four following words h roZ x'^pxyixxro^ «Jtou are 
wanting. If then Stephens could, as I have 
proved, place both his obelus and femicircle 
wrong, I am furely very moderaSfe, when I 
only contend for half of this miftake in a cafe 
of neceffity. I am certain at leaft, that the 
tremulous ball of orthodoxy mujl be aimoft invi- 

* Twcnty-feven. See Poftfcrlpt, 


[ 8^ ] 

JiUe, if it vibrates within the narrow limits * of 
this momentous femicirde. " But Stephens 
ought to have cotrefted this miftake, if it was 
a miftake, in his errata." Yes, to be fure he 
ought; fo he ought to have corre£led many 
otherSjfome of which I have mentioned; but he 
has not done it, and therefore no particular rea- 
fon obliged him to do it here. The tranfpofi- 
tion of a flop or a miftake in orthography, is 
eafily redified ; but thofe errors, which are 
in truth of the greateft confequence, are at the 
fame time moft difficult to detect, a fophil- 
ticated text or a falfified margin. It was full 
as eafy to mifplace a femicircle as a comma, 
for they are nearly of the fame fize and fhape, 
and are frequently confounded in Stephens's 
edition; but if the femicircle were mifplaced, 
it might elude all difcovery, unlefs the edi- 
tor either carried all the various readings in 
his memory, or virould undertake the pleafing 
tafk of performing the whole collation anew. 
In fliort, when we confider, that thefe {^veii 
manufcripts of Stephens, on the one fup- 
pofition give a reading which has never been 

* Gibbon, Vol. II. p. 253. 4to. III. 335. 8vo. 

G found 

[ 8. ] 

found in any manufcript, Greek or Latin ; 
that they defrroy the antithefis between heaven 
and earth, which the context, if the verfe were 
genuine would plainly demand ; that Stephens 
often mifpiaced his marks ; that no manufcript 
can now be found in the library to which Ste- 
phens returned his manufcripts that exhibits 
this reading ; while on the other hand, if we 
only fuppofe a fingle femicircle wrong placed, 
we fliall have a text agreeing with all the other 
Greek manufcripts, or at lead: with more than 
one hundred ; when we add to this, that 
Wetflein found at Paris five manufcripts, 
which agreed with five of Stephens's manu- 
fcripts in other places, but here contradidled 
his margin, none will hefitate to pronounce, 
that Stephens's copies followed the herd, and 
omitted the feventh verfe, except only thofe, 
who by a diligent perufal of Tertullian have 
adopted his maxims of reafoning, and meafure 
.the merits of their affent by the abfurdity * of 
the propofition to be believed. 

* Crucifixus eft Dei filius ; non pudet, quia puden- 
dum eft : et mortuus eft Dei fiHus : prorfus credibile eft, 
quia ineptum eft ; et fepultus refurrexit; certum eft, quia 
impoffibile eft. Tertullia J de Came Chrifti. 5. 

I have 

[ 83 ] 

1 have already quoted the paffage from 
Beza's preface or dedication, which proves 
that he had not the ocular infpedion of Ste- 
phens's MSS. I have likewife proved that 
Stephens, by his own confeffion, had them 
no longer in his power in the year 1552. I 
might therefore fifely difmifs the fubjeft ; 
but it may poffibly divert the reader to fee 
Mr. Travis's alacrity in blundering. You 
fay, that Beza detedts miftakes in R. Ste- 
phens's collation, whence you argue that 
Beza had the ufe of the fame MSS. A 
moft exquifite reafon I Stephens, in print- 
ing the collation made by his (oa Henry, 
fometimes committed a mi flake ; Beza, by 
the help of Henry's autograph, corre6led 
the miftake.* Is this fo hard to conceive ? 
It is alfo pleafant to obierve, that Emlyn tries 
to prove a truth by a falfehood, and that you 
gravely follow him, pp. 124, 275. For Be- 
za detects no miftake in the paflage to. which 

* Diftinguendum inter coliationem accuratam et editi- 
onetn collationis accuratam : CI. de Maftricht accurate 
quidem contulit codicem Casr.ireum ; fed coliationem non 
accurate edidit ; quin plurima fupprcfllt. Wetstein. 
Proleg. p. 160. ' 

G 2 Emlyn 

[ 84 ] 

Emlyn refers, but |>erfedly agrees with Ste- 
phens's margin *. But that the reader may 
fee what fluff has impofed upon fome perfons 
for irrefragable reafoning, I will tranlcribe a 
part of your note, p. 124. " It would have 
been well worth Mr. Emlyn's pains to 
have apprized us how Beza could poffibly 
have detedled a miftake of this kind, in Ste- 
phens's book of collations, unlefs by refort- 
ing to the m-anufcripts themfelves." If this 
note did not proceed from the profoundeft 
ignorance ***** State it in Edglilh, and it 
will anfwer itfelf. How could Beza detedl 
a miftake in Stephens's printed collations, 
but by reforting to the manufcripts from 
which Stephens printed thofe collations ? P«- 
det quidem talibus immorari; fed quid facias ? Ut 
adverf:riifunt, ita morem geras^ et infra te nott' 
nunquam defcendas necejfe efl. Again, " Beza' 
fays in other places, ego in omnibus nqftris in- 
veni. Sic legitur in omnibus, quae quidem mihr 
infpicerelicuit" 6cc. The former of thefe notes 

* Nequeex-tantin Complutenfi editrone neque in alio- 
guodam vetufto codice ex noftris. Beza ad Apoc. I. 11. 
Eiii'jn underftood it as if it were gu'c^uam. *• •»• Steph. 



[ S5 ] 

Beza had afterwards the modefty to with- 
draw. As for the other, and any expreffions 
of the fame fort, we mufl; either fofteii them 
by a gentle interpretation, or be obliged to 
fix an imputation upon Beza, which would 
ill fuit his erudition., and ftill worfe his piety, 
Beza too is fometimes very lax In his af- 
fertions. Matth. I. ij. heat firft publifhed 
from an interpolated 'manufcript of Ste- 
phens. In his later editions he reftored the 
common reading; but that he, might feem to 
have adopted the other upon better grounds 
and authority than he really had, he goes on, 
Robertus Stephanus ex vetu/iis codicibus exciidit, 
&c. Now R, Stephens did never fo print it 
in his text, but only puts it in his margin as 
the reading of one fingle manufcript. Such 
was Theodore Beza's good faith and exa£tnefs 
in facred literature ! Befides, any impartial 
reader will be convinced by the conduit of 
Beza himfelf with regard to this verfe, that 
he had not the immediate ufe of Stephens's 
manufcripts. For having written in his firft 
and fecond editions, legimus et nos in nonnullis, 
he afterwards changed his tone, and in the 
fuppeecjiilg impreflions only fays, extat in mn^ 
Q 3 nuMi:S% 

I 86 ] 

nullis. How meek and modeft ! Such a fweet 
tempered man as Beza, armed with the au- 
thority of fo many manufcripts, would noC 
have thundered his anathemas agairift the 
fefquiheretic * Erafmus for wrefting the capital 
texts out of the hands of the faithful. In- 
ftead of charging the oppofers of this verfe 
with aflifting the devil, he is fo faint-hearted 
in his later editions, as to hint a doubt whe- 
ther the feventh verfe ought not to be ex- 
punged. If we may believe you, .Sir, pp. 130, 
275, R. Stephens himfelf exprefsly declares^ 
that he had lent Beza the manufcripts, which 
be (Stephens) formerly ufed. I wifh you 
would pay a little attention to the truth of 
your fails, and not quote books without con- 
fulting them. Stephens is fo far from affirm- 
ing what you put into his mouth, that upon 
an attentive perufal, he would appear to af-' 
firm the direft contrary. His words are, 
S^nod ad exemplar la aitmel — funt autem cum alia 
turn ea omnia qua' in regis Gallorum bibliotheca 
extant, ^c. If they were then in the French 

* Attuli Novum Teftamentqm ab Eraftno verfum. 
Ab Eiajmo ? Aiunt ilium elTey^/'^^ai-hsreticum. Eras- 
mus Colljq. Adolefcentis et Scorti. 


[ 8; ] 

King's library, how could Beza have them 
at Laufanne ? If Stephens had kept them 
and lent them to Beza, he would have ex- 
prefled himlelf in this manner: — ^.a- ex regis 
G. b. utenda habui — ^/r ex regis G. h. mihi 
precat io data funt. Having at lafl: difcufled the 
lubject of Stephens and Beza's orthodox ma- 
nufcripts, I am compelled to decide (with 
forrow I pronounce it !) that they have dif- 
appeared ; perhaps they were too good for this 
world, and therefore are no longer vifible on 
earth. However, I advife the true believers 
not to be dejedted ; for (ince all things loft 
from earth are treafured vip in the lunar 
fphere, they may refb aflured, that thefe va- 
luable relics are fafely depofited in a fnug cor- 
ner of the moon, fit company for Conftan- 
tine's donation, Orlando's wits, and Mr, 
Travis's learning. 


Though I am almofl afhamed to have 
wafted fo many words upon fo plain and eafy 
a fubjeft as Stephens's man afcripts, I cannot 
forbear offering fome fai ther obfervations. 

G 4 The 

[ 8S ] 

The beatity of Stephens's" edition is fuch, 
that it dazzles the eyes of the ignorant be- 
holder, and this circumftance, joined to the 
vulgar but erroneous perfualion that Ste- 
phens's editions are free from typographical 
errors, naturally creates a flrong prejudice in 
favour of its correftnefs. But all the learned 
are agreed, that fcarcely any critical benefit 
can be derived from it, For inftead of giv- 
ing an accurate and particular defcription of 
his manufcripts ; what parts of the N. T. 
every one contained ; where it was mutilated 
or defective ; what was its probable age, &c. 
he leaves us to gather information vi^here we 
can find it. However, if he had fcrupuloufly 
noted all the various readings in his margin, 
and attributed each to its proper parent, we 
might by a careful comnarifon of the exter- 
nal authority fince produced, and the Intrin- 
fic goodnefs or badnefs of the readings, form 
a tolerable judgment upon the antiquity and 
merits of his manufcripts. But inftead of 
doing this, h? has favoured us with only a 
part of the various readings, (probably leis 
than half) and has frequently fet down a 
reading as from one manufcript which be- 

[ 89 ] 

longed to another. Of thirteen hundred va- 
rious readings of the Complutenfian edition, 
he has omitted fev«n hundred ; of four upon 
the moft curious place of the whole N. T. he 
has omitted three. Since therefore he has 
been fo negligent of a printed book, it is ut- 
terlyun likely that he fhould take more pains 
with his manufcripts, the majority of which 
were lefs eafy to read. Again : in his folio, 
edition, Stephens was fo fervilely addicted to 
Erafitius (fee Mill, Pro!, p. 126) that though 
he follows his manufcripts only in thirty two 
places, and the Complutenfian in thirty one, 
he follows Erafmus's fifth edition in ninety- 
nine I Surely then an edition to which he 
pays much more deference than to any other 
fingle authority, might deferVfe a place in his 
margin, when he deferts it. To what motive 
fhall we afcrjbe Stephens's obftinate filence ? 
I am inclined to think, he was afraid of ac- 
knowledging himfelf indebted to an heretic 
for any afliftance in facred critlcifm. Thus 
much may ferve for omiflions. To the ex- 
amples of error that 1 have produced in the 
body of my letter, I {hall now add a few more. 
John XVI. 14. If Stephens's margin be cor- 


[ 90 ] 

rede, feven of his copies read >.a.y.^dm for 
A»i4'£-ra(. Let Mr. Travis believe fo if he hkes ; 
but every body elfe will quickly fee that the 
marginal note belongs to x»ii|/£t«j in the next 
verfe. Aft IX. 31. a reading which mani- 
feftly belongs to one and the fame manufcript 
is fplit into two, and the parts given to dif- 
ferent copies. Two of the proofs that Martin 
and Mr. Travis bring againfl Le Long carry 
internal evidence againlt themfelves from the 
very order of the numbers. A£l. XXV- 14. 
a. la. 7). XIII. 15. "^- ">'- Upon the firft I have 
nothing to propofe ; the fecond ought, I be- 
lieve, to be, ^' >. ics. for thefe three manu- 
fcripts agree together in the fame chapter once 
againfl: all Stephens's other authorities, and 
once againft all but the Complutenfian. The. 
fame number is twice repeated in the margin 
of Apoc. XII. 2. a. (£. (£. (read «. <£. is-.") Nor 
is this edition |free (however that filly fancy 
has gained credit) from the moft glaring ty- 
pographical errors. Thus pages 212 and 2 1 3 
are numbered 213 and 214, and in the run- 
ning titles of pages 85 and 212, MAT©, is 
printed for MAPK. and ETArr. for nPAHElS. 
Adts iX. 24. TO TTuAaj ill the text ; i Cor. XVI. 


[ 91 ] 

14.. a> ya"!-*? is violently rent afunder, as I have 
here reprefented it. I have counted above 
forty places where the femicircle is omitted ; 
fometimes neither the obelus nor the femicir- 
cle appear ; Rom. XVI. 24, Gal. 1 4. Some- 
times neither figure of reference nor femicir- 
cle ; John XI. 30. Afts V. 33. VII. c,^. 
Sometimes the text direfts us to the margin, 
for a various reading, where the margin is 
filent; Mark XIII. 19. Apoc, XVI. i. Some- 
times the femicircle is twice printed ; i Cor. 
VII. '^2)'' -Apoc. II, 7. Sometimes the figure 
of reference is mifplaced ; Rom. XIII, 3. 
Apoc. II. 20. (corre£t my former collation, p. 
29.) XXI. 6. XXII. II. fometimes the femi- 
circle ; Matth. V. 48. XI. 23. Adl. VII. 21.* 
&c. fometimes both the figure and femicircle : 
Act. I. 26. Yet none of thefe miftakes are 
reftified in the errata, where Stephens has 
been Jo painfully accurate, according to Mr. 
Travis, p, 58, 123, as to fet. commas and 
points exadly right, If then thefe plain and 

* Gal. IV. 3 V. the femicircle is placed atter the word 
e^EfG/pa;, which Ought to follow "«( in the nex;t verfe 
V. I. The fame mifiake for which we coptend in i Joha 

V. 7- 


[ 9^ ] 

palpable faults, moft of which are fuch as 
the fmalleft fhare of knowledge or attention 
would be fufficient to detect, if thefe could 
efcape Stephens or his corredtor, how 
much more eafily might they mifs the 
error of this reference, for the djfcovery of 
which a good memory, a ftrong judgment, 
or a painful attention was necefiary ? 

But fuppofing that R. Stephens, or any 
other editor, had affirmed in exprefs terms, 
that he pofleffed feven manufcripts of the 
Catholic Epiftles, in which was read the 
verfe, I John, V- 7, except the words iv tu? 
mpava?, who would be bound to believe him ? 
This ground is fo fmooth, eafy and pleafant, 
that the defenders of the faid verfe are per- 
petyally pacing it over. After judicioufly im- 
proving a marginal abbreviation into a folemn 
and formal alTeveration, which muft irrevo- 
cably decide the charader of R. Stephens for 
honefty and veracity, they deafen us by bawl- 
ing in our ears old fcraps of fermons againft 
the crying fin of uncharitablenefs. For my 
own p;irt, I declare, that let any editor affirm, 
as pofitively as he will, that he has feveri 
manufcripts of an anciaiit author, confepting; 

[ 93 ] 

in a certain reading; if an hundred manu- 
fcripts of the fame author being afte,\v.i,da 
collated are found all to agree in another read- 
ing, and ic x'ltradift the fuppofed feven ma- 
nufcripts ; whatever may be fuch an editor's 
general reputation for veracity, I (hall cer- 
tainly reje£t his teftimony in this particular, 
either as a miftake, or (if his indifcreet friends 
will fuffer no compromife) as a wilful and 
deliberate untruth. fivSolfj-nv uUvto; «' ntv 
vi-csi^onv a.xo\jriv. In Horace, A. P. 65, pa/us 
has its fecond fyllable made (hort, contrary 
to a known canon, and the conAant ufage of 
all good Latin poets. And to render the cafe 
quite defperate, Servius and Prifcian expreflly 
cite the verfe for an example of this extraor- 
dinarv licence. What fays Theodore Mar- 
ciliiis to all this ? He produces, if we may take 
his word for it, ibe true reading from ancient 
parchmentsof Horace and Prifcian. Upon which 
Bentley obferves, frenue frontem perfricare 
Theodoruin Marcilium, in plain Englift, tloat he 
is animpudent liar. And to Bentley 's fentence 
of condemnation, every perfon will fubfcribe, 
except Mr. Travis and his profelytes, wrhofe 
literary candour and Chriflian charity will fuffer 


[ 9+ ] 

them to think evil of none but neretics* 
Ego hulc tejii, et'iamji jurato, qui tarn manlfejio 
fumos •vendit, me Jion crediturum ejfe confirmOi 
(Mofheira in Horfley's Trafts, pp. 159, ^SSt 
489.) But I have no obje61:ion to put the 
debate upon a ihorter ifTue. I will acknow* 
ledge the probability of Stephens's margin 
being right in this place, if another paffage 
in the whole N. T. can be found, wherever 
three of his manufcripts agree with each other, 
and differ from every copy fince examined. 
Twelve years before the appearance of Ste- 
phens's firft edition, his father-in-law, Simon 
Colinaeus, publifhed the Greek Teftament. 
Both Mill and Wetftein allow triat he faith-^ 
fully followed his manufcripts, and Wetftein 
candidly vindicates him from Mill's harlh 
cenfure of raflinels and prefumption, rightly 
obferving, that ColinEUs had few guides to 
follow, and that his poverty, not his will, was 
to blame. Thefe manufcripts, however, whe- 
ther good or bad, many or few, omitted 
I John, V- 7 ; and confequently Colinaeus 
leaves it out of his edition. If Colinaeus bor- 
rowed his manufcripts from the royal library, 
they mufl have been fome of thofe that were 


[ 95 ] 

afterwards ufed by his fon-ia-law. If they 
were his own or lent him by his friends, ftill 
it is moft probable that Stephens knew of 
them, and endeavoured to procure them for 
the fervice of his own edition. But if any 
manufcript of Colinaaus containing the Catho- 
lic Epiftles was afterwards ufed by Stephens, 
fince that manufcript certainly was deftitute 
of the three heavenly witnefies, it will 
furnifh a new proof, if proof be wanted, of the 
ivrong pofition of the lemicircle, in this me- 
morable fentence of Stephens's edition. 

The freedom with which I have treated 
that great work (as Air. Travis calls it, p. 129) 
may perhaps difpleafe fome of Stephens's ido- 
laters ; but the invidious praifes that have 
been heaped upon it by ignorant or interefted 
perfons, have extorted thefe unpalatable truths. 
The early editions * of the N. T. confidered 
as the publications of critics, are for the moft 
part worfe executed than editions of profane 
authors, and owe their chief value either to 
their fcarcity or fplendour. But when I pafs 

* See Mr. Griefbach's preface to tlie fecond volume of 
his N. T. p. 13 — 29. 


t 96 ] 

this cenfure, I find fault not with the men, 
but with the times. They did not then poA 
lefs, nor if they had pofleffedj would they 
have known how to employ, the material 
that have fince been difcovered. 

Of Beza's edition it is needlefs to faly more. 
As a critical work it has very little merit* 
Ignorant of the true ufe of various readings, 
he feldom mentions them but to fupport his 
own hypothefes ; to which godly purpofe he 
warps both text and interpretation. He makes 
his commentary (as indeed he partly boafts 
himfelf) a vehicle for abufe upon Origen, 
Erafmus, and Caftalio ; efpecially the latter ; 
againft whom he indulges, * xvithout rejlraint^ 
the exquijite rancour of theological hatred. 

I have faid thit the words in ccelo are omit- 
ted in no Latin manufcript, though Martin, I 
know, tells us (Verite, p, 1 70.) that thofe 
■Words are marked in Hentenius's edition 1547, 
£9 wanting in five manufcripts. It feems to 
be the fate of this + marvellous text, to lead 

* Gibbon, Vol. II. p. 284. 4to. III. 377. 8vo. 
t Martin. 


[ 9y ] 

both friends and fqes aftray. For Slmoa 
himfelf, fpeaking of the edition of 1547, 
fays, that it commits the fame error as Ste- 
phens's Greek, and marks only the words In 
ccelo as wanting in five manufcripts, inftead 
of marking the whole verfe. Whether Mar- 
tin was mifled by Simon or coined the en or 
out of his own brain, I know not ; but I 
know, that unlefs there are different copies 
of Hentenius's edition, which I hardly be- 
lieve, Simon's affertion is totally falfe. For 
in the copy that I h.we feen, the whole feventh 
verfe is comprehended between the obelus and 
the femicircle. Nor could it be otherwife. 
Hentenius's lift of manufcripts includes the 
very Latin copies that Stephens had collated. 
Since, then, four of Stephens's manufcripts did 
certainly omit the whole feventh verfe, it was 
no lefs certain that, whatever Hentenius's 
margin may feem to fay, Hentenius himfelf 
meant to extend his marginal reference to the 
fame quantity of text. Perhaps Simon con- 
founded a republication of the book with the 
original edition. For the Antwerp edition 
of 1570, omits both obelus and femicircle; 
H the 

[ ?8 ] 

the Lyons edition 1573, P^^^ces this mark J, 
which anfwers to the femicircle in other edr- 
fions, after the words in ccelo : the Antwerp 
edition 1 572, thus reprefents the text, *■ in cceloy- 
and in the margin has this note "5. But 
thefe miftakes are fet right in Lucas ^ur- 
genfis's edition, Antw. 1574, 1583. Martin 
Ibmewhere fays, if I recoUedl, that Heii- 
tenius's edition 1565, omits the words mccelo, 
but I believe him miftaken. From thefe 
fadts it feems to me a certain conclufion, that 
Robert Stephens might eafily mifplace his 
femicircle upon this verfe, when we fee rn 
two other editions the felf fame error com- 
mitted in the very fame words. Still, if Mr. 
Travis wiflies to catch at a twig that may 
fave him from finking, I will be charitable 
enough to dire£l him to R. Stephens's Latin 
edition of 1545, but I expeft his thanks for 
the information. In that edition Robert has 
printed two verfions, which he calh the Old 
and the New ; the Old is the received Vulgate^ 
the New is a tranflation from the Greek, 
made by Robert, or by fome learned man 
under his infpedion. The Old, as might be 


t 9') ] 

expected, retains i John, V. 7 ; the New 
difmiffes it from the text with ignominy, 
but puts a ftar after iejlimonium dant *, and 
adds in the margin, " * Pater verbum et fpi- 
ritvis fandus et hi tres unum funt. Et tres 
funt qui teftimonium dant in terra fpiritus, 
&c. fie legunt quaedam exemplaria Gra;ca." 
Bengelius referring to this edition fays ; 
*' Latina Stephani biblia lunulam fuo loco ex- 
hibent, et difertam in margine habeut an- 
notationem : Sic kgimt (fcil. in coslo Pater, 
reUqua) quaedam exemplaria Gr^eca Britannicus 
NEMPE codex et Complutenjis juxta Hieronymi 
leEiionem *. Nullum alium habuit queni 
citaret." But De Miffy (Journ. Brit. IX. 
p. d-^ taking Bengelius's explanation for 
Stephens's own words, bewildered himfelf 
in hunting for an edition that never exifted. 
Now, if we put this marginal note to the 
torture, it will fpeak at leaft, and confefs 
that fome of its mafter's Greek manufcripts 
omitted the words in ccelo ; for, upon adding 
the text and the margin together, they will 
cxaftly make up two verfes, bating thofe two 

* N. B. Bengelius's words are printed in the Italic cha- 
raSer as I have here reprefented them. 

H 2 words. 

t 106 ] 

Vrords. If Mr. Travis be fo cruel as to f urfl 
agalnft me the point of the weapon with 
which I now prefent him, I muft fhieid my- 
felf with Stephens's formal preference of the 
Greek copies that receded the verfe to tbofe 
which retained itv 


C '01 ] 



X ASSURE you that I lay a grievous tax 
upon my patience, when I condefcend to 
throw away a few Tines upon the Greek 
manufcripts, fuppofed to belong to the Lout 
vain divines, In your firft edition you were 
pleafed, p. 13, to quote their words jn this 
manner : '* The reading of this tejft is fup-? 
ported by very many Latin copies, and alfo 
by iwo Greek copies produced by Erafmus, 
one In England, the other in S^ain. We have, 
ourfehes, feen Jeveral others like thefe. This 
verfe is alfo found," &c. For this quotation 
you refer to Simon, Hift. des Verf. c. II. 
But in your fecond edition, p, 323, a fhort; 
fentence is added ; *' The King's Bible agrees 
with the Spanijh manufcript in this paffage^ 
as well as in every other. IVe have ourjelves^^' 
^c. Martin had omitted the fam? fentence, 
H 3 ^i 


[ I°2 ] 

you implicitly copy him. To fay the truth, 
iiotwithftanding all my candour, of which 
I have told you fo pften, that it is impoffible 
for you either to doubt or forget it, this place 
made me almoft fufpe£l that worthy old gen- 
tleman's iincerity. For he argues from the 
clofe connection of the two lentences, that 
the Louvain divines can only mean manu- 
fcripts, by the words " feveral others," Ces 
dodieurs parloient des manufcrhs — dire done la- 
dejfus et tout d'une suite, " nous en avons 
iiu plujieurs autres Jemhlabks^'' neji ce pas dire, 
qu'ihavoient vu plujieurs autres manufcrits Grecs ? 
Martin rightly refers to Simon, c. 1 1, but you. 
Sir, in evil hour took the Arabic for Roman 
numerals, and referred to c, II. What a 
quantity of belief fome men have ! Can the 
Roman Catholics Ihew fuch a faith as Mr, 
Travis's, who believes the infallibility of every 
individual, author, tranflator, tranfcriber, or 
printer, that is not tainted with herefy. 
But let us look at the Latin of the Louvain 
divines (or rather of Lucas Brugenfis.) Lati- 
norum librorum plurimi fuffragantur, quibus cou' 
feniientes duos Gracos codices, unum Britannicum, 
okerutri Hifpanicum, Erafmus profert ; HifpanicQ 

T *^3 1 

K? nbique et h'lc conformh ejl Regius ; midtm aim 
his confonantes vidimus. Since editions as well 
as manufcripts are here called by the general 
name of codices (for Hifpanicus codex, which 
you have tranfubftantiated into a Spanifh 
inanufcript, is the Complutenfian edition, and 
Regius Montanus's edition, which in this paf- 
iage exatSliy agrees with the Complutenfian) 
none but fuch quickfighted critics as you and 
Martin could have made the next words, 
multos aFm, iignify manufcripts. The pro- 
per conftruftion of the fentence is this : Moft 
Latin manufcripts agree in this reading, to- 
gether with Erafmus's Britifh Greek manu- 
fcript, the Complutenfian and INlontanus's 
editions, and many others that we have feen. 
If a fhadow of doubt can ftill remain, it will 
vanifli when we learn that Lucas Brugenfis 
publifhed his annotations in 1580, 4to, fe- 
parately, and afterwards in folio, fubjoined to 
the edition of 1583. The note upon i John, 
V. 7, in both thefe editions is nearly the 
fame in fubftance with the note already 
quoted, but varies confiderably in the words- 
He there exprefles himfelf in fo plain a man- 
ner, that I fhould be amazed how Martin, 
H 4 bi^ot 

[ 104 ] 

biscot as he was, could refill: fuch evidence 
when it was laid before him by Emlyn, un- 
lefs I knew what wonders obftinacy and pre- 
judice can perform, ^od pro textus leSlione 
facit, cut Gneca Complutenjis editio et qvm ex 
ea fimt, cum aliis quas vidimus non paucis con-^ 
fonant. Take another fpecimen of obftinacy, 
Martin ftoutly denies that the Louvain divines 
meant to infnuiate any doubt concerning Ste- 
phens's femicircle by the words, itiier omnes 
Siepbani codices, ne untis eft qui dijjideat^ nift quod 
Jeptem duntaxat rl in coelo confadiunt, si tamen 

Sir, feem to be of the fame opinion with your 
principal, by breaking off your tranflation at 
the word confodiunt. The Louvain divines 
therefore hzvt affirmed'^' nothing about Greek, 
nianufcripts, and there is no need of difprov- 
ing what was never affirmed. 

Make room there for the Irifh evidence ! 
His teftimony, like your Vi<Stor*S, p. 53, 112, 

* The Louvain divines affirm, that this verfe exifted 
in feveral ancient Greek manufcripts of their times : and 
their affirmation has never been difproved. Travis^ p. 

105' 3^3- 


[ I05 ] 

is POSITIVE, clear and pointed. Ifhe Alexan- 
drian and Vatican witneffes are grown old, 
and their memory is fo decayed with length 
of years, that they cannot recolle£t a fyllable 
of the difputed verfe. But this deponent 
is in the full vigour of his intellect, of found 
mind and memory. And this deponent 
maketh oath, and faith, that there are three 
that bear record in heaven^ &c. All that is 
needful, you know, Sir, to give this vvitnefs 
a decent degree of credibility, is to (hew thaC 
he is come to years of difcretion ; for the 
malicious pleaders on the other fide maintain 
that he is too young to be admitted to take 
oath. But you and your brother-counfellor 
Martin prove the age of your principal evi- 
dence by two arguments. The firft is, that 
he carries a certificate of his birth abo\i,t him. 
This certificate, upon being examined, turns 
out to be a certificate of the birth of one of 
his anceftors, who lived fifteen hundred years 
before him. Or, to drop this inimitable alle- 
gory, the manufcript fays in a poftfcript, that 
the Gofpel of Mark was written ten ;;^foi'ot 
after the afcenfion. That is to fay, according 


[ io6 ] 

to Martin's glofs, this manufcript was writ- 
ten in the eleventh century. I fhall never like 
that ugly word x.?^vo; again. Why did the 
tranfcriber write pcf °'"" and not irn ? His view 
js too plain ; to expole a brace of painful di- 
vines to the feoffs of heretics and infidels. 
Emlyn, Vol. IL p. 271. Wetftein, Prol, 
p. 52, and De Mifly, Journ. Brit. IX. p. 61, 
had ridiculed this grofs error of Martin ; but 
alas ! Sir, you had read through none of 
thefe when you publiihed your firft edition. 
I fhould not have mentioned this circum- 
ftance a fecond time, if you had not retracted 
your miftake in fo ungracious a manner, that 
the recantation ferves only to aggravate the 
offence. For * a relu^ant and imperfedi 
retraSiion is more unfeemly than the Jirji error, 
he it everfo enormous. However, the other 
reafbn ftill fubfiffs in full force to prove the 
antiquity of the Dublin manufcript. " It 

* Dr. Horsley's Xth letter to Dr. Prieftly, Tra£ls, 
p. 186. But you allow it with fo ill a grace^ with fa 
much rehaance and fhuffiing about it, as takes off all the 
tredit of a liberal and ingenuous concejfton. MiDDLETON 
toPearce, Vol. III. p. 171. 8vo. 


[ 107 ]- 

has double points," fay you, " over the i 
and r, and Montfaucon (a proper judge in 
fuch a cafe) informs us that fuch was the 
fafnion a thoufand years ago/' But this ar- 
gument is not quite decifive, unlefs you can 
prove thefe points never to have been in 
fafliion fince. Now I have feen many manu- 
fcripts of the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies with plenty of double points over the 
vowels. I have alfo feen two imitations of 
the fpurious verfe as it is written in this very 
manufcript, and though they are not fo exa<3: 
as I wifh, I fee that the Dublin manu- 
fcript is certainly not earlier than the fifteenth, 
and poflibly as late as the fixteenth century. 
I fee too, that this is the codex Briiannicus of 
Erafmus. But this conclufion is controverted, 
becaufe the Dublin manufcript has ay'" '^^ 
the feventh, and d before iwafTufoUuTSf in the 
eighth verfe, both which are omitted in Eraf- 
mus's tranfcript of the codex Briiannicus. 
Therefore fay Martin and you very wittily. 


[ io8 J 

Martin, Verite, p. 301. 
(174. Engl.) 

It is impofllble that one 
and the fame manufcript 
fliould aftually have and 
not have the fame words, 
the fame fyllabl?s. 

Travis, p. 69, 149. 

It is impoHlble that the 
fame manufcript fiiould dif- 
fer from itfelf ; or, in other 
words, be the fame, and 
yet not the fame mani^- 

To this mafier piece of reafoning and compo- 
ftion, I anfwer, i. That the place where tho 
manufcript has been found, countenances my 
fuppofition. What more likely than that a 
manufcript which was found in England, 
about the year 1520, flioilld be carried into 
Ireland, and there remain in quiet till the 
revival of the controverfy concerning this 
celebrated verfe drew it from obfcurity ? 
2. Erafmus was a very rapid writer, and his 
hand was often not over-legible. We know 
that he was in a great hurry when he com- 
pofed his apology againft Stunica, and theret 
fore might himfelf omit a word, or his print- 
ers might overlook it. 3. Erafmus, when 
be firft added the feventh verfe in his third 
edition, inferted ayiov in his text, though he 
left it out of his notes. He had not then feen 
the Complutenfian edition. It is not prob-? 


[ 109 ] 

able that he added it of his own mere njotloii 
from the Vulgate. It is therefore probable 
that his original extract contained the epithet, 
but that Erafmus in copying it haftily, made 
the omiffion. 4. The omiflion of the article 
oi' is fo trifling in itfelf, fo eafy for a modern 
tranfcriber to make, that to lay any ftrefs 
upon fuch an argument, proves a deplorable 
fcarcity of better. You, Sir, efpecially, have 
the lefs caufe to infift upon it, who in quot- 
ing the eighth verfe from the Complutenfian 
edition, p. 79. ed. i, pp.172, 287. ed. 2, 
omit the article to before aT^wa. 5. Erafmus 
has elfewhere committed fimilar or greater 
miftakes in copying. He quotes a fentence 
from Theophyladl (Wetftein. Prol. p. 124,) 
which, by leaving out Trao-ii/ and writing to? 
fivorirov for roTi »vornoig too, hc has turned either 
into nonfenfe or impiety. And this error paf- 
fed through all his five editions. But you may 
prove by the help of your nojlrum^ that the ma- 
nufcript of Theophylaft, quoted by Wetftein, 
is not the manufcript which Erafmus ufed. 
6, A general and remarkable conformity, 
as I have before obferved, is in thefe cafes a 
ftronger argument for the affirmative,than a few 
difagreements for the negative. The omiffion 


[ "o ] 

of the article fix times, and of the whole final 
claufe of the eighth verfe, is a fufficient proof 
that the Dublin MS. is the codex Britannicus 
of Erafmus, a proof not at all weakened by 
the additional onaiffions of Erafmus's tran- 
fcript. But I dare fay that you will be better 
pleafed with an illufi:ration taken (ex fumo 
lucem) from your own appendix, p. 37, 45, 
which contains, among other curious things, 
the preface of the Complutenfian editors, and 
their note upon the famous verfe. In tran- 
fcribing the preface you have written et for 
quody quod for quam, epljlolas for epijlolam, cui~ 
que * in your firfl, and quicqu'td in your fecond 
edition for quicquam, quod for quia, aliquo for 
allquando^ collocato in your firfl and collocare in 
your fecond edition for collocate (i. e. collocatce) 
you have alfo omitted ^x before apojlolica. In the 
note, though not very long, you have omitted 
et after ibidem, and s. (i. t. fcilicet) after terra. 
I ihall excufe your leSlori for lediorem^ and 

* Ci'.ique and collocato are altered to quicqu'td and collo- 
care in the larger lift of errata to the firft edition. 1 love a 
wary and judicious critic, who exchanges one blunder for 
another, and calls it correfting. You are a wife man, 
Mr. Forefight ; if you do wrong, it is with a great deal of 
confJeration and difcreiion and caution. 


[ "I ] 

mB/s — tarn for non-fed, becaufe they artf 
amended in the fecond edition. Might we 
not argue from thefe variations, that Mr. 
Travis did not copy that part of his appen- 
dix from the Complutenfian edition, or that 
he ufed a copy of that edition differing from 
all the others ? But not to trifle any longer, 
experience teaches us, that fuch deviations from 
originals happen every day in copying, and 
either hafte or ignorance will fufficiently ac- 
count for them. I fhall therefore equally 
divide the reafons between Erafmus and you. 
Erafmus himfelf confefles hajie ; and your hu- 
mility, Sir, is fuch, that I know you will 
plead guilty to the charge of ignorance, to 
which I fhall fubjoin a civil queftion ; what 
bufinefs has a man to prate about manufcripts 
and points of criticifm, who cannot conftrue 
a Latin fentence, or read a printed book ? 

Erafmus faid, in his anfwer to Lee, that if 
he had found a fingle Greek manufcript con- 
taining the three heavenly witnefles, he would 
have inferred them in his text. You, Sir, 
p. 8, think this conduft of Erafmus mean. 
Till the duties of an editor are exa£lly afcer- 
tained and defined, this charge may well be 


fpared. But whether \onem or mot, the words 
of Krafmus might feem a kind of advertife- 
inent requefting any perfon who knew of 
fuch a manufcript, to giv4 hini notice of 
It. His induftrious friends in England- im- 
mediately began a ftri6t fearch, and were fo 
fortunate, in the interval between the feeond 
and third editions, as to difcover a copy after 
their own heart. How feafonable was this 
afllftgince in fo critical a jundure ! Scarcely 
was L-ord Peter more fuecefsful, when, after 
vainly hunting a long time in his father's will 
for a pfecept or petmifjiqn to wear flame- 
Coloured fattin, he called to mind a codicil 
written by a dog^keeper of his grandfather's, 
that, as good luck would have it, talked a 
great deal about that fame flame-coloured 
fattin. I have faid, that Erafmus never faw 
the Codex Britannicus, but had only ari ex- 
tra£t from it. It could not be expedled that 
two fuch fturdy antagonifts would let this 
pafs without difpute. Firft Simon's acknoW" 
ledgmentf as you call it, p. 64, 138, is quoted 
to prove that Erafmus z.€im\\y faw the manu- 
fcript. You ought to know, Sir, that no 
man is free from flight errors of this kind, 


[ "3 ] 

which are never to be taken for deliberate 
opinions or aflertions in which the writer 
flakes his veracity. Simon indeed fays, that 
Erafmus inferted the difputed verfe in his 
third edition from a manufcript that he had 
feen in England, But Simon {yvho is fome- 
times a little hafty and negligent) had no 
other means of information than Erafmus's 
own words. Where then does Erafmus fay 
that he faw the manufcript ? In two places* 
you anfwer, p. 139, ed. 2, which you thus 
quote, In codjce, unde coi^cvvLi m ^nglia fu- 
ijje fcriptum, &c. Collationis negotium perege- 
RAM in Anglia, &cc. " Thefe are his words,'"* 
you fay, " when difcourfing on this Britifh 
copy." You will grant, I fuppofe, thac 
Erafmus collated this manufcript, if he col- 
lated it at all, between the years 15 19 and 
1523, the dates of his fecond and third edi- 
tions. But the biographers agree that he was 
not in England after the year 1518. He 
could not therefore collate the manufcript in 
England, and confequeiitly in this paflage he 
cannot mean the manufcript, which upon 
I John, V. 7, he calls the Codex Britannicus* 
The fame anfwer will ferve for the other fen- 
c I , tence. 

r "4 ] 

tence. If he performed the bufinefs of cdl* 
Jation in England, he performed it in or be- 
fore 15 1 8, before he knew any thing of this 
manufcript. Thus it appears even from your 
own accoiint, that your proofs turn againft 
yourfelf, or at leafl: do you no fervice* Th^ 
fafl: is, that Erafmus carried over his manu- 
fcripts from Germany to England, and there 
prepared part of his edition. He fays, there- 
fore, Collationis mgotium peregeram in Anglia et 
IN Brabantia. The three laft words you 
liave fupprefled, I doubt not, for the fake of 
brevity. Collaiio is the general work of col- 
lation, not the collation of a fingle manu- 
fcript. Do you think that Erafmus collated 
his Britilh manufcript pjirtly in En-gland and 
partly in Brabant? If the reader has not 
Erafmus's works at hand, let him confult 
Wetftein, Prol. p. 125, where both the paf- 
fages above mentioned are quoted at length, 
and he will fee that they have not the fmalleft 
reference to the Codex Britannkus. But when 
Erafmus Ijoeaks for certain of this manufcript, 
what are then his words ? Surely not weaker 
than, Repperi, vidi, infpexi codicem apud An- 
glos ; or monftratus eft mibi, mf([us eft codex ab 


[ ^'5 ] 

Angln, &c. Nothing lefs. Repertus ejl codex 
apud Anglos. Could he have ufed iuch un- 
certam, and indefinite ^anguage, if he had 
fpoken from ocular infpeilion ? Or would he 
have been contented with hinting his fuipi- 
cion that the manufcript was correfted from 
the Latin verfion, if he had examined it him- 
felf ? He would then have been enabled from 
a comparifon of other places, to decide whe- 
ther it were fo correfted or not. Now, if 
the Dublin MS. has the Latin divifion of 
chapters, (which is Wetflein's opinion, Prol. 
p. 52) Erafmus's fufpicion was very jufl* 
But you, Sir, in your next edition will clear 
up this circumftance. For as I hear that you 
have lately vifited Ireland, 1 take for granted 
that you have diligently examined a monu- 
ment fo refpeftable, that, as Aiartln pojitively 
affures us, divine Providence has vijiblyibatched 
for its prefervation* . In the mean time, to 
fhew that the Codex Britannicus did not bor-' 

* La Providence divine, qui vellle vifiblement pour 
maintenir dans i'Eglife la vcrite d'un Texte fi refpedable 
par la dodrine qu'il contient, m'a fait veniremre les mains 
I'Extrait d'un ancient Manufcrit Grec, &c. Veiite, 
p. 271. 

I .3 row 

[ n6 J 

tow I John, V. 7, from the Lathi Verfion,. 
you ngahi produce your favourite proof, the 
omiflion of the word ^yiov. But if Erafmu3 
himfelf omitted iV'"" through overfight, what 
becomes of this Achillean argument. If it 
Tvas really ahfent from the Godex Britannicus, 
might not an interpolator omit it ? You feem 
to think that nothhig lefs than abfolute uni- 
formity wlH prove one writer to have copied 
another^ If fuch be yo'ur opinion, long may 
you live to enjoy it, for upon the commonly 
received principles of reafoning, you will 
be confuted in a moment ; but if we grant 
you only the truth of a few impoffibilities, 
you will undertake, like Belial or Socrates, * 
to make the worfe appear the better reafon. 
Though I fliould admit, what I now deny, 
that the Codex Britannicus was different from^ 
the Dublin MS, the oraiffion of aJyiov would- 
not prove your point, \inlefs all the manu- 
fcripts of the Vulgate agreed in retaining. 
fandhis. But I myfelf have feen two Latin 
manufcripts in which that epithet is omitted ; 
and Mr. Travis might have remembered that 

* Milton, P. L. II. 113. Pi,ato, Apol. Socr. p. 19. 

ed, Sftran. ' > 


C ^^7 ] 

the fame word is omitted in four of his own 
examples from the Latin writers, p. 28 — 31. 
The conclufions which I draw from thefe 
fa£ls are, i . That the Codex Britannicus is the 
MS. now called Dublinenfis or Mont-* 
fortius. 2. That it contains the controverted 
paffage tranflated in a bungling manner from, 
the modern copies of the Vulgate. For the 
om.iffion of the final claufe of the eighth verfe 
is peculiar to them. 3. That it was probably 
written about the year 1520, and interpolated 
in this place for the purpofe of deceiving 
Erafmus, This hypothefis will explain how 
it fo fuddenly appeared when it was wanted, 
and how it difappeared as fuddeiily after 
having atchieved the glorious exploit for 
which it was deftined. It might have been 
hazardous to expofe its tender and infantine 
form to barbarous critics, They would per- 
haps have thrown brutal afperfions upon its 
charafter, frpm which it might never have 
recovered, The frefhnefs of the ink and 
materials might then have led to a dete£tion 
of the impoilure ; hut time would gradually 
render fuch an event lefs probable in itfelf, 
and lefs hurtful in its confequences, 

J 3 \ ihaU 

[ ii3 ] 

I fhall pafs over in filence the fhameful 
attacks on Erafmus, pp. 145 — 147, 348; 
where inftead of accounting for his condudt 
from his natural timidity, and the violent 
clamours of his enemies, you make it fpring 
from fheer Arianifm, villainy and hypocirify. 
Whoever fairly confiders the temper of the 
times, and the peculiar fituation of Eraf- 
mus, will find much greater reafon to 
applaud his fuicerity than to cenfure his 

La Croze, a profeffed Trinitarian (though, 
I fear,* (the leaven of Arianifm fermented with' 
in his mind) affirmed that the Berlin manu- 
fcript was copied from the Complutenfian 
edition. Mais [M. Travis] femble faire peu 
de cas du jugement de M. La Croze. Cela ne 
fed pas mal h quiconque fait grand cas de celui 
de M. Martin +• In confequence of this per- 
fuafion, you retail Martin's reafon s of ftraw ; 
the firft of which is, that the Eleftor pur- 
chafed the rnanufcript for 200 crowns. This, 
it muft be owned, proves the antiquity 

* Compare p. 146 with p. 162. 

t De Mifly, Journal Brit. IX. p. 78. 


[ 1^9 ]: 

of the manufcrlpt not lefs clearly thantne 
expences of Cardinal Ximenes prove the learn- 
ing, diligence, and fidelity of his illujirious 
congregated divines; (pp. 179, 183) not lefs 
clearly than the immenfe price that the Duke 
of Lauderdale paid for Captain Thornton's 
bible *, proves the genuinenefs of that bible. 
a.Hendreichius, SaubertuSjTolliuSjJablonfki, 
Spanheim, believed it ancient. Did thefe 
five men, or any of them, give their opinion 
after a careful examination ? Did they perfift 
in their opinion after doubts to the prejudice 
of the manufcript had been hinted? When a 
critic dete(£ls a forgery that has for fome time 
impofed upon the world, his difcovery cafts no 
imputation upon thofe learned men who have 
been hitherto deceived. Befides, if La Croze 
convinced Spanheim and Hendreichius that 
the manufcript was a forgery, their conver- 
lion is inore than equivalent to the hafty opi- 
nions of fifty others. 3. La Croze affirmed 
that he had made the matter plain to Martin 
himfelf, whereas Martin denied that La Croze 
ever had made it plain to him ; and La Croze 

* Levfis's I^iftory of Englllh Tranflatjon?, p. 47— 49. 
^d, 8vo. 

I 4 iiever 

I 1 20 ] 

never replied ; but left that venerable Senior 
mafter of the field. I fee no great difagree- 
ment in thefe aflertions. I take La Croze to 
mean, that he had given fufficient reafons 
for his opinion, and that Martin knew of 
thofe reafons. I believe therefore th^t La 
Croze was not miflaken in the nature and 
force of his proofs, but in the nature and 
force of his patient, whofe cafe would have 
baffled the united powers of reafon and helle- 
bore. But why did not La Croze reply ? If 
his excufe be unfatisfaclory, as given by 
Wetftein, Prol. p, 59, and by you, p. 165, 
take his own words from the Journal Britan- 
nique, XI. p. 90. Le ban homme M. Martin, 
navoii aucun gout n'l auciin merite critique. Le 
reJpeSi quefai cru devoir a fon age et hfoncarac- 
iere ma emp^che de lui repondre. II auroit mieux 
fait de fe meler de precher. 4. Thus far you 
have only been fkirmifiiing. Now you pre- 
pare for a deciiive aftion,. " The Berlin ma- 
nufcript is not a tranfcript from the Complu- 
tenfian edition, becaufe it differs in many 
places." Martin had occupied the fame 
ground, and to maintain it, had intrenched 
himfelf in twenty-three choice examples, 
twelve of which you borrowed in your firfl 


I ^21 ] 


edition, without confulting the Complutenfian. 
In your fecond edition, either by the fuggeftion 
of a friend or your own collation, you detected 
two miftakes adopted from Martin, and the lift 
of examples dwindles to ten. However, Mr. 
Travis's arguments are like the Sibyl's books ; 
they contain information of equal truth, and 
they increafe in value by the diminution of 
quantity. One of the examples is fo im- 
portant that I cannot help quoting it. " Iti 
[Matth.] VI. 13, the Complutenfian edition 
has t\ie doxology complete — of which the 
Berlin manufcrlpt has not a fingle word." 
Thus you had faithfully tranfcribed froni 
Martin in your firft edition, p. 76. Now 
the Complutenfian edition (as you have fines 
learned) omits the doxology in the text, and 
gives the reafons for this omiffion in the mar- 
gin. Would not a writer, who had any re- 
gard for the public or for his own charafter, 
upon the difcovery of fuch a mlftake, blot 
out the whole fentence ? You, Sir, In your 
■fecond edition, p, 167, repeat the falfhood 
with unblufhing foreheaid, fet down the fame 
aflertion, and qualify it with this elegant note : 
*' This doxology flands in the margin of the 
Complutenfian Tei^ament." The argument 


[ 122 ] 

then is, by your own confeffion, either falfe or 
trifling, and proves nothing but the ignorance 
or prsvarication of its owner. But fome 
■writers feem to be incapable of diftinguifti- 
ing text from margin, originals from tranfla- 
tions, or manufcript's from editions. Let 
the reader attend to the next obfervation ; for 
the words of the wife, fays John Dennis, 
are precious. " In eight of thefe examples 
this manufcript agrees with one or more of 
the manufcripts of Robert Stephens ; in one 
example with a manufcript of Cafaubon ; in 
two with the Codex Montfortius ; in one with 
the manufcripts of Saubertus ; in three with 
the celebrated manufcript of Cambridge ; and 
in the laft example with the ftill more cele- 
brated manufcript of Alexandria." From all 
which you mod logically infer, p. 169, 


verfe muft thofe men be, that can withftand 
i'uch a proof! But to ftrip the unbelievers 
of all defence, Mr. Zoellner is at hand in the 
appendix, p. 56, with fix frefh examples. 
And yet Joth as I am to diffept from Mr, 


C 123 ] 

Travis, I am .here compelled to 'it by the 
reafons which La Croze and Mr. Griefbach 
(Symbol. Crit. . p. clxxxi — cxcii.) have 
given for the contrary opinion. I fhall only 
mention feven or eight. 

1. The Berlin manufcript has all the 

marks of novelty, fuch as frefh chalk, 
parchment, (ink not pale from its 
antiquity,, but its natural weaknefs, 
' adds La Croze,) &c. Mr. Zoellner, 
who, to fay the truth, fpeaks more like 
an advocate than like a judge *, con- 
feffes that thefe appearances are fuf- 
picious, and makes a very feeble 
anfwer, the amount of which is, 
that in his opinion a manufcript of 
Suetonius, written in 1472, looks 
rather younger than even the Berlin 

2. The characters refemble no manufcript 

whatever that has yet been feen, 
but are very like the types of the 
Complutenfian edition. 

* Dixerit forfan codicis Raviani fautor — ^Nec tamen 
hie elabendi rima codicis Raviani defenfortbus deeft, 

P- 54' 59- - 

3- It 


It Is written without accents and 
fpirits. It ought, therefore, to be above 
a thoufand years old. But as I fup- 
pofe you will fcarcely believe it to be 
quite fo old (though I am far from 
wifhing to flint you in your faith) I 
ihall conclude that it is a copy of the 
Complutenfian edition, which is alfo 
deftitute of accents and fpirits. 

Though La Croze calls it a tran- 
fcript, even to the faults of the im- 
prefiion, yet critics, as De Miffy ob- 
ferves, never expert fuch a conformity 
as there is between ten and twice five ; 
becaufe it is next to Impoffible to tran- 
fcrlbe a book fo large as the New Tef- 
tament without making many devi- 
ations. But you and Martin taks it 
for a firfl principle, that no book can 
be copied from another, unlefs both 
agree exa<£lly in every word, fyllable, 
letter, and comma. 

A general and remarkable likenefs is 
allowed; and that, as I have more 
than once obferved, is in thefe cafes 
reckoned fufllicient. Sii^ce La Croze 


t «^5 ] 

fuppofes the impofture to bethejoiitf 
product of fraud and folly, it is 
no wonder that differences from the 
original are occafionally found, fome 
the offspring of knavery and fome of 
6. Thefe differences are ftrewed more 
plentifully through the Gofpel of 
Matthew than any other part of the 
book. Who perceives not the drift 
of this contrivance ? That if any mo- 
rofe critic fhould chance to collate the 
manufcript with the Complutenfian 
edition, he might be deceived by the 
•apparent variation before he had ex- 
amined too far. Nempe collide Jibi pro- 
Jpexit impo/ior, ut in quovis N.- 'T. libra — 
in promtu ejfei locus unus et item alter a 
Complutenfi editione manifejle difcrepans, 
quo commodum uti pojfet adverfus eos^ 
quibus frausfuboleret, Atque ob eandem 
banc caiifam procu! dubio plures Matthceo 
adfperfa funt leSiiones^ &c. * 

''' Griesbach, Symb. Crit. p. cxc. 

7. The 

[ i?6 3 

^k The dlfputed verfe in this manU' 
fcript exactly reprefents the . reading 
of the Complutenfian edition ; and, 

-S. Laftlyt every one of the fixreen dif- 
ferent readings produced by you and 
Mr. ZoeHner may be found in the 
margin of R. Stephens's edition. In 
fliort, every circumftance favours La 
Croze's determination, that the Ber- 
lin manufcript was copied by an ig- 
norant tranfcriber from the Complu- 
tenfian edition, with corre£lions here 
and there interfperfed by his knavilh 
employer from Stephens's margin. If 
inftead of the eloquent paragraph 
which I have quoted above, yon had 
been content with this fhort and fim- 
ple exprefiion, " In every one of 
thefe examples, the Berlin manu- 
fcript agrees with Stephens's mar- 
gin," your argument would have re- 
coiled upon yourfelf, the forgery 
would have flared us in the face, and 
the indignant reader would have ex- 
claimed with Mr. Griefbach, Itaque 


[ 127 ] 

jam tenetur falfarius, manifejlo ftirto pri- 
henfus I 
The calculation at which I hi«ted in my 
fecond letter, p. 22, is (if that be poffible) 
falfer and fuller of miftake than the reft of 
the work. You affert, p. 282, that Wetftein's 
No. 49, contains only the Gofpel of Mark, 
when Wetfteln himfelf tells us, that it has 
alfo fcholia upon the catholic epiftles. Per- 
haps you think that the reading of the text 
can never be afcertained from fcholia. If 
fuch be your notions, why do you not ex- 
plain them ? You would then believe an ab^ 
lurdity; now you affert a falfehood. " No. 56 
is no more than a collc£lion of fome various 
readings noted in the margin of a printed 
book." Is it therefore to be fet afide ? 
On the contrary, it is at ieaft a good finglc 
authority. A learned man had collated the 
catholic epiftles with four manufcripts in the 
Medicean library, and had marked the vari- 
ous readings in a copy of Raphelengius'a 
edition. Since therefore that edition contains 
the difputed verfe, if the collator had been 
filent, it would not indeed have been certain 
that any of his manufcripts agreed with the 


[ 128 j 

printed text ; (though Martin and yOU would 
have improved this filence into a demon- 
stration ;) but lince Wetftein fets down 
No. 56, as agreeing with the other manu- 
fcripts, he could not ad thus but upon the 
adlual information of the margin. 

In the following fentence, Sir, I muft 
defire you to chufe between deliberate falfehood 
znd Jirange rriifapprehenjion;, " Of thefe fixty- 
five Greek manufcripts Wetftein admits that 
thofe marked 34, 44, 48, 51, 57, and 58, do 
exhibit this difputed paflage. Six afiertions 
and five of them falfe ! Wetftein only ad- 
iTiits, that No; 34, (rhe Dublin MS.) exhi- 
bits the difputed paflage. No. 44 fignifies 
Valla's manufcripts ; and Wetftein is fo far 
from admitting what you affirm, that he en- 
deavours to prove (as I have done more at 
large) exactly the reverfe. Numbers 48, 51, 
and ^y, he fets down in the lift of manu- 
fcripts that omit the three heavenly witnefles ; 
and you rightly obferve (from Mr. Griefbach) 
in the fifth line preceding this fentence, that 
No. 58 is a duplicate of No. 22. If then 
Wetftein admitted that No. 58 retained the 
three heavenly witnefTes, he would admit 


[ *29 ] 

that No. 22 retained them. But he has 
fet down No. 22 in the omitting lift. Either 
therefore yoii poflTefs a copy of Wetftein's 
edition different from all other copies, and in 
it thefe important confeffions exift ; or, in five 
of your fix aflertions, 'Truth and you will be 
found in twojiories ; and which are we to believe ? 
I own that politenefs alone would induce me 
to prefer the lady, even without the magni- 
ficent charadler that you give her, p. 127, 
374, " That flie is all fair and artlefs, uni- 
form and confiftent, fimple and fincere." 
Who fhall hereafter doubt of Mr. Travis's 
Chriftian charity, when we find him thus 
honeftly doing juftice to his inveterate enemy ? 
You charge Mr. Gibbon, p, 126, 371, in ex- 
prefs terms withforging the authority of Gen- 
nadius. If Mr. Gibbon be guilty of one for- 
gery, Mr. Travis is guilty oi jive : If a de- 
fender of Mr. Travis fhould argue, that it is 
incredible that Mr. Travis fhould wilfully at- 
tribute to an author opinions, which that 
author not only never maintained, but which 
he dlredly oppofed ; In the fame manner, with 
equal right, may a defender of Mr. Gibbon 
argue. " But Mr. Gibbon has wilfully mlf- 
K reprefented 

[ n° 1 

reprefented Gennadius, becaufe his reference 
is exa(^." Truly I am fo dull as not to per- 
ceive the conueflion between the two pro- 
poiitions. Would not the fufpicion be more 
reafonable, if the reference were general and 
inaccurate? You, Sir, p. 71, 157, make 
Montfaucon fay what Moiitfaucon never 
meant ; and in the fecond edition the refer- 
ence is exad:. From your own principles, 
therefore, I might conclude, that you have 
*' •wilfully (for the reference is too exa£l to 
allow you fhelter under any fuppofed inadver- 
tence )■ mif reprefented''^ Montfaucon. Butlfhall 
fliew you more indulgence. I believe that you 
caught a detached fentence without confult- 
ing the fequel. Only remember, that a man 
who quotes in this negligent manner ftiould 
be the laft to accufe others of forgery. 

You end your calculation by telling us, that 
thirty-one manufcripts have the verfe to fifty 
that omit it. What only fifty ? Making all 
poffible dedu£tions from Wetftein's lift, I 
cannot allow fewer than eighty-fix that omit 
the verie. But perhaps you have a new fyf- 
tem of arithmetic as well as a new fyftem of 
criticifm. Why did you not rather take Mr. 


. [ ^3^ ] 

Griefbach's computation ? Becaufe it Increafea 
the number of heretical manufcripts, and that 
way madnefs Iks I I muft try, therefore, my- 
felf to fubftitute a more exadl account of all 
the Greek manufcripts that have been collated 
upon this chapter. I dedudl No. 64, one 
le6:ionary, and two of Stephens's manufcripts 
that have dlfappeaied. There will then re- 
main ninety- feven in Mr.Griefbach's lift ; for 
I myfelf have examined No. 63, and teftify 
that it omits the paffage. To which add, 
two of the oldeft manufcripts in die Efcu- 
rial, infpecled by Edward Clarke*, a ma- 
nufcript once belonging to Bentley (which.. 
I have feen in Trinity College library, Cam- 
bridge) another in Cafley's Catalogue, p. 3, 
another in the library at Vienna, lately col- 
lated by Profeflbr F. C. Alter, and ten at 
Mofcow (one written in capitals) examined 
by Mr. Matthaii ; the whole number of ma- 
nufcripts now extant, omitting this marvellous 
text, amounts to one hundred and twelve. I 
fliall therefore not hefitate to conclude with 

* Letters concerning Spain, 410. 1763, p. 133. 

K 2. Chandler 

[ 132 ] 

Chandler (Pref. to Caffiodorus), BengcUus» 
Wetftein, Mr. Griefbach and many others, 
that this celebrated verfe exifts in no genuine 
Greek manufcript whatfoever ; and partly 
with Mr. Gibbon, that it owes its place in 
our editions to the prudence of Erafmus ; the 
honeft bigotry of the Complutenfian editors ; 
the typographical en-or of Robert Stephens i 
and the ftrange mifapprehenfion of Theodore* 


I. I have ftill a fcruple remaining with 
refpeft to an incidental queftion. Simon 
quotes the note of Lucas Brugenfis, which 
Mr. Travis has fo grofly miflaken, as from 
the edition of 1 5 74. Martin fays, that it is in 
the preface. I have feen feveral copies of the 
Antwerp edition of 1574. All thefe were in 
oclavo ; none of them have notes, nor men- 
tion this text in the preface. Lucas Bru- 
genfis too fpeaks in fuch terms (Pref. to his 
notes dated 1579), as ftrongly imply that 
they were then publifiied for the firft time. 
Are there tUcn difierent copies of the fame 


[ '33 1 

notes, and did Simon ufe a copy containing 
fuch a note upon i John, V. 7, as he has re- 
prefented ? If that be the cafe, Lucas Bru- 
genfis feems to have been apprehenfive that 
he had not exprefled himfelf with fufficient 
clearnefs, and in confequence of that appre- 
henfion to have flopped the prefs, that he 
might alter his note fo as to leave no ambi- 
guity. But I fhall be thankful to any learned 
reader, who can explain this difficulty, and 
either confirm or deflroy my conjedture. 

2. That I may fhew my impartiality by cor- 
reding errors on either fide, I fhall oblerve 
that De Miffy has fallen into a mifV&ke by too 
much refinement. The word [Ji,ot^u^ouvTsg in the 
Dublin MS. has its lafl fyllable written in a 
contraction, and marked with double points, 
a circumflance not uncommon in modern 
Greek manufcripts. But upon this innocent 
circumflance he founded a falfe accufation 
againfl the manufcript, that it meant to pro- 
fcribe the whole fentence from Iv to7 ov^xvm to 
jKap7uoouvT"(inclufive), as doubtful or fpurious. 
I have expended fo many lines upon the iden- 
tity of the Dublin manufcript, and of the 
Codex Britamicus, merely in obedience to the 
K 2 canoiTji 

[ ^34 ] 

canon, that enjoins us not to enlarge the' 
number of manufcripts without neceffity. 
Elfe I would as readily admit as deny their 
diverfity. For fince they both are manifeflly 
tranflated from the recent and corrupt Latin 
copies, the authority of an hundred fuch ma- 
liufcripts is equal to the authority of one, 
and the authority of one is equal to no- 

3. "\Yhen I fay, in the foregoing letter, that 
]VIr. Travis prefers Wetftein's computation to 
Mr, Griefbach's, the expreffion is inaccurate. 
He mifrejJtefents them both. He makes a 
fhew of mentioning Mr, Griefbach's additions 
in thefe words, " to which Griefbach adds 
four others." Now befides the manufcripts 
•which Wetftein conftantly ufes, he appeals, 
on I John, Y- /> to thofe which were col- 
lated by Simon, Burnet, Lami, Blanchini, 
Sec. Thefe make up thirty-one ; to which 
Mr, Griefbach adds eight. Thefe manu- 
fcripts, together with the fifty that Mr. Tra- 
vis gracioufly allows u^, would make eighty- 
nine. But Mr. Travis, either from hurry or 
from forgetfulnefs, or from whatever caufe, 
has tptaliy pegieded thefe aclditional witnefr 


[ ^3S ] 

fes. Whatever was the caufe, it certainly 
was no difhoneft motive. For " to ftate 
authorities, and to urge arguments on one fide 
of a queftion alone, is barely tolerable in an 
hired advocate," p. 125, 370^ 

^ake notice, lords, he has a loyal hreaji^ 
For you have feen him open it. 


[ ^36 1 



After a long interval, which, I dare 
fay, has been equally painful to us both, I 
wait upon you again according to my pro- 
i-nnj*. Having difpatched the Greek ma- 
nuicnpts, I proceed to the examination of 
thofe vcifions of the New Teftament w^hich 
contain the Catholic Epiftles. You, who 
with an happy facility contrive to turn the 
balance in your favour, however the particu- 
lars may make againft you, tell us, p. 205, 
206, that, of the five ancient verfions, the 
Italic, theVulgate of Jerome, the Syriac, the 
Armenian, and the Coptic, three, the Italic, 
the Vulgate, and the Armenian, contain the 

* Gent. Mag. Aug. 1789. p. 697. 


[ ^Z1 ] 

difputed verfe, i John, V. 7. Pray, Sir, 
where is this Italic Verfion to be found ? 
Not in MSS. for you fay, that there is not a 
fuigle MS. of it now certainly known to 
exift in the world, p. 90. Why, then, muft 
this verfion be prefl'ed into the fervice ? Be- 
caufe it is cited by the writers who lived 
before Jerome. This verfion, therefore, ul- 
timately refolves itfelf into the authority of 
thofe writers ; and the number of ancient 
verfions flirinks into four, unlefs to fill up 
the vacancy, you will accept my gracious 
offer of the Sclavonian verfion, to which you 
ought to have no objedtion, confidering that 
you have alfo inlifted that into the orthodox 
army, p. 92, 206. Leaving, therefore, the 
examination of your quotations from Ter- 
tullian, Cyprian, ^c. to another letter, I fhall 
endeavour at prefent to treat of the Vulgate 
verfion with all poffible brevity. In order to 
pave the way to this fubjeft, I defire the 
reader to alk himfelf the following quef- 
tions : 

J. Does the Vulgate always clofely follow 
the Greek, particularly in fcrupulouf- 
ly guarding agaiuft interpolations ? 

2. Do 

[ '38 ] 

2. Do all the MSS. of the Vulgate agree 
in retaining the three heavenly wit- 
neffes ? 

2- Do all that retain the feventh and 
eighth verfes of i John V. reprefent 
them in the fame manner, without 
any important alterations, omiffions, 
or additions ? 

4. Have the orthodox MSS. the verfe 

from the hand of the firft writer, 
without rafures, interlineations, or 
marginal infertions ? 

5. Are they generally the oldeft and beft ? 
Unlefs thefe queftions can be anfwered in 

the affirmative, the main prop and pillar of 
your caufe will be in a very lame and tot- 
tering condition. For I need not tell you. 
Sir, becaufe you muft deny, nor need I tell 
the learned, becaufe they cannot but know, 
that the chief fupport of this contefted verfe 
is the authority of the Vulgate. But who- 
ever has enquired with the leaft fhare of di- 
licjence into the ftate of the Latin MSS. 
knows, that not one of thefe queftions can 
t>e anfwered in the afBrmative. 

I allow you in advance, that a great ma- 

[ ^39 J 

jority of the Latin MSS. are oa your fide» 
Perhaps for one that omits the three hea- 
venly witneffes, forty or fifty may be found 
that retain them. I fearched, I confefs, a 
long while without finding any others ; and, 
that my readers may be as wife as myfelf, I 
will give them a collation of fifty MSS, or 
more, that I had the patience to confult, 

1. Of this number thirty-two omit the 

final claufe of the eighth verfe ; 
eighteen retain it, but one has it in 
the text underlined with red lead, 
two in the margin, one from the firft, 
the other from a fecond hand. 

2. One omits the final claufe of the fe- 

venth verfe. 

3. Two read film inftead of verbum % 

with which two French MSS. fold 
by Meff. Leigh and Sotheby, May 2^, 
178Q, agree. {It fils^ 

4. Two omit the epithet fan£ius. 

5. Nine change the order of the verfes ; 

but of tbefe nine one begins the 
eighth verfe with et and the leventh 
with quoniant ; on the other hand, 
pne MS. that prefer ves the common 


[ I40 ] 

-order, begins the feventh verfe with 
et and the eighth with quoniam. 

6. The MSS. that retain the claufe of the 

eighth verfe read invariably either et 
ires unumjunt, or et hi ires unumfunt. 

7. One adds the heavenly witneffes in the 

margin from the fame hand ; another 
is fo fond of them^ as to infert them 
in the text, both before and after the 

8. 'En terre is wanting in one French MS. 

and in terra in a Latin MS. at Ulme, 
quoted by Mr. Griefbach, p. 229. 
With moft of thefe variations fome MSS. 
or other, collated by editors and critics, agree. 
One MS. at Toledo, collated by Blanchini, 
adds in ChryioJefu'\ which is alfo the reading 
of the author de Trinitate and the writer 
againft Varimadus, both publifhed by Chifflet 
under the name of Vigilius Tapfenfis. You 
feem. Sir, to acquiefce in Chifflet's judgment. 
But if you (hall hereafter choofe to make 
them two diftind: witneffes, my candour is 
fuch, that I am determined to have no ob- 


[ HI ] 

The fame faithful and judicious writer* 
againft Varimadus quotes for the earthly 
vvitneffes in the eighth verfe, aqua^ fanguis, 
et caro ; and fo reads the margin of a Colber- 
tine MS. quoted by Simon. If this reading 
had become fafhionable, it would have pre- 
vented an objeftion which the heretics have 
made againft the double mention of the 

The addition In Chrijlo Jefu I take to havQ 
at firft belonged to the eighth verfe, and to 
have been written by feme pious perfon who 
meant thus to explain the verfe ; that the 
fpirit, the water, and the blood, concur in 
bearing witnefs to Chriftianity. But when 
the feventh verfe was framed upon the modet 
of the eighth, they whofe copies had received 
this addition, tranfpofed it together with the 
reft of the claufe to the end of the feventh. 
One of my reafons for this opinion is, that 
fome of the MSS. of Ambrofe add thefb 
words at the end of the eighth verfe. 

I ftiall take little notice of the trifling 
oiTiiflion of in before tinum, becaufe I think 

* See tJie Poftfcript to this Lettec, 


that it neither afFefts the fenre of the paftage, 
nor the credit of the Vulgate. The Greek 
MSS. from which that verfioii was made, 
without doubt omitted sk from the" identity 
of the three precefdifTg letters in t^e^. The 
prepofition is omitted from the fame caufe in 
a paffage of Cyril, and in the Greek MSS. of 
Euthymius Zigabenus*. 

If all thefe various readings were prefented 
in one view to any perfon endowed with com- 
mon fenfe, moderately inftrtli£ted in the prin- 
ciples of critlcifm, and uninfluenced m the 
prefent debate by intereft or paffion, he could 
not help concluding, that the number and 
importance of the various readings furnifh 
reafonable ground for a fufpicion of corrup- 
tion. That a paffage, which fo often adds, 
omits, or alters particular words ; which now 
precedes, now follows the unfufpedled parC 
of the te.\'t ; which is fometimes feen in the , 
body of the work, fometimes in the margin ; 
fometimes by the fame, fometimes by a dif- 

'* Panopl. Dogm. Tit. XII. near the end, fol. 112. 
«g1. 1. ed. Tergovift. See Mr. Matthai, on the Catholic 
Epiftles, p. 141— 143. * 


[ H3 ] 

ferent hand ; fometimes after a rafure ; which, 
in fiiort, changes fhapes fafter than Proteus 
or Empufa ; that fuch a paffage Is exceedingly 
queftionable, whatever (hape it affumes ; and 
that, though it were not abfolutely omitted 
by any MS. an editor might yet hint his 
doubts, or even avow his difbelief, of its ge- 
nulnenefs, without juftly incurring the cen- 
fure oi blafphemy or impiety^. 

But, allowing that this verfe had been ex- 
tant in the Vulgate even from the end of the 
fecond century, and without any of thefe 
fufpicious appearances, is the merit of this 
verfion fo high as to ratify and render genuine 
every word and fentence in which its MSS. 
confpire ? Was it in no place corrupted In 
the days of Tertullian and Cyprian ? If we 
are certain of any reading having conftantly 
kept its place in the Latin copies, we are cer- 
tain that they never read otherwife than quod 
in I Tim. III. 16, inftead of Deus. You, Sir, 
will probably defend the latter reading ; nor 
fhall I difpute it. But if we take the liberty 

* Emlyii's Enquiry is called blafphemotis and impious in 
the Layman's Addrefs to Convocation, 17 17, p, i8. 


[ M4 ] 

of reje(3:lng the authority of the Vulgate, 
when it is fo confiftent with itfelf, and fo 
well fupported as it is upon i Tim. III. 1 6. 
why naay we not with equal right rejed it, 
when it is the principal, if not the fole, fup- 
port of a contefted verfe ? Was the addition 
of the claufe in i Pet. III. 22, made by the 
firft; framers of the verfion from the warrant 
of Greek MSS. ? Yet that has the general 
confent of the prefent Latin copies. Who- 
ever undertakes the defence of fuch paflages, 
may pretend that his aim is to eftablifh the 
genuine text, but in fail he is exerting all 
his force to weaken and undermine its au- 

Thus I (hould argue, if all the MSS. COR- 
fented in the received reading. I fhould think 
it an hazardous flap to prefer any verfion to 
the unanimous confent of all the Greek MSS. 
now known to exift. Still lefs (hould I ven^ 
ture to rely upon fuch a verfion, which, by 
having been more frequently copied, has alfo 
been more frequently interpolated than any 
other. The fublidiary ftreams which the 
river has received in its courfe have neither 
made the witcit more clear, nor more.whole- 


[ us ] 

But we are told, p. 42, that, by the com- 
mand of Charlemagne, Alcuin was employed 
in a revifion of the Vulgate ; that in Alcuhi's 
Correftorium " the teftimony of the three 
heavenly witneffes is read without the fmallefl: 
impeachment of its aufhenticity ;" and that 
this very volume was extant at Vauxcelles in 
the life of Baronius. You then add a fup- 
pofition (for of fuppofitions you have a plen- 
tiful ftock), that Alcuin and his afliftants, in 
order to fettle the text, referred to the Greek 
MSS. and not only to the Greek MSS. but to 
the beft and oldeft Greek MSS. fome in all 
probability as old as the Apoftolical age. A 
lively fancy. Sir, is an indifferent accomplilh- 
ment for a critic. You cannot prove that 
Alcuin ever faw a Greek MS. much lefs that 
he collated any for the ufe of his edition. 
The knowledge of Greek was fo fcarce a 
commodity in thofe days, that the contrary 
fuppofition, which is expreflly affirmed by 
Vallarfius*, is much the more probable of 
the two. It was labour and honour enough 
for Alcuin to collate the copies of the Vul- 
gate. Neither can you prove that the MS. 

* In Blanchini''s Vindicise Veteris Vulgats, p. 328. 

L at 

f ^46 1 

^tVauxcelles is the original of Alculn. Fof 
it is fo cuftomary to tranfcribe titles from 
older MSS. that the name of the cTorredlor 
is no proof of the MS* being written by 
the corrector, or in the fame age. Befides, 
the ignorance fhewn in orthography* (as 
Welftein obferves) wonld tempt us to be- 
lieve that it was written by an unfkilful tran- 
fcriber of Alcum father than by Alcuin him- 
felf. You will be delighted, Sir, I doubt not, 
to hear, that this treajure of inejlimabk va- 
lue is ftill in being. Blanchini has given a 
fpecimen of the charader in his Evangelia- 
rium Quadruplex, from which it appears, as 
far as I can judge, to be lefs ancient than he 
would make it. But in thefe matters moft 
editors are naturally apt to be a little partial. 
When you lay, that i John V. 7. is found 
in this famous MS. without the fmallejl m- 
peachment of 1!^ authenticity, what do you mean 
by the Jmallefl impeachment ? Would you have 

* Such, for inftance, as Canoniorum for Canonicarum, 
iic. Fitall feems to fpeak of another MS. written by 
Alcuin, and reprefenting i John V. 7. in the fame man- 
ner ; but wliat he h) s is very obfcure, and therefore I (hall 
not urge it. 


[ H7 ] 

the writer of the MS. inform his readers, by 
a marginal note, that he had inferted a fpu- 
rious verfe in his edition ? An editor would 
hardly be mad enough to become fuch zftlo 

But I fhall advance one ftep further, and 
nnaintain, that this MS. upon which fo much 
ffrefs is laid, is at leafl: as much againft the 
verfe as in its favour, t'or how is the verfe 
read in this MS. ? Not in the text, but in 
the margin are added thefe words : — SiCUT 
ires funt qui teJiimoniUm dant in ccelo, pater, 
•uerbum, et fpiritus fariclus, et ires unum funt. 
The text has only thefe words, ^oniam ires 
funt qui teJiimonium dant^ fpiritus, aqua, et fan- 
guis, et ires unum funt. Between y««/ and ^a* 
the fame hand has interlined in terra *. Now, 
Sir, this is fo far from being 2t.fmall impeach- 
ment of your favourite verfe, that it is a direct 
and viblent attack upon it : for it plainly fays, 
that- the Latin MSS. varied ; and it more than 
hints, that the older furviving MSS. were 
without the addition of the heavenly vv itnefles. 
If, then, this MS. was only a copy of Alcuin's 

* ^;V^/; in Blanchini's Evang. Qiiadr. Parti, p. 56;, 

L a. 2u4;q- 

C h8 ] 

autograph, Aicuiti might be unacquainted with 
this verfe, though without its aid he believed 
the doiStrine which it is fuppofed to contain, 
as appears from his treatife on the Trinity. 

I have purpofely omitted, in my former 

account of the various readings, one of the 

moft important, that J might introduce it here. 

The reader will eafily guefs that I mean the 

connexion of the feventh verfe with the 

eighth by the intervention of sicuT. In 

three MSS^ that Bp. Burnet faw, the feventh 

verfe follows the eighth ; and they are pinned 

together, as the bifliop well expreffes it, by 

a SICUT. In a MS. at Ulme* the paffage 

{lands thus : ^ia tres funt qui tejiimonium dant^ 

fpiritus, et aqua, et fanguis, et tres unum funt, 

SI cur in ccelo tres funt pater, verbum, et fpiritus^ 

et tres unum funt. Tills various reading not 

only gives frefh fufpicion of interpolation, 

but (hevi^s us the means by which it gradually 

infinuated itfelf into the text. Whoever duly 

and attentively weighs this circumftance, 

will perhaps fee lefs caufe to think the idea 

of a marginal glofs fo affected and abfurd as 

* Grtejbach, torn. II, p. 229. Sicut is alfo read in a 
]\'i6. of Card. Paffionei. 


[ 149 3 

you modeftly pronounce it, p. 342. But they 
who believe things that are impoffible, gene- 
rally difbelieve other things both poffible and 
probable. We know for certain that fome 
of the moft learned and renowned fathers in- 
terpreted the fpirit, the water, and the blood of 
the Trinity. Could all the diligent Chriftians 
who perufed Auguftine, Eucherius, and Fa- 
cundus, with the intention of extrading ex- 
planations of fcripture, and noting them in 
the margin of their bibles — could they all 
mifs this fagacious interpretation ? Would 
no member of the churches over which thefe 
bifhops prefided, approve and endeavour to 
perpetuate his diocefan's fublime difcovery ? 
When once fuch a copy exifted, with a mar- 
ginal note of this fort upon i John V. 8, 
Sicut tresfunt qui tejiimonium dant in ccelo, pater, 
verhum, et fpiritusfanSius, et hi tres unum funt ; 
4he next tranfcriber, in a, fit of poUtenefs, 
might think that if this fentence wa^ not 
text, it deferved to be, and might compli- 
ment it with a place in the middle of his 
page. Perhaps you think it an affeSied and 
abfurd idea that a marginal note can ever 
creep into the text : yet I hope you are not 

L3 fo 

[ I50 ] 

fo ignorant as not to know that this has 
actually happened, not merely in hundreds or 
thoufands, but in rnillions of places. Natura^ 
iays Daille*, ita comparatum eji, ut auSiorum 
prohaiorum I'lbros pkrique omnes amplos quani 
breves malint ; verenies fcilicet, ne quidjibi dejit, 
quod auSiorh vel ^t vel ejfe dtcatur. To the 
fame purpofeBengelius-f, Non facile pro fuper- 
Jluo aliquid hodie habent complures doSii viri (he 
might have added, omnefque tn^odii) eademqt^e 
tnente pkrique quondam librarii fuere. Froni 
this known propenfity of tranfcribers to turn 
every thing into text which they found writ- 
ten in the margin of their MSS. or between 
the lines, fo many interpolations have pro- 
ceeded, that at prefent the fureft canon of 
criticifm is, Praferati^r leStio br^vior. 

I have hitherto b?^n arguing as if all the 
Latin MSS. had the difputed verfe in fome 
fhape or other ; which you know. Sir, is no| 
the cafe. You fay indeed, p. 210, that " there 
is a greater number beyond ail cornparifon in 
which this t;ext is found," 1 have already 

* De Lib. fupp. Dipnyf, et Igoat. II. 3. p, 238. 
•}■ In Apocalypf. I. 1 1. 


[ ^51 ] 

allowed you the full benefit of your majority. 
Make the moft of this couceffion ; for it 
would be unkind to deprive you of an acJvanT 
tage which you fo feldom enjoy. But take 
care of this argument ; for, if you pufh it too 
forcibly, it will pierce the heart of your own 
caufe. If the majority of Latin copies be a 
good proof that this verfe was early in the Latin 
verfion, the majority of Greek MSS. is as 
good a proof that it never was in the original. 
However, I will make what I think a fair 
propofal. Produce two a£lually exifting Greek 
MSS. five hundred years old, containing this 
verfe, and I will acknowledge your opinion 
of its genuinenefs to be probable. If you are 
unable to do this, and I produce you above 
twenty Latin MSS. all greatly exceeding that 
age, you cannot, I think, in common decency, 
refufe to be a convert to my opinion^ Let us 
then come to the fa£t. There are now exift- 
ing twenty-nine Latin MSS. in general the 
oldeft, the faireft, and the moft correft. 
Wetftein reckons twenty-five, to which Mr. 
Griefbach adds the Harleian, 1772, and fays, 
plurefque poji Wetjlenium infpeSlos. I know 
nothing about any of thefe plures, and there- 
L 4 fore 

[ 152 ] 

fore I fhall make no appeal to them. All 
thefe MSS. in f John V. inflead of our pre- 
fent feventh and eighth verfes, give no more 
than — ^oniam ires funt qui ieftimonium dant*, 
fpiriius, aqua, et Janguis, et ires unum funi. 
In the Harleian catalogue. No. 7551 contains 
three copies of the firft epiftle of John. The 
firft copy feems to be of the tenth century, 
the fecond of the ninth, and both omit the 
heavenly witneffes. In the firft copy the line, 
as appears from the fpace, originally flood 
thus; sps, aqua, et Janguis., et ires unum funt. 
But another hand has erafed the whole fen- 
tence, and written, fpiritus, fanguis, et aqua^ 
ftretching out the letters to make them fill 
the line. In the margin is added, by the 
fame hand, I fuppofe, that rnade the rafure, 
in cc^lo paier, verburn, et sps, et ires unum funt, 
et ires funt qui tefiimonium, dant in terra. After 
aqua, a third hand (unlefs it were the fecond 
in a repenting mood) adds, et hi ires unum 
funt. The fecond copy has the genuine words 

* If any of thefe MSS. add in terra, as perhaps one 
or two may, I am content that they be ftrugk off the lift. 


1,^53 ] 

without any rafure, interlineation, or mar- 
ginal note. Cafley, in his catalogue, p. 15, 
gives an account of another Latin MS. agree- 
ing; with thefe as it was firft written ; but 
afterwards thus interpolated : ^ia ires funt 
qui tejlimomum dant '" t^a sps aqua et fangiiis, 

et ^' tres unumfunt. et tres funt qui teftimonium dant 
in coelo, pater et fillus, et sps fanftus, et hi tres unum funt. 

The fame hand has very liberally fcattered 
corredlions through the reft of the book, 
fometimes right, but oftener falfe and abfurd. 
I hope. Sir, by thefe inftances, you will be- 
gin to perceive that it is at leaft poffible for 
an interpolation fometimes to gain footing in 
the text. I fhall trouble you with the men- 
tion of only one Latin MS. more. Mabillon 
found at Lifieux, and publifhed, a Gallic* 
Ledlionary, which is reputed to be now about 
1200 years old, and contains the entire epiftle 
of John, except ^:he three heavenly witneffes. 
But thefe it barbaroufly omits, and only has 
^oniam ires funt qui tejiimonium dant, fpiritusy 

* Twells and Bengelius, by a ftrange miftake, affirm 
that this Ledionary was not written in Latin, but in Gallo- 


[ '54 ] 

Mquai etfanguts, et ires unumfunt. The autho- 
rity of this MS. cannot but be thought of 
great weight, if we confider its age ; to which 
I ihall add another argument in its favour : 
it omits (fee Mabillon, p. 475) that inter- 
polation I Pet. IIL 22. from which no other 
Latin copy, fo far as I know, is exempt. 
• But, to clofe this long difcuffion, the quef- 
tion is, To which fide fhall we give credit, 
to age or to numbers ? On one fide the wit- 
neffes are grave, elderly perfons, who lived 
nearer the time when the fad happened which 
they aflert, and they are all confiftent in their 
teftimony ; while the other party, though 
Vaftly fuperior in numbers, yet lived too late 
to be competently acquainted with the caufe : 
many carry a brand of perjury on their front ; 
and, after all their collufion and fubornation, 
their teftimonies frequently clafh, and con- 
tradict one another. In fhort, the few Latin 
MSS. that reje£l theverfe, are as much fupe- 
rior to the herd of incorredt and modej^n 
copies that retain it, as a fmall well-trained 
band of foldiers to a numerous rabble -defti- 
tMte of dlfcipline and unanimity. 


[ ?55 ] 


Abbot Joachim coiupared the final claufes 
of the feventh and eighth verfes, whence he 
inferred, that the fame expreffiou ought to be 
interpreted in the fame manner. Since there- 
fore, faid he, nothing more than unity of 
tefliimony and confent can be meant by ires 
Mnumfunt in the eighth verfe, nothing more 
than unity of teftimony and confent is meant 
in the feventh. This opinion the Lateran 
council and Thoqias Aquinas confuted by 
cutting out that claufe in the eighth verfe. 
Thomas tells us, that it vi^as not extant in 
the true copies^ but that it vfd^sfdid to be added 
by the Arian heretics to pervert the found 
underftanding of the foregoing authority* 
My blood boils whenever I think of thole 
facrilegious Arians, fometlmes forging and 
fometimes erafing fcripture. Thus Thomas 
Aquinas tells us, that they werejaid to have 
added this claufe. Bugenhagius thinks they 
inferted the whole feventh verfe. Yet fome 
part of my indignation is involuntarily di- 
verted to the holy fathers of the church, 


[ ^$6 ] 

who feem to have been in a fleep approachuig 
to a lethargy, while the enemy came and 
fowed the tares. In taking the method above- 
mentioned, the Lateran council, it is true, 
followed Dr. Ovid's advice, immed'tcabik vul- 
nus Enfe reddendum, ne pars sinceha tra- 
HATUR. But if they had given their minds 
to good reading, they would have found in 
the treatile againft Varimadus an ealy way 
of curing the wound that Joachim had made 
jn the common faith, without having recourfe 
to the defperate procefs of amputation. For 
the author of that treatife, as if he had fore- 
feen, and meant to confound, the ftratagems 
of the Arians, thus quotes the paffage from 
"j the epiftle to the Parthians ;" 'There are 
three that bear record on earth, the water, the 
Mood, and the flesh, and the three are in us ; 
and there are three that bear record in heaven, 
the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and they 
three are one. What would then have become 
of Joachim's argument ? 


[ ^S1 ] 


You will perhaps accufe me of a capital 
negle£l, in not taking notice of your argu- 
ment from the Prologue attributed to Jerome, 
the author of which boafts to have reftored* 
this verfe from Greek MSS. I confefs that 
I was rather doubtful in what clafs of proofs 
I Ihould place the Prologue ; but at laft I 
thought it more properly belonged to the 
head of quotations. I fliall therefore treat 
of it in my review of the pious Jerome. In 
the mean time, the next verfions upon our 
lift are the Syriac and Coptic, which I intend 
to make the joint fubjecls of this letter. 

* Mr. Travis quarrels with the word rejiored, p. 51, 
105, " becaufe," fays he, « the verfe was never loft." 
Surely an editor may be faid to rejiore a paffage, that was 
only in a part of the copies, and confequently in danger of 
being loft. 



[ 158 ] 

You and MarHn find the teftimony of thefc 
Verfions fo unfavourable to your caufe, that 
you are refolved, at all events, to demolifh 
their authority; But the heat of a prejudiced 
accufer often hurts himfelf more than the 
party accufed. Your eagernefs to difable the 
credit of the Syriac and Coptic verfions has 
fo utterly deprived you of judgrtient and re- 
fiedtion, that I arn not without fome hopes 
of making an impreflion upon your ovi^n head 
0"r heart : 

forfo IJhall, 

If they he made of penetrable Jiuff % 

If damned cuftom have not brazd themfo, 

^hat they be proof and bulwark againfifenfe. 

I fhall not difpute with you about the pre- 
cife age of the old Syriac verfion. I have 
feverai reafons for this forbearance ; one of 
which is, that I know very little of the mat- 
ter. I fliall only obferve, that your argument 
againft its being older ihan Chryfoftome, 
becaufe it contains the doxology, is not valid, 
unlefs you allow that the doxology is {purious. 
If you allow this, you reje£l a reading, that 
lias, upon a moderate computation, thirty 


[ 159 ] 

times as many wkneffes in its behalf, asymif 
prefent client. It is found in all the Greek 
MSS. except eight; in two of the oldefi Latiii 
copies; in feme MSS. of the Arabic and 
Perfic; in the Syriac, the Armenian, the 
Gothic, andthe.^thiopic. If you had a fixth 
part of this evidence for i John V. 7. how 
you would triumph over all that dared even 
to infinuate the fiTialleft fufpicion ! But you 
deipife the aid of external evidence. It is 
the nature of the texts and the dodtrines 
fuppofed to be contained in them that per- 
mits or foibids omiffions to be concluflve 
arguments. If I had a mind to argue in 
your way,. I could fay, that only a fingle 
verfion, the Coptic, is found, which uniformly 
omits the doxology ; " that this verfion is 
faulty beyond belief, leaving out mainy whold 
verfes; and that no argument can be drawn' 
from any omifiion of any verfe, by any tran- 
fcriber, like this ;" p. 90, 196. 

I now come to your arguments againft 
thefe obnoxious verfions ; which, as they are 
of the fame kind, I beg leave to confolidate. 
" They are," you fay, p. 87 — 90, 190 — 196, 
" faulty and incorreft, almoft beyond belief. 


[ i6o ] 

Tiiey pafs dver not words or fentences onlj, 
but even whole verfes, which are admitted 
by all to be genuine." The inftances of this 
fort which you produce from the Syriac, 
are John XIV. 3. XVI. 14. Ads VIII. 37. 
XV. 34. XXVIII. 29. I Pet. IV- 14. You 
might have ftrengthened this argument by 
an obfervation which I have feen, that this 
verfion omits whole epiftles, and therefore 
might eafily omit a ftiort fentence of a fingle 
epiftle. If you think this objeftion of any 
weight, you are welcome to the ufe of it. 
Your inftarices of omiffion from the Coptic 
are Matth. V. 44. XVIII. i. XX. 23, 23. 
XXVII. 25' Mark VII. 16. XI. 26. Ads 
VIII. ^7. XXIV. 7. To fave your readers 
the trouble of looking for the places, and 
the fear of being deceived by any mifprint iu 
the numbers of reference, you have cour- 
teoufly tranfcribed the entire paffages. But, 
before I go farther in this fubje£t, I requeft 
you. Sir, to anfwer the following queries. 

I. Are you fure, from your ov^n infpedion, 
that the Syriac and Coptic verlions 
are chargeable with thefe omiflions ? 

2. Do 

i ^6i ] 

4. Do all the MSS. of this or that Verfi,on 
agree in reje£ling the verfes fpecified ? 
For, if the MSS. vary, feme retain- 
ing and fome omitting a paffage, it is 
abfurd to blame that for a fault In the 
verf^on itfelf, which may be correfted 
from better copies. 

3. Do they omit the whole quantity of 

text that you have tranfcribed ? 

4. How do you know that thefe paflages 

are admitted by all to be genuine ? 
Have you had the patience to colleft 
the opinions of all who have written 
upon thefe fubjefts ? Or do you be- 
lieve that every fyllable of our com- 
mon Greek Teftament, as it was fet- 
tled in the year 1624 by Elzevir and 
other infpired men, is the genuine 
text of the Evangelifts and Apoflles ? 
Leaving you to chew the cud upon thefe 

queries, I fhall proceed to coniider a few of 

thefe paflages. 

" Matth. V. 44. is entirely left out of the 

Coptic." — Let us then tranfcribe the context 

without this verfe, and fee what excellent 

fenle it will make, 

M 43. re 

43. Te have heard that it hath been faidy 
Thou JJoalt love thy neighhouf^ and hate thine 
enemy ; 

45. I'hat ye may be the children of your Father 
which is in heaven ; for he mahth his fun to rife 
on the evil and on the goody &c. 

Strange, that the reafon of a precept (hould 
be given, and the precept itfelf not appear ! 
Notwithffcandhig your *' right to command 
our full aflent when you only affirm a plain 
faft, which you are complcatly competent to 
afcertain," P- 59? 126; notwithftanding my 
own literary candour and Chrijlian charity, I 
affure you. Sir, that fooner than believe fuch 
an abfurdity of the Coptic, I fhould have the 
audacity to charge you with flrange mifappre- 

Matth. XXViL 2iS' — ^^ this whole verfe,. 
too, Sir, wanting in the Coptic ? If it be, I 
will own fuch a verflon to be of very little 
value, and fliall make no difficulty of deli- 
vering it up to your refentment., But wlien 
I conlider that, if the verfe be expunged,, 
there will remain no dire£l mention of Chrift'a 
crucifixion, I cannot believe that either tranfla- 
tor or tranfcriber could in his moft carelefs 
mood overlook fo important a fentenee. 


[ i63 ] 

iThroW out Matth. XVIII. i. XX. 22, 23. 
John XVI. 1 4. the fenfe indeed will not be 
totally deftroyed, but the conftruftion will 
appear abrupt and unconnefted. In A£ts 
XXIV- 7. whoever will cafl his eye on the 
Greek text will fee that your account Cannot 
be true, for the eighth verfe begins with 
jigXeuVa?, which, if the feventh verfe be omit- 
ted, will have no fubflantive to govern it. 

Thus far I have thought fit to take the high 
priori road of reafoning ; that if I have any 
attentive readers (befides your friend Kufter) 
they may learn to weigh the probabilities of 
an affertion before they agree to its truth, and 
to diftruft all inconfiftent relations, however 
folemnly vouched by the relater. — 

— — 'Zoii(ppovo(; o'dTfttTTiolg 

Ovz igtv ovoev ^pyio'if^aTSpov ISpojoi'g. 
I fhall now, Sir, defcend to the level of your 
tmderftanding, to the plain fad. I aflert 
then that the Syriac verlion omits only three 
whole verfes of the fix you have been pleafed 
to quote: Ads VIII. s7- XV. 34. XXVIII. 
29. Of your eight examples from the Cop- 
tic, you are right only in three ; Mark VII. 
16. XI. 26. Adls VIII. 37. However, I 
M 2 fhall 

[ i64 ] 

Ihall be merciful to you in your laft inftauce, 
AftsXXIV- 7. becaufe you are feldom guilty 
of afferting too little. For the Coptic ver- 
iioa there omits not only the whole feventh 
verfe, but parts alfo of the fixth and eighth. 

John XIV. 3. XVI. 14. the later Syriac 
editions reprefent exactly as they are in the 
Greek. Widmanftad and Tremellius indeed 
omit the former part of one (And if I go and 
prepare a place for you), and the latter part of 
the other (Andfhalljloew it unto you) ; but in 
Guide's edition both thefe claules are replaced 
from a MS. i Pet. IV. 14. the Syriac only 
omits, On their part he is evil fpoken of but 
upon your part he is glorified. 

Marth. V. 44. the Coptic thus fhortens : 
^iit T fay unto you, love your enemies, and pray 
for them that perfecute you. XVIII. i. the 
Coptic does not omit, nor any other verlion, 
nor any Greek MS. that I can find. Inftead 
of XVIII. 1. you ought to have written 
XVIII. II. which the Coptic does omit. 
XX. 22, 23. In each of thefe verfes the 
Coptic only omits the words, and be baptifed 
with the baptifm that I am baptifed with. 
XXVII. ^S' *^^ Coptic omits the application 


[ i65 ] 

of the prophecy, and only retahis. And they 
crucified him, and parted his garments, cajiing 

Thus, Sir, in your fourteen examples you 
have made eight miftakes. Will you accept 
of my correftions ? The lift will not be much 
leflened in number, for there will then re- 
main twelve examples ; but feveral of them 
will be of lefs confequence. Thefe twelve 
examples amount only to eleven paflages ; 
A6ts VIII. 37. being twice quoted. Are then 
thefe eleven paflages admitted by all, as you 
affirm, to be genuine ? You muft correfl again. 
Sir. This general aflertion of yours contains 
in efFefl: eleven feparatc aflertions, and in ten 
of them you are wrong. Eight times Mill 
approves the Ihortfer reading ; two of the 
other omiflions are patronized, one by Eraf- 
mus, and one by Bengelius; nay, Whitby 
himfelf, who * put in the front of his book that 
DEFENDED, agrees to expung^e Matth. 

* VALCKENiER. Orat. de Critjea jn N. T. non adhi- 
benda, p. 308. 


[ ^66 ] 

XXVII. 35- Three of yom genuine pzffngcs 
Mr. Griefbach has difcarded from his text ;. 
Matth.XX. 22, 23. XXVII. 3S' AftsVIII. 
37, and upon fix more he fets a mark to ren- 
der them doubtful ; Matth. V- 44. XVIII. 
II. Ads XV. 34. XXIV. 6—8. XXVIIL 29, 
I Pet. IV. 14- 

Let us now enquire into the merits of 
fome of thefe readings. In Matth, V. 44* 
the fenfe is the fame, whether we acquiefce 
in the received reading, or prefer the fhorter 
reading which has the Coptic and other au- 
thorities on its fide, It is a mere point' of 
criticifm tq decide whether the fentence w^s 
firft abridged by the hafte of copiers, or 
lengthened by the admiflion of the parallel 
paflage, Luke VI. 27, 28, To me, I own, 
the latter opinion feems more plaufible, 

Matth. XVIII. 1 1 . is omitted not only in 
the Coptic verfion, but in fix Greek MSS, 
one very ancient Latin copy, one MS. of the 
Syriac quoted by Profeflbr J. G. C. Adler*, 
nor is it mentioned by Origen, Jerome, &c, 

f De Syriacis Verfionibus. 


t i67 ] 

Many Greek MSS.- the ^thiopic, Arabic, 
.and latter Syriac verfions add ^i;T^<ra« kk) ; 
,a circumftance which makes it more than 
probable that the whole verfe is interpolated 
from Luke XIX, lO. In like manner many 
rcopies of Matth. XXIV. ^6. have a claufe 
added from Mark XIII. 32. 

In Mark VII. 16. though no more than 
four Greek MSS, agree with the Coptic> I 
cannot but liibfcribe to Mill's judgment, 
who thinks it fpurious. What confirms me 
the more in this opinion is, that the tran- 
fcribers of the Greek MSS. have in other 
places been very prone to fluff out the text 
with the fame fentence. Not contented with 
its having quiet and acknowledged pofleffion 
in Matth. XI. 15. XIIL 9. Mark IV, 9. 
a great number of MSS. adds it in Luke 
XIL 21. XXI. 4. In Mark XI. 26. feveral 
of the Greek MSS. agree with the Coptic. 

The reft of the omiffions which you lay 
to the charge of thefe verfions are fupported 
by fo many confiderable authorities, that 
whoever ventures to decide pofitively againil: 
them, will incur the imputation of great 
M 4 rafhnefs. 

[ i68 3 

raflinefs. And what is remarkable enough Is, ' 
that they all have the concurrence of at ieaft 
fome Latin MSS. By this time I hope the 
intelligent reader will perceive, that, in fa£t;, 
there is not, among all the inftances you 
have brought to prove the Syriac and Coptic 
verfions faulty, above one or two that can 
reafonably be pronounced corrupt ; and, that 
in the reft they rather create a prejudice 
againft the luxuriance of the common read- 
ing, than the common reading againft their 

But " though it was greatly your duty, 
it was napart of your defign," p. 71, 157, 
to fay what might be faid in favour of thefe 
verfions. The unlearned reader therefore is 
left to fuppofe that one or the other of thefe 
verfions is fo incorre£t as in many important 
inftances to ftand fingle, and contradict the 
united authority of the Greek MSS. the other 
verfions, and the citations of the fathers. It 
is curious, too, that of the paflages you pro- 
duce, you only note the agreement of the 
Syriac and Coptic in one omiffion, whereas 
they really agree in five. And I cannot but 
condemn your imprudence in mentioning 


[ i69 3 

even that fingle iliftance of their agreement, 
AftsVill. 37. It might awaken the fufpi- 
cions of fome inquifitive reader, who by this 
glimmering of light would perhaps be -led 
to a farther examination of the fubjeft, and 
Gonfequently to a detedtion of Mr. Travis's 
errors. I Ihall only add, that wherever the 
Syriac and Coptic verfions agree in any devia- 
tion from the common reading (be it altera- 
tion, addition, or omiflion), and that devia- 
tion is countenanced by a reafonable number 
of Greek MSS. it will require better critical 
abilities than yours to prove them in the 

*' Thefe are examples," you add concern- 
ing the Syriac, ** which have efcaped even 
the critical eye of Theodore Beza." How 
lucky that they efcaped not the critical eye of 
Mr. Travis ! But if Beza was fo purblind as 
not to fee fuch manifeft omiffions, with a 
Latin tranflation from the Syriac before him, 
I affure you. Sir, without flattery, that your 
eye is at leaft as critical as his. When you 
have read a little more concerning this fub- 
jed than you have already, that is,, when you 
have read at ^11, you will find, that Beza does 


C ^70 ] 

adually mention four of thefe fix examples ; 
John XIV. 3. AasVIII.37. XXVJII. 29. 
J Pet. IV. 14. ; , 

fv I feel myfelf here trending upon flippery 
ground. When I refle£l upon the heinouf- 
nefs of the charge that Ihave brought againft 
you, I am almoft ' afraid of beipg myfelf 
fufpe£ted for a.falfe accufer. There is one 
advantage in telling enormous rather than 
moderate falftioods. Mankind are in general 
fo lazy and credulousj that when one© they 
are prejudiced in favour of any perfon's vera- 
city, they will regard another as a calumni- 
ator who endeavours to convince them that 
they have beftowed their approbation upon an 
unworthy object. They will argue, as I have 
already obferved, from the enormity of an 
offence, and the eafinefs pf deteftion, againft 
the probability of its ever being committed. 

But if I Ihall be fortunate enough to have 
one reader of learning and probity, I requeft 
him, I exhort him, to perufe this letter, and 
the other paffages where I pawn my own 
word, with particular attention. He will then 
find that I have flated the fadts fimply as they 
are, and thatioweveraltonifhing the inflances 


C 171 ] 

pf Mr. Travis's affurance may feei»,"Ihave 
Ipoken of them without diftortion or exag* 

I fliould indeed "have almoft diftrufted the 
evidence of my own fenfes, when I faw you 
commit above twenty grofs and palpable 
errors in lefs than half a dozen pages, if I 
had not been acquainted with the fource 
from which they flowedt Your French 
friend Martin * makes a few miftakes, which 
you like a true Englifhman have greatly im- 
proved. Martin fays, Diff. p. 166. (91 Eng.) 
" This Syriac verfion is full of faults, and 
efpecially of omiffions. Beza has given abutv- 
dance of inftances — and we could add thereto 
a great many others — - — I fhall give only a 
few, and thpfe in whole texts." He then 
fpecifies the very fame verfes which you have 
quoted (except that you have omitted one of 
liis examples) ; but becaufe he was content 

* Mr. Travis may perhaps alledge in his defence, that 
he refers to Martin in the bottom of his page 88, 192* 
This is true ; but I would defy any reader to guefs from 
fo flight and naked a reference that he had borrowed the 
fubftance of five pages froin Martin. 


I 172 ] 

to mark the numbers without reciting the 
words* you fet down- the whole verfes with- 
out enquiry. To the Coptic he makes the 
fame objection, and gives for examples of 
omiffioris the fame numbers with which you 
have obliged us. But by ill luck, inftead of 
Matth. XVIII. II. his printer, by overlook- 
ing a figure, made It XVIII. i. Now if 
Martin had been lefs fparing of his ink and 
labour, he would have written the pafiages 
at full length, and faved his admirer the dif- 
grace of this ridiculous plagiarifm. How 
very rude too was it to exprefs himfelf fo 
ambiguoufly, " Beza has given abundance of 
tnflances — and we could add thereto a great 
many others." If you look at thefe words 
again, you may perceive, Sir, \\n\ets fame devil 
has cozened you at hoodman-blind, that they do 
not neceflarily imply all the inftances there 
given to be fuch as had efcaped the critical eye 
of I'heodore Beza. 

There is another little circumftance which 
you have not condefcended to mention. Be-' 
fides the copies of the ancient Syriac verfion, 
commonly called the Verjiojimplex^ there came 
to England in this century a copy of Phi- 


[ ^IZ ] 

loxenus's verfion, revlfed by Thomas Hera- 
clfeenfis, and collated iu the margin with the 
old Syriac and feveral Greek MSS. The 
margin and text of this revifion fo often 
make additions, that if the colhitor had found 
the three heavenly witneffes in any MS. 
Syriac or Greek, he would not have envied 
his readers the valuable difcovery. Yet this 
villainous copy is obftinately filent both in 
the text and in the margin. The fame ma- 
lignant demon ^ that has preferved the Dublin 
MS. to mock at human credulity, feems to 
have brought to light this new Syriac verfion 
to abet the Arians in their impious oppofi- 

Acclpe nunc Danaum injidias. In the year 
1599, Menezes, Archbifliop of Goa, prefided 
at the Synod of Diamper, and made the In- 
dian Chriftians correft their Syriac copies by 
the Latin verfion. , Among the palTages thus 
judicioufly correded, i John V. 7. t could 
not fail to be included. This the Archbiftiop 
ordered to be reftored, as having been fupprejfed 

* Journ. Brit. torn. IX. p. 64. 

f tA Croze, Chriffianifme des Indes, III. p. 342. 

E -7+ ] 

hy mpieiy* Tremellius^ Hot finding this paf- 
lage either in Widmanftad's edition or the 
Heidelberg MS. ventured not to infert it in 
his text, but tranflates it into Syriac in the 
margin, and fays, Jie rejiltui pojjit. At lafl 
Gutbier boldly thrufts it into the text, and 
tells us that the Arians expunged it. Schaaf 
Could not help applauding (o good an exam- 
ple. *' This verfe," fays he, " is wanting 
in the former editions, but Gutbier and I 
have tranfcribed It from Tremellius's notes 
and inferted it in the text." Schaaf after- 
wards fent a copy of his edition to the Bifliop 
of the Malabarian Chrlftians of St. Thomas. 
The Bilhop in return fent him a Syriac MS. 
of the N. T. This treafure of 'imjlimable value 
is ftill preferved * in the Amfterdam library, 
and contains that precious jewel, the caufe of 
fo much ftrife and fhedding of ink. With 
what face will the infidels now aifert, that 
the Syriac verfion omits the three heavenly 
wltneffes, when a Syriac MS. confirms their 
authenticity ? Perhaps they will make two 

* Adler de Syriads Verfionibus, p. 31— 33- 


[ ns I 

trifling objeftions; i. That this MS. was 
written as late as the year 1 700, and there- 
fore is too modern to have any authority; 
efpecially as we know that the Syriac copies 
had been interpolated with this very text tl 
century before. 2. That in this MS. the 
verfe is written thus in the margin, in coeh 
pater et films ^ et fplrhus fanSius, et hi ires in una 
funt. Etfiint ires tejles in terra. But you, Sir, 
who are as well pleafed with margin as with 
text, and with Dublin or Berlin MSS. as with 
Alexandrian or Vatican, will defpife fuch ar- 
guments, and manfully defend the credit of 
your witnefs. I hope, however, that forrie 
who have formerly entertained fublime no- 
tions of the morality of the Complutenfian: 
and other editors, will upon refleftion abate 
of their confidence, and acknowledge that 
when a man is (no matter how) convinced 
of the genuinenefs of any reading, he will 
not be fo fcrupulous as to throw it out of his 
text merely becaufe his MSS. chance to be 
refraftory. In particular, the zeal and eager* 
nefs that have been fhewn for the eftablifh- 
ment of this verfe, fometimes upon very 
{lender authority and fometimes upon none, 


C J76 ] 

may ferve to chetk the wottder of thbfe 
readers^ who are apt to put implicit truft m 
the profeffiops of editorSi 

I muft not forget a gentle cenfure of La 
Croze's upon the Syriac verllon, that * " re- 
fpeftable as it is, by haying been retouched 
feveral times, the copies have many varia- 
tions, and that it does not deferve quite ib 
much credit as it has commonly obtained." 
But this obfervation, however it may detraft 
from the general authority of the verfion, 
rather ftrengthens than weakens its evidence 
in the prefent cafe. For iince many Greek 
interpolations have been admitted from time 
to time into the Syriac, its conftant omiffion 
of this verfe in the fucceflive collations of 
Greek MSS. proves that the verfe was uni- 
formly abfent from the early Syriac verfion 
and the Greek copies upon which the later 
tranflation was formed. 

To conclude, the MSS. of the Coptic ver- 
fion unanimoufly, the old Syriac verfion, and 
the later verfion made by Philoxenus and 
collated again with Greek MSS. and the for- 

* Chriftianifme d'Ethiopie, I, p. 40. 
- .r^ mer 

t ^11 1 

met Syfiac by Thomas Heracleenfis, are three 
ftr6ng and diftind evidences againft the au- 
thenticity of I John V. f. The Syriac MSS. 
protefted againft it till the end of the fixteenth 
century, when the cof)ies of fuch owners as 
were obedient to the confcientious Menezes 
began to be adulterated in compliance with 
his orders. With equal judgment and fidelity 
fome of the Syriac editors hav« admitted this 
verfe into their text, without the flighteft 
authority, but merely from a marginal note 
of Immanuel Tremellius. 

But whatever weight thefe verfions may 
be thought to have in the decifion of the 
prefent queftion, every attentive reader muft; 
fee and confefs that Mr. Travis is a fervlle 
copier and an hardy aflerter. I (hall there- 
fore dlfmifs him to the contempt of the 
learned, and the reproaches of his own 


[ 178 } 



X HE remaining verfions to which Dr.Ben- 
fon appeals, are the Arabic, the ^thiopic, 
the Perfic, the Armenian, the Ruffian, and 
the old French. By the old French verfion 
I ftippofe him to mean the Gallic Le£lionary 
publiihed by Mabillon,, of which I gave an 
account in my fixth letter. I frankly con- 
fent to exclude this from the number of ver» 
fions. I have only produced it as a copy of 
the Latin verfion, though for a fingle autho- 
rity I Jay great ftrefs upon it. The Perfic, 
which Martin feems generoufly to yield to 
his oppofers, Dr. Benfon accepts, and you 
acquiefce in his claim. If there really be in 
print fuch a Perfic verfion containing th^ 
Catholic Epiftles, I muft take fhame to my- 
felf, and confefs my ignorance ; comfortinig 
myfelf, however, that Mill, Wetftein, Mr. 


[ ^19 1 

Griefbach, and others, feem to be as ignorant 
as I am. To the Arabic and ^Ethlopic you 
bbjedt, becaufe they are copied, according to 
Simon and Dupln, from the Syriac. But in 
the note, p. 193, you tell us, that Renaudot 
I deduces the ^Ethiopic, and Michaelis fome of 
the Arabic verfions, from the Coptic. The 
folution of this queftion muft be left to the 
curious in Oriental languages. Perhaps thofe 
learned men were hafty in their judgments, 
and founded their fentiments upon a partial 
conformity. Perhaps both thefe verfions 
were made from Greek MSS. though the 
MSS. might have a general likenefs to thofe 
which were ufed by the compilers of the 
Syriac and Coptic. At any rate, amidft thefe 
jarring opinions, it will be impoffible to make 
a well-grounded choice, till more accurate 
editions are publifhed from Arabic and ^thio- 
pic MSS. 

But not caring to talk learnedly without 
underftanding the fubjeit (though that is a 
very common fault, as you, Sir, no doubt; 
have obferved), I (hall not prefs this argu- 
ment ; nor affume a point in my own favour, 
merely becaufe it cannot be proved againft 
N 2 me. 

I .86 ] 

mc. I iliall only life the concurrent tefti* 
mony of thefe two Vcrfions as an argument 
for the confiftency of their parents. If the 
difputed verfe had been once in the Coptic of 
Syriac, and was afterwards loft out of the 
later copies, it might have been preferved in 
the iEthiopic or Arabic from early and un- 
corrupted MSS. But lince thefe too omit it, 
the agreement of the Syriac and Coptic ver- 
ffons is ftrengtheried by a frefh acceflion of 
evidence. ' '■ 

Having thus difpafched the Arabic and 
;^thiopic verfions, w^e come to the Armenian, 
which La Croze* has dignified with the 
augufl: title of ^ein of Verfions* But, alas I 

Kings, Queens, and States^ 

Maids, matrons, nay, the fecrets of the grave^ 
This vifrous Slander enters* 

For a king and a bifhop (Haitho andUfcan), 
who were iutrufted with the education of this 
queen, have been" accufed of fullying the pu- 
rity which they ought to have prot^Sed* 

' * Beaufobre 3.nd Xenfant's Pref, to N. T. p. 2tl. 
JVhiJlon's Pref. to Mofes Chorenenfis, p. 9. 


[ i8i 1 

This flander had gained ground upon the 
report of Simon, Sandius, and La Croze ; 
and the world in general feemed dlfpofed to 
believe it ; when a champion entered the lifts, 
and with more than a Quixote's gallantry 
threw down his gauntlet in behalf of in- 
jured innocence. 

Kn quoi certes &fa bonte, 
'Rt fan zele ^ fa charitiy 
Sefirent d^autant plus parottre, 
^il ria rhonneur de la connoitre ; 
Semblable d. ces preux Chevaliers^ 
Ces Paladins avaniuriers, 
^i defendant des Inconnue's, 
Ont parte leur nam jufqu aux nu'es. 
You will perhaps, Sir, interrupt this raillery 
by alking me, whether I underftand the Ar»- 
menian language r Truly, Sir, no better than 
yourfelf. But that I know fomething more 
of the fubjedl than you, I will endeavour to 
convince my readers, We are happily agreed 
that Ufcan publifhed this verfion, and that it 
contains i John V. 7, You add indeed, 
*' without .any mark of doubt or fufpicion," 
You are very fond, I perceive, of thefe ex-; 
pletives. Has any other pafl[age of Ufcan's 
bible any mark of doubt or fufpicion ? If 
M 3 not, 

C ^82 ] 

not, what confequence can be drawn from 
his filence on this place ? For fny own part, 
not having your heroic talent for aflertion, 
I cannot pofitively affirm, but I fully believe 
that Ufcan has fpared himfelf all trouble of 
that kind. Your next arguments cannot have 
juftice done them,vvithout being more largely 

*' I. Michaelis affirms, on the authority 
of Sandius, that Ufcan did not find the paf- 
fage I John V. 7. in his MS. although it 
flands in Ufcan's editions. 

*' But the account fo given by Sandius, 
was evidently (to fay the leaft of it) a mif- 
take. [^fjglice, was evidently a lie.] For 
M. Simon was acquainted at Paris with 
Ufcan, whilft he was employed in executing 
his important commiffion. And M. Simon 
(who was not on^y a very learned,,, but on 
the whole, a candid opponent of this verfe) 
expreffly admits, that Ufcan's impreffion 
could not but be. very accurate. T'&e btjhop 
(fays he), ivho was a -judicious and- difcreet 
per/on, brought with him the most correct 
MSS. which he carefiillj followed. And ihefe 
particulars I learned from the bishop him- 



C '83 ] 

Here, Sir, your fidelity in copying Martin's 
tranflator has let you into a fmall error. You 
ought to have divided Simon's words into 
two quotations. But if a tranflator will omit 
allleurs, who can help it ? — This, however, 
you call the confeflion of an adverfary, over- 
throwing his own prepoiTeffions. To make 
this a complete confeflion, and a counterpoife 
to the evidence of Sandius, Simon ought to 
have feen Ufcan's MS. or MSS. with his own 
eyes, and to have teflified that he there read 
the difputed verfe. But he only fays that 
the bifhop brought with him good MSS. 
which he faithfully followed. We cannot 
eredt this into a teftimony, unlefs we know 
alfo, that Simon examined the MSS., com- 
pared them with Ufcan's edition, and found 
them to agree. But this we know he did 
not, becaufe he confefles, in another place, 
that he learned thefe particulars from the 
bifhop's o^vn mouth. Thus Simon's confef- 
fion, that was to work fuch wonders in fa- 
vour of the verfe, fhrliiks into the folitary 
declaration of an editor. The bubble that 
we admired at a diflance, and purfued with 
cagernefs, vanifhes into air the inftant we 
N 4 touclv 

[ ^84 ] 

touch It. Bengellus would have faid (what 
he has fald hi effed) of the Complutenfian 
editors, that they had good MSS, and fol- 
lowed them faithfully. And 1 niyfelf would 
fay the fame of other editors. But Bengelius 
allows that the Complutenfian editors had 
not this verfe in their MSS, And if any 
perfon fhculd take advantage of my general 
expreffions, that an edition was publiflied 
from MSS. and argue that therefore it faith- 
fully followed the MSS. in this or that parti- 
cular paffage, I fhould begin to be in pain 
for <he ftate of his intellects. Still lefs credit 
is to be given to the interefted profeffions of 
a publisher. But you fuppofe men who 
compiend the goods which they expofe to 
fale, to have as nice a confcience as if they 
were taking an oath in a court of juftice. 
Thus Erafmus's encomium upon Jerome you 
gravely bring, p, 253 — 255, as a contradic- 
tion to his lefs flattering opinion. Era:fmus 
was a great, and upon the whole an honeft 
man, though, like other editors, he fome- 
tinies defcended to pradife the tricks of the 
trade. Nobody elfe believes h^lf the praifes 


[ J85 ] 

that he heaps upon Jerome, nor dl4 he him- 
felf believe them all. 

But fuppofing that Simon really made this 
confeflion which you have extorted from his 
words, how does his teftimony difagree with 
Sandius's ? Sandius fays*, that an Armenian 
MS. 400 years old, which he faw in poffef- 
fion of the bifhop of the Armenian church 
at Amfterdam, omitted i John V. 7. You, 
Sir, I fuppofe, will not only allow, but infift, 
that Ufcan had more than one MS. of the 
Catholic epiftles. If he had two, one con- 
taining, the other rejeding the verfe, who 
can doubt that he would have placed it in 
his text, and thought himfelf obeying the 
laws of found criticifm ? Prarferatur leSlio 
plenior et magi's orthodoxa would be his canon, 
efpecially when the common editions of the 
Latin, the only verfion that he underftood, 
would confirm him in his decifion, If there- 
fore the Armenian MSS. varied in this place, 
Sandius's teftimony is not contradicted either 
by Simon's acknowledgeipent or b^ Ufc^'s 

f Append. Interpret. Paradox, p. 376. 


[ i86 1 

But Simon, Sir, makes no fuch acknow- 
ledgement. In the very letter of his, which 
you have quoted without feeing, Simon ob- 
ferves that the three heavenly witneffes were 
indeed in Ufcan's edition, but adds, that Uf- 
fcan, knowing fomcthing of Latin, probably 
borrowed them from the Vulgate to enrich 
his edition. This conje<3;ure of Simon's re- 
ceives fome colour from La Groze's informa- 
tion, that Ufcan confeffes in one of his pre- 
faces, with feeming complacency, that he 
altered fome things from the Vulgate. But 
this proves nothing in your opinion, " be- 
caufe Ufcan makes no fuch confeflion refpeft- 
jng I John V. 7." I am not violently dif- 
pofed to accufe Ufcan * of the interpolation. 
I only mention this as a fpecimen of your 
maflerly reafoning. Ufcan fays that he added 
fome things from the Vulgate. He fpecifies 
none. Therefore he did not add this. I an- 
fwer, that whatever paffage be fufpeded, you 
will always have the fame reafon at your 

* If Ufcan be really guilty of this infertion, the paflages 
in the aits of the council are probably corrupted by Ga- 



C 187 ] 

beck. For Ufcan makes no coiifeffion re- 
fpefting any paffage. Therefore he has altered 
none, and of courfe tells a lie when he fays 
that he has. Excellent logician ! But I am 
afhamed of fuch trifling. 

In the thirteenth century the Armenlaii 
church became intimate with the Roman. 
Haitho in particular was much devoted to it, 
and tolerably acquainted with the Latin lan- 
guage. In preparing a new edition of the 
bible, it was impoffible for him to neglefl: 
the authority of a church with which he 
had contradled fo clofe a friend (hip. A clear 
proof of his reverence for his fpiritual ally, 
is, that he tranflated all the prefaces attri- 
buted to Jerome, and among them the Pro- 
logue to the Canonical Epiftles. When 
therefore Haitho borrowed this Prologue, 
which complains of unfaithful tranflators, 
and pretends to' reftore the heavenly witnefles 
from Greek MSS., how could he refift the 
teftimony of Jerome, and, as far as he knew, 
the uniform authority of the Latin church ? 
Jf the Armenian verfion was before his time 
defe<a:ive in this important paffage, he was 
bound upon fuch weighty reafons to patch 


[ i88 ] 

up the flaw. You fay, "that Haltho's tranf- 
latiiig Jerome's prefaces does not prove that 
this verfe was not in the Armenian MSS. 
before he was born." True ; it does not 
entirely prove it. But it proves, that if thig 
verfe was not in the Armenian MSS. of that 
age, he would have taken it from the Vul- 
gate, and added it to his own edition. That 
this verfe was not in the Armenian MSS. of 
that age, appears from the teftimony af San- 
dius concerning the only MS. known to be 
of that age. The teftimony of Sandius is, 
I. not contradidled by Simon's confeffion, 
for Simon confeffes nothing, but that Ufcan 
told him that he had brought Armenian MSS. 
from which he meant * to print his edition ; 
nor, 2. is it contradlded by Ufcan's^own 
pradice, for though Ufcan has really inferted 
this verfe in his edition, he might , do this 
upon the authority of one ot fome only of 
his MSS. and not of all ; and yet he w^ould 
then have aded up to his own ideas of fide- 

* I have not Simon's Bibliotheque de Sainjore at hand ; 
but, as far as I recpllea, Ufcan was at Paris long before 
he priate^l his edition. 


[ ^89 ] 

Ilty, and agreeably to the cuftom of editors* 
Nor, 3. is this teftimony of Sandius at all 
improbable in itfelf ; for there is no difficulty 
in conceiving that an Armenian MS. fhould 
agree with all the Greek MSS. extant, with 
the Syrlac, Coptic, Arabic, iEthiopic, Sla^ 
vonic verfions, with more than twenty of the 
oldeft Latin MSS. &c. 

You next produce a confeflion from Mi- 
chaelis, that this verfe is quoted thirty-feven 
years after Haitho's death by an Armenian 
council. This, Sir, I acknowledge ; and you 
ought to acknowledge in your turn the gene- 
rofity of the advcrfaries ; for La Croze firft 
difcovered * thefe pafiages. It may likewife 
be added tO the advantage of La Croze's 
candour, that having at firft fufpedted Ufcan 
himfelf of the interpolation, he confeffed his 
miftake. He found Ufcan's edition agreeing 
with the Vulgate in adding pafiages of which 
no traces were vifible in an Armenian MS. at 
Berlin. And by comparing this circumftance 
with Ufcan's confeffion, that he had' altered 

« So Le Long firft told the public, that the verfe was 
found in the Dublin MS. 


[ 190 ] 

fome things from the Vulgate, he inferre(I, 
that Ufcan had inferted i John V. 7. folely in 
compliance with the Vulgate. But this opi- 
nion he retradted upon finding the foregoing 

From thefe paflages you argue, that, if the 
verfe had been reftored by Haitho, the mem- 
bers of the council would certainly have given 
fbme note to inform the reader that it had 
once been loft, and now was reftored; or have 
made fbme acknowledgement to the memory 
of Haitho for its rejloration. How long. Sir, 
muft a new edition of the bible be publifhed, 
before it is lawful to quote it for fcripture : 
The members of the council bufied them- 
felves, no doubt, in fcrupuloufly marking 
the paflages in which the old verfion differed 
from Haitho's ! In our Englifh bibles this 
very fentence was once marked as fufpicious. 
I forget the precife year in which it was 
made free of the text. Would not a com- 
mon Chriftian, nay, perhaps the clergy in 
convocation, if they quoted this verfe the 
next year, probably quote it without trou- 
bling themfelves about the hiftory of its in- 
fertion ? The greater part of mankind, even 


[ »9i ] 

thofe who call themfelves literary men, fcarcely 
ever examine critically the paflages which 
they occafionally quote. They take them 
from the edition that firft occurs, or fome- 
times from another writer, on whofe good 
faith they repofe. (Of the truth of this po- 
fition you, Sir, are a woeful proof) It was 
natural then that an edition of the bible pub- 
liflied by a king and a faint fhould in thirty- 
feven years become authentic. The perfon 
who drew up the account of the proceedings 
in council, might not poffefs, might not even 
have feen, a copy of the former edition. 
And though he did know that the paflage 
was otherwife read in the older MSS. his 
orthodoxy, his natural propenfity to the am- 
pler reading, his refpedt for the piety, eru- 
dition and dignity of the deceafed editor, 
would induce him to adopt the emendation. 
But were the Writers of thofe days fo ex- 
ceedingly additfted to criticilrn, that they ad- 
mitted no fcriptural quotation into their 
works, without a full enquiry into its claims 
to be read in this or that manner ? Did the 
members of thofe affemblies nicely weigh 
the authorities, and verify the citations, pro- 

C 192 ] 

dueed by each other ? In the prefent sge^ 
•which is infinitely more learned and critical 
than either the thirteenth or the fourteenth 
century, I queftion whether every reader or 
writer gives himfelf this trouble. Some per- 
fons of high rank, Sir, it 15 faid, have given 
your book great praifes ; have approved your 
reafonings, and fubfcribed to your cohclu- 
iion. Have they all diligently examined your 
fads and your quotations ? It is with pain I 
pronounce, that this queftion cannot be art- 
fwered in the afErmative^ In ftiort, your 
argument is built upon two aflumptions ; 

1. The Council ought to have mentioned the 
Various reading, if there had been one : 

2. The council a£ted exa£lly as it ought to 
have a£led, and therefore would have men- 
tioned the various reading, if there had been 
one. But I have been informed, that the 
latter rule is fometimes deceitful* Neither 
perhaps did the council know of the obliga- 
tion that Mr* Travis has lately impofed on 

All this while, the reader muft needs fup- 
pofe, from what you have faid, that the 
council quotes this verfe to prove the dodrine 


[ ^93 ] 

of theTrinity, or feme branch of it ; or at leaft 
to apply the words in fome manner or other. 
How will he be furprifed to learn, that 
though indeed this verfe is thrice tranfcribed 
in the Councils, p. 436, 461, 478, in none 
of the three places is the flighteft ufe made 
of it, nor any kind of reference to it in the 
fequel. What need then had the compiler 
of the Adis of the Council to quit his fubjedt 
for an impertinent digreflion ? Suppofe that 
an Englifh divine, foon after our tranflation 
had received its lail: corre£lion, writing on 
the nature of Antichrift, thus quoted the pre- 
fent Epiftle II. 23. JVhofoever denieth the Son, 
the fame hath not the Father ; hut he that acknow- 
ledgeih the Son, hath the Father alfo. Would 
it be worth his while to flop and inform his 
readers, that the fecond part of this verfe 
was once wanting in our tranflation, or to 
make an acknowledgement to the church for 
having rejiored it ? It Is of fmall confequence 
whether a writer quotes a doubtful part of 
fcripture or not, if he takes care to argue 
only from what is genuine. Nobody there- 
fore, unlefs he were very critically inclined, 
would wafte his time in explaining why he 

O preferred 

[ 194 j 

preferred one reading to another, of a paflage 
which he barely quoted, without intending 
to employ it in his argument. But let us 
examine the paffages. The lafl: I (hall quote 
at length, p. 478 ; Etjt verutn illud effe fater'i 
debefnus, quod licet duo i/ia in fe corruptibilia 
Jint, in dominica tamen difpenfationis facramento 
myjiicefumpta purtjIJima et ab omnifunt corruptela 
contagio remotijjima, eandemque cum SpiritufanSlo 
purificantem vim et operationem fbi vendicant^ 
quocirca magnus Apojlolus ilk "Joannes in quadam 
ex Caiholicis fuis epijiolis ait. (l John V. 7, 8v 
exactly as in the Vulgate :) Vide ut tria hac 
unam eandemque vim retinent ; nam licet diverfa 
Jecundum fe^ virtute tamen et cperatione unum 
quid Junt divinum et purificam : bapttfmum enim 
pra fe ferunt ; aqua quidem juxta illud. Ego 
baptizo vos aqua ; fanguis viero fecundum id ; 
Calicem quern ego bibo, bibetis, et baptifmo, 
quo ego baptizor, baptizabimini ; fanguinem 
hie inteliigem t Spiritus denique juxta illud, Ipfe 
vos baptizabit in Spiritu fan6:o et igni. — 
The other two are exaftly to the fame pur- 
pofe, and prove, from the water and the 
blood in the eighth verfe, that water ought 
to be mixed with the facramental wine. In 


t ^95 ] 

this cafe there are three poffibilities : i. the 
council might quote thefe words from Hai- 
tho's verfion ; or, 2* the copiers of the Ads, 
or, 3. Galanus himfelf might infert them. 
Whoever thinks that Ufcan added i John V* 7. 
without the warrant of any MS* may adopt 
the latter fuppofition. But though I (hould 
not accufe the copiers or Galanus of forgery, 
if I chofe to defend the fecond or the third 
fuppofition^ yet to (hew my fairnefs, and to 
fhorten the difpute, I will be content with 
the firft. Nothing however can be concluded 
thence, but that this verfe was already extant 
In the MSS. ufed by the council. They might 
not know when or by what means it gained 
its Situation. Or if they knew, it would 
have been worfe than ufelefs to have broken 
the thread of their difcourfe for fo foreign a 
topic. They fent for an old acquaintance, 
whofe help they wanted* He came, and 
brought with him a genteel young Granger. 
They gave the ftranger a polite invitation, 
which he as politely accepted. In all this 
there is nothing extraordinary. It is the daily 
pradlice of mankind. 

O 2 But 

[ ^96 1 

But ^ve have not yet done with this ^een 
of Verjions. For *' one Nicon, an Armenian, 
publilhed a treatife de pejfima religione Armeni- 
orum, in which he accufed his countrymen 
of having interpolated their bibles in Luke 
XXII. 43, 44. and diverfe other texts ; but 
he brought no charge againft them concern- 
ing the verfe now in debate ; which is a proof 
that it anciently was, as it now is, found in 
that verfion.'' 

I did intend to examine this propofition as 
minutely as fome of the former, but I find 
it neceffary to abridge. The errors thicken 
fo much, that I am afraid of writing a folia 
inftead of an odtavo. I (hall therefore ftate 
the fadls as concifely as I can. If I had read 
your fentence with implicit belief, I (hould 
have fuppofed, that Nicon wrote after the 
date of Ufcan's edition ; that he produced a 
long catalogue of paffages befides Luke XXII. 
43, 44. where it was interpolated, but was 
filent upon i John V. 7. But as I knew 
Ibmething of Nicqn, and fomething too of 
Mr. Travis, I was fure that all you told us 
could^ot be true. 


[ 197 ] 

ThisNicon, according to Fabricius*, was 
a monk of the tenth century. La Croze + 
and Beaufobre|, who call him a Greek im- 
pojlor, feem to think him a different perfon. 
However, Greek impoflor or not, he lived 
long before the age of printing, and at leaft 
earlier, I fuppofe, than the time of Haitho. 
His treatife de pejjima Re/igione Armeniorum is 
extant in Latin §, but imperfedt. It has 
been fince publifhed complete by Cotelerius|| 
from two Greek MSS, In fmall Greek print 

this important treatife takes up about two 

thirds of a folio page. Neither does Nicon 
accufe the Armenians of interpolating, but 
of erafing. Neither does he accufe them of 
corrupting " Luke XXII. 43, 44. and diverfe 
other paffages," but only one befides, John 
VIII. I — 1 1. If Nicon's copy had r John V. 
7. and he knew that the Armenian MSS. 
omitted it, in fo Ihort a treatife, where he is 

» Biblioth. Gr. Vol. X, p. 283. 
f Hift. du Chriflianifme d'Armenie, p. 333. 
J Biblioth. Germanique, torn. XXXIX. p. 40. 
§ Beveridge, Not. in Can. Concil. Trull, p. 158. 
jl Patr. Apoftol. torn. I. p. 235. 

O 5 

C 198 ] 

content with two examples, he might not 
have thought it necelTary to record a third. 
If his copy omitted and the Armenian MSS, 
retained it, he might be filent for the fame 
reafon ; or he might not be equally fevere 
upon additions ; or he might think that they 
preferved the genuine text, and that his own 
copy was corrupt. But if, as we maintain, 
neither Nicon nor his contemporary Arme- 
nians knew of this verfe, how could he re-^ 
proach them either with omitting or inter- 
polating a fentence, that never exifted in 
Greek or Armenian till the thirteenth cen- 
tury ? 

In all this, Sir, I am ready to acquit you 
of fraud, except fo far as it is a fraud to pro-; 
fefs knowledge where you are moft ignorant. 
You copy Martin and his references from the 
Englifli tranflation. This appears from your 
hying zivKRSK oth^r pafages (pxusieurs) ih- 
ftead of ANOTHER. Having drawn out thig 
article to an unconfcionable length, I fhall 
funi it up in a few words. The ancient Ar- 
menian MSS, omitted the three heavenly 
vvitneiles. But in the thirteenth century the 
I^omilh and Armenian churches became inti- 

I ^99 ] 

mate. Haitho, king of Armenia, underftood 
Latin, and was a diligent reader of the Vul- 
gate. Perhaps from this circumftance he 
firft formed the defign of making a new edi- 
tion of the fcriptures in his own language. 
However, from the Vulgate he tranflated all 
the prefaces attributed to Jerome, and inferted 
them in his own edition. He could not be 
fo inattentive to, the advice of a (fuppofed) 
critic and faint, not to rejiore, as he would 
think it, this valuable verfe to its place. 
Thirty-feven years after Haitho's death, the 
council of Armenia (perhaps) quoted it, but 
in company with the eighth verfe. And it 
is the eighth verfe only that concerns their 
argument. They prove from the earthly 
witneffes, that the wine of the Eucharift 
ought to be diluted with water. Three hun- 
dred years after Haitho, Biftiop Ufcan inferted 
the feventh verfe in his edition. But that it 
has been uniformly in the Armenian MSS. 
from the time of Chryfoftome, becaufe it 
has been in them (iace the union of the Latin 
and Armenian churches, is as likely as that 
it has been uniformly in the Greek MSS. 
becaufe it has been quoted by fome Greek 
O 4 writers 

[ 200 ] 

writers fince the Greek tranfl^tion of the 
Lateran council. 

I have already afferted, in this letter, that 
the Slavonic verlion omits i John V. 7, I 
find, upon reading a little farther in your; 
book, that you have afferted the contrary. 
That I may know, whether I ought to defend 
or retradl my opinion, I fhall examine your 
reafons, which are two, I think, one pre- 
fumpt'ive *, and one pojiiive. Your prefwmptive 
proof ftands thus : " The Ruffians, at the 
clofe of the tenth century, were converted 
by the Greeks, from whom they received the 
fcriptures. But it has been proved that the 
ancient Greek church acknowledged this verfe 
to be genuine. Therefore the Ruffian or 
modern Greek church acknowledged it to be 
geiauine." Your pojttive proof ftands thus : 
^' This verfe poffeffes its place in all the Ruf- 
fian NewTeftaments, and in the Ruffian con- 
feffion of faith, dra\vn tip b»y Parthenius in 

Firft, I obferye, Sir, upon the former of 

f See Letter I, p. 5. 


[ 20I ] 

your proofs, that *La Croze, almoft as good 
a judge of thefe matters asyourfelf, attributes 
the Slavonic verfion to the ninth century, 
that is to fay, not quite an hundred years 
after Alcuin's revifion. " It cannot be fup- 
pofed, that the authors of this verfion would 
collate modern MSS. No ! candour (I mean 
Mr. Travis's candour) obliges us to admit, 
that their refearches were extended much 
higher, in all probability to the fecond or 
third century." But my candour is more 
eafily fatisfied. I am content to produce the 
authority of this verfion for no more than a 
tolerable proof what was the ufual reading 
in the fixth (or if, when you find it turned 
againft you, you ftiould be zealous to deprefs 
jts value) in the feyenth and eighth centuries. 
Next, I obferve, that your prefumptive 
proof may eafily be gained to the other fide. 
The Rufiians tranflated the fcriptures from 
Greek MSS. in the ninth ceritury. But all 
the Greek MSS. of all ages omit i John V. 
7, Therefore the Slavonic verfion omits it. 

* Hift, du Chriftianifme des Indes. p. 229 or 343, and 
/^^denda, p.. 13. 


{ 202 ] 

You cannot controvert this conclufion, un- 
lefs you can prove either that all the prefent 
Greek MSS. or all at leaft that are of the 
ninth century and older, retain this verfe, 
or that it is frequently quoted by Greek au- 
thors of that and the preceding ages. For, 
till you can prove an univerfal or very gene- 
ral confent of the Greek MSS. how do you 
know but the tra^lflators lighted upon Ibme 
of the defective and erroneous copies, fuch 
as the Syriac and Coptic interpreters had ? 

Thirdly, I obferve, that you are fo candid 
as to add a note which totally overthrows 
what your pojitive proof advances. " The 
Slavonian bible of 1663 has this text printed 
in its margin only. All the Ruffian bibles 
have it in the body of the page.'* Now, 
Sir, fince the modern Ruffian bibles have no 
authority whatfoever, but what they derive 
from the ancient Slavonic, even from your 
own ftate of the cafe it plainly appears that 
this verfe is an interpolation. If the curators 
of the edition of 1663 had a fingle MS. 
containing the verfe, at a time when their 
Patriarch had admitted it into their confef- 
fions of faith, it is impoffible that they (hould 


[ 203 ] 

fet fo difgraceful a mark upon it, as to ex- 
clude it from the text and degrade it to the 
margin. In this manner words and fentences 
utterly unknown to the author firll gain ad- 
mittance into the margin, and then become 
part of the text. Since we fee this happen 
fo often in printed books, we need not won- 
der at it in MSS. Whoever remembers what 
J have faid concerning the Syriac verfion, 
will want no farther inducement to believe 
that the difputed verfe was never in the Sla- 
vonic. But when once fuch paflages are in 
poffeffion, it is blafphemy to enquire how 
they came thither; it is want of can.] :ur 
and charity to hint a fufpicion that any edi- 
tor could be fo unworthy a betrayer of his truft, 
fo unfaithful a Jieward of the oracles of God, 
&c. &c. (I omit feveral thoufand epithets 
for the fake of brevity) as to increafe his 
edition with a verfe which was not extant in 
his MSS. But how is this verfe printed in 
the edition of 1663 ? You, Sir, who at other 
times are luxuriant enough in your quota- 
tions, here grudge us a fliort fentence. Th'j 
Slavonic edition then thus reprefents i John 
V. 8. in the text : *And ih^re are three U'4- 

[ 204 ] 

vejjing on earth, the fpini, and the iVater, and 
the blood, and the three agree in one. In the 
margin the feventh verfe : * For there are three, 
&c. Here, fays Martin, the abrupt tranfition 
to And inftead of For fhews that it was a mere 
variation in the Slavonic MSS. You, Sir, 
may ftrengthen this reafoning, if you like, 
by obferving that the words on earth refer to 
their oppcfites in heaven, and cry loudly for 
the infertion of the feyenth verfe. Belides, 
continues Martin, this edition p^ofelTes in 
the preface clofely to follow an elder edition 
printed at Oftrow in 1581. That edition 
therefore reprefents the pafl'age in the fame 
manner, being printed, po doubt, from a MS. 
that had the heavenly witneffes in the mar- 
gin, either frorr? the fame or from a different 
hand. Martin ^nd you, Sir, I knew long 
iince, look upon margin and text as one and 
the fame thing. But I hope that other§, 
whofe ideas are a little more diflindl, will 
fee, that, even allowing Martin's account to 
be true, the verfe may juftly be fufpe£ted of 
interpolation. Fqr myfelf, I own, I am not 
fo quick of belief. Having had a little ex- 
perience of pious fraud, I am apt tQ exclaim, 


C 205 ] 

on fuch occafiotis, Kuki^^ a,TroXot[/,t]v, Et Tt Tou- 
Tuv iti'Aofji.Ki. Perhaps the reader will hardly 
believe, that the Oftrow edition has only 
thefe words in the text, without any mar- 
ginal note : ^oniam ires funt tejiantes, fpiritus, 
aqua, etf unguis, et ires in unumfunt. Perhaps 
he will find greater difficulty in believing, 
that Newton, whofe arguments you pretend 
to confute in your fecond edition, had already 
declared himfelf an eye-witnefs of this read- 
ing in the Oftrow edition. And I can aflure 
you, if you will allow fuch a teftimony as 
mine, that in this declaration Newton tells 
no lie. Newton refers alfo to Camillus de 
Aritichrifto*, who had feen one Illyric or 
Ruffian MS. as he calls it, fix hundred years 
old, and pofleffed another of great antiquity, 
both which read the paffage in the fame con- 
cife way. Perhaps you will make an objec- 
tion to this Camillus, becaufe he was a Soci- 
nian. I fhall leave him to your mercy. For 
no heretic's word or oath ought to be be- 
lieved, who writes againfl this verfe. But 

* P. 156. His real name was Thomas Pifecius. See 
Sandius Biblioth, Antitrinit. p. 107. 


[ 206 ] 

how fhall we elude the evidence of a Slavonic 
MS. lately collated by Profeflbr Alter *, which 
is guilty of the fame Laconic rudenefs. Per- 
haps the Profeifor too is a concealed heretic^ 
and has made a falfe report* 

Let lis now contemplatfe the honefty of the 
Mofcow editors. They dared not all at once 
interpolate the text with this verfe* They 
therefore put it into the margin, hoping that 
it might at laft arrive at the honour of being 
received for undoubted fcriptufd. To accom-* 
plifli thia godly purpofe, they firft altered For 
to And, V. 8. then added dn earth , and both 
contrary to the authority which they pro- 
feffed to follow, in order to perfiiade the 
ignorant and credulous, that it was a mere 
cafual omiffion of the tranfcriber. Surely 
never was fo much fraud and forgery em- 
ployed as in fupport of this marvellous paf- 


I may now, I think, venture to affirm, 
that the ancient Armenian and Slavonic ver- 
iions both were ignorant of the heavenly 

* Var. Lea. in N. T. ex MSS. Vindobon. torn. II. 
p. 1036. 

witneffes ; 

[ 2^7 ] 

witneffes ; but I Ihall affirm without fcruple, 
that you, Sir, have proved nothing to the 
contrary ; and that, every ftep you take, 
your ignorance of the queftion, joined to an 
implicit faith in your blind guide Martin, 
plunges you into frefli difficulty and mlftake. 


1. J. L. Frey told Wetftein in dlfcourfing 
upon I John V. 7. that it was wanting* in 
his copy of the Armenian verfion. This 
converfation pafled in 17 19, before the deadly 
quarrel broke out between Frey and Wetftein. 
I am not fo fangulne as Mr. Travis ; elfe 1 
Ihould produce this for a decifive teftimony 
in my favour. For it is poffible that Wet- 
fteln's memory might deceive him.> or that 
in the eagernefs of his zeal, partly againft 
the verfe, and partlj- againfl Frey, he might 

* Regeffit neque exftare apud Patres, ne apud Cypri*- 
num quidem, fi rede infpiciatur, neque in MS. San£lo- 
Gallenfi, aliifque veteribus codicibus Latinis, neque in 
Verfioney quam haberet, Armena, Wetstein Prolegom. 
p. 192. 


f 208 ] 

enlarge a fimple conjedure into a pofitive 
affertion. The hOc, however, is probable 
enough In itfelf, that Frey had feen, or that 
he poffefled, an Armenian MS. containing 
the Catholic epiftles. If fuch a MS. be ftill 
preferved at Amfterdam, it would perhaps 
upon examination turn out to be the fame 
that Sandius faw in Ufcan's poflfeffion. I 
throw out this only as an hint to thofe who 
may hereafter have inclination and opportu- 
nity to reconfider the queftion. 

2. I learn from Mr. Matthasi *, that the 
firft edition of the Slavonic verfion was printed 
at Prague in the year 15 19. He does not 
mention its form, but obferves that it is re- 
markably fcarce, and rarely found entire. I 
have feen an old Slavonic edition, which I 
guefs to be the fame. It is a fmall thick 
oftavo, but I have not been able to find any 
date of time and place. Nor is it neceffary to 
make any particular enquiry after fo perverfe 
and difloyal a book, which fcarcely furnifhes 
half its complement of text on this dangerous 
and diftreffing occafion. 

* Append. II. ad Apocalypf. p. 34.6. 


I 209 ] 



JL ALMOST feel an inclination to pity you, 
when I enter upon yonr Greek authorities, 
they are fo fcanty, doubtful, and fufpeded. 
According to your own computation they are 
only four ; the Synopfis Scripturae and the 
Dialogue againft the Arians (both publifhed 
with the works of Athanafius), the Panoplia 
Dogmatica of Euthyroius Zigabenus, and 
the Greek Ledionary called Apoftolos or 
Praxapoflolos. Of thefe I mean to treat in 
their order. 

Firft, the argument of this Epiftle, you 
fay, p. 49, 102. is generally allowed to be 
the genuine work of Athanafius. As far as 
I can learn, it is generally allowed to be fpu- 
rious. In fome editions of the N. T. it is 
attributed to Euthalius. It may be found in 
Oecumenius. without aiiy author's name. In 

P Mill's 

[ 210 ] 

Mill's edition it is called Sophronius's, though 
Mill himfelf, Prol. 994. thinks it may be 
the work of Athanafius, not the great prelate, 
(for the learned have long since de- 
cided IT not to be his), but another, per- 
haps him who advifed Euthalius to undertake his 
edition. Certainly it would much leflen the 
charafter of the great Athanafius, if he were 
the real author of fuch a confufed and im- 
perfeft abridgement. However, genuine or 
fpuribus, " this author: feems plainly to refer 
to the verfe in queftion." How different are 
opinions ! Mill, Bengelius, Wetf1:ein, and 
Mr. Griefbach, affirm that it is not cited in 
the Synopfis. But let us attend to the proof. 
*' The verfe — is not direftly quoted — but 
the author of it feems plainly to refer to this 
verfe in his fummary or breviate of the fifth 
chapter :" I'he apojlle, " fays he," here teaches 
the unity of the Son with the Father : " for this 
unity is not taught in any part of that chap- 
ter, fave in the feventh verfe." This you 
had written, probably without looking at the 
Synopfis itkif, and therefore added thofe ufe- 
fui words, in his fummary or breviate of the 
fifth chapter, which vanilh in the fecond edi- 

[ 211 ] 

tlon. A common reader might henqe fancy, 
that the Synopfis was a corred ahridgement 
of the whole Epiftle, chapter by chapter, and 
almoft verfe by verfe, with the exaftnefs and 
regularity of a modern commentator. But 
though you omit thefe words, you ftill fay, 
at the end of the fentence, in any part of that 
chapter, which fuppofes the very aflertlon you 
have omitted. To make the argument com- 
plete, you ought to have faid, as Martin had 
boldly faid, in any part of the epifile, inftead 
of mending his expreffion by an implied 
falfehood. Whoever will take the trouble of 
reading this fame Synopfis, will find it an 
incoherent jumble without method or con- 
fiftency. I once intended to tranfcribe the 
whole, but to avoid the fatigue and difgufh 
of fuch a talk, I fhall fet down in their order 
the paffages which the author cites from this 
epiftle. I. I. I. 5. I. 2. V. 20. III. 8. IL 
12 — 14. III. 10 — 18. IV. 7 — 12. IV. 19. 
18. III. 10. IV- 2, 3, 6. V. 16. III. 14. 
IV- 8. [II. 23.] %z. III. 13, 14. V. 20, 21. 
I may now fafely appeal to every man of 
common fenfe, whether the place of any 
doubtful text in the Synopfis can determine 

P 3 its 

[ 212 ] 

its correfponding fituation in the epiftle. But 
perhaps the expreffions are fo peculiar as 
clearly to point out the feventh verfe of the 
fifth chapter. " He alfo fhews the unity of 
the Son with the Father." What ! fo brief 
that he cannot allow us the full fenfe of the 
paflage, but breaks off a part and conceals 
the reft ? Could he not have faid, " He alfo 
Ihews the unity of the Son and the Holy 
Ghoft with the Father," or " the unity of 
the three perfons in the Godhead," or fome 
one of an hundred other expreffions, which 
every naind will fuggeft to itfelf ? How ft range 
is it, that he fliould tranfplant from the other 
parts of the epiftle, fo many phrafes vifible to 
the naked eye, and here make fo minute a 
reference as requires the moft powerful ortho- 
dox microfcopes ! Martin and you cautioufly 
avoid quoting the entire fentence. " He alfo 
Ihews the unity of the Son with the Father, 
and that he who denies the Son, neither has the 
Father." The reference here is made folely 
to II. 23. as Emlyn, in his Reply, p. 265, 
obferved ; to whom Martin Verite, p. 234. 
made fo lame and fhuffling a rejoinder, that, 
J fear, he was convinced of his error, though 


[ 213 ] 

he had not the courage to confefs It. If yoit 
objedt that the verfe II. 23. does not teach 
the unity of the Son with the Father, you 
muft prove, i. that the author of the Synopfis 
means unity of eflence, not of confent ; 
2. that no ancient writer would or could in- 
terpret it in that manner. But, I hope, every 
perfon who has had the patience to read thus 
far, will be convinced that no mention is 
made of our verfe in this Synopfis, but that 
lince the author was perfectly orthodox, his 
filence is a probable argument that it was 
utterly unknown to him. i-r. r 

Your fecond' authority is a dialogue be- 
tween an Athanafian and an Arian, where 
" the verfe is thus expressly quoted ; Is not 
that lively and faving baptifm, whereby we re- 
ceive re7niJJion of Jins^ adminiftered in the name 
of the Father^ the Son, and the Holy Ghoji? 
And St. John fays. And thefe three are one^'' 
You have here tranflated rather freely, para- 
phrafing fome words and omitting others. 
You might have greatly edified your readers, 
if you had favoured them vvith all the argu- 
ments by vv^hich the Athanafian convinces 
the Arian that the Trinity in unity is to be 
P 3 worfliipped. 

[ 214 ] 

worfhipped. I fliall therefore give an abridged 
but faithful tranflation. " Why do the Sera- 
phim, that Ifaiah heard cry, Holy, Holy, Holy, 
neither exceed this number, nor fall fhort of 
it ? Certainly becaufe it is not lawful for 
any befides the Trinity to be thus honoured. 
Why did Mofes teach the people to bend 
their neck and their knees three times on 
the earth, but to denote the worfhip of the 
Trinity in one Godhead ? The divine Elijah 
raifes the dead at the third breathing, to fliew 
that no man can be worthy of eternal life, 
who (hall not firfl receive with reverential 
faith a coequal and confubftantial Trinity, 

which like fire confumes deadly fins 

Neither could Paul otherwife have afcended 
to the third heaven, unlefs he had poffeffed 
in his heart the indelible and confubftantial 

faith of the Trinity Likewife is not the 

remiffion of fins procured by that quickening 
and fanftifying ablution, without which no 
man fiiall fee the kingdom of heaven, an 
ablution given to the faithful in the thrice- 
blefled name. And befides all thefe, John 
fays, And the three are one^ [or rather, " are 
the one"] 


C 215 3 

Concerning this dialogue you tell us, " that 
whether it belongs to Athanafius or not, has 
been a matter of great difpute among the 
learned." Who is the author, may perhaps 
admit of a difpute. But all tjie learned at 
prefent, as far as I know, confefs it to be 
fpurious. Cave thinks it to be the compo- 
fition of fome doating monk. In general 
however, I believe, it is attributed to Maxi- 
mus, who lived in the feventh century, and 
refided five years in Africa and ten at Rome, 
You, I know, fettle its date by an acute cri- 
tical remark (taken, as ufual, from Martin), 
that becaufe the dialogue mentions the joint 
reign of Conftantine and Conftantius, it was 
written before the expiration of that joint 
reign, A. C. 337. I always thought, Sir, that 
the internal notes of time, unlefs they be very 
recondite, were not deciGve in feigned dia- 
logues. The greatell: dotard of a monk in. 
the feventh, or even in the feventeenth cen- 
tury, might write a dialogue and mention fo 
obvious a hd. It would be a part of his 
plan to throw in a circumftance of this nature, 
if he meant to fuftain his affumed charafter 
with propriety. Works may be proved (with 
P 4 certain 

Gcrtain exceptions) to be fpurious, If tliey 
violate hiftorical trath, but they cannot he 
proved genuine, becaufe they do not violate 

To the foregoing cenfure of Cave, which 
I am forry gave that worthy man, Mr. Martin^ 
great uneajinefs, no reader of the leaft tafte, 
who has perufed my extraft, will refufe his- 
affent. How eafily might a monk who could 
fix fuch remote, abftrufe, or rather abfurd 
fenfes upon other paiTages of fcrlpture, Inter- 
pret I John V. 8. of the Trinity ? The words 
ieem to convey at leaft a more myftical mean- 
ing than moft of the other quotations. If he 
thought that fuch arguments as the Ifraelites 
thrice bending the neck, Elijah's thrice 
breathing, Paul's being rapt into the third 
heaven, &c. had made an Impreffion on his 
antagonlil:, he might with equal modefty 
expe6l, that he would be completely van- 
quished with this teftlmony. It cannot be 
faid, that this Interpretation was not current 
among the Greeks, when Simon found it in 
the margin of two MSS. and Mr. Matthaei 
in a third. The latter fcholium is this : 
Ih-ee in the mafculine gender, in token of. the 

'I'riniiy : 

C 217 ] 

trinity: the Jpirit, of the Godhead ; the wateh^ 
of the enlightening knowledge to mankind, by the 
fpirit; the blood, of the incarnation. ThefeMSS. 
are of the tenth and eleventh centuries'. 
Now if this explanation could thus creep 
into the copies, and be recorded by the fcribes 
as a valuable memorandum, I fhould be fur- 
prized to find that no author had met with it 
in the margin of his MSS. or in the works 
of the holy Dodtors, or in converfation ; or 
that, having met with it, he fhould impioufly 
fufFer it to ruft in his poffeffion, inftead of 
employing it in the fervice of religion. 

But, interrupts Martin, the words are not 
the exa£l words of the eighth verfe. I an- 
fwer, neither are they the exa£l words of the 
feventh. But they much more nearly refem- 
ble the eighth than the feventh. The word 
«V, as I faid before, was abforbed by the three 
preceding letters, and loft out of the Greek 
MSS. from which the Latin verfion was made. 
The fame omiffion has happened in the copies 
of Cyril, of Euthymius Zigabenus, I may 
add, of Dionyfius Alexandrinus, whom Mar- 
tin cites to his own confutation. But whe- 
ther the copy itfelf that the author of the 


t 218 ] 

dialogue ufed, or the fcribe who copied the 
dialogue, be m fault, the fault is fo trifling 
and natural, that I wonder, i. why it has 
not been more frequent ; 2. wljyMill Ihould 
hence take occafion to objedt that the eighth 
verfc is not quoted by Maximus. For, fays 
he, all the MSS. read in the eighth verfe, 
£iV TO ev. But this argument is not valid, 
■unlefs all the MSS. of all ancient writers 
who quote the eighth verfe, retain the pre-» 
pofition, which we have juft feen not to be 
the fadt. 

In treating of the Latin fathers, I fliall 
have occafion to examine more fully the fub- 
je£t of this allegorical interpretation. In the 
mean time I pafs to your next Greek witnefs 
(next in the order of time) Euthymius Ziga- 
benus, who in his *Panoplla Dogmatica Or- 
thodoxae Fidei " thus refers to this verfe of 
St. John. jThe term one denotes things, the 
ejfence and nature of which are the fame, and yet 
the perfons are different, as in this injlance. And 


* Compare Ephef. VI. u — 17. 


[ 219 ] 

Here, Sir, I mean to furprlze you with my 
liberal conceffions. I grant that this paflage 
relates to the Trinity. And if It be a qtiota- 
tion from fcripture, I will grant that it is 
the claufe of i John V- 7. But before we 
admit this fecond propofition, I cannot help 
complaining that you have been lefs civil 
than Martin, who produces the Greek ori- 
ginal from a MS. in the French's king's 
library : to 'sv £7r* f/.ev ruv o^jloomo-Iuv XBysTuif 
ev6x ToojToriijg fiiv (pu<nug, ejepoTvji Se U7ro$-«(r£&ji', 
Jj ro, KAI TA TPIA EN. You might have 
made your Englifli look fomewhat better by 
rendering, j^nd the three are one. But you 
will forgive me if I doubt a little whether ^ 
Euthymius really meant this for a quotation 
of our verfe, becaufe he fo greatly varies the 
expreffion. The verb fubftantive, and pro- 
noun, are omitted, and the mafculines turned 
into neuters. Thefe orthodox divines were 
furely very inaccurate in their quotations of 
a mofl important paffage. Would a mere 
Engli(h reader think that an author quoting 
thefe words : And the three (things) one (thing) 
could poffibly mean to quote this fentence : 
And thefe three (perfons) are cm (thing) ? 


t 220 ] 

Eucherius indeed reads the eighth, and Eihc- 
rius both the feventh and eighth verfes, with 
iria in the neuter; but I know no Greek 
writer who has done the fame ih either of 
the verfes. ' 

Though this I think might be a fufficient 
objection, unlefs Euthymius had formally 
declared his quotation to be a part of fcrip- 
ture, I fhall not think much to examine more 
deeply into the matter. Poor Martin, turn- 
ing over the Latin tranflation of Euthymius, 
faw in the margin a reference to i John V. 
and finding it contained fomething like the 
feventh verfe, triumphantly added it to his^ 
cloud of witneffes. But the moft ridiculous 
errors find fomebody or other to receive and 
vend them for precious truths. 

llg ouBi Tov o[ji.oiov ccyBt Ueog cog rov ouoiov. 

The Latin tranflation is fo confufed, that 
I fhould have wondered if Martin, whofe 
talent for the languages was none of the* 
happieft, had underflood it ; though he might 
have feen caufe to doubt of his own con- 
ftruftion of the paflage, if he had confidered 
it with a little more attention or read a little 

A friend 

[" 221 ] 

A friend of mine, whofe name I fhould be 
happy to mention, lent me a copy of the 
Greek edition of this fame Euthymius Ziga- 
benus, publifhed at Tergovifto in 1710. The 
place you have quoted is extant in this edi- 
tion, fol. 28. col. 3 — 4. Here follows a literal 
tranflation. *' The word one is applied, i. to 
things homolifian, where there is a famenefs 
of nature, but a difference of perfons, as in 
this phrafe, And the three are one \ 2. to things 
heteroufian, where there is a famenefs of per- 
Ibns, but a difference of natures, as in this 
phrafe. And both together are one, not by nature, 
but by conjundlion.'''' •\- 

Every reader, even if I flopped here, would 
fee that if the latter quotation be not in fcrip- 
ture, in all probability neither is the former. 
But the latter certainly is not. Therefore I 
conclude the fame of the former. Who 
knows how many of the authors, now lofl, 
from whofe works Euthymius extrafted ma- 
terials for his Panoply, exprefl'ed their faith 
in the fame form of words ? The defenders 
of the difputed verfe catch greedily at every 
place where the Fathers ufe the expreflion of 
" Three are one," as if fuch expreflions could 


[ 222 ] 

not but proceed from this verfe, whereas the 
contrary fuppofition is infinitely more pro- 
bable, that the verfe proceeded from fuch 
expreffions of the Fathers. 

Let us refume our tranflation. f " As one 
is a word varioufly ufed ; for we fay, one in 
number, as Peter : one in fpecies, as man ; 
one in genus, as animal. Thus alfo with re- 
fpedl to two ; we fay, two in number, as 
Peter and Paul : two in fpecies, as man and 
horfe : two in genus, as effence and colour. 
When therefore we fpeak of Chrift as two, 
we do not call him two in number, but one 
in number by the unity of perfon, and two 
in fpecies, that is, in nature, by the duality 
of natures ; for Gregory the divine fays, and 
both together are one, not by nature, but by con- 
jundlion.'''' When I came to this fentence, f 
quickly conje£lured (and who would not con- 
jecture ?) that fince the fecond of thefe quo- 
tations bore the fuperfcription of Gregory 
Nazianzen, the firft too might ilTue from the 
fame mint. And, to my unfpeakable com- 
fort, I found my conjecture right. The 
fecond of the paffages is in Vol. I. Orat. 
XXXVI. p. 582. D. ; thefirft, Orat. XXXIX. 

p. 630. 

[ 223 1 

p. 630. B. Having been always extremely 
fond of Gregory, I cannot forbear tranfcribing 
as much of the context as may enlighten the 
reader. *' But when I fpeak, may lightening, 
as it were, flafh around you, from the three 
lights and one of God : three, according to 
their proprieties or hypoftafes, if any prefer 
that word, or perfons (for we will have no 
quarrel about names, fo long as the fyllables 
dire<St us to the fame fenfe), and one, accord- 
ing to the confideration of their effence or 
Godhead : for it is divided indivifibly, if I 
may ufe the expreffion, and conne£led divi- 
libly*. For the Godhead is one in three, 
and the three are one ; thofe [three] in which 
the Godhead is, or, to fpeak more accurately, 
which the Godhead is : but we will avoid 
excefles and defeats ; neither turning the 
unity into confufion, nor the diftindion into 
feparation. Far be from us both the con- 
junction of Sabellius, and the divifion of 
Arius, evils diarnetrically oppolite, and equally 

* "E» ya,^ It Tftcriv i StoT))! KAI TA TPIA EN, to. l> oi; 5 
£ioT»!;, v Toyi axftffirifot tlirsTn, a, i Aeotij;. See tOO Orat. 

XXXVII. p, 598. A. LI. p. 739. B. 


[ *24 ] 

partaking of Impiety." And in the next page, 
*' There is then one God in three [perfons], 
and the three are one, as we said." 

I believe that Mr. Travis himfelf will ex- 
cufe me from any farther examination of this 
authority. But fmce I have promifed to pro- 
duce every argument that to my knowledge 
has been or may be urged againft me, J muft 
not conceal that in the fame edition of Eu- 
thymius, fol. 112. col. i. a part of the epiftle 
of John is thus quoted. " jind it is the Spirit 
that beareth witnefs, becaiife the Spirit is truth. 
For there are three that bear record in heaven^ 
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoji, and 
ihefe three are one. And there are three that 
hear record on earth, the Jpirit, and the water, 
and the blood, and the three agree in one. If 
<we receive the witnefs of men, the witnefs of 

God is greater. See now again, how the 

preacher of truth calls the Spirit by nature 
God and of God, for having faid that it is 
the Spirit of God that witnefles, a little on- 
ward he adds, the witnefs of God is greater. 
-How then is he a creature, &c." 
. Upon this paffage I obferve, firft, that an 
author who adopts this reafoning muft have 


[ 225 ] 

been ignorant of the feventh verfe. Hovv 
could he otherwife have. miffed the opportu- 
nity of infilling upon the connumeration of 
the three perfons, the affertion of their joint 
teftimony and of their unity ? Euthymius's 
reafoning at prefent receives all its vigour, 
from the clofe conjundtion of the fixth, 
eighth, and ninth verfes, and Is only clogged 
by the infertion of the feventh. 

Secondly, I obferve, that all thefe tefti- 
monies and arguments Euthymius profeffes, 
f. 109. c. 4. to copy from Cyril's Thefaurus. 
I have feen this quotation with my own eyes 
in Cyril's Thefaurus, but inftead of the fe- 
venth and eighth verfes not a word more 
than. For there are three that hear record, the 
fpirit, the water, and the blood, and the three 
are one. 

Thirdly, I obferve, that the Latin tranfla- 
tion (Tit. XII. near the end) thus reads the 
place : £/ Spiritus eji qui Demn Spiritum veri- 
tatem ejfe tejlatur. ^oniam tres funt qui tejii- 
monium offer unt, fpiritus, aqua, et fanguis, et 
hi tres unutn funt. Si tejlimonium, &c. The 
tranflator therefore had not the verfe in his 
Greek copy. But wherever I fet my fteps, 

[ 226 ] 

1 ftumble upon frefli examples of forgery* 
This tranflator, though more modeft than hia 
brother the Greek editor, could not refift the 
pleafure of inferting the •vtoxA.Deum contrary 
to the text of fcripture, and the fcope of his 
author's argument. When fhall we ceafe to 
give our adverfaries occafion of reproaching 
lis with pious fraud on the one hand, or 
childifh creduHty on the other ? 

Fourthly, I obferve, that three MSS. of 
Euthymiu&, collated by Mr, Matthzei*, ex- 
actly agree with Cyril, except that one has a 
very (light variation* To thefe I add another 
in the Bodleian, which I myfelf iufpe£ted, 
and a fifth in the library of Trinity college, 
Cambridge, of which an extraft is now lying 
before me. So far therefore is Euthymius 
Zigabenus from having employed this wea- 
pon againft the heretics, that on the contrary 
it is plain he never had it to employ. It was 
not to be found in the (hops of thofe artifi- 
cers of faith, who furniftied him with the 
materials for ]\is Panoply. 

* On the Caj|>olic Epiftles, p. 142—143. 


[ 217 ] 

IProrrt Euthymius to your Apoftolos, that 
is, from one interpolation to another, is a 
gentle tranfition. Newton had faid, 'The Greeks 
Yecehed it (i JohnV. 7.) not till this prefent 
agty when the .Venetians fent it amongst them in 
printed books (meaning this Apoftolos). Upon 
this you alk two fapient queftions, " Was 
the Apoftolos not known to the Greeks till 
this prefent age ? Was the ApoHolos a printed 
book ?'* I. You might have recolledled that 
Newton's Differtation was written in the lafl: 
century^ in the beginning of which the Apo- 
ftolos was printed at Venice. 2. Yes, Sir, 
the Apoftolos is a printed book, fo far as it is 
an authority for the difputed verfe. Newton 
knew that the printed book contained the 
verfe, but he had reafon to declare it an in- 
terpolation. For he tells us, from the infor- 
mation of fome of his acquaintance, that 
the MSS. Leiftionaries of the Greeks omitted 
the verfe ; and that the Greeks, when they 
were attacked on this fubjed, appealed to 
their printed copies, and affirmed that it was 
crafed by the Ariaus. 

Your ingenious idea that the ancient Greek 

church from the fifth century acknowledged 

Qjt this 

t 228 1 

this verfe, becaiife it is now in theu"'Apofl:o- 
los, reds upon this foundation, that the read- 
ings of the Apoftolos have never been altered* 
But La Croze fays, and with truth I believe, 
that ecclefiaftical books are more fubje£t to 
alterations than others. Your reafoning upon 
this affertion is fo curious, that I confefs my- 
fclf unable to underftand it. You afk, whe* 
thei^ the church would at any time infert a 
reading which (he did not believe to be ge- 
nuine. Suppofe that (he would not ; yet in 
cafe of various readings, the church would^ 
fometimes from hafte, fometimes from igno- 
rance, fometimes from indolence, fometimes 
from a blind obedience to the di£bates of a 
leader who pretended to fuperior learning of 
holinefs, give a fpurious reading the fanftion 
of her authority. 

I cannot allow the Greek church to have 
been fo nice and critical as you would make 
her, becaufe I fhould then cede to her the 
palm of learning and fidelity, to which, I 
firmly believe, our church has an equal right. 
But if we may judge from ourfelves, the 
overfeers of the Greek church gave them- 
felves little trouble about- genuine readings 


[ 329 ] 

in the public fervice, provided nothing hete-t 
redox was admitted. In one of the early 
editions of our Bible, with the Common 
Prayer prefixed, the text of the N.T. marks 
I John V. 7. as doubtful ; in the gofpel for 
the firfl: Sunday after EalTer it is printed in 
the fame charafter, and no fufpicion infinu-*, 
ated. To which I may add, that we have 
now for more than two hundred years been 
proving the do£lrine of our XXIXth article 
by a fpurious quotation from Auguftine. 

In the year 1200 the Archbifliop of Lyons 
fent an hvimble petition to the chapter-gene- 
ral of Citeaux, praying that the gofpel con- 
cerning the paffion of our Lord — might be 
correfted. An abbot was accordingly ordered 
to make inquiry, and communicate the refult 
to the next chapter. The chapter's order is 
thus expreffed : " Scribatur in teXtu Matthsei 
Evangelifta2, ubi deeft ; Diviferunt Jibi vejii' 
tnenta *.-" 

The biographer of Lanfranc*, Archbifhop 
of Canterbury, tells us, that his Grace co?-? 

* Wetjiein Proleg. p. 85. 

Q 3 refted 

C 230 ] 

felted the Old and N-. T. and th6 writings 
of the holy Fathers, according to the orthodox 
faith. Can we wonder that men thus afFefted, 
when they found a text which apparently 
fuited their purpofe, ffruggling into notice, 
but not yet generally received, Ihould be 
biafled by their preconceived opinions, and 
fendeavour to give it currency among their 
fpiritual fubjeds by the ftamp of their own 

If our Apoftolos, which the perpetual de- 
mand of the church would multiply in num- 
berlefs copies, conftantly retained this verfe 
from the fifth century, by what fate or chance 
has every tranfcriber forgot to reftore it to 
the other MSS. which were not intended for 
public fervice. The critics complain that the 
Evangeliftaries and Ledtionaries have ofter^ 
transfufed their readings into the other MSS. 
But in this cafe the two ftreams of the pub- 
lic and private MSS, have flowed as diflinft 
and unmingled as Alpheus and the ocean. 
Of the MS. Leftiot^aries that have been col- 
lated, none contain the three heavenly wit- 
nefles. If therefore it were certain that the 
copy from which the Apoftolos was printed, 


[ 231 1 

did contain them, the queftion would be, 
which Tiuthority we ought to follow ? 

Newton's appeal to the Greek MSS. you 
with your accuftomed civihty call, not an 
argument, but an affertion too extravagant 
for a ferious refutation. For you fay, p. 259. 
*' How a Greek MS. omitting i John V. 7. 
copied out at Paris or Rome in the tenth 
century, can be a proof that the verfe was 
wanting in the MSS. that Jerome ufed at 
Paleftine in the fourth century, is utterly in- 
conceivable." If you cannot conceive this, 
your conceptions are very narrow. This ob- 
fervation, however, of yours, applied to the 
Apoftolos, will be as proper as it is now ab- 
furd. " How a Le£tionary printed at Venice 
in the feventeenth century, fourfcore years 
after i John V. 7. had been inferted in the 
Greek editions of the N. T. can be a proof 
that the fame verfe was extant in all the 
MS. Ledionaries from the fifth century dowu- 
ward, is utterly inconceivable !" 

The Apoftolos, Sir, was interpolated in 

printing. You will perhaps bring your old 

argument, which is nearly worn out, upon 

theftage, that if the editor inferted this verfe 

0^4 without 

[ 232 ] 

without the authority of MSS. he was a cheat. 
But he was not a cheat, and therefore, &c. 
This kind concern for the moraUty of editors 
I greatly admire. But I do not accufe the 
editor of being a cheat. Who ever called 
R. Stephens a cheat, becaufe he retains many 
readings in his edition, which he found in 
no MS. ? Every editor, unlefs he makes ac- 
tual profeffion to the contrary, is at liberty 
to follow the text of his predeceflbrs. Com- 
mon readers are ignorant what licence edi- 
tors take in reforming the text of MSS. 
to their own notions of corredlnefs. The 
Venetian overfeer of the prefs, having been 
long familiar with the vulgar reading, would 
naturally fuppofe the omiflion to be a mere 
error of the copier. He would doubtlefs have 
a printed N. T. at hand, for the greater eafe 
and quicker difpatch. When he came to this 
■place, if he had any regard for the credit of 
the printed editions, or for the fineft paflage 
in fcripture, he would add it to the Apofto- 
los, and inftead of thinking himfelf guilty 
of raflinefs or pious fraud, would plume him- 
felf on his zeal and vigilance in the eaufe of 
orthodoxy. The infiances of interpolation 


[ ^33 1 

which I have produced In the Syriac verfion, 
the Slavonic, and the editions of Euthj'mius, 
will infufe into any realonable man a diftruft 
of publiftiers who conceal the authority upon 
which they aft in cautions filence. All edi- 
tions, as well of fcripture as of books where 
fcripture is quoted, that give a text without 
notes or various readings, are by thenifelves 
incompetent witnefles. The lefs fcandal they 
give to the fimplicity of the vulgar, the more 
they excite the fufpicions of the learned. 

The confeffion of faith, though I cannot 
tell when it was firft made, is, I am fure, 
too late to have any weight. The modern. 
Greek verfion only ferves to fhew with what 
eagernefs this verfe was every where received 
as foon as it was known. 

When I think on the miferable poverty of 
Greek authorities under which you labour, 
I am aftonifhed that you would not accept 
the additional teftimonies offered by Benge- 
lius, Wetftein, and Mr. Griefbach. Bengelius 
wilhes to draw over to his party Irenasus, 
Clemens AlexandrinuSjAthenagoras, and Ba- 
fil ; but they are fo fhy, that he is obliged to 


C 234 ] 

ufe violence ; and even then they perform 
their work in a very aukward manner. The 
place from Bafiil looks moft like our verfe, 
DeuSf et Verbum, et Spiritus, una Deltas etfola 
adoranda. If this be a quotation of i John 
V. 7. no verfe has greater plenty of evidence 
to boaft, for it is quoted by every ancient 
writer who has expreffed his belief in 
three perfons and one God. A fcholion 
^fcribed to Origen on Pfalm CXXIII. 2. 

AouAw KVptUV TTCcjoog KXt uloV TTViUUiOt. KUl <rufJt,ix,' 

■TTottoiarKiii oe xvpixg rou aytou 'jrvBUf^arog ij ^lv^'y|' 
to. oe Tpix KVpiog oeog rif^uv eg'tv, ol yccp rpeTg ro 
ev ilmv. Thefpirit and the body are fervants to 
their majiers, the Father and Son ; the foul is 
maiden to her mijirefs, the Holy Ghojl ; the three 
is (or are) out' Lord God', for the three 
ARE ONE. The critical chemiftry that could 
extract the dodrine of the Trinity from this 
place, muft have been exquifitely refining. 
Andreas Creteniis, yta.^ to, rpioe, ug Qeog^ ru. tv 
cTg ^ 9eoTV}g. Taken from Gregory Nazianzen 
above quoted. The Nomocanon publiflied 
by Cotelerius, uutcc. rot rpioCf Tfajm — ev rciVTx 

I hardly 

rci Tpioc. 

C 235 ] 

I hardly know whether I ought to men- 
tion the Phllopatris, a dialogue written early 
m the fourth century, and falfely afcrlbed to 
Lucian, where the Chriftian Trinity is thus 
ridiculed : " The high-ruling God — the Son 
of the Father, the Spirit proceeding from the 
Father, one of three and three of one, think 
ihefe to be Jupiter, believe this to be God." 
To which the other anfwers, " You teach 
me to fwear in arithmetic ; one three and 
three one; I know not what you mearu" 
Cave* is fo overjoyed at this teftimony, that 
he undertakes to prove from it the genuine- 
«efs of the three heavenly witnefles ; and, 
having finiflied his tafk to his own fatisfac- 
tion, concludes moll mathematically, ^od 
erat demonjirandum. Either my eye-fight is 
dimmer than Cave's, or my reafon lefs trac- 
eable, or my faith weaker; for many years 
iince, while I had no heretical fcruples about 
the verfe in queftion, I read this dialogue 
without difcovering any allufion. Bilhop 
Eugenius too, who publifhed Jofeph Bryen- 
pius, and tranflated Virgil's Georgics into 

f Hift. Lit. T9m, I. p. 17. 


[ ^-3^ 3 

Greek hexameters, feems to be of rrty opi- 
nion ; for after mentioning Cave's demonjlra- 
iion, he adds, * Sed gentilem ilium auSiorem 
relinquamus, qui forjitan non ex Joannis epijiola^ 
fed ex propalato jam tunc Chrijlianorum dog- 
mate- — unitatem natura — cum 'trinitate — -fubfan-' 
Tiare Jcurriliter intendebat. But if you. Sir, 
think you can make any ufe of this autho-! 
rity, I beg you not to ftand upon ceremony. 
TLoiva. yaoTcc ruv (piXcov. 

I allow, however, that two Greek wrLters 
do quote this verfe in full and exprefs terms, 
Emanuel Calecas-j- and Jofeph Bryennius|. 
Both eminent- for antiquity and fidelity. Car 
lecas wrote about the middle of the fourteenth 
century, and Biyennius at the beginning of 
the fifteenth. I fhall have occafion hereafter 
to mention Calecas. At prefent I fhall only 
obfervc, that the Ads of the Lateran council 
having been then long tranflated into Greek, 
it is more wonderful that fo few, than that 
fo many Greeks have quoted the difputed 

. * Fragm. Epift. ad Matthasi Prsef. ad Epift. C^th; 

p. LVIII. 

+ P. 217. Ed. Cottier. 
J Tom. I, p. 241. ed. Lipf. 1768. 
'■■ = ■ verfe. 

[ 237 ] 

verfe. As to Bryennius, he manlfeftly bor- 
rows from the Latin veriiou. He reads 
%f's-i;j in the fixth verfe, inftead of to Tri/eu- 
fta, and omits the claufe of the eighth verfe. 
And fince he quotes Thomas Aquinas in ano- 
ther place*, I doubt not but that he was alfb 
indebted to him for this piece of informa- 

Let \is how review the troops which you 
are leading to this dangerous battle, i. A 
Synopfis of the firft epiftle of John, attri- 
buted to Athanafius, orEuthalius, or Soph ro- 
nius, which quotes II. 23. to prove the unity 
of the Father with the Son. 2. A Dialogue, 
at leaft as old as the feventh century, written 
by Maximus or fomebody elfe, which quotes 
the laft words of the eighth verfe, and ap- 
plies them to the Trinity. 3. Euthymius 
Zigabenus, who quotes thefe words, " And 
the three are one," from Gregory Nazianzen's 
Oration on the holy Lights, and has been 
fince compelled by his editor to quote i John 
V- 7. 4, 5. Calecas, who probably bor- 
rowed the verfe from the Lateran council ; 

* Tom. I. p. 322. 


[ 23^ ] 

and Bryeniuus, who cerh'n\\y bofrowecj iC 
from the Vulgate. 6^ Laftlj, a Ledtionary 
printed at Venice in the year 1602, which 
Bengelius pronounces " to be in this place 
certainly interpolated from the Latin ; for the 
leflbn in the Arabic verfion, for the fame day 
of the fiime week, knows nothing of the 

Whether fo fmall, faint-hearted, and mu- 
tinous a band, can make head againft the 
enemy's hofi:, I will endeavour to calculate, 
when I have concluded my account of the 
"Latin writers* 


t ^39 1 



1 F you fing Te Deum when you are moft 
fhamefully routed, what triumphs may we 
not expe<9: from you when you lead your 
Latins into the field, whofe firfl appearance 
at leaflit promifes fome fhew of refiftance ? 
Thefe Latins I fhall divide into two claffes, 
the writers before and the writers after Je- 
rome's time : for all the evidence of your 
Old Italic muft be given by the former fet. 
You are fenfible of the fcantinefs of your 
prefent allowance, and therefore wilh to make 
all the Latins down to the end of the feventh 
century vouchers for this verfion. But this. 
Sir, is either ignorance or fophiftry. If Je- 
rome reftored the difputed verfe about the 
end of the fourth century, his name was 
neither fo little known, nor his authority fo 
little refpe£led, that none of the fucceeding 
writers for three hundred years would adopt.. 

a moft 

[ 240 ] 

a moft important paflage from his edirion. 
You have only to prove (which you can do 
with as much eafe as you prove moft of your 
pofitions) that Jerome*s fucceflbrs, though 
they conftantly read and greatly efteemed his 
works, refolutely rejected all his emebda- 
tions, flighted his new edition, and fluck to 
their ancient Vulgate. In the mean time^ 
your Arite-Hieronymian witneffes are Tertul- 
lian, Cyprian, and Phoebadius. 

Tertulllan's words are thefe : " He Jhall 
take (fays the Son) of mine (John X'^JI. 14.) 
as I myfelf of the Father's. Thus the con- 
nexion of the Father in the Son, and of the 
Son in the Paraclete, makes three [perfons] 
cohering one with the other, which three 
are one [being, unum], not one [perfon, unus]y 
zs it is written, F and my Father are one" 
(John X. 30.) 

As often as I read this fentence, fo often I 
am aftoni(hed that the words tres unum funt 
ihould ever be urged as a quotation. On the 
contrary, it appears to me demonftrable, that, 
inftead of being a quotation, they are the 
words of Tertullian himfelf, and exprefsly 
diftinguiflied from the words of fcripture. 

I. Ter- 

[ 241 1 

l» TertuUian does not declare them to be 
a quotation. This objeftion, you lay, is ill- 
founded ; and you prove, in fu-e pages, that 
authors often quote without giving notice. You 
are fometimes, Sir, very amufing, when you 
prove what no man ever denied. A few pages 
farther, we (hall find you proving that a quo- 
tation from fcripture is often introduced with, 
it is written. But this. Sir, is not the whole of 
the objetSlion ; that TertuUian does not mark 
thefe words as a quotation, but that having 
been fo accurate as to declare two paflages to 
be quotations, one immediately preceding, 
and one immediately fucceeding, he fhould 
pafs over the words in queftion without any 
remark, fuch as, inquit, or dictum eft, or 
fcriptum ejl. If the three heavenly witneffes 
were in his copy of the N. T. why does he 
never appeal to them in the reft of this trea- 
tife, particularly in his twenty fecond chap- 
ter, where he infifts, at length, on the ex- 
prefiion. Ego et Pater vhvm fumm ; which he 
quotes five times in the whole book ? His 
argument, on this fubjeft, takes up half a 
page of your Appendix : yet he is content 
with a flight and tranfient allufion to a text, 

R which 

[ 242 ] 

which Is twice as important as the other, and 
by its pecuharity of expreffion, demanded a 
double fliare of his attention. Ought he not 
to have expeded that the heretics would have 
endeavoured to elude the force of this argu- 
ment, and pervert it to their own doftrine, 
as they had perverted John X. 30 ? Would 
he not have been equally difFufe upon the plural 
verb joined to the neuter Angular ? Let any 
man perufe the firft page of your Appendix, 
and he muft fee that if Tertullian had then 
two texts before him, one afferting the unity of 
two of the divine perfons, the other the unity 
of all the three, he muft have been ftrangely 
forgetful, or fomething worfe, to reafon fo 
much upon his weaker authority, and fo 
little upon his ftronger. If in the fequel a 
paffage occurs, that might admit a doubt, 
whether it be a quotation or not, it is furely 
a circumftance of weight enough to turn the 
fcale, that nothing was faid of it three chap- 
ters before, where it might very ufefully have 
been confronted with an unfufpefted quota- 

2. In reading the Fathers, great caution is- 
neccflary. They often paraphrafe what is 

concife ; 

[ 243 ] 

concife ; explain what is obfcure ; fupply 
■what is defeftjve ; and truths divine come 
mended from their pen. Often they add their 
own corollaries to the words of Scripture, or 
fo mix their quotation with the web of their 
argument, that without a Bible at hand, it is 
difficult to determine, where the Scripture or 
the author fpeaks. An inftance of this may 
be ieen in this very fentence of Tertullian : 
Me Jhall talie of mine, as I myfclf of the Father s. 
If any important confequence could be drawn 
from thefe laft words, no doubt but they 
would be defended with as much zeal, as the 
tres unum funt which follow. Nor fhould I 
have wondered, if Cyprian, or Phoebadius 
had taken them for the genuine words of the 
Evangelift, and quoted them without fcruple, 
upon the authority of Tertullian. And if I 
were difpofed to affert, that TertuUian's copy 
of the Gofpel in John XVI. 14. added, ficut 
ipfe de Patris, I (hould have a better co- 
lour for my opinion, than you have for yours. 
But you fay, that " Tertullian, after prov- 
ing the unity of the Son with the Father, by 
a quotation from St. John, proceeds to prove 
the divinity of the Holy Ghoft, by another 
R 2 quotation 

[ 244 3 

quotation from the fame St. John, which 
/Jpews a like unity of three perfons in the god- 
head." I abfolutely deny the truth of the lat- 
ter aflertion ; to the reft I have no objedlon. 
I allow that TertuUian, having proved the 
unity of the Father and Son from St. John, 
proceeds to prove the divinity of the Holy 
Ghofl from the fame St. John. But he proves it 
from the Gofpel, not from the Epiftle. To 
avoid prolixity, I will ftate Tertullian's rea- 
foning as clearly as I can ; and I engage to 
defend my expofition, as giving the only con- 
iiftent fenfe of which the words are capable. 

" The unity of the Father and Son is fre- 
quently declared in Scripture, but moft plainly 
in John X. 30. Praxeas makes this an unity 
of number ; whereas, it ought to be inter- 
preted of an unity of fubftance. For, if 
unity of perfon were intended, Ch rift would 
have faid, unus, not unum. And the fame 
fort of unity, that the Son has with the Fa- 
ther, the Holy Spirit has with the Son. For 
as the Son is fent by the Father, and fpeaks 
the words that he receives from the Father, 
fb is the Spirit fent by the Son, and fpeaks 
the words that he receives from the Son ; as 


[ 245 ] 

the Son himfelf affirms : He Jhall glorify me, 
for he Jliall receive of mme. Whatever unity, 
therefore, there is of the Father and Son, the 
fame is the unity of the Son and Spirit ; confe- 
quently, the fame is the unity of all the three ; 
which three are, therefore, one. When I 
fay one, I mean not one perfoii, but one fub- 
ftance. And for this reafon, to avoid the fub- 
tilties of Praxeas, I ufe the Latin word unum, 
l\ot unus ; in which I conform myfelf to the 
fcriptural phrafe, and apply the fame expref- 
lion to the three perfons, that the Scripture 
itfelf has applied to two." 

If Tertullian had propofed to himfelf, to 
declare his belief of the Trinity, in imitation 
of John X. 30. he could not have invented a 
form of words different from the form that he 
has chofen. He could not fay, ires unusfu?ity 
much lefs, ires unus eji ; becaufe, he then 
would, by his own confeffion, feem to favour 
the herefy of Praxeas. But, as his words 
now (land, the imitation is perfect ; and the 
very order of the fubjeft, predicate, and verb, 
exa£Hy obfcrved. I fhall therefore affirm, 
that Tertullian, not only does not quote thefe 
magie words, ires unumfuni, from St. John, 
R3 but 

I 246 ] 

but that he plawily confefles them to be his 
ovv!), and defends them by the analogy of 

Moftof the editions of TertuUian read, tres 
unumjint, which would rather ftrengthen my 
caufe. But I fliall make no ufe of this read- 
ing, becaule It might eafily be a miftake of 
the copiers, or, perhaps, of the prefs. Ter- 
tuUian has alfo been thought to refer to 
I John V. 7. in two other places, de Pu- 
dicitia § 21. c. Praxeam § 30. Concerning 
thefe two places I (hall fay nothing ; whether 
becaule I think them of too much confe- 
quence, of of too little, I leave, Sir, to your 
fagacious conjecture. 

Eucherius, after proving the Trinity from 
Pfalm XXXIII. 6. and other texts, con- 
cludes thus, " Ergo Pater ex quo omnia, Fi- 
lius per quem omnia, Spiritus SanCtus in quo 
omnia, ficut et Apoftolus dicit, (Rom. XI. 36.) 
$l^oniam ex ipfo et per ipfum, et in ipfo funt om- 
nia, ipji gloria in fecula fecukrumr The con- 
flru£tion of this fentence, is the fame as of 
the paflage in TertuUian. But It is clear, 
that the words immediately preceding Jicut, 
are Eucherlus's own, which he juftlfies by 


[ 247 ] 

the fubfequent authority. In like manher, 
the words immediately preceding quomodo^ arc 
Tertulliaii's own, which he juftifies by the 
fubfequent authority. I requefl the reader to 
bear this place in mind, when I examine 
Cyprian's teftimony. 

Phcebadius (excufe me for violating chro- 
nology) plainly imitates Tertullian, as Ben- 
gellus obferves, and therefore, is not a dif- 
tind evidence. If you objedt, with Benge- 
lius, that the particle quia implies a quota- 
tion, I anfwer, i. That this is too flender a 
prefumption to fupport an argument. Or if 
it muft be a quotation, it is a qviotation from 
Tertullian. 2. If I allowed it to be meant for 
a quotation of Scripture, you could then only 
prove, that Phoebadius had read-Cyprian, or 
fome author who had read Cyprian. 3. The 
editions vary, fome retaining, others omit- 
ting quia. 

Upon Cyprian, therefore, the whole la- 
bour of fupporting this verfe is devolved. He 
feems to quote it in two places. One of thefe 
receives all its force from the other ; and if 
Cyprian fhall not appear to have quoted 
I. John V. 7. in his treatife de Unitate, nei- 
R 4 ther 

[ 248 ] 

ther will he appear to have quoted it in his 
epK.h to Jubalanus. I allow, that by faying, 
*' Of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft, it 
is written, j^nd thefe (or the) three are one" 
Cyprian affirms, the words which follow, it 
h •u>ritten, to be extant in Scripture. Why 
would he not quote the entire feventh verfe, 
as we have it at prefent ? Alas ! what un- 
kind and perverfe mortals were thefe holy 
fathers ! Half a minute more time, half an 
inch more parchment, would have cleared up 
all doubts, eftabllihed the wavering, con- 
founded the gain-fayers, and faved a multi- 
tude of fouls. But whether through envy, 
or hafte, they huddled the moft important 
texts into the (horteft compafs, though they 
are tedious and difFufe upon others, where we 
could have wifhed them to be more concife. 

It has been .made a queftion, ever fmce the 
time of Simon, whither Cyprian quotes our 
prefent leventh verfe,or only applies the eighth 
by a myftical interpretation to the Trinity ? 
The fecond fuppofitioa is fo ftrongly fup- 
ported, by the authority of Facundus, that 
you will find fome difficulty in fetting afide 
his teftimony. Facundus himfelf, interpret- 

[ 249 ] 

ing the fpirit, water and blood of the Fa- 
ther, Son, and Holy Ghoft, at laft feenns ap- 
prehenfive that his adverfaries may poffibly 
obje£t to his explanation ; he, therefore, re- 
ferves as his ftrongeft argument, the autho- 
rity of Cyprian : " Aut fi forfitaii ipfi Trini- 
tatem, quae unus Deus eft, nolunt intelligi, 
fecundum ipfa verba, quse pofuit pro Apof- 
tolo Joanne, refpn-odeant — Quod tamen Jo- 
annls Apoftoli teftimonlum B. CyprianusCar- 
thaginenlis antiftes et martyr, in epiftola five 
libro quern de Unir te {c .pfit, de Patre, et 
Filio, et Spiritu Sanclo didum intelligit. Ait 
enim ; Dicit Dommus, Ego et Pater unum 
suMus ; et iterum de Palre, et Filio, et Spiritu 
San6to fcriptum ejl, et hi tres unum sunt." 
Such a thundering proof as this, left no room 
for objeftion ; in the progrefs, therefore, of 
his difpute, he refers to this place again, and 
takes it for granted, that he has undeniably 
proved his point. " Nam fie ecclefia Chrifti, 
etiam cum necdum ad diftindionem Patris 
ct Fihi et Spiritus Sandi uteretur nomine 
perfonae, tres credidit et praedicavit, P. et F. 
et Sp. S. ficut teftimonio Joannis fupra docui- 
mus, quo di£lum eft ; 'Tres funt qui tejlimo- 
nium dant in terra, fpiritus, aqua et Janguis, et 


[ 250 ] 

hf tres mum funt." I fliall now Jefirc the 
reader to confider your modeft affertion, p. 
40. 82. that " what Facundus or Cyprian 
Tinderftood, concerning the eighth verfe, is 
immaterial to the dilpute about the feventh." 
On the contrary, I affirm, that Facundus, 
■urging the heretics with the diflinftion 
of perfons in the Trinity, which is taught 
in the eighth verfe, and confirming his 
explanation by this very pajGTage of Cyprian, 
Ihews, firft, that he himfelf knew nothing of 
the feventh verfe ; and, fecondly, that Cy- 
prian, in his opinion, knew no more, but ex- 
traded the doftrine 'of the Trinity from the 
eighth. Could Facundus, with a text before 
his eyes that would have gained him an eafy 
vidory over his enemies, labour through fc- 
veral pages to bend this untra£table verfe to 
his purpofe ? " The Spirit," fays he, " fig- 
nifies the Father, for God is a Jpirit, (John 
IV. 24.) the water, the Holy Ghoft (fee 
John VII. 37. 38.) the blood, the Son, he 
alone of the Holy Trinity partaking of flelh 
and blood." If the feventh verfe was then in 
the generality of the Latin copies, Facundus 
had not only loft his wits, to ufe a weak rea- 
fon, when he had a ftronger to produce, but 


[ 251 ] 

his honefty too, in forcing an abfurd inter- 
pretation of fcripture upon Cyprian, which 
he well knew to be his own, and not Cy- 

Why then might not Cyprian give the 
fenfe of i John V. 8. in his own words, and 
fay, Of the Father^ Son, and Holy Ghoji, it is 
•written, these three are one ? To this 
queftion you, in Houyhnhnm lan- 
guage, that " Cyprian would then hzvefaid 
the thing which was not ; that he would have 
been guilty of an intentional falfehood ; a 
fuppofition altogether monftrous and abomin- 
able." You might have a little lowered theie 
tragical outcries, if you had confidered, that 
the goodnefs, or badnefs, of every adion may 
be confidered in two lights ; with refpe£t to 
the quality of the adion itfelf, and to the in- 
tention of the agent. That Cyprian fet down 
his own fenfe of the eighth verfe with an in- 
tention to miflead his readers, is an odious, 
and, unlefs it be well fupported, an abomina- 
hle accufation. But who accufes Cyprian of 
a deliberate falfehood ? This is your con- 
ftant refuge, when argument fails you, to re- 
prefent with all your pathos, the injury done 


[ 252 ] 

to illuftrious characters, fuch as Cyprian, Stu- 
nica, Stephens, Beza, &c. 

If Cyprian gave his own fenfeof a particu- 
lar verle, and faid, So it is rvritten, though 
he might occafion error in others, I fhould 
not, 'without very ftrong reafons, fufpeffc him 
of abfolute fraud. I wifh, indeed, that it 
were the cuftom to quote with more accuracy ; 
but we know too well, that all authors (and 
frequently in controverfy) quote, not the 
very words, but the fenfe and fcope of them, 
or what they take to be the fenfe, and fome 
tiiiies without warning the reader. If I had 
faid in my III Letter, p. 42. that you pro- 
fefs, p. II. 1 6. a wilhngnefs to believe thatMr. 
Gibbon, upon a certain occafion, would have 
a<fled like a knave, fliould I have been guilty of 
fraud, becaufe I had quoted your words ac- 
cording to what I thought to be their true 
meaning ? I would not be underftood to de- 
fend this praftice univerfally ; I think it 
blameable in general, and often produ£live of 
great miftakes. All that I aver is, that it 
merits no harfher name, where no evil inten- 
tion appears, than inaccuracy. Whatever I 
conceive to be the real import of a paflage, I 


[ ^53 ] 

have a right to fet down in what words I 
choofe, fo long as I believe it to be the true 
fenfe, and mean to miflead nobody. Facun- 
dus has the following fentence : " Joannes 
Apoftolus in epiftola fua de Patre, et Filio^ et 
Splritu SanSloJic + dicit : tres sunt qui tes- 
timonium DANT * — ET HI TRES UNUM 
SUNT." If Facundus had only quoted thefc 
words, and not been imprudent enough to 
quote and explain at length, he would have 
been with you a pofitive evidence for the au- 
thenticity of the feventh verfe ; but at pre- 
fent, unhappily, the break is filled up with * 
in terra Spiriius aqua et fanguis. I would ob- 
ierve. that Facundus ufes the word dicit, and 
is juft as peremptory in the application of the 
eighth verfe to the Trinity, as Cyprian is in 
rhe application of his fuppofed feventh. A 

+ Arator fays, A. A. II. 909. Hie Judaa vacans 
fterUis qua dicitur arhor, ExfpeSfata iribus fruilum 
non attulit annis, &c. Here is Judzea faid to be called the 
barren tree in fcripture, as pofitively as, et tres unum funt, 
is faid by Cyprian, to be written of the Father, Son, and 
Holy Ghoft. But no man in his fenfes, I hope, will 
contend that Arator's copy of Luke XIII. added a formal 
application of the parable to Judsea. 


[ 254 ] 

little after Facundus fays, ** Non ergo ait 
Joannes i^poftolus loquens de Patre^ et Filio, 
et Spiritu SanSlo, sunt PERsoNiE (Xum 
TESTiFiCANTUR, &c." Facundus, we fee^ 
affirming that the Apoftie fpeaks of the Tri- 
nity, affirms it in terms equally forcible with 
Cyprhnsfcnpiume/if and yet we are certain 
that Facundus applies only the eighth verfe ; 
we have, therefore, a right to conclude, that 
Cyprian does the lame. If Facundus had 
been as referved as Cyprian, and only quoted 
a part of the eighth verfe, as 1 have done for 
him ; if then the teftimony of a later writer 
fliould be produced to this effeft, ^odtejiimo- 
nium B. Facundus de Patre, Fitio, et Spiritu 
SanSio diSlum intelligit, you would reject it 
with as much contempt, and as little reafon, 
as now you rejeft the fame teftimony given 
by Facundus concerning Cyprian. 

Was the allegorical method of interpreta- 
tion uncommon among the fathers ? No ; 
we know that they employed it without fcru- 
ple in all points, whether of doftrine or 
morals. Bengali us, it is true, feems to think 
that the primitive fathers, or at leaft Cyp- 
rian, were not tainted with the contagion of 


[ 255 ] 

allegory. " That the reader * may judge of 
this the better, I will tranfcribe the wordft 
that follow the former quotation. 'The Scrip- 
ture fays. Of his coat, because from the 


carried unity, coming from the upper part^ that 
is, from heaven and from the Father, which 
could in no ivife be rent by him that received /V, 
&c. Again, in his treatife on the Lord's 
Prayer: We find that Daniel and the three chiU 
dren, chofe for their hours of prayer, the thirds 
fixth and ninth, a fign of the myflery of the 
Trinity, which was to be revealed in after times. 
What wonder, that a writer of this ftamp, 
fhould forcibly apply thefe words, tres unum 
funt, to the Trinity, though he were wholly 
ignorant of the feventh verfe." 

In truth, the allegorical interpretations of 
the fcripture, given by the ancient writers, 
are fo numerous, that it would be endlefs to 
purfue them. I fhall content myfelf with 
three of the moll: ingenious, and moft perti- 

* Griejbach, Tom, If. p. 230. 


Rent to the fubjeft. Ecclefiaft. IV- 12. yf 
ihreejold cord is not quickly broken. This is 
explained by Origen, Bafil, Jerome, and 
Ambrofe, of the 1 rinity. If any of thefe 
able divines had thus exprefled himfelf: " Of 
the unity of t'le Trinity it is written : A 
threefold cord, &c,'" who would pronounce 
him guilty of an intentional fallehood ? None, 
I am perfuaded, except Martin and yourfelf, 
whole feelings on thefe fubjeds are painfully 

*' When * Chrift fays to his difciples, that 
three loaves ou^ht to be given to him that 

* Arator ASt. Apoft. 11. 896. 

Difcipulis quod Chriftus ait, jam no£le roganti 
Tres panes debere dari : nox ifta profedo eft 
Mundus, ut hie fiquis verbi defideret efcas, 
Exhibeas, qusefite, dapes, doceafque volentem. 
Quod Pa'er et Natus, quod Sanftus Spiritus unus 
Sint Deus, et numerum triplicet fubftantia fimplex. 
Nee femel hoc pia juffa canunt. Angariat, inquit, 
Te quicunque petens, ut pergas praevius unum. 
Cetera vade fimul duo millia : nonne videntur 
Hoc mandata loqui ? fi quis te confulit errans 
Ignarufque viae, quid fit Deus, edere malls, 
Prode Patrem, fubjunge libens, quod Filius, et quod 
Spiritus eft almus, numero tres et tamen unus. 


[ ^57 1 

a{ks by night (Luke XL 5.) that night is 
the world, in which if any defires the meat 
of the word, you ought to produce your 
ftores, and teach him, that the Father, the 
Son, and the Holy Spirit, are one God, a 
fiugle fubftance in a triple number. The 
facred precepts repeat this more than once. 
Whoever prefl'es you one mile, go with him 
alfo the other two; (Matth. V. 41.) does 
he not feem to fay ; if any man in error 
alks you, what God is, tell him that he is 
firft the Father, next fubjoin that he is the 
Son and the gracious Spirit, three in number 
and yet one." 

If one of the Fathers had written this 
fentence : " Our Saviour faid to the Jewifli 
nation, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward 
for ever" an accufer would be ridiculous, 
who ftiould charge him with having quoted 
falfely ; for that thefe words are faid to the 
fig-tree, Matth. XXL 18. and not to the 
Jews. But how much more ridiculous 
would a defender be, who fhould maintain* 
that the Father had certainly an additional 
paragraph in his copy, where our Saviour 
thus fpoke ^o the Jews, or at leafl an addi- 

S tional 

[ ^5S ] 

tional verfe explaining the allegory J andl 
that t.-^ falpefc the holy man of giving his 
own inteipretation for the words of fcripture^ 
would be inonfl>ovA and '-hominable I 

Lord Shafttibiry* thus blafphemoufljr 
derides the language of the holy Scriptures ; 
*' I have i'ttrk in certain Chnftian cburchea. 
an ancient piece or two affirmed on the fo» 
lemn faith of prieftly tradition to have been 
angelically and divinely wrought ; but having, 
obferved the whole Jlyle and manner to vary 
from the rcrles of art, I prefumed to affert, 
that if the pencil had been heaven-guided, it 
eould never have been fo lame in its per- 
formance." Would a defender of Shaftebury 
gravely argue that I have here been guilty af 
an intentional . falfehood ; that Shaftefbury 
fays not a word of the Scriptures, but mere- 
ly of fome piftures that were ftievv^n to him 
in certain churches for celeftial woi:kmai>- 
fiiip ? In fuch a cafe I fhould anf\ver, if I 
could keq) my countenance, that I had fup- 
po&d Lord Shaftefbury by this allegcMry to 

♦ Cbafa£leriflics, voU III. 1>. 5130; 


[ 259 ] 

ridicule the Scriptures themfelves ; that the 
veil which covered his real meaning, was fo 
tranfparent, that every body might fee It, 
without my tearing it ofF; that hov^rever I 
was guilty of no Intentional falfehood, for I 
firmly believed what I faid, and that the 
morality of fuch matters Is not to be mea- 
fiired by the foundnefs of our judgment, 
but by the ftrength of our perfuafion. I 
make no doubt but Facundus was as fully 
convinced that he and Cyprian had rightly 
interpreted i John V. 8. as I am that I have 
rightly interpreted Lord Shaftefbury. The 
Only objeftion remaining, which can feem to 
have any weight, that Cyprian was not 
capable of fo abfurd an interpretation, I have 
in part anfwered already ; and I ftiall obferve 
farther, that no man ought to difpute upon 
any fubjedt where the Fathers are concerned, 
who either knows not, or will not own, 
that many Interpretations of Scripture fo 
the full as abfurd as this may be found in 
their works. To mention one. Many of 
the Fathers prove the divinity and eternal 
generation of the Logos from Pfalm XLV. i. 
Eru^avif cor meum verbum bonum. But the 

S z mere 

[ 26q ] 

faerc Englifii Chriftian is defrauded o£ this 
argument for his fciith by our heretical traw- 
Oation, My he^t is inditwg of a goodmatisr, * 
Cyprian is elfewhere oegligent iu quoting, 
as in Matth. VL 13. Stffer us not to be led 
i^o temptation. Apop. XIX. 10. Worjbip 
tkm the Lord J^us, i John 11. 17. he five 
times adds, As God remains for ever. The 
fiiO: and lecoud you defend. I fliail there- 
fore e:^amiae the firft, to give a ipecimen of 
your talents, for you never are more pleafant 
than when you taJk about criticifm. You 
think. Lead us not into temptation^ which is 
found in forae MSS. the genuine reading. 
The note in the inner margin of the Oxford 
Cyprian is thus expreflfed : '* Ne nos indu- 
cas, Ar. Ehor. Pemh. Lin. Vofs. 2. Bod. 3. 4. 
ViSi.^ which you p. 44, 89. thus improve, 
as ufual. ** Lead us into temptation are the 
words of the Arundelian MS. of thoiib from 
Pembroke College, Cambridge, of thoie from 

« Whoever dcfires more of thefe interia-etatlons, may 
iaiMx himfelf by oonfulting Whitby's Diflertatio de S. 
Sa'iptunffum Interpretationef<scuaduin Patrum Comcnen- 


[ 26i 3 

Yorki from Lincoln College, Oxford, of one 
belonging to Voiiius, two Bodleian MSS. 
and one beloBgifij^ to the monaftery of St. 
Viftor." Let any reader, who has not Cy- 
prian before hino, cjunt your lift ;» be mull 
be wrong ; he will at leaft make nine, and 
may, ir he chufes, make twenty MSS. in fa- 
vour of your reading, though in the edition 
itfelf it is manifeft to the eye, that they are 
only eight. The MSS. collated to this trea- 
tile of Cyprian are in all twenty- one. If I 
reafoned like you, I fhould claim the other 
thirteen, as all agreeing in the common' 
reading. However, fince the collation is in 
general very exaft, I think I fhall be very 
generous, if I ftrike off four as neutrals 
and only fuppofe nine to be in my favour; 
To thefe nine I add two in the Mufeum, 
both which read, Sufer us not to be ted, in 
each of the places where Cyprian quotes the 
claufe. We have therefore a clear majority 
on the fide of the editions. 

Secondly. This majority will be greatly 

increa&d, when we learn, that the fame 

plaufe is repeated again in this treatife of 

S 3 Cyprian, 

[ 26z ] 

Cyprian, and that only three MSS. defert the 
vulgar reading. 

Thirdly. The internal evidence is in fa- 
vour of this reading. For there was a plain 
realbn why the eopiers fhould alter Cyprian's 
quotation to that reading of the Gofpel 
which was familiar to themfelves. And 
wherever in a quotation of Scripture, two 
readings are equal in other refpedts, that 
which differs from the received text is com- 
monly genuine. 

Fourthly, Auguftine exprefsly quotes this 
variation from Cyprian, as you might have 
learned from your friend Beza. I conclude 
therefore that the prefent text of Cyprian is 
right, and that Matthew Prior was not 
wrong, when he faid or fung, that Authors 
before they write, JJoould read, a caution to 
which fome of your friends. Sir, have not 
paid fufficient regard. 

If yqu are curious to know how Cyprian 
came to adopt this glofs inftead of the ge- 
nuine reading, I am almoft certain, that he 
was deceived by an imperfed recolleftion of 
TertuUian, We learn from Jerome, that 
Cyprian was a conftaut reader of Tertullian, 


[ ^63 1 

whom he called his mafter. And from Cy- 
prian's imitations, we might learn the fame 
thi ig without Jerome's information. Ter- 
tuili snthen having explained De Orat, § 8. 
the claufe Lead us not by Suffer us not to be led^ 
his fcholar, as many fchol irs are apt to do, 
took his mafter's interpretation for Gofpel. 
Thus he quotes in th>i Council of Carthage, 
§ 6. John III. 6. with the fpurious addition, 
borrowed from Tertullian de Carne Chrifti, 
§ 1 8. of which I (hall take another occafion 
to fpeak. 

" But though Facundus indeed tells us 
that Cyprian meant only to interpret the 
eighth verfe by that fentence, Of the Father, 
Son and Holy Ghoji it is written, and these 
THREE ARE ONE, Fulgentius diredlly and poji- 
tively reprefents Cyprian as quoting the 
ieventh." Fulgentius's word is confitetiir, 
which, you fay, frequently means in the 
beft writers to declare y to Jhew, to profefs. 
And for this you refer to your trufty friend, 
** the dictionary of Ainfworth," of whofe 
two examples one has been correded from 
M3S. (Sueton. Aug. 4,) the other I have- 
not been able to find, but I will venture to 
S 4 prophefy^ 

[ 264 ] 

prophefy that it is a miftake ; a third, which 
^* the Thefaurus of Gefiier" would have 
fupplied, is either corrupt or nothing to the 
purpofe. Yet I fhall lay no ftrefs upon this 
argument, becaufe in that barbarous age, 
flrange liberties were fometimes taken in the 
ufe of words. I fhall alfo grant, that Ful^f 
gentius quotes our feventh verfe, and does 
not adopt the myftical expofition of the 
eighth from Cyprian, as Emiyn pretends. 
I (hall attack Fulgentius's teftimony upotl 
a new ground, I affirm, that it is no tefti- 
mony at all, except to the genuinenefs of 
the paflage in Cyprian. Fulgentius fairly 
confefles (or if you -w'lW, Jhews^ declares ^ pro' 
fejfes) that he became acquainted with this 
verfe folely by the means of Cyprian, and 
that he had not feen it himfelf in the copies 
of the N. T.' Elfe what does he mean to 
prove by his appeal to Cyprian ? That this 
verfe was genuine ? But if it already exifted 
in all the copies, if it were acknowledged 
both by orthodox and Arians, where was the 
ufe or fenfe of ftrengthening this general 
confent by the folitary evidence of Cyprian ? 


Clarke,* quoting Juftin for a paflage, which.. 
I Ihall hereafter mention, adds, that no 
doubt Juftin found it in the old Greek tranJP" 
lation. Is it not clear from this appeal to 
Juftin's authority, that the paflage is not iix 
the prefent copies of the Greek tranflation ? 
Would Fulgentius have faid, De Patre et 
feipfo et Spiritu SanSio iejiatur ipfe F'dius dicenSj 
Ite, docete, &c. (Matth. XXVIII. 19.) ^od 
etiam beatijjimus martyr Cyprianus confitetur, &c# 
Certainly never ; or if he had faid it, he- 
would weaken a part of the evidence which 
we riow have for the authenticity of that 
text. But Fulgentius being aware of ar> 
objection that the verfe was not then extant 
ija St. John's Epiftle, (hields himfelf under 
the authority of Cyprian, and quotes the 
paflage for genuine Scripture, upon this 
maxim, (which Facundugalfo adopts, though 
he applies it in a different way) that Cyprian 
was infallible. Nor was he Angular in this 
maxim, but agreed with the general opinion; 
that prevailed after Cyprian's mart^rdpra«- 

* Reply to Waterland, p, 135,, 


i 266 J . 

For, as Molheim* well obferves, Cyprian's 
reputation was fo enhanced by his fortitude 
in fuffcring a violent death, that he became 
the common mafterand oracle of the church. 
The merits of the martyr threw a ihade over 
the defe(3:s of the author, and the veneration 
that ought to have been corifined to his piety, 
was extended to his writings. It was there- 
fore no wonder that Fulgentius Ihould ac- 
cept a reading which he fuppofed to be Cy- 
prian's reading of a paffage in Scripture ; or 
that Facundus ihould accept an interpreta- 
tion which he fuppofed to be Cyprian's in- 
terpretation of Scripture, In either cafe they 
were fure of vanquifhing their enemies by 
an authority which it was deenied blafpheray 
to refift. 

I think it moft probable, that Cyprian in 
thefe quotations, followed, as he thought, 
the authority of TertuUian, Finding the 

* Incredibile diflu eft, quantam per univerfum orbem 
Chriftianum, poft mortem pro Chrifto magno aiiimo ex- 
ceptam, audloritatem adeptus fit, ut communis inftajf 
magiftri et oraculi loco habereter. De Rebus Chriftianis 
ante Conftantinum M. Sec. III. § XXIV. p, 597. 


I 267 3 

phrafe, ires unum funt, clofely joined tq, 
qmmodo diSlum ejl. Ego et pater unum 
euMus, he took the former part of the fen- 
tence to be a quotation from Scripture as 
well as the latter. " But from what part 
of Scripture," would Cyprian fay, " could 
my mafter take it, except i John V. %. 
I perceive his drift ; he interprets the 
fpirit, the water and the blood, of the three 
perfons of the Trinity, and to them applies- 
the concluding words, the three are one. If 
fuch an allegorical interpretation once en- 
tered Cyprian's head, it would recommend 
itfelf to his approbation equally by its own 
intrinfic merit and the authority of his maf- 
ter. I pay no compliment to De Mifly, 
when I fay that he had a clearer and more 
critical head than Cyprian. Yet he took 
Bengelius's words for a quotation from Ste- 
phens. * TertuUian proves by fome curious 
reafons (de Jejun. § 10.) that Daniel's hours 
of prayer were the third, the fixth and the 
jiinth. Cyprian lays his hands upon this 
piece of news as a great prize, and turns it 

* Letter IV. p. 99, 

[ 268 i 

to go6d account. The paflage I have quoted 
iibove. He there not only aflerts this as a 
fa£t of Daniel, but adds his three compa- 
nions, and infers that it denoted the myftery 
of the Trinity, which was to be revealed ia 
the lafi: times. I wi(h you had tranfcribed 
a little more from Fulgentius in your Ap- 
pendix. He has borrowed this argument 
from Cyprian, and I think (but I may be 
partial) fomewhat improved it. After his 
iirft citation from Cyprian, he thus proceeds* 
JFbr in his book on the Lord's prayer, to Jhenjt> 
ihat the trinity is of one Deity^ without any 
difference of the ferfons, he relates that Daniel 
and the children were •mont to pray at intervals 
ef three hours ; where by the revolution ^ three 
bourSi to the duty of one prayer , he evidently 
JbewSf ihat the "Trinity is one God. 

I fhall now requefl: the reader once more 
diligently to perufe the pafl'age of Eucherius 
above quoted. If Eucherius had found in 
any of his followers as conftant a reader 
and zealous an admirer as Tertullian found 
in Cyprian, how natural would it be for 
fuch a follower, upon reading this place, to 
miftake the fentence, Ergo pater ex qm 


[ 2^9 J 

9mm/t,film per quern omnia, fpirhus far^us^ in 
quo omma^ for a formal quotation of I Cor. 
VIII. 6. He would infer, (and he would 
infer with as much juftice as you and others 
have made Tertullian's words a quotation) 
that bj the Jicut et apojiolm dkit^ Eucherius 
meant, not to defend his own expreflion by 
a fimilar palTage of Scripture, but to connect 
two fimilar paflages. All the difference is, 
that the ficut et, is ftronger than TertuUian'a 
quomodo. Or to draw up ray argument in 
form of an ablirad proportion : if an authof 
ftates his own dodlrine in language refemi- 
bling fome words of Scripture, and illuftrates 
it by a Scriptural quotation, it is probable 
that fome credulous reader will take the 
author's own words for his reading of that 
part of Scripture to which they bear a re- 

-Gregory Nazianzen's father left behind 
him (bme difcourfes on the Trinity. In 
one of thefe, after proving his thefis from 
feveral texts, he proceeded in thefe words : 
tgiv CUV "TTctTfiP, £5 ou Tu "rrccvjoc, u<5f, oi au TtX. 
Vcivju, TO aytov wsUfJia, Iv ui ra, vavjx, Ka9ug xui 
ysypa-Trjuif e| «VT» ««» St oMri. kk) iv uurui tx 

TTctvJx, *■ 

[ ^70 ] 

crdvjoc.* (Rom. XI. 36.) Gregory on the 
perufal of this paffage, turned over his New 
Teftament, and at laft found in i Cor. VIII. 6. 
this fentence ; To us there is one God the Fa- 
ther, from whom are all things — and one Lord 
yefus Chr'tfl, by whom are all things. He 
therefore judicioufly concluded, that his fa- 
ther read the whole verfe thus : To us there 
is one God the Father, from whom are all things j 
and we from him ; and one Lord Jefiis Chri/f^ 
ty whom are all things, and we hy him ; and 
ONE Holy "Spirit, in whom are all 
THINGS, AND WE IN HIM. With this opi- 
nion, could he forget to employ his new- 
found text in his difputes with the heretics. 
Either his reverence for his father's memory, 
©r the Angular fitnefs of the paffage for his 
purpofe, would alone be a fufficient motive ; 
united, they were irrefiftible. In his thirty- 
ninth oration, therefore, p. 630. C. he quotes 
the verfe with this addition, compares it 
with Rom. XI. 36. and argues from it as if 

* I have adopted the reading of the Vulpte for an 
sbvious reafon. 


t »7i I 

both heretics and orthodox allowed It to be 
genuine. His commentator, Nicetas, T. II. 
Orat. XXXIX. p. 1026. B. XLIV. p. 1249. 
A* twice follows this readiilg, and urges it 
againft the Arians, adding in the latter place,. 
Neque enim alkqui 'Trinitas fuerit, nifi, Spiritm 
^oque connumeretur \ which, as Mr. Matthaei* 
tightly remarks, is an unwary confeffion of 
fraud. Three MSS. Scholiafts agree in the 
fame reading, and one has the impudence to 
affirm that it was erafed by Arius. E'|£Xij(p5i| 
'jra^oL Tou Kauov. (read e^ijXs/ip^ij.) From 
Gregory it paffed to John Damafcenus, who 
quotes it feveral times, to Euthymius Ziga- 
benus, and to Emanuel Calecas. + From 
Gregory or John Damafcenus (for both, I 
believe, were early tranflated into Slavonic) 
it crept into the Slavonian verfion, and is ia 
the MSS. and firft editions, but omitted in 
the latter. 

I acknowledge that I have mixed a little 
romance with the beginning of this ftory., 

• Aflitnadrerf. ad i Cor. VIII. 6. p. 204—210. 
f De Principiis Fidei, c. 3. p. 215. ed. Coteler. whom 
Mr. J^tfatthxi feems to have overlooked. 


C 272 ] 

But I was willing for once to imitate your 
tvay of fetting down your own fancies' for 
pofitlve fads. The intelligent reader will 
however fee that I have fuppofed nothing 
but what Is probable. I take Gregory to 
have been deceived by finding in fome emi- 
nent Greek Father a fentence fimilar to that 
which I have quoted from Eucherius. My 
hypothefis too is very charitabk ; for I was 
willing to bring off my favourite Gregory 
with the leaft poffible lofs of honour. I have 
pointed out the real fource of the miftake, 
though I cannot trace its progrefs, nor dis- 
cover through what channels it flowed into 
Gregory's oration. 

If an admirer of Gregory, writing upon 
the deity of the Holy Spirit, ufed thefc 
words : " The blefled Apoftle Paul teftifies, 
that to us there is one Holy Spirit, in whom are 
all things, which alfo the moft pious bifhop 
Gregory the divine declares (confitetw) in his 
oration of the holy lights, where, to demon- 
ftrate the Trinity, he has brought the fol- 
lowing proofs direflly from Scripture : To 


ix^here the from whom and by whom and in 


[ 273 1 

WHOM do not feparate the natures — as is clear, 
if we aitentivrly read in the fame Apoflle, froM 


THINGS, &c." would not he confefs, that he 
was indebted for the knowledge of this text 
to Gregory Nazianzen, and to him only ? 
The plain Englirh of fuch an appeal would 
be, This fentence is wanting in our prefent 
copies, but Gregory, whofe fidelity and ac- 
curacy cannot be queftioned, had it in his 
MS. as appears from his quoting it. So Ful- 
gentius's teftimony amounts to no more than 
this. The verfe is not now indeed in the epif- 
tie, but it was there in Cyprian's days, for he 
quotes it, and to fufpeit him either of fraud 
ormiftake would be the height of impiety. " 
The implicit faith with which the Latin 
writers copy their predeceiTbrs often dimi- 
nifhes and fometimts deftroys the value of 
their teftimony. Thus a glofs crept early 
into fome copies of John III. 6. ILt qmniam 
"Deus Spirilus g/?, de Deo natus ejl, I believe 
TertuUian to be the author of this glofs, 
who fometimes blends the words of fcripture 
with his o'»vnj fo that it requires much Ikill 
and pains to make the feparatioa. From 

T bin. 

C 274 ] 

him it quickly fpread through all the Latin 
churches, Ceu Jlamma per tadas, vel Eurus 
Per Siculas equhavit undas. It would be idle 
to recount all the writers who quote this for- 
fcripture ; but fome, not content with affertr 
ing it to be genuine, charge the Arians witli 
having corrupted the copies that omitted if^ 
Hear the holy Ambrofe : '• This place you 
Arians fo exprefsly teftify to be written of the 
Spirit, that you erafe it from your books^ 
And 1 wifli you erafed it only from your 
own, and not from the public books of the 
church.'* Obferve the candour and judg- 
ment of this^ Saint.. He acknowledges that 
a paffage is wanting in g.lmoft all the MSS» 
and. founds his accufation of the Asians upon- 
the very circumftance that ought to have 
acquitted them. The fame calumny is re- 
peated by Bede, Fulbert and Hincmar, who- 
follow in the chafe-, not like hounds^ that hunt, bu^ 
like thoje that fill up the cry. I muft not for- 
get to add, that Grabe* defends the genuine- 

* Not. ad BulU Defenf. Fid. Nie. p. 139, Grahiut 
vir lanus nee indoBus fu'it et in fcripth Patrum apprime 
verfatus : critict^s non fuit, neque effe potutt, ut pote neque 

in^enia neque judicio fatis ad earn rem in/iru£ius. 

Thirlby Dedicat. to Jujiin Martyr. 


[ ^75 ] 

nefs of this Interpolation, and very properly 
in company with i John V. 7. 

^e heifer hath calved and hath not calved. 
Pray, Sir, in what part of fcripture may this 
paffage be found ? It is quoted by at leaft 
four of the Fathers. Tertullian* fays, 
*' We read in Ezechiel." Clemens Alexan- 
drinusf fays (imply, " in fcripture." Gre- 
gory Nyflen | and Epiphanius § feem to 
quote it from Ifaiah. There is fome differ- 
ence in the words, but they all agree in the 
application, which, I fuppofe, I need not 

Jnftin Martyr tells Trypho, that the Jews 
have corrupted their fcripture to elude the 
prophecies relating to the Mefliah. One of 
his examples is Pialm XCVI. 10. from 
which three words, fays Juftin, have been 
erafed by the Jews, fo that the true reading 
is. The Lord hath reigned from the tree. 
Thirlby in his note produces an hoft of 

* De Came Chrifti, § 23. 

f Strom. VII. p. 756. 

X In Zacagni's ColIeAan. Monument. Vet. p. 303. 

§ Hseres. p. 156. 

T 2 witnefles 

[ 276 } 

witneffes for the fame reading, to whom he 
might have added the author againft Vari- 
piadus HI. 2. This reading, thetugh mani- 
feftly falfe and fpurious, has cropt into fome 
Pfalters, and feems to have impofed upon 
Erafmus, who cites it without rfufpicionr in 
his colloquy intitled, Inquijitio de fide. • * 

Thefe interpolations, which are well 
known to the learned, I have produced' 
merely to teach the fuperficial reader not 
to place too much confidence in the cita- 
tions of the Fathers. We have.feen how 
Nicetas, though he was fenfible that autho- 
rity was againft him, retains and defends 
Gregory Namnzen's reading. We have 
feen how Juftin Martyr and Ambrofe, when 
they wanted to promote a paffage to the 
rank of fcripture, reproached their adverfarie&- 
with having erafed it. 

You fuppofe authentkae Uterae in TertuUian 
to fignify the autographs of the apoftles. 
This conftrudlion you fupport by a paffage 
from Ignatius, which I profefs not to un- 
derftand, but I am fure that it will not ad- 
nfit the fenfe you put upon it. You then 


[ 277 ] 

refer us to Peter* of Alexandria, who tefti- 
fies, it feems, that the original Gofpel of St. 
John was kept at Ephefus in his time. Are 
you really ignorant, Sir, that this Peter is 
an author, whofe age, name and credit are 
totally uncertain ? And Berriman-j- and Er- 
:iefl:i;|; think that autheniiae means no more 
than gmuine, uninterpolated. But I flatter 
myfelf that I can confirm your interpreta- 
tion from Tertullian himfelf, § who quotes 
the originale injlrumentum Moyji. Now if Ter- 
tullian had feen the original volume of Mofes, 
how much more eafily might he have feen 
the original epiftle of John. Nor is it won- 
derful that the autograph of Mofes fhould 
laft to TertuUian's time, when the autograph 
of Efdras has lafted to the prefent day. 
For Montfaucon || faw at Bologna an He- 
brew MS. which, as appeared from a memo- 
randum in the middle of the book, wag 
written by Efdras's own proper hand. 

* Petavius Uranolog. p. 397. 
f Diflert. on i Tim. III. 16. p. 13. 
X Opufc. Philolog. et Crit. p. 308. 
§ Contra Hermog. § ig. 
Ij Diar. Ital. p. 400. 

T 3 But 

[ ^/S ] 

But to leave this folemn trifling, and re- 
turn to the queftion. The words of Tertul- 
lian, which you have taken for a quotation 
from fcripturCj I think I have (hewn to be 
only a dedudlion 6f his own from two texts 
John X. 30. XVI. 14. Phqebadius copies 
Tertullian. Cyprian finding two or three 
words, which happen to follow in the fame 
order, i John V. 8. immediately fucceeded 
by a formal quotation from fcripture, thought 
thefe vi'ords alfo to be a quotation, and em-^ 
ployed them without remorfe in the fenfe, 
which, as he ipnagined, his mafl:er had af- 
fixed to them. Thus Tertullian * proves by 
fome ingenious arguments, that Daniel's 
three hour^ of prayer were the third, the 
fixth and the iiinth. Then comes Cypriari, 
takes the fact for granted, aiflerts the fame of 
Daniel's three companions, and hence elicits 
the myftery of the Trinity. Whoever Could 
argue at this rate, could with equal or greater 
eafe find the fame dodtrine in fuch an ex- 
preffioa as " ibe three are one^' though the 

* De Jejuniis, § ro. 


[ 279 ] 

literal fenfe feemed ever fo foreign to his 

Two or three centuries afterwards both 
Facuadus and Fulgentius appealed to this 
paffage of Cyprian. Neithet of them could 
find a text of fcripture, where it was ex- 
prefsiy faid of the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghoft, " thefe three are one." Yet Cy- 
prian feemed to affirm it. Facundus there- 
fore fuppoied, that Cyprian mixed his own 
interpretation with the words of fcripture. 
Fulgentius on the other hand, being fome- 
what more fanguine, fuppoied that he quoted 
literally the words of fcripture. Finding 
therefore a kind of counterpart to Cyprian's 
quotation in i John V. 8. he would naturally 
conclude that the three heavenly witnclTes 
were diftindly mentioned in Cyprian's copy, 
but had afterwards vanifhed, either by the 
malice of the Arians, or the negligence of the 
fcribes, confounding the homceoteleuta. If 
you think. Sir, that it derogates from the 
honour of Cyprian or Fulgentius to infinuate 
that they could in matters of fuch impor- 
tance, blindly follow their leaders, you 
ought to recolleft that I pafs np harflier cen- 
T 4 fure 

[ 28o ] 

fure upon them than I .have paflTed upon you 
with refpe£t to Martin, a cenfure, whofejuf- 
tice you cannot help feeling in your mind, 
whether you chufe to coniefs it or iiot, 


I. I have perhaps been much more dlffufe 
upon this article than w^s neceflary. But 
I remember, that when I was a novice in 
this controverfy, I was very angry with the 
oppofers of the heavenly witnefles for their 
obftinacy in denying Cyprian's word^ to be 
a literal quotation. My reafons for the opi- 
nion which gave birth to my indignation 
were chiefly two. i. My efteem for the 
learning, good fenfe and fidelity of the fa- 
thers, which would not fufFer me to believe, 
that they would quote negligently or inter- 
pret abfurdly. 2. My reliance on the can- 
dour of the difputants in ftating the adver- 
fary's argumerits. But experience has in- 
ftru<fled me to entertain more moderate and 
qualified feutiments of both parties. 

2, Mr. 

[ 28l ] 

2. Mr. Travis has taken particular care 
not to let the reader know, that the paffage 
io triumphantly urged, as a direft quotation 
of I John V. 7. is cited at length by Facun- 
dus, and exprefsly declared by him to be an 
interpretation of i John V. 8. But from 
Mr. Travis's reprefentation of the matter, 
you would believe that Facundus refers in 
general terms to Cyprian, without fpecifying 
the exa£t place. 

3. Scipio MafFel* aflerts that Facundus 
aljudes to the feventh verfe. But becaufe 
he makes in the fame page feveral other 
affertions totally ungrounded, (fuch as that 
the verfe is in Aldus's edition, that Mill 
allows it to be extant in other Greek MSS. 
not lefs ancient than the Alexandrian, &c.) 
I fhall conclude that in this inftance, as well 
as the others, he aflerted what he wiftied 
rather than what he knew. 

4. I have written de Unitate in Facundus, 
and thus difabled an objeftion which might 
otherwife be made, that Facundus cannot be 

* Opufcoli Ecclefiaftici, p. 174. publiflied with his 
Iftoria Teologica. 


[ i$i ] 

fafely trufted, becaufe he refers to Cyprian's 
treatife by a wrong title,- de 'trinhaie. But 
learned men have long fihcfe coryedlured, de 
Unitate^ which might iiideed have been ad- 
mitted into the text, though it were not 
confirmed by the Verona MS, iu MafFei, 

P- 145- 

5. Mr. Travis has read Tertulliaii (o dili* 
gently and underftands hini fo well, that he 
denies, p. 233 — 235. Tertullian to have been 
a Mbntanift, when he wrote his treitife 
againft Praxeas, A proper lijan this to coa- 
fute Newton J 


C 283 ] 



./VUGUSTINE and Jerome you have 
thought fit to number hi your own party. 
^hus like an experienced officer, by afalfe mujier- 
roll of authorities^ you gain the pay and credit of 
forces you cannot produce, * Let us therefore 
examine your claim to thefe teftimonies. 
Auguftine fays of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghoft, " They are one," *♦ Thefe three 
are one," which words, according to you, 
befpeak thejr derivation from this verfe too 
clearly to require any comment. They 
would have been too clear to require any, if 
you had firft quoted the paffage from his 
freatife againft Maximin, \vhere he explains 

* MiDDLETON, Farther Remark? qn Bentfcy, vol. III. 
t?- 456. 


[ 284 ]j 

the fpiiit, the water, and the blood, into aii 
allegory li^ailfyiag the three perfons of the 
Trhiity. " If we examine," fays he, " how 
this paffiige ought to be interpreted, it will 
not be ablurd to expound it of the Trinity, 
of which it may be truly faid, " There are 
three tnat bear witnefs," and, " the three 
are one." If you had firft produced this 
fentence, the reader would have feen, that 
when Auguftine elfswhere fays of the Tri- 
nity, " Thefe three are one," even allow- 
ing that the phrafe is borrowed from fcrip- 
ture, it is only his own expofition of the 
eighth verfe. Could Auguftine, writing 
tipon the Trinity, and quoting the very next 
verfe to the feventh, be ignorant of it, if it 
were then commonly known, or refrain from 
tifing it in fome part or other of his treatife ? 
You will not objeft that Auguftine might 
thinJc the word unmn fignified unity of con- 
fent, not of eflence, i. becaufe you affirm 
that he has twice quoted the feventh verfe to 
prove the unity of eflence, and, 2. becaufe, 
to defend his own abfurd hypothefis, that 
utjfim is ahyays meant of eflence, he explains 
away the eighth verfe into an allegory. - 

- Butv 

[ 285 1 

But in truth, Sir, this way of quoting 
Auguftine is a mockeiy of reafon. We aflc 
for a paffage, where Auguftine has formally 
appealed to fcripture for the three heavenly 
witnefles. You produce a fentence, in which 
Auguftine fays of the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghoft, " thefe three are one," in his own 
words, without any reference to fcripture, or 
mark of a quotation. In the mean time you 
cautloufly keep back the argument from 
Auguftlne's allegory, and bring fcraps of 
quotations that can only amufe the moft ig- 
norant readers. Bengelius is much more 
confiftent. He thinks, that the verfe was 
withdrawn from the public copies by the 
Difciplina Arcnnu Allow him his premifes; 
and his conclufions wllheafily follow ; i. that 
no argument can be drawn from the filence 
of the ancient writers ; and, 2. that in thefc 
Ihort fentences they might covertly allude to 
the dlfpured text. I fhall only obferve, that 
if we fuppofe the firft Chriftians to have 
treated the fcriptures in this manner, we at 
once deflroy the certainty and authority of 
our prefent canon. But whoever fuppofes, 
as I think every defender of the tejit ought 


[ 286 ] 

to luppofe, that it was extant and publickljr 
known from the beginning, cannot, with 
the fmalleft appearance of reafon, pretend 
that it ought not to be formally and dire£lly 
cited in almoft every treatife on the Trinity. 

Indeed the argument from Auguftine's 
allegory is fo plain and ftrong, that Beza 
fairly lays, Non legit Augujlinus ; Bengelius 
avoids it by the Difdplina Arcanti and Mar- 
tin himfelf finks under the weight of the 
obje<3:ion, and only not yields the point in his 
dilfertation. In his Examen he makes a faint 
defence, but when Emlyn replied, he quitted 
the untenable poft. And it is felf-evident, 
that no man who had before him a clear paf- 
fage for the dodlrine of the Trinity, a paffage 
where the three perfons are diftindly named, 
would quote the adjacent fentence, and ex- 
plain it myftically of the fame doftrine, un- 
lefs he were determined to turn the fcripture 
into needlefs tautology, and weaken the 
force of his own reafdning. 

But " in Jerome's teftament this verfe isf 
read without any doubt of its authenticity." 
Without any doubt of its authenticity ! You 
inform us ellewhere that all the prefent La- 

tin MSS. are copies of Jerome's verfion. But 
many of the oldeft of thefe MSS. totally 
omit the heaveqly witijefles, and many re- 
tail thpm in a fufpicious manner. I havg 
fai4 enough upon this fubjeft in my fixth 
Jetter, and fhall not repeat it here. Th« 
queftion is, which of thele copies preferves 
the genuine reading, and therefore, when you 
fay, that the verfe is read in Jerome's teftsr 
ment, you afJiime the very thing which you 
ought to prove. But to help out this lame 
argument you produce two quotations. The 
firft is. In ejince therefore they are one, Itaque 
Jubjlaviia unum funt. You tranflate it, these 
[three] are on;e. Why add, thefe without 
warrant from your original I Or why add 
three, thoiigh, I own, you diftinguifh it from 
the words of your author ? Is it neceflary to 
the fenfe ? Or muft the words unum fant^ 
whenever and wherever they are applied to the 
Trinity, be always meant for a direft quota- 
tion of I John V- 7 ? You are then blamea- 
bly negligent in not increafing your orthodox 
witnefies with Marius Vidlorinus, whom 
you might have found quoted by Bengelius 
in the lame paragraph with Marcus Cele- 


[ 288 3. 

deiifis. The fecond teftimony of Jerome 
you produce from his explanation of faith to 
Cy rill us : To us there is one Father, one Son — 
and one Holy Ghojl—^and theje three are one* 
But after reading a page^ we find, that the 
quotation of which you here make a prefent 
to Jerome, belongs to Marcus Celedenfis. 
Whether it belongs to him, I know not. 
It is only a conjefture of the learned from 
an epiftle of Jerome's to Marcus Celedenfis, 
in which he ufes thefe words : Dejide, quam 
dignatus esfcribere fanCio Cyrillo, dedi confcriptam 
jidem. Hence you argue, p. i68, that Jerome , 
approved of Marcus's creed, and wrote ano- 
ther of his own. Let it be fuppofed, to 
fave trouble, that Marcus is the real author 
of this creed, and that Jerome intends the 
fame. How could Jerome fufpeft, that thefe 
words were meant for a quotation of fcrip- 
ture, without his friend's dropping the leaft 
hint of it ? Marcus Celedenfis only explains 
his own doctrine ; which he does not pro- 
fefs to do in the words of fcripture. Be- 
fides your argument takes for granted that 
Jerome examined all the quotations with 
Icrupulous minutenefs ; a talk to which, I, 


C 289 ] 

believe, very few friends or readers fubmit. 
But when Jerome came to this paffage, 
which heirs no mark of a quotation, he mufl 
have been the prince of conjurers to have 
divined his correfpondent's intention. In 
ihort. Sir, the creed addrefled to Damafus is 
univerfally acknowledged not to be Jerortie's, 
and if it were his, our verfe is not quoted in 
it. The creed afcribed to Marcus Celedenfis 
does not refer to the verfe, and, if it did, 
would fignify nothing in the difpute about 
Jerome. However you are perfectly con- 
fiftent in defending a fpurious reading by 
fpuribus authorities* 

But the weightieft evidence remains, the 
Prologue to the Canonical Epiftles* At the 
requeft or command of Pope Damafus, Je- 
rome revifed the Latin tranllation, and cor- 
refted it upon the faith of the Greek MSS. 
Did he therefore replace the three heavenly 
witnefles at this revifion or not ? If he did, 
why did he not then write his preface to in- 
form the world of his recovered reading ? 
But after Damafus was dead, Euftochiumj 
it feems, a young lady, at once devout, hand- 
fome, and learned, requefts him once more 

U X9 

[ 29d ] 

td revlfe the Catholic Epiftles and corre^ 
them from the Greek. Jerome tinder- 
-takes the taik, and having completed it, ad- 
vertifes her in this prologue, that other in- 
accurate tranflators had omitted the teftimonjr 
of the three heavenly witnefles, the ftfongeft 
proof of the Catholic faith. Such a fk)i?y 
as this carries its own condemnation wpon it& 
forehead. It has therefore been given up by 
moft of the defenders of the verfe ; by Mill, 
by Abbe Roger, by MafFei, Vallarfius, Vitali, 
Twells, Bengelius. But you tell us, with 
that extent of information for which your 
work is notorious, that " the moft difturbed 
imagination did not harbour any fuch chime- 
ras (as that the prologue was not genuine) 
till the times of Martianay and "Simon.** 
You are miftaken, Sir. Stindius * had alrea- 
dy declared the prologue to be fpurious in 
the year 1670. We are left alfo to imagine 
froni tfie manner in which you couple Mar- 
tianay and Simon, that they were both 
ftanch oppofers of the verfe. Whereas Mar- 
tianay is a jftanch defender of it and a furioufe^ 

• Append. Interpretat. Paradox, p. 3^3. ... 


[ 291 ] 

antagoiiift of Simoiu He endeavours to cli{^ 
able feme of Simon's arguments againft this 
very prologue, accufes him almofl of forgery 
in quoting a MS. and of herefy for attacking 
the genuinenefs of i John V. 7. Nothing, 
therefore, but the force of truth could make 
fuch a critic agree with his adverfary in his 
main proportion. I muft add that Kettner, 
who in his Differtation * upon i John V- 7. 
and his New Vindication * had contended 
that the prologue was Jerome's, in a third 
book called the Hiftory of the text in John,* 
candidly acknowledges it to be fpurious. 

That this judgment is as true as it was 
impartial, will appear from many confidera- 
tions. Firft a great majority of MSS. omits 
Jerome's name. You anfwer, that other pre- 
faces, confefledly Jerome's, want his name 
in MSS. I defire you to point out a preface 
to any book of the Old Teftament, where 
half as many MSS omit Jerome's name. 
Thirty- four, of the MSS. that I collated pre- 
fix no name ; fix omitted the prologue ; one 

* I. Lipf. 1696. p. 57—63. II. Delitii lyoz.p- 33—37. 
III. Francf. et Lipf. 1713. p. 134. — 136. 145. 172. 

U 2 had 

[ 292 ] 

had loft the leaf; of two I have made no 
memorandum ; in fhort I have only fet down 
eight which at once retained the prologue 
and attributed it to Jerome. But Jerome 
was fo popular, every thing that bore his 
name was fo eagerly fought, and fo fre- 
quently tranfcribed, that if this prologue had 
been generally known or thought to be his, the 
correctors at leaft would more generally have 
reftored his name, and would conftantly have 
fecured the infertion of the prologue in their 
books. But by being often abfent, and often 
anonymous, it betrays marks of a late birth 
and difhonourable extradion. It is the hard 
fate of celebrated authors to have a quantity 
of tra(h fathered upon them, fometimes by 
defigUj and fometifnes by miftake. Nobody 
has been more freely treated in this way than 
Jerome. And if this has fo often happened, 
lince the invention of printing, how often 
muft it have happened before that asra ? 

In fome MSS. the preface is added ; 
yet the heavenly witnefles omitted. But 
this ^'ou and Martin eafily folve by laying 
the blame upon the negligence of tranfcribers. 
No, Sir, it was not the negligence of the 



[ 293 ] 

miifcribers, but the negligence or forgetful- 
nefs of the collators, that was the caufe of 
this difagreement. The prologue was tran- 
icribed from a younger MS. the text of the 
Epiftles from an older ; written either be- 
fore the Prologue was compofed, or at leaft 
before it forced itfelf into a general notice. 

Some of the MSS. call the Epiftles Cano- 
nical in the title, and all in the Prologue, 
whereas Jerome would have called them 
Catholic. Here you tell us that Jerome has 
called them Canonical in other parts of his 
works, and fend us for fatisfaftion to his ca- 
talogue of ecclefiaftical writers. You ought 
to be told. Sir, that when correct editions 
are publifhed ou the faith of MSS. no critic 
is allowed to argue from the old and corrupt 
readings. The editions publifhed by Mar- 
tjanay at Paris, and Vallarfius at Verona, 
both read Catholics in the three places of the 
catalogue, and produce no various reading 
from their MSS. I have collated ten MSS. 
qne in the Bodleian and nine in the Mufeum, 
Two of the thirteenth and one of the fif- 
teenth century have canonka without varia- 
tion ; a fourth of the f^,fteenth century has 
U 3 canonkiQ 

[ 294 3 

canontca once in the text, hxit cathoUca for ^ 
various reading between the lines from the 
fame hand, and catholica in the text twice 
without any fufpicion. The remaining fix 
MSS. two of which are very ancient, (one 
at leaft a thoufand years old, MS. Cotton. 
Calig. A. 1 5.) conftantly read cathoUde^ whiql^ 
1 fhall therefore conclude to be the true 
reading. Auguftine, you add, calls the Epif- 
tles canonical. His partiality to the Latin 
ufage touches not Jerorrie, who prided himfelf 
too much upon his Greek to fufFer fuch an inr 
novation. Auguftine quotes " the Apoftle 
Jude in his canonical epiftle." How woul4 
you have exuked, if you had known that Je- 
rome himfelf in his commentary on Ifaiah 
LXV T. III. p. 484. calls the fecond epiftle 
of Peter canonical. And to crown the whole, 
all the MSS. as Martianay teftifies, and two 
in the Bodleian, as I teftify, concur in this 
reading* Martianay is afraid that this uni- 
form confpnt of the MSS, fomewhat weakens 
the foregoing argument. But he might 
have been of good cheer; for there is no 
refemblance between the two cafes. The 
name canonical applied to feven Epiftles, four 
■ ' of 

[ 295 1 

of wViich were lefs generally received for 
canonical than piofl: of St. Paul's, is the per- 
feftion of abfurdity. But it is applied with 
propriety to a fingle epiftle of the feven, 
whether doubted, or undoubted. For in- 
ftance, Jerome quoting the fecond epiftle of 
Peter, which many churches rejedled, by 
this epithet fixes upon it the feal of his own. 
opinion and authority. For the fame reafon 
Auguftine calls the epiftle of Jude canonical^ 
as if he had faid ; I know that this epiftle 
is rejefted by fome, but in my opinion it is 
the genuine compofttion of the Apoftle. If 
oil the other hand a writer rejecting the fe- 
cond epiftle of Peter, the fecond and third 
of John, &c. had occafion to quote any of 
the other three, he might juftly fay, " St. 
Peter writes in his canonical epiftle," thus' 
diftlnguifliing the true from the counterfeit 
money. This, if I miftake not, was the 
true reafon why the Catholic epiftles by de- 
grees gained the title of canonical. For \vhen 
the later writers faw their predeceflbrs fe- 
parately call the Epiftles canonical, they with 
great judgment, gave them the fame epithet 
\u the lump. Our argument, Sir, is, not 
U 4 t,hat 

[ 296 3 

that Jerome never calls a fingle eplftle ca- 
nom'cal, for that he might have done by any 
of St. Paul's, if it had pleafed him, but 
that he calls the whole feven Catholic in his 
genuine works, while the Prologue calls 
them canonical. 

The fame of Jerome was fo for extended, 
and his authority fo great, that if a Pro- 
logue of his compofition, containing fuch 
important information, had been conftantly 
known and read from the beginning of the 
fifth century, it muft have been quoted by 
feme of the intermediate writers between 
the fifth and the ninth, a fpace of time in 
which Jerome's verfion triumphed over all 
preceding tranflations. If this Prologue had 
been univerfally acknowledged for Jerome's, 
how could Bede overlook it ? Bede's filence 
both with refpe£t to the difputed verfe and 
the Prologue is a complete proof that he knew 
nothing of the Prologue, and a probable ar- 
gument that it was not even extant in his 
life. The only appeals to it are made by 
Walafrid Strabus in the ninth, and the Sor- 
bonne Corredorium in the tenth, century. 
This laft author feems to have been pver- 


[ 297 3 

fcurfhened with judgment, for he fays,- 
*' Here fome of the Greek MSS. are cor- 
" rupted, as St. Jerome obferves." • We 
may therefore fuppofe, that the Proloffue 
was written in fome part of the time h&v 
tween Bede's death and the ninth centurv. 

But if there were no other obje£lion to 
this Prologue, the ftyle alone would deter- 
mine it not to be Jerome^s. Whatever be 
his fubjeft, his language is always fpirited and 
perfpicuGUS 5 while the Prologue is writtea 
in a barbarous and uncouth jargon. To 
make it the more barbarous, you have fol- 
lowed thofe editions (Append, p. 6, 13.) 
which read, quodfunt for ut Jint, and traitjlato- 
ribus ponenies. But I (hall pafs by thefe ex- 
preflions, though, if they were genuine, 
they would clear Jerome from all fufpicion. 

Next, let us confider the reafoning and 
connexion. '^ As we formerly corrected the 
*' Evangelifts to the line of truth, fo we 
*' have by God's affiflance reflored thefe 
" [epiftles] to their proper order." The 
real Jerome could never have indulged him- 
felf in fo filly a parallel, when he might 
l^ave faid, and ought to have faid, ita et has'^ 


[ 29S ] 

Deo javante^ Gr^^Hc^ Jidel red^idimuu This 
would have been a prober fubjedt for his 
joy and piety, inftead of childifhly com- 
mending himfelf for fuch a trifle as reftoring 
the order of the epiftles. It is aifo obferv- 
able, that though the main drift of the au-, 
thor was to give cyrrency to his favourite 
i?erfe of the three heavenly witneiTes, he is; 
afraid to affirm diredtly that it was in the 
Greek MSS. and only infinuates that falfe- 
laood in cautious and perplexed language : 
*' Which epiflJes, if they were faithfully ^q 
" turned into "Latin, as they are arranged by 
*' them" (the Apoftles, I fuppofe) "neither 
** would create doubts in the readers, nor 
*' vi^ould the varieties of readings impugn 
*' one another ; efpecially in that place of 
^' John where we read of the unity of the 
^' Trinity; in which we find the unfaithful 
*' tranflators to have erred much from the 
*' true faith ; putting only three names,-— 
" and omitting the witnefs of the Father, 
the Word an4 the Spirit, by which the 
catholic faith is chiefly ftrengthened, an4 
** the one deity of the Father, Son, and^oly 
f* Ohoft proved," Firft, here is another 


[ 299 ] 

ridiculous oppofition of ^o and as. *' If the 
*^ tranflators had been as diligent in tranf- 
^' lating the epiftles as the apoftles (or the 
^' Greeks, for ab lis nnay be referred to them) 
*' have been in arranging the fame epiftles." 
Nor do I beHeve that Jerome would have 
ufed fuch language as this, Neque fermonum 
Jefe varietates impugnarent. Befides, the au- 
thor does not pofitively affirm that he has 
reftored the yerfe upon the authority of Greek 
MSS. but in order to poflefs the reader with 
that belief, envelopes his meaning in a cloud 
of words. This obje6lIon will not feem of 
little weight to thofe who know that many 
perfons will infinuate a falfhood, which they 
dare not aflert in explicit terms. If Jerome 
himfelf had told us fuch a piece of news as 
is hinted in the Prologue, he would have 
fpoken out and told it plainly, whether it 
were true or falfe. If it were true, an af- 
fetted obfcurity would be as needlefs, as it 
was contrary to his manner. If it were falfe, 
he would have affirmed it no lefs boldly and 
called God to witnefs no lefs folemnly, than 
when he attefled the miracle of his being 
^hipped by angels for reading prophane au- 
thors ; 

[ 3^° ] 

fhors ; or when he wrote the lives of Paul * 
and Hilarlon, which you have fo well de^ 


* Mr. Travis fays that Jerome wrote tliefe lives, " not 
•f as pofitive facts, but to teach fome moral or fpiritual 
" duty, and to inculcate what is ufeful and good." An4 
he compares them to Piipay and iEfop's Fables, to Ho- 
mer's two poems, and to Jotham's parable. I (hall there- 
fore give the outlines of Jerome's life of Paul, that the 
unlearned reader may be better able to Calculate the quan- 
tity oi good and ufeful inftrutStion contained in it. 

" Antony thought hitpfelf the moft perfeft monk iq 
" the world, till he was told in a vifion, that there was 
" one much more perfefl: than he, and that he muft fet 
" out on a vifit to the prince of anchorets. Antony 
*' departed on this errand, and in his journey through the 
" defert faw a centaur. Jerome modeftly doubts whe- 
" ther it was the natural produce of the foil, fruitful in 
*' monfters, or whether the devil aflumed this fliape to 
" fright the holy man. Some time after he faw a Satyr,' 
*» with an horned forehead and goats feet, who prefented 
♦f him with fome date? as hoftages of peace, and confeffed 
" that he was one of the falfe dpities, whom the deluded 
" Gentile? worfhipped. At lafl; Antony, quite weary 
" aftd exhaufted, found Paul, and, while they were dif- 
'^ courfing together, who (hould appear on a fudden, bi?t 
•f a raven with a loaf, which he laid down in their light. 
" Every day, fajd Paul to Antony, I receive half a Iq^f, 

" but 

[ 3^1 1 

But if Jerome had told us, that his Greet 
MSS. contained the three heavenly witnefles, 
he would have told a notorious falfhood. 

•' but on your arrival Chrift has given his foldiers dou- 
" ble provifion. He alfo told Antony^ that be himfelf 
" fhould (liortly die ; he therefore defined to be buried in 
" the fame cloak that Antony received from Athanafius, 
" Antony fet out full fpeed to fetch the cloak, but Paul 
*' was dead before his return. Here was a frefh diftrefs ; 
" Antony cpuld find no fpade or pickax to dig a grave. 
" But while he was in this perplexity, two lions ap- 
" proached with fo piteous a roaring, that he perceived 
" they were lamenting the deceafed after their unpolifhed 
" faftiion. They then began to fcralch the earth with 
♦' their feet, till they had hollowed a place big enough to 
" contain a fingle body. After Antony had buried his 
*' friend's carcafe in this hole, the two lions came to him, 
*' and by their figns and fawning afked his blefllng, which 
<♦ he kindly gave them, and they departed in very good 
*' humour," 

Something of the fame nature happened to St. Daph- 

nis, as we learn from thofe Ecclefiaftlcal Hiftorians who 

inculcate what is ufeful and good. Theocritus, I. 71. 

T?»oj x'""" V^"'" AEfiN EKAAYSE @a,to,l», and Virgil, V. 27. 

Daphni, tuum Pcenos etiam ingeMuisSE leones 

Interitum montefque feros filvafque loquutitur. 

All the inference that I wifh to draw from this long 
note, is that Mr. Travis has not read Jerome's lives of 
the Saints which he has fo manfully defended. 


[ 3^2 ] 

*rhat r.ll the Greeks before his time ahd all 
for many ages after it, fliould know nothing 
of this text, or entirely hegle£l it; that all 
the vifible Greek MSS. which have furvived 
to the prefent day, (hould omit it ; and yet 
that Jerome found a clufter of Greek MSSi 
all of which retained it, this, according to the 
common courfe of things, is incredible an<l 
impoffible. What a ft range revolution, as 
Erafmus juftly obferves, that in Jerome's 
time the Latin copies Ihould be defective 
and the Greek perfedl, when at prefent the 
Latin have repaired their lofs, and the Greek 
are become defedtive. YoU objeft, that the 
expreflion irifideles tranjlatores does not mean 
the generality of tranflators. When an ex- 
preflion of this kind is ufed without limi* 
tation, an author who wiflies to be under- 
ftood, as the real Jerome would wlfh, muft 
be underftood to mean It generally. If only 
a few tranflators were guilty, why does he 
not reftraln his meaning by fuch words, 
zs paua's, quibufdam, &c. ? I agree with you, 
that injideks fignlfies no more than inaccurate. 
But If Jerome had attributed fuch anomiffion 
to the interpreters, he would not have difmif- 


[ 3^3 1 

fed them vvkh fo gentle a reprimand. The 

Ibfteft names that he could find for them, 

would then be, mid- Jay devils, mad dogs, blaf- 

phemous heretics, two-footed afes, Sec. If he 

thought it merely an error, I have fo good an 

opinion of his critical abilities, as to believe 

that he would have accufed the tmjkilftd 

fcribes, and not the unfaithful tranjlators. 

And if only a few of the Latin copies were 

faulty, it was idle to fingle out this place as 

a fpecimen of the fuperior corredtnefs of his 

own edition. In fa£fe it is apparent that, 

whenever this Prologue was written, moft of 

the Latin copies wanted i John V. 7. and 

that it was written for the exprefs purpofe 

of providing a remedy for this defeft. I 

fhall here take notice of a cireumftance 

which I forgot to mention in its place. The 

Greek-Englifli editor of the N. T. in 172^ 

appealed to an ancient Corre£torium, which 

dflerts, that this verfe was wanting in 

the old Latin MSS. Upon which Twells 

fays, " We call upon him to Ihew where," 

&c, intimating that the editor was a liar. 

However it happens that fuch a Correftorium 

did exift, and was collated by Lucas Bru- 


[ 304- ] 

genfis. Ks call its author Epanorthotes, 
and highly extols his diligence and fidelity* 
And his note upon i John V- 7. is no bad 
example of thofe qualities. Epanorthotes deeffe 
huec eadem Gracts librh et antiquis Latinis notat. 
Who can deny that by the indefinite phrafe, 
Grach librhy muft be meant all the Greek 
MSSf Since therefore in the time of Epa- 
northotes, all the Greek and the older Latin 
MSS. omitted the three heavenly vvitnefies ; 
fince by confequence his MSS. exaftly agreed 
with thofe which have been afterwards col- 
lated by different editors, at different times 
and places, this coincidence; not only proves 
his good faith and accuracy, but the fuperior 
excellence of his Latin MSS. You tell us, 
and with great truth, I believe, that all Je- 
rome's MSS. are lofl. But how happens it, 
that they differed fo widely from all others ? 
Jerome's good fortune in getting a band of 
thefe MSS. into his poffelfion, is exaftly 
parallel with Stephens's in finding a large 
number of the fame fort. What pity that 
all the orthodox MSS. after being once col- 
lated, Ihould immediately withdraw them- 
felves, and neither liften to the invitation of 


[ PS i 

their ffiends hor the challenge of then- elie* 

mies ! 

Agaui, if Jerome had wfitten this pro- 
logue, the chief aim of which is to bring 
into common tife this Jlrongejl proof of the 
'Trinity^ would he never have thought of in- 
troducing it in his other works ? He is very 
proudi in one of his epiftles, of having re- 
Itored y^ri)/«^ the Lord, Rom. XII. 1 1 . inftead 
oi ferving the t'tmei What a trifling occafion 
to praife himfelf was this compared to the 
other ? Would he not have been in hafte to 
tell Auguftine of this grand difcovery f Au-» 
guftlne, who looked with an evil eye upon 
Jerome's new edition ^ could not fail of being 
fully reconciled to it, when he had learned 
what an acdeffion of ftrength it brought to the 
catholic faith* Auguftine and Jerome cor- 
refponded upon biblical fubjedts infinitely 
lefs important. You are not infenfible of 
the force of this argument, as appears from 
the miferable ihifts to which you are reduced 
in attempting to elude it* Firft " he has in^ 
ferted the heavenly witneffes in his verfion,'* 
the very point in debate. Secondly, " he 
lias quoted them in two creeds," neither of 

X whicih 

t p^ I 

vvliich is written by Jerome, neither of 
which can be proved, to quote the heavenly 
witnefles. But to left yoti into a fecret, none 
of the prologues to the feparate parts of the 
N. T. are Jerome's. They are all rhapfo- 
dies without method or meaning : without 
Jerome's leairning, ftyle or fpirit ; written 
long after his time, fometimes adorned with 
extracts from his catalogue or epiftles. Ben- 
gelius quotes a prologue to the A&s, which 
IS manifeftly fpuridus^ and feems, as he ob- 
ferves, to be the handy work of the fame 
author, who favoured us with the prologue 
to the Catholic Epiftles. He has infcribed 
it to two other friends of Jerome, to Dom- 
nion and Rogatianus. For all thefe reafons, 
I agree with Bengelius that this prologue is 
a forgery, but I cannot think with him that 
the author of it was acquainted with Greek 
MSS. Indeed he feems to diftruft; his own 
opinion, for he adds, at the end of the para- 
graph, ^/ Jirmos tejies ex Oraca antiquhate: 
producet^ grattam ab ecclejia inibit, 

'The good Eucherius is your next witnefe, in 
whofe Formula Spirltalis Imelligentta Martin 


[ 3°; 1 

(Diffeft. p. 78.) found the difputed verfe 
and brought it forward with great parade. 
However, as we ought to reftore every man 
his own, it is neceffary to obferve that Mill 
had already produced the paffage, Proleg. 
938. You too. Sir, in imitation of Martin, 
are here extremely alert. You fay that 
Emlyn ingenuoufly confeffes his embarraff- 
ment. Whether you have afted ingenuoufy 
let the public judge. Could a reader, who 
reads your quotation from Emlyn, guefs that 
he fpends two pages to fhew that the paffage 
is interpolated ? It would truly have been, 
as you call it p. 40, 81, « poor refuge to affedt 
a doubt, without giving any reafons. Em- 
lyn's reafons are, 1. That Eucherius in his 
^ejliones F. et N. T. explains the water, 
the blood and the fpirit of the Father, Son 
and Holy Ghoft. That in his Formulae 
therefore he feems only to have quoted 
the eighth verfe, becaufe it is not likely 
that Eucherius or any body elfe, feeing the 
do£trine of the Trinity clearly revealed in 
the feventh verfe, fhould extrafl: it from the 
eighth by an -unnatural Interpretation. 2. That 
tranfcribers and editors often corre£t the 

X % citations 

[ 30^ ] 

citations' of their authors to the current 
reading of their own time ; particularly that 
the editor of Eucherius, J. Brafficanus con- 
feffes that he took great pains in correcting 
the faults, and that " he added what was 
" wanting." It is therefore probable that 
this paffage is one of thofe additions, which, 
3. is the more probable, becaufe the defign of 
Eucherius, as the very title of his work im- 
ports, was to give hidden and myftical fenfea 
of fcripture. The eighth verfe was fuf- 
ficient for this purpofe ; the feventh would 
have been fuperfluous. 

Eucherius in his ^ejiions, after faying that 
in I John V. 8. there feemsto be a reference 
to the Gofpel XIX. 30. thus proceeds : 
" Some therefore think that by the water 
" is meant baptifm ; by the blood, martyr- 
" dom; by the fpirit, the perfbn bimfelf 
*' who paffes through martyrdom to the 
*' Lord. Yet the majority here underftands 
*' the Trinity itfelf by a myftical interpre- 
•' tation, becaufe it bears witnefs to Chrift ; 
*' by the water indicating the Father, for he 
fays of himfelf; Jer. II. 13. 1" bey have 
left me the fount am of living water ; by the 

*' blood 


[ 3°9 ] 

*' blood demonftratiug Chrift, and referring 
*' to his paffipn ; by the Spirit manifefting 
*' the Holy Ghoft. Now thele three thus 
*' bear witnefs of Chrift. He himfelf fays 
" in the Gofpel, VIII. i8. / I>ear witnefs 
*' of my fe If, and the Father who fent me bean 
*' witnefs of me. And again,' XV- 26. 
" When the Comforter is come — he /hall bear 
" witnefs of me. The Father therefore bears- 
" witnefs when he fays, Matth.^XVlI. 5. 
" 'This is my beloved Son. The Son, when 
" he fays, John X. 30. / and my Father are 
" one. The holy Spirit ; when it is faid of 
"him, Matth. III. 16. And he f aw the 
" holy Spirit defcending, &c." 

I. From this laboured illuflration, and 
the pains taken to fortify it, Eucherius plainly 
fliews, that he himfelf is one of the many 
(plures) who embraced the myftical inter- 
pretation. Martin (who does not eafily mifs 
any error that lies in his way) infifts that 
plures means no more than fame or feveral 
(plujieurs.) I wonder not that Emlyn was 
lick of difputing with fo wretched a fophift. 
If plures might elfewhere admit of either 
fenfe, here it can only mean a majority, be- 

X 3 caufe 

[ 3^o ] 

caufe it is oppofed to qufdamt and iarHen 

2. Lardner* rightly infers, that the author 
who wrote this paffage, could not know any 
thing of the heavenly witnelTes. He there-* 
fore correds the text of Eucherjus in this 
manner : *' I. Hie numerus ad unitatem 
deitatis refertur, &c. II. ad duo teftamenta 
divinas legis referuntur, &c. III. ad Trini- 
tatem in Joannis epiftola, 'Tres funt qui tefii- 
fnoniumdarit,aqua,fanguisetfpiritus. ♦' Nq. I 
is referred to the unity of God, No. 2 to the 
two teftaments, No. 3 to the Trinity, in the 
epiftle of John, There are three that bear re- 
cord^ the water ^ the blood and thefpirit. I fliall 
obferVe, by the way, that Martin took the 
fentence out of its connection, difcarded the 
numeral, fupplied legimus inftead oi referuntur, 
and fo tranflated (in which you have fol- 
lowed him) uis to the Trinity , we read, &c. 
When Emlyn objedled, that Eucheriusi 
might only quote the eighth verfe as refer- 
ring to the Trinity, Martin had the affurance 

* Credibility, Part II. Ch. 137, Vol. ^I. p., 170—, 
j«4. or Vol, V. p. 226 — 229. 


C 3U ]" 

>(Exam. c. 8.) to irmintain that the word 
T'rinitas does not here fignify the Trinity 
in a theological fenfe, but fimply the number 
three. So that, according to him, the paflage 
furnilhes this rare fenfe, " jis to the number 
^^ three, we read in St, John's Epiftle, There 
*' are three, &c.!" But he would have af- 
ferted any thing, rather than relinquifh an 
argument or authority that he once had 

3. Whoever compares the Formula with 
the ^ejiions, will find that Lardner's emen- 
dation or fomething like it, muft be the true 
reading. And I do reaflert, that no writer 
in his perfect mind could poflibly adopt this 
allegorical expofition of the eighth verfe, if 
the feventh were extant in his copy. Even a 
madman would have method in his madnefs. 
For fenfe to extafy was ne'er fo thralid. But it 
referv'd fame quantity of choice, 'To ferve in 
fuch a difference. I appeal to any orthodox 
reader, whether he would force an indired 
eonfeffion of his favourite do<3:rine, from one 
text by torture, when he might have a clear^ 
full and voluntary evidence from its next 
neighbour. The fuppofition Is ftlU niorg 

X 4 ridiculoug 

[ 3^2 ] 

ridiculous that Eucherius fhould make this 
quotation for no poffible ufe, 

Bengelius, though he had endeavoyred to 
work himfelf up to a behef (in which how- 
ever he loon faultersj that Auguftine's ex- 
pofition of the eighth verfe was confiftent 
With his knowledge of the feventh, Benge- 
lius, I fay, clearly faw, that if Eucherius 
wrote the allegory in the ^eJ!ions, he could 
not poffibly have the heavenly witneffes in 
his copy. He therefore devifed an ingenious 
expedient to avoid the attacks of the enemy. 
He fuppofed that the author of the Formula 
is a different perfon from the author qf the 
^ejiions. But this expedient Lardner and 
Mr. Grielbach fpoil by telling us from Gen- 
jiadius, that Eucherius dedicated his ^ejiiom 
and fome of his other works to his two fons, 
And to heighten the diftrefs of the fcene, 
thefe ^ejiiom and Formula are in fadl re^ 
fp?<aively dedicated to thefe two fons, Salo-» 
nius and Veranius. 

Mr. Griefbach adds, that Eucherius's firft 
qutftion is, <' From what texts the Trinity 
is proved?" He anfwers, " From the be^ 
ginning of Genelis, het us make man, &c, 


[ 3^3 3 

from Pfalm XXXVI. 2. By the word of the 
Lord, &c. from Matth. XX VIII. 19. (the 
form of baptifm); and from Rom. XI. 36. 
From him and by him" &c. But not a word 
of the djfputed verfe, which would been an 
excellent corollary, and would have prefented 
us Cas Kettner finely expreffes it) with St. 
yohns divinity in a nut-Jhell. Surely if Eu- 
cherius knew of this verfe, and yet with 
fuch fair, fuch provoking opportunities to 
quote it, was ftill obftinately filent, he could 
not be a fincere Trinitarian, but either be- 
trayed the facred depofit which the church 
had entrufted in his hands, or inftead of be- 
ing properly and rationally orthodox, he only 
blundered round about orthodoxy. 

Mr. Griefbach alfo obferves, that Flacius 
has only inferted the earthly witnefl'es in his 
edition of the Formula. You mention this 
obje£lion, p, 299. hwl prudently avoid anfwer-^ 
ing it. So confiderable an omiffion could 
neither-be overlooked by Flacius nor his prin- 
ters. He either publifhed his editioa from, 
a MS. or another edition. Here then is 
reading againft reading, which Ihall we pre- 
fer ? By ^11 the rules of criticifm, the read- 

[ 3H ] 

ing which makes an author confident with 
himfelf. If we follow Flacius, we agree 
with Eucherius's quotation of fcripture in 
another place unfufpeded of corruption or 
interpolation. But if we follow Brafficanus, 
we make Eucherius quote a text for which 
he had- no occafion ; a text which he has not 
quoted where it was neccflary, or -at leaft' 
where it would have been fignally ufeful ; a 
text, which, if Eucherius could be fuppofed 
to know of it, would determine him to be 
the dulleft of qjoftals, and paffionately fond 
of nonlenfe and tautology. 

Let us however review the words of Euf 
cherius. Tres funt qui tejlimonium dant In 
calo. Pater, Verbum et Spiritus SanSius, et tres 
fant qui tejlimenium dant in terra, fpiritus, aqua 
etfanguis. How it ftrengthens the authority 
of our prefent vulgate that this quotation 
differs not from it in the fmalleft tittle I In 
the ^ejlions there are fome odd various readf 
ings. The eighth verfe, as there quoted, 
differs from the Formula four times, i. In 
turning the mafculines into neuters* 2. In 
fubftituting perhibent for dant. 3. In omit- 
ting in terra. 4. In altering the order of thq 


[ 3^S ] 

witneffes. But what is more extraordinary 
is, that Flacius's edition of the Formula 
reads as all the editions of the ^eftions read, 
and contains neither lefs nor more than thefe 
words : 'Trla funt qua tejiimonlum perhibent^ 
aqua, fanguis et fpirhus. That this reading 
is genuine, is plain upon infpeftion, becaufe, 
r. It is the fliorter. 2. It is the lefs ortho- 
dox.* 3. It differs greatly from the com- 
mon editions of the Latin verfion. 4. It 
exaftly agrees with Eucherius's citation of 
the fame verfe in another part of his works. 
5. It tranfpofes the witneffes fo, that in the 
jiilegorical interpretation they may feverally 
correfpond with the perfons of the Trinity 
which they typify. 

If any pains-taking critic wades through 
thefe letters, as I ftiall be always ready to 
teftify my admiration of his patience, fo I 
think he cannot refufe to pay me the fame 
compliment, when he fees me thus labori- 
pufly anfwering objejftions, which (as you 

* By the orthodox I mean that opinion which, whether 
^rue or falfe, prevails in the time and country of the tran? 
fvrjbers or editors. 

. [ 3^6 ] 

falfely fay of Mr. Griefbach's p. 300) an 
brought forward ivithout even the decency of an 
attempt to fupport them. But to clofe the 
account of Eucherius. The true reading, 
which" Lardner almoft found out by con- 
jedure, is that which I have quoted from 
Flacius. If it will not fatisfy you, it will at 
leaft fatisfy every body elfe, to know that 
there are two early editions of Eucherius, 
one printed at Bafil, 1530, the other at Paris 
without any date of the year. Thefe edi- 
tions fo often differ in their readings, that 
they were certainly derived from feparate 
MSS. But though they vary fo much in 
other places, they here lovingly concur in 
the fhorter reading above mentioned. So far 
therefore (to ufe Mr, Grieibach's words) was 
Eucherius from quoting I John V, 7. that 
it is on the contrary moft clear and evident 
that this verfe never was in his copy. 

We have how run over all the Latins 
dovvn to the middle of the fifth century, 
without finding any exprefs quotation of 
this unfortunate verfe, nor even any appear- 
ance of it, except in Cyprian. But before 
we come to the end of the fame century, 


[ 317 i 

fuch a proof is produced, as muft for ever 
flrike the heretics mute. For the four hun- 
dred Catholic Bifhops that Hunneric fum- 
moned to Carthage, to hear what they had 
to fay in defence of the homoiifian dodtrine, 
quote the three heavenly witneffes, as a proof 
of the Trinity clearer than day, and this with- 
out expreffing any doubt on their own fide, 
or meeting with any oppofition from their 
adverfaries. Martin feems to think that 
every one of thefe four hundred bifhops had 
a bible in his pocket, and the ufeful places 
doubled down ! I would gladly know by 
what miracle four hundred copies of St. 
John's epiflle unanimoufly confented in a 
reading, that an hundred years before, ac- 
cording to the complaint which you fup- 
pofe Jerome to make, was omitted by the 
unfaithful tranjlators ? How Eucherius, as I 
have jufl now proved, was ignorant of it 
fifty years before ? How Facilndus was 
equally ignprant of it fifty years after ? This 
verfe has been gaining ground in the Latin 
copies from the fixth century to the eleventh ; 
yet, I dare fay, if we fhould now collect four 
hundred Latin MSS. at a venture, we fhould 


t 3'8 ] 

^nd feveral of them omitting the heavenly 
witnefles ; perhaps a majerity of thofe that 
are not later than the tenth century; 
Or were thefe holy fathers fuch acute and 
inquifitive critics, that they would cite no- 
thing from Scripture which was not in all 
the MSS ? If any paffage that fuited their 
purpofe oGcurted in fome particulaf copies, 
would they not defend it for genuine, though 
the weight of external evidence was in the 
oppofite fcale ? But not to multiply fuch 
queries, we know, if we know any things 
that an implicit faith of this kind has been 
the occafion of innumerable miftakes. Does 
not Ambrofe defend a reading^ againft the 
heretics, merely becaufe it is orthodox, for 
he owns that it is wanting in a vaft majority 
of the copies ? In the fame manner, if the 
Catholic bifhops found in ever fo few of their 
MSS. a text like i Jolin V- 7. clearer than 
the day for their doctrine, they would doubt- 
lefs prefume it to be genuine. It would be 
in vain to urge them with the great balance 
of contrary teftimonies. Wihll eji audaclus 
illis Deprenfis : tram atque animos a crimine fU' 
munt. They would argue, (falfely and ab- 


t 319 3 

futdly indeed, but ftill they would drgue^ 
*' I . That omiffions of the verfe were neither 
pofitive contradidions nor dire£t impeach- 
ments ; only food for. conjefture, and con- 
jedlure has no weight againft pofitive fafts 
p. 346. — 2. Thiat the omiffion might eafily 
happen here, by reafon of the fimilar be- 
ginning and ending of the two verfes. 3. That 
the fcope and connection of the Apoftle*s 
reafoning required this infertion. 4. That the 
Arians erafed it ; and that the Arians played 
fuch pranks is clear from more than one 
pofitive declaration of Ambrofe." I allow 
that all thefe reafon s are falfe and frivolous ; 
it is enough for me, that they have fre- 
quently been employed iti defence of this 
-very paflage. The unanimous teftimony 
therefore of the faur hundred bifhops will 
by no means prove that the verfe was then 
in all the copies, fince, if it were in -a very 
few of them, an eager difputant would feize 
it, and maintain it againft all objeftions, by 
fuch arguments as I have ftated above. 
^i amant, ipfi Jibi /omnia fingunt. How 
rpany divines at this day quote i John V- 
7, not only without hinting any fcruple of 


I 320 3 

their own, but without deigning to inform 
their readers that it has been called in quef- 
tion by others. It would be a labour of 
Hercules to enumerate all the inferior wri- 
ters who have-acled in this manner, and im- 
pofed upon the iimplicity of the unlearned. 
I fhall Content rnyfelf with referring to, a 
few, and, they (hair be all bifhops. Wake, 
Expofition of the Catechifm, p. 58. Secker, 
-Ledure XIJI. Pearson on the Creed, Art. 
VIII. p. 323. Beveridge, Private Thoughts, 
■Part I. p. 27. II. p. 40, 47. HuET, De- 
monftr. Evang. Prop. IX. Cap. 25, 82. 
Gasthell, Chriftian Inftitutes, p. 132. At- 
•TERBURY, Vol. L Serm. X. p. 266. Here 
^re two archbifliops and five bifhops, who 
have all applied the very verfe in debate to 
prove the Trinity, without mentioning any 
argument againft it, or producing any in its 
behalf. Yet none of them could be ignorant 
of the fierce difputes to which it had givert 
rife. Some of them (Huet and Pealrfon) 
were profeffed critics, and ought not to have 
quoted it, without Ihewi'ng their own rea- 
fons, or confuting their adverfaries. Wake 
had in his poffeflion five Greek MSS. that 


[ 321 3 

Otnitted the verfe. Pearfon had defended the 
vulgar reading of i Tim. III. t6. in the 
fame book, where he has quoted the hea- 
venly witneffes without any comment. An 
unlearned reader could not help concluding 
from this circumftance, that by defending 
one controverted reading, he thereby declared 
that none of his other quotations had ever 
been controverted ; according to that logical 
rule, of which you make fo judicious an ufe 
p. 302. Exceptio probat regulam in non excep- 
tis. '* But the four hundred bifliops dared 
not to urge in difpute a paflage that was ex- 
tant only in a few copies, when they muft be 
detedled and expofed by the Arians." I have 
partly anfwered this objeftion, and I add, 
that an efFe£i:ual anfwer to it may be found 
in the conduft of the greater part of divines. 
So many of the defenders of the Trinity 
have employed this text in controverfy, that 
they appear to have thought it lawful to quote 
any paflage which feemed to them genuine, 
without paying any attention to the objec- 
tions of others. Thus Dr. Waliis in his 
firft letter on the Trinity quotes our verfe as 
a clear and decifive argument. It was not 
Y till 

C 322 3 

tin his acJverfary had difputcd its authenticity, 
that he coudefcended to give his reafons (fuch 
as they are) in its defence. Thus Dr. Wells 
in his anfwer to Dr. Clarke adopted the verfe 
without mentioning a fyllable of its doubtful 
charadler. Dr. Clarke replied that the verfe 
was fpuFious. Dr. Wells rejoined, that in 
his judgment Grabe had fufficiently proved 
it to be genuine in his notes onBuirs Nicene 
Faith. Very lately, a Mr. Barnard has 
written fome letters to Dr. Pirieftly, in. which 
he four times quotes this verfe, as one of his 
principal arguments, though he ought to 
have known that Dr. Prieftly had publickly 
rejected it, long before the publication of 
Mr. Barnard's anfwer. A friend of yours, 
the author of a Vindication of the Do£irines and 
Liturgy of the Church of Engiandy p. 32, 24. 
quotes Afts XX. 28. i Tim. III. 16. with- 
out hinting that the MSS. vary, of that the 
common reading has ever been difputed. 
In the former quotation he prints the words, 
his own bloody in Italics. And if the author 
of the HiiTts to the new A^ociationy whom this 
author confutes, had not expreflly fingled 
out I John V. 7. and declared it Ipurious, 


t 3^5 ] 

he would have quoted that too with the fame 
I'nodefty, for it appears among his fcriptural 
proofs of the Pfeudo-Athanafian Verity, p. 
26. In fhort, ic is idle, fraudulent, contfary 
to reafon and to fadl, to argue, that, becaufe 
a paflage is quoted in controverfy, it is 
therefore genuine and extant in all the copies. 
If the perfon deputed by the Catholics to 
draw up their common confeffion of faith,- 
had found this paflage in a fingle MS. or 
even quoted by any other writer, and upon 
the ftrength of fuch authority admitted if 
into his colleclion of fcriptural proofs, what 
would have been the event ? They would 
not have ftaid to form their judgment of the 
author from his compofition, but have ad- 
jufted their opinion of the compofition to 
their previous efteem for the author. If," 
for inftance, the venerable Eugenius was the 
(kjmpofer, not a bifhop prefent but would" 
have fubfcribed heart and hand to any thing 
that dame from his pen. Like the organift 
of Utrecht, * who figned the articles of the 
Contraremonftrants, without reading them, 

Jortin's Six Dl^rtatlons, II. p. 106. 

Y 2 and 

[ sn 3 

and being preffed to read them at leaft once, 
aiifwered, It is neeMefs. I know well enough 
that you. Gentlemen, would noi require me to do 
an ill thing. I am fure, that if every indivi- 
dual bifhop of the four hundred, after a 
diligent perufal of this confeffion, could fub- 
fcribe fincerely to every part of it, -that is to 
fay, if he believed all the quotations apt, and 
all the reafonings juft, it would be an imper- 
ceptible extenfian of his faith, to believe one 
of the quotations genuine, though he had never 
heard of it before. And if fome member of 
the affembly for a moment had given way 
to any untoward fufpicions, he would quickly 
reprefs them with Benedick's argument*. 
1 Jhould think this a gull, but that the white- 
bearded fellow /peaks it ; knavery cannot Jurely 
hide itfelf infuch reverence. 

In the fourth century the controver/ies about 
the 'Trinity were very warmly debated, and the 
orthodox haflily caught at every thing that 
they apprehended favourable to their caufe, and 
oftentimes made ufe of fuch texts to prove their 
doSirine by, as were by no means proper for their 

• Much Ado abaut Nsthing, 


[ 3^5 ] 

purpofe. A man muji be a great Jlrmger to their 
writings, who has ot obferved thts. Their zeal 

for a fundamental doSlrine frequently hurried them 
on fofajl, that they did not duly weigh and con- 

Jider their arguments. 

Thus Dr. Bennet *. To the fame purpole 
Dr. Horfleyt. In popular difcourjes and in 
argument (the Fathers) were too apt tofacrifice 

fomeivhat of the accuracy of fa£i to the plaujibi- 
Uty of their rhetoric ; or, which is much the fame 
thing, they were too ready to adopt any notion, 
ivhich might ferve a prefent purpofe, without 
nicely examining its folidity or its remote confe- 
quences. From this frank confeffioii of two 
able defenders of orthodoxy, I infer, that the 
orthodox Chriftians of the fifth century (for 
I fuppofe an hundred years had made no great 
improvement or alteration) would have feized' 
any argument that might ferve their purpofe, 
and that the compiler of their creed would 
admit any fuppofed fcriptural quotation, with- 
out examining the authorities on which it is 
founded. It is amufing to confider the dif- 

• On the Common Prayer, Appendix, No. III. p. a88. 
t Traas, p. 355. 

Y 3 ferent 

[ 326 ] 

ferent confequences of the fame a&jon. In 
defence of orthodoxy it is lawful to fet afide 
the teftimony of the fathers. But let any 
doubts be hinted, in fuch a cafe a-s the pre- 
fent, concerning their good faith or exaiSlnefs, 
heretic and infidel are names too foft for the 

At vos T'rQJugence vobls ignofchis, et qu^ 
Turp'm cerdoni, Volejos Brutumque decebunt. 

Were the Arian.s, upon reading this con- 
feffion of the orthodox, fo utterly bereft of 
all refle£lion, as to give up their caufe in 
defpair ? They muft have been aware of 
feveral of the texts which their adverfaries 
would produce. If this verf^ was then re- 
ceived for genuine, they would be aware of 
that too, and providp fqrne anfwer, fufficierit 
or infufficlent. Would they be more dif- 
treffed with it, than with John X. 30* / ^/i4. 
my Father are one ? Some of the modern di- 
vines declare that this verfe does nop relate 
to the cpnfubftantiality of the perfong. Ypu. 
yourfelf have not dared to affirm that it does. 
Had then none of the foi^r hundred biiHaps 
any objedions to the ufe of fuch an argu- 
ment ? 

[ Z^l ] 

ment ? On the other hand, was there no 
Arian that fo far retained his fenfes as to 
combat the Catholic interpretation ? The 
utmoft inference that can be drawn from this 
confeffion is, that the three heavenly witnefles 
were in the copies of the authors, or in 
Eugenius's copy, if he were the author. 
Nobody denies that they might poffibly creep 
mto fome copies of that time, particularly in 
Africa, where Cyprian and Auguftine we'-e 
conftantly read. But to fuppofe that they 
were in all the copies that all thefe bifhops 
had feen or poflefled, becaufe they are in their 
confeffion of faith, is to affume two things 
equally inconfiftent with reafon and expe- 
rience, that the MSS. of the N. T. never 
varied in that age, and that no difputants of 
any age quote any paffages except fuch as are 
extant in all the copies, and acknowledged 
by all parties. 

" But Cyrila and his confederate Arians 
made no objeftion to thig verfe." I cannot 
find that they made any obje£lion to any other 
quotation or argument of the Catholics. I 
defire to know, whether this treatife was fo 
vigonnis a defence of orthodoxy, that none 

' y 4 of 

[ 3^8 ] 

of the heretics could {ay a word jn anfwer 
to ir. If they made any anfwer, Vidor has 
given us a partial and fraudulent account of 
the tranfadion. If they difputed at all, they 
might then object to the genuinenefs of the 
new-quoted verfe, as well as to any Other 
part of the confeffion, 'If the difpute never 
took place, the Catholics were in no danger 
of deteftion, and might fafejy quote what 
they liked for fcripture. 

If fuch a confeffion had been really pre-* 
fented and read ; if Cyrila and his accom- 
plices had propofed their obje£tions in detail ; 
if amongft thefe objections there had been 
a particular anfwer to this capital text, en- 
deavouring to divert its force, and explain it 
away, but no fuggeftions tending to under^^ 
mine its authenticity ; if the Catholics had 
then refumed the difpqte, reinforced their 
arguments with frefli aid, and at laft fet their 
pwn caufe in fo fair and ftrong a light, that; 
none but the ignorant or obftinate qo^ld with" 
fland its evidence ; the cataftrophe of the 
drama would have been naturj^l enough, nor 
would it furprife us to fiad that Cyrila at- 
tempted to convert by force thpfe wl^orp be 


[ 329 1 

could not fubdvle by argument. Bui Vi£lor*s 
narration, which leaves us to fuppofe that 
nothing at all was faid by the heretics, car- 
ries in itfelf the plaineft marks of fidtion. 

" When the day appointed for difputation 
came, the Catholics chofe ten of their num- 
ber to anfwer for all. Cyrila was feated on 
a fupcrb throne. To this elevation the Ca- 
tholics objeded, and alked, Who fhould be 
the umpire and exarniner ? The king's notary 
anfwered, the Patriarch Cyrila. Let us know, 
faid they, by what authority Cyrila takes that 
name. Whereupon the adverfafies, railing, a 
tumult, began to calumniate. And becaufc 
the orthodox defired that, if an examination 
was not allowed, the prudent multitude 
at leaft might wait, all the fons of the Ca- 
tholic church who were prefeut are ordered 
to be beaten with an hundred cudgels. Eur 
genius exclaims againft this treatment, and 
appeals to heaven. Then the orthodox turned 
to Cyrila, and faid, Propofe your fentlments. 
Cyrila faid, I know no Latin. The Catholic 
bifliops anfwered. We know that you have 
always Ipoken Latin ; you ought not to refufe 
pow ; efpecially j^? you havq kitidkd this 


[ 330 ] 

flame. But be feeing that they were better 
prepared for the conflid, declined an audience 
with various pretences. Which they fore- 
feeing, bad written a dece-nt and fuffieient 
confeflion of their faith." [Here follows the 
confeflion,] " When this our book was 
read, they could not bear the light of truth 
with their blind eyes, taking it very ill that 
we called ourfelves Catholics. And imme- 
diately they told lies to the king, that we 
bad raifed a tumult and avoided tlie confe- 
rence." Then follows an edid of Hunneric 
agqinft the Homoiifians, which charges them 
with endeavouring to delay the conference, 
to excite the people to fedition, and to difturb 
every thing with their clamours, that the 
difpute might not take place. 

I appeal to the reader, whether this ftory 
be not improbable In all its circumftances. 
Firft, when the Catholics find fault with 
Cyrilafor exalting him^felf to a kind of throne, 
be orders thc-m to be beaten with an hundred 
cudgels. -But upon Eugenius's uttering a 
fliort ejaculation, we hear no more of the 
cudgelling, and the diQ)ute is refumed. They 
defire Cyrila to begitt. He exeufes himfelfi 


[ 33^ ] 

by pleading ignorance of Latin. They give 
him the lie, and tell him they can prove that 
he has always fpoken Latin. This might 
feem a fufficient provocation to Cyrila's fiery 
temper to repeat his orders about the cudgei-r 
ling. But he only feeks for cavils and pre- 
tences to decline the conflidl. How he niuft 
have flared, when they pulled out a confefr 
fion of faith, which, with proper manage-* 
ment, would laft a modern divine three Sun- 
days ! For I prefume he would have taken 
fome meafures to hinder it fronn being read^ 
if he had not been ftupified by aftonijfhment. 
The Catholics read their confeffion audibly 
and diftindtly ; when it is finifhed, the herer- 
tics have not one word to fay for themfelves, 
good or bad ; they therefore diffolve the af- 
fembly, and by telling lies to the king per- 
fuade him to perfecute the orthodox. 

As far as I can judge by comparing Victor's 
narrative with Hunneric^s edifit, the account 
given in the edict is partly trye. The Ca- 
tholics were willing to put off the conferenc® 
and prolong their ftay, in order to make con- 
verts from the Arian dodrine. This Hun- 
neric eonlidered as a violation of the terms 


[ 33* ] 

upon which he had granted them' a iafe con* 
dufl:. In confequence of this charge, the 
Catholics wereimprifoned, banilhed, doomed 
to hard labour, tortured, and executed. I 
make no objeftion to thefe wholefome feveri- 
ties on the fcore of cruelty. For if heretics 
had been thus ferved, and Hunneric's faith 
were pure, the regimen would have been ex- 
ceedingly mild and proper. But being an 
heretic himfelf, I cannot help thinking that 
he carried matters a little too far. However, 
\t appears, from Victor's own ftory, from the 
accufations of delay and tumult which each 
party brought againft the other, that they 
never came to a formal conference, and that 
fuch a confeffion was neither read nor pre- 

Again, if the confeffion had been prefented 
to Cyrila, and attentively read by him, are 
you fure that it then contained this quotation ? 
Does an author, when he republifties a work, 
never Bkt out, corre5i, infert, refine. Enlarge, 
diminijh, interim? Are the fpeeches publiflied 
for the genuine fpeeches of our fenators never 
increafed or embellilhed in paffing through 
the prefs ? Did Cicero give every oration of 
( . i bis 

[ 333 ] 

his to the public exadly as he delivered It at 
the bar or in the fenate ? When I can bring 
myfelf to believe that Thucydides and Livy 
copied the exaft words of their heroes, then 
will I believe that Vidtor has given the pre- 
cife confeffion of faith that put Cyrila and 
bis impious crew into fuch confufion. But 
you fay, p. 53, 113. that *' Vigor's narrative 
muft be circumfpedl and accurate, becaufe 
it was written in the face of exafperated ene- 
mies, while Arianifm fat triumphant on the 
throne." Vi£lor's hifiory was not written till 
three years after the perfecution. Hunneric was 
long fince dead. His fucceflbr was not fo vio- 
lent a perfecutor ; and, if he was, Vidor was 
now at Conftantinople, where he wrote, free 
from all fears of being either contradifted or 
perfecuted. If no Arian anfwer to Vidtor*s 
narrative appeared, which it is impoffible to 
tell, we muft confider that in all probability 
his hiftory was long in travelling to the Arian 
diocefes. It was written at a great diftance 
from the fcene of adtion, for the edification 
of the faithful, not for the confutation of 
heretics. In thofe days books were lefs eafily 
procured, and lefs generally read, than in our 


[ 354 ] 

tim^. They were feparately tranfcribed, and 
diffufed with infinite flownefs in cotnparifon 
0( the prefent rapid and exterifive circulation. 

If L were difpofed to make a romance, in 
imitation of Vidlor,' I Ihould fay, that when the 
Arians came to this text of the three heavenly 
witnefles quoted in the confeflibn, they de- 
iftanded in what part of St. John's wbrks they 
■were extant, and, upon detefting the fraud, 
broke off the conference. That this facrilege 
of the Catholics was mentioned as a reaibn for 
increafing the feverity of their punifhment. 
But you may afk me why I call VitSlor's 
hillory a romance. It deferves that title for 
the miracles whic-h he has fluffed into it, of 
which I fllall give an abridgement. ** The 
Arians tormented fome Catholics who never- 
thelefs were always recovered by the rrext 
day, and no traces of their wounds left. A 
virgin was faftened to a pile of wood, but 
on a fudden the wood rotted arid fell to pieces. 
(So the keeper told Vidor, and confifmed it 
with an oath.) Bifhop Fauftus likewife told 
Vicfior that he had feen a blind woman recover 
her fight. When Arbogaftes^s forehead was 
bound with cords, he broke thttrt like cob- 

[ 335 1 

webs by looking up to heaven. They then 
brought flronger, which he burft only by 
invoking the name of Chrift. And though 
he hung upon one foot, with his head do\vti- 
wards, he feemed to fleep on the fofteft bed. 
When his friend Felix butied him in a lonely 
place, according to his requeft, upon digging 
up the earth, he found a farcophagus of thd 
fineft marble, fuch as perhaps no king ever had. 
Hunneric fent fbme of the confeflbrs to reap 
in the hot weather, at Utica. One of thetiv 
excufed himfelf, becaufe he had a withered 
hand ; but when he came to the place, be- 
hold a miracle ! his hand was reftored to its 
ftrength, and did him yeoman's fervice. 
They who were banifhed into defarts full of 
iborpions and venomous animals, which for- 
merly deftroyed every palTenger, all efeaped 
alive and unhurt. Eugenius reflored a blind 
man to fight. A matron rightly called Vic- 
toria, after her fhoulders were diflocated, and 
file was thought dead by the tormentors^ 
was fuddetily healed by a virgin, who flood 
by her and touched her limbs. Antony find- 
ing Eugenius in a paliy, forced the fharpeft 
vinegar down his mouth, which increafed 


[ 3S(> ] 

his difeafe, but Chrift reftored him to health, 
Mr. Gibbon has related the miracle of the 
confeffors who fpoke after their tongues were, 
cut out, fermoms politosjlne ulla offenfione IdcutL 
He is fo copious in his relation, and fp anxious 
in amaffing authorities for it, that it feems 
almoft to perfuade him to be ao Homoiilian* 
I cannot think this fuch a ftupendous miracle 
as fome would reprefent it. Did not St. Ro- 
manus, after his tongue was cut out*, make 
an elegant oration ? A cafe in point. Befides, 
this miracle is lame and imperfe£t ; for fince 
their right hands alfo were cut off, to make 
the wonder complete, they ought to have ufed 
their maimed arm as dextroufly as if an hand 
and fingers ftill belonged to it, fermones politos 
Jine ulla offenjione Jcribentes. I cannot recolledt 
any defender of i John V. 7. except Kettner, 
who urges this miracle in behalf of the text. 
Even Martin, who defends moft things, is 
half afliamed of it, and contents himlelf 
with faying, that Vi<3:or's eafy belief of mi- 
racles is no impeachment of his veracity ia 
quoting fcripture. But the two circumftances 

* Prudenxius, Perifteph. X. 928. 


[537 3 

are here very intimately corineded. If VliHior 
could relate an improbable miracle for the 
good of his caufe, he might take a fcriptUral 
quotation that favoured his own caufe, upon 
teftimony which he ought to have rejeded, 
and would have rejedled on an indifTerent 
fubjedt. This refledlion will be ftrengthened 
by confidering that the ecelefiaftical writers 
fervilely copy their predeceffors ; a pradiice 
which was then more exeufable from eaufes 
already mentioned. But now that the art of 
printing has multiplied the means of know- 
ledge, and increafed the danger of deteftion,- 
does nothing of this kind happen ? A fingle 
example will fuffice. Feuardent, in a note 
upon Irenaeus's filly tale about John and Ge- 
rlnthus, informs us, that as foon as St. John 
had left the bath, it fell in and crufhed Ce- 
rinthus to death. For this elrcumftance he 
quotes Jerome againft the Luciferians. Not 
a word to this purpofe in Jerome. Yet fix 
authors, quoted by Bayle*", alTert the fame 
i^ory, and that with as confident an air, as if 

-* Difljonnalre, au rtiot Cerinthus, 

Z Jhey 

[ 338 ] 

they had good authority for the affertiort. 
Though a common book was quoted, a book 
written in a language familiar to every pre- 
tender to learning, none even of thofe who 
adopted the ftory from Feuardent thought it 
worth while to verify his quotation; But, 
in truth, it is m"Uch eafier and pleafanter to 
go on believing every thing that we hear or 
read, than to undergo the labour of enquiry 
or the pain of fufpence. 

Our next queftion is, Who was the author 
of this confeffion ? From Victor's account 
we might guefs it to be the joint manufac- 
ture of the four bifhops who are faid to have 
prefented it. Gennadius gives Eugenius the 
whole honour of the compofition. Some 
(moderns, I believe) call Victor himfelf the 
author. Bengelius afcribes it toVigiliusTap- 
fenfis (i. e. the author of the books de 'Tri- 
nitate). My own opinion is, that it was 
written by that author (whoever he be), and 
publiflied under the name of Eugenius. This 
folution comprehends both Gennadius's affer- 
tion and Bengelius's conjedlure. Vidor find- 
ing a book upon the fubjed ready to his hand, 
with the name of a venerable confeflbr pre- 

[ 339 ] 

fixed, would take it for genuine without far- 
ther enquiry, and efteem it the principal 
ornament of his hiftory. But if any perfon 
thinks it more probable that Vidor himfelf 
wrote the creed, to iliew that he was no lefs 
able a divine than hiflorian, I fhall not difpute 
about fo fmail a matter. 

The books contra Varlmadum and de I'rinl- 
tate have been commonly attributed to Vigi- 
lius Tapfenfis finCe Chifflet's edition. But 
Vigilius, in his difputation againft Arius, 
never refers to the latter. And though he 
produces a long quotation from his own book 
againft Varimadus, not a fyllable of it can 
now be found in the treatife that bears the 
falfe title of Idacius Clarus. Nor is there 
any appearance that this treatife is mutilated. 
In fhoft, Vigilius's claims to either of thefe 
publications are only fupported by fome weak 
and gratuitous conje6lures of Chifflet*. This 
was what I meant, when I gave you leave to 
make two diftin£l authorities of thefe two 
treatifes. But though this gracious permif- 

* V'tgiUi Tapfenfts Vindicise, p. 64—68. 

Z 2 lion 

t 340 ] 

fion of mine feems at firft fight to turn againft 
me, I had, I own, a malicious Intention of 
employing it to my own advantage. Jerome, 
fay the heretics, would have quoted i JohnV- 7. 
in fome of his genuine works, if the prologue 
were his. No, an fwers Martin ; forVigilius, 
who I'o often ufes this verfe in his books de 
Trinhate and contra Var'imadum, never men- 
tions it in the conference of Athanafius and 
Arius, nor in his treatife againft Eutyches, 
hi which it was fcarce to be conceived he could 
pojjihly have omitted it. (Examen. ch. 4.) But 
this objection fills, if we reply that the au- 
thors of th& j^Iiercaiio, the treatifes ^e 'Trini- 
tate and contra Varimadum, have nothing in 
common, but the afl'umption of a falfe title. 
I will allow, if you infift upon it, that tha 
difputed verfe had by this time crept into a 
few copies. Now, as the copies which con- 
tain more text, and are more orthodox, gene- 
rally are preferred to the reft, it was natural 
that their readings (hould be taken for genuine, 
and produced againft: the heretics. Some of 
the ancient Greek writers, in explaining the 
doxology, tack a new claufe to it : For thine 
is.ihe kingdom f and fJic power, and the glory , 


[ 341 ] 

OF THE Father, and the Son, and th^ 
Holy Ghost. This is the readuig too of 
an excellent MS. in the Vatican, Urb. 2. and 
another at Vienna, Koll. 9. And I hope, at 
the next reviiion of our tranflation, this verfe 
will be corrected fecundum orthodoxam fidem. 
For omiflions are no argument againfi: pofitive 
teftimony ; and here we have the pofitive 
teftimony of twice as many Greek MSS, as 
i-etain our reading of i John III.- 16. Let 
VIS proceed to the author de 'Trmltaie. He 
five times quotes the verfe, if we may truft 
fome of the editions. I fay, if we may truft 
the editions ; becaufe the quotation at the end 
of the firft book, and another in the fifth, 
are neither in the old Paris nor Cologne edi- 
tions. And whoever will carefully perufe the 
context, will perceive, that in both places the 
fenfe is much better connefted, if we adopt 
the fliorter reading, and the parts that were 
before feparated clofe without leaving a fear. 
The fame hand without doubt interpolated 
both the paffages, as appears from the phrafe 
with which he introduces them. I. "Jam 
audijli fuperim Evangelijiam Joannem in ep'ijiola 
fiuk 1am abjolute tejlantem, V. Sicut Joamm 

7j -x Evan- 

[ 342 ] 

'Evangelijla in epljlola fua tarn abfolute iejlatur. 
Ill the tenth book too I am ahnoft afraid that 
feme malicious hand has been tampering; 
for the words of the firfl book are exaftly 
repeated, In Chr'tjlo Jefu unumfunt, non iamen 
unus efii quia non ejl eorum una perfona. How- 
ever, I fhall not infill upon this point, but 
allow both to be genuine, if you defire it. 
I fhall only objed, that the author has been 
inaccurate (to ufe no harflier word), and by 
fubflituting in Chrijlo Jefu unum funt for tres 
unum funt, has given reafonable caufe for- 
fufpicion. Perhaps, Sir, you may afk, why 
I think the paffages above-mentioned fpurious. 
Firft, for the reafon already given, that in 
fuch paffages additions are much more fre- 
quent than omiffions ; fecondly, becaufe the 
following fubfcription is added at the end of 
the eighth book in two MSS. one of which 
I have feen. / have tranferibed ihefe eight 
booh, which contain many things added and 
altered. I fhould think it an affront to .my 
reader's underftanding to fay another word 
on the fubjcdt, . 

I did expe£t that Martin would have ap- 
plied another quotation from Vigilius to his 


C 343 3 

argument, ^i faciendum decernunt (hominem) 
TREs SUNT, Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus 
Sanctus; sed hi tres unus est, (Martin 
tranflates, ihefe three are one^ Exam. c. 4.) 
I think this would make as good a figure as 
many of your witnelTes. I only mention it 
to fhew how eafily men writing upon the 
Trinity may drop expreffions, which a warm 
imagination might eafily miftake for a refe- 
rence to the verfe of St. John. 

I have already. Letter VI. p. 156. quoted 
I John V. 8, 7. as they are read in the trea- 
tife againft Varimadus, I. 5. If a citation fo 
manifeftly fraudulent can be of any fervice, 
you are heartily welcome to it. For my 
own part, I think it argument enough againft 
a fufpefted text, that they who make moft 
ufe of it cannot agree in the reading. How- 
ever, being willing to vindicate this author, 
I muft declare, that I believe this quotation 
not to have come from his hand. Firft, I 
cbferve that the whole chapter confifts of 
quotations to prove the unity of the Son 
with the Father. This is the only quotation 
that he brings from the epiftle, though he 
brings eight from the gofpel. And fince the 
Z 4 objec- 

t 3+4- ] 

obje£tion, which he profefles to anfwer, was 
taken from the gofpel, he feems to have 
made a point of confcience not to depart 
from the gofpel in his anfwer. If it be ob- 
jedled, that he might quote this paffage" as 
an argument a fortiori, I anfwer, that he 
\vpuld then probably have ufed fuch a preface 
as he ufes in his fecond chapter, entitled, 
JDe unit ate Pain's et Filii. Quoting Eph. IV. 3. 
he thus introduces it : '• Et unitatem Patris 
et Filii et Spiritus Sancti demonjirans." 

Secondly, the firfl: chapter of the firft book 
contains the politiye proofs of the Trinity in 
Unity. Thefe proofs are twenty-two in num- 
ber, among which are Matth. XXVIII. 1 9. 
Rom. XI. 2S- 2 Gor. XIII. 13. But of the 
three heavenly witneffes a deep filence. Sure- 
ly, if he had forgotten them when he wrote 
his firft chapter, and afterwards recoliefted 
them in the fifth, he would not have grudged 
turning back a few pages to infert them in a 
inore proper place. 

Thirdly, his lafl book Is a colledion of 
paflages from fcripture, where the fame things 
are predicated of all the perfons of the Trinity. 
The fixty-fifth chapter is entitled, De conir 


[ 345 1 

muni teJilficaUone, which he proves from Pfalm 
XVIII. 8. I Tim. VI. 13. Rom. VIII. 16. 
But how much more pat would this verfe 
have been, if he had known of it ? If fuch 
a verfe exifted, he muft have known of it, 
for in this very book he quotes the fixth, 
the tenth, the twelfth, and twentieth verfes 
of the fame fifth chapter. 

I therefore make no doubt but that the 
heavenly and earthly witnefles were inferted 
in this treatife by that religious foul who 
forged the decretal epiftle of Hyginus*. This 
forger has taken all the quotations preceding 
I John V. 8, 7. (except one) from our au- 
thor, preferving the fame order. But in 
feturn for the loan of fo many quotations, 
he paid him with this text, which ihews his 
fcrupulous honefty. The fame quotations 
may alfo bs found in the decretal epiftle of 
Pope John f. But in Pope John the prefent 
reading of the eighth and feventh verfes is 
reftored. As I fliall be glad to make fome 

* Harruin. Concil. torn. I. p. 94. This Hyginus 
feems to have ^ven Mr. Capell Lofft (Animadv. on Dr. 
%nowhs) much trouble. 

•J- Harduin. Concil. torn. II. p. 1154. 


[ 346 ]■ 

amends to my author for having robbed him 
of fo much text, and as nothing is Co plea- 
fant to a critic as correcting a claflic, I Ihall 
add, that inftead of ^/ me vidif, vidit et Pa- 
irem, ought to be read, on the authority of 
Hyginus, ^i me vidit , vidit et Pair em ; et 
iterum, ^i me odit, odit et Patrem. The 
omiffion was caufed by the fimilar termina- 
tions. I fuppofe I need make no apologies 
to Pfeudo-Hyginus. Whoever would forge 
a whole treatife, would hardly flick at the 
addition of a fingle fentence. Martin, in the 
fimplicity of his heart, quotes Hyginus and 
John for good authorities. I know, fays he, 
that their epiftles are fpurious, but they prove 
what was the reading of their times. I know 
too that the authority of forgers can never 
fupport a doubtful reading, unlefs it be their 
intereft rather to rejed than adopt it. How- 
ever, I allow that they prove fuch a reading 
to have exifted in their times, that is, In the 
eighth century. Nor am I quite fure that 
the author of Pope John's epiflle did not 
compofe the prologue attributed to Jerome. 
I perceive that you, Sir, have not appealed to 
thefe illuftrious witneffes, Hyginus and John. 


[ 347 ] 

If this was the efFedt of defign, I commend 
your prudence. 

Of F«lgentius I have already fpoken in 
part. If you objedt that, though he refers 
to Cyprian in one place, which may feem to 
hint that the ftate of MSS, made fuch a 
reference neceffary, in another paflage he 
quotes I John V. 7. without fufpicion, I an- 
fwer, that this will not prove that Fulgentius 
had better authority in one inftance than in 
the other. I remember that Mr. Jones, in 
YasFullAnfiver to anEJfay on Spirit, Pref. p. xix. 
quotes I John V- 7. without fufpicion, and 
from that and John X. 30. charges the au- 
thor whom he is anfwering with blafphemy. 
Should we not think that for fuch a purpofe 
none but certain and acknowledged texts 
would be quoted ? Yet the fame gentleman, 
in his Catholic Dodlrine of the 'Trinity, ch. III. 
§. 10. confefies that there has been much 
difpute concerning this text, and adds his 
own reafons for believing it genuine. The 
fame anfwer will ferve for the other quota- 
tions, if they belong to Fulgentius ; if not, 
the anonymous author would borrow them 


[ 348 ] 

from Fulgentius, the reigning polemic of the 

Caffiodorus in the fixth century wrote his 
Campkxiones, a fort of abridgement of the 
A£l;s, Epiftles, and Apocalypfe. Thefe Com- 
flexiones were found by MafFei in the library 
of Verona, and by him published at Florence 
in 1 72 1, and by Chandler at London in 1722. 
Chandler, Pref. p. ix. after obferving that the 
contefted verfe was in fome Latin copies at 
lead of the fixth century, in the next page 
grows diffident, and fays, that it is uncertain 
whether Caffiodorus has given us the very 
words of the apoftle, or only his own inter- 
pretation. This fceptlcifm provoked the gen- 
tle Maffei to treat Chandler very roughly in 
\i\^IJlori a Diplomatic a and \\\% QpuJcoU Excleji- 
{tjiici. Let us therefore examine the words 
of Caffiodorus in a literal tranflation. " Who- 
Joever believeth that Jefus is the Chrifty is born 
of God, &c. He who believes Jefus to be 
God, Is born of God the Father ; he without 
doubt is faithful, and he who loves the Fa- 
ther, loves alfo the Chrlfl who is born of 
him. Now we fo love him, when we keep 


[ 349 ] 

his commandments, which to juil: minds are 
not heavy ; but they rather overcome the 
world, when they believe in him who created 
the world. To which thing witnefs on earth 
three myfteries, the water, the blood, and 
the fpirir, which were fulfilled, we read. In 
the paffion of the Lord; but in heaven the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and 


It is incumbent upon them who are pofitlve 
that Caffiodorus had the heavenly witnefles 
in his copy, to tell us under what form they 
appeared. This verTe has the misfortune to 
be always changing fhapes. But it is all oiie 
to the defenders. So it be in the text, they 
care not. I would gladly learn, however, 
whether Cafliodorus found the eighth verfe 
before the feventh ; whether he found the 
earthly witneifes in the fame order that he 
has followed ; whether his copy had FiUui 
inftead of Verlum ; whether tres funt in ccelo 
inflead of tres funt qui tejlimonium dant i. c. ; 
whether it omitted the final claufe of the 
eighth verfe ; and, laftly, whether its reading 
was, hi tres unumfunt, or hi ires units ejl Deus. 
Be aflured, Sir, that thefe queftions rauft re- 

[ 350 1 

ceive a fatisfaftory anfwer, before Caffiodorus's 
teftimony will avail you. Where fome of 
the ancient MSS. totally omit a paflage, the 
change of it? fituation, and the variety of its 
readings, in others, always render it fufpi- 
cious, and often ,demonfl:rate it to be fpurious. 
Martin himfelf was aware of this ; for in his 
Verite, p. 62. having occafion to mention 
the author againft Varimadus, he quotes the 
eighth verfe no farther than to the words in 
terra, and fmothers the reft with an etcaiera. 

Omm's qui credit quoniam Jefus ejl Chrijius, 
&c. fays St. John. ^iDeum Jefum credit^ 
fays Caffiodorus. If from this interpretatioa 
Deus had crept into the Latin copies, with, 
what pious wrath and obftinacy would it have 
been defended ! We fhould be told of Caffio- 
dorus's diligent ftudy of the fcriptures ; his 
tafte and nicety in choofing the beft readings ; 
his painful collation of Greek MSS. and I 
know not what. Soon after, Caffiodorus adds, 
" quando in ilium credunt, qui condidit 
mundum." Where are the laft words ? Not 
in our prefent copies, but in that accurate 
collator's Greek MSS. Let us then read in 
our prefent firft verfe, Whofoever believeth that 


C 351 1 

Jefus is God, and in the fifth, Woo conquereth 
the world, hut he who belleveth in him who cre- 
ated the world f A choice voucher for a doubts 
ful text! What you fay of Greek MSS. 
amounts to nothins;. Caffiodorus does not 
play the critic in his Complexiones, and confe- 
quently there was no need of his Greek 
learning. Or fuppofe that he fometimes fol- 
lowed the Greek, if one clear proof can be 
produced, that ever he followed the Latin in 
oppofition to the Greek, this plea is of no 
weight. (See i Pet. III. 22.) 

On a diligent examination of the Com- 
plexiones, I am perfuaded that Caffiodorus 
found no more than thefe words in his copy, 
5rw funt qui tejilficantur, aqua, et /unguis, et 
fpiritus, et hi tres ununi funt. That he gave 
his own, or rather Eucherius's interpretation 
of thefe words, and applied them to the Tri- 
nity. Why elfe fhould he ufe the emphatic 
word myjieria, unlefs he intended to make 
fome myflical application ? Since he inter- 
prets j^/n/«j of the human breath, what myfi- 
tery, what hidden fenfe, do thefe three words 
contain of themfelves ? But let us fuppofe 
that he underftood the paflTage in this manner : 


[ 35^ ] 


earthy The water, blood, and spirit. 
I'hefe were vifibly fulJiHed in the pajjion of our 
Zjord, but they are myjieries which fpiritually 
reprefent the Father ^ Son, and Holy Ghoji, in 
heaven, of whom it may be truly f aid, these 
THREE are one, that is, one God. This rea- 
foii will acebunt for his keeping back the 
claufe, hi ires unum funt, and confining it to 
its nobler fenfe. This will alfo account for 
his arranging the witnefifes in the fame order 
with Eucherius, fo that the water may an- 
fwer to the Father, the blood to the Son, and 
the Spirit remain injiatu quo. Nor is it ftrange 
that Eucherius's works, and confequently this 
interpretation, (hould vifit Ravenna in the 
intermediate hundred and forty years that 
paffed between the publication of the ^tefiir 
ones and Compiexiones. But perhaps you will 
like Caffiodorus's own pojitive teftimony better 
than my prefumption. Well, Sir, I will pleafe 
you if I can. In the tenth chapter of his 
T>ivinaL,e6liones, the title of which is De 
Modis InielU^entia, he exprefsly fays that he 
has colle6le:d Eucherius's works. And fince 
he collected them for the Ikke of their expla- 

[■ 3S3 ] 

nations of fcripture, he would probably adopt 
this allegory among other profitable remarks. 

Caffiodorus thus explains i John II. 13, 14. 
Iwrtte to you, becaufe ye have overcome the devil, 
and have known God the Fatyr Ahd the Son and 
thejHo/y Ghojf, Can we fuppofe that Caffio- 
dorus would thus interpret tile fingle word 
Godf No, he found it in his Latin MSS. 
and not only in his Latin, but his Greek ; 
and his Greek cannot be fuppofed' later than 
the apoftollc age. Let us therefore reftdre, 
on the uncorrupt faith of Caffiodorus aiid his 
Greek: MSS. the true reading j rp4(pu v^zTv, 
'TToiiotoi, eti lyvuxare ■ &uv rov Tro^gpa kcu tov vtov 
Kocl Tfl ciyiov 7rvevy.a. There are feveral other 
places in the N. T. where the true reading 
has been hitherto {hamefuUy negle<£ted. 

Matth. VI. 13. has been already mentioned. 

John XVIII. 32. two MSS. in Wetftein's 
lift ha^je preferred the trye reading, 1'hat the- 
•word of God might be fulfilled, which hefpake^ 
fignifying by what death hefhould die, 

John-XIX. 40. the Alexandrian MS. reads, 
ihebody of God, which is no lefs true and cer- 
tain, thui the blood of Godf Ads XX. \z 8. 

A a ^ , , Ads 

r 354 3; 

AAsXlIL 41 » a MS. of New-college, dx*i 
ford, rightly adds, that God is crucified^ and^ 

iCor. V* 7. Chriji God our faj^mer was fa'»^ 
crijked for us. So it ought to be read from* 
Hippolytus, a MS. collated by Mr. Matth^ei,, 
and a MS. of Chryfoftome, and the Lateran> 
council, as I learn from Wetftein, on A£tS' 
XX. 28. 

3 Thefll II. 16. a MS. collated by Zacagni 
preferves the true reading; Now our Lord and > 
God yefus Chrifi himfelf, &cc. Fromthefe ex- 
amples, I hope, it will appear, how' falfely 
that infamous villain Erafmus afferted that 
Chrift is feldom Called God^ in the N. T. 

But we need go no farther than our own 
fifth chapter of St. Johti, to fhew how the' 
text' has been mutilated.; The' genuine read- 
ing' of the twentieth verfe is this-: And we 
Mow that the Son of God* is come \and was in*- 
camatefor our fake, andfuffh'ed, androfifrSm 
the de^afif and took us up], and hath given us a^\, 
wider/ianding^ 6sc. The wqrds -between brack- 
ets (or fomething like them) are qu^ted> by- 
Hilary, by Fauftinus, and the author againf¥ 
Varimadus. They are alfo in the Toledo MS. 

4 collated 

[ 355 1 

collated by Blanchini, and in three others 
that I myfelf have feen. Another Ihameful 
mutilation of this chapter will occur pre- 

From Caffiodorus we jump two centuries 
to come to your next author, Ambrofe Auth- 
pert, or Anfbert, or Autpert (as I find him 
called in a MS.), who, in his Commentary 
on the Apocalypfe, twice quotes the heavenly 
witneffes. Nobody denies that fbme Latin 
copies had this verfe in the eighth century. 
It is then that we fuppofe it to have crawled 
into notice upon the ftrength of Pfeudo- Je- 
rome's recommendation. Autpert alfo quotes 
the tenth verfe with a confiderable various 
reading; " And this is the witnefs of God 
that he hath teflified of his Son, [whom he 
hath fent a faviour upon earth*]." This 
addition I Ihould not hefitate to reftore to the 
text, unlefs thofe illuftrious defenders of the 

Etherius and Beatus, fupplied me with fome- 
thing. better. For thus they quote a part of 

* I am obliged to truft to memory. 

A 3 3 1 John 

[ 2S^ ] 

I Jolin V. ^!a ires funt qui tejiimon'mm dant 
in terris, aqua, Janguis, et caro, et tria hac 
utiumfunt, et tres funt qui tejiimonium dant in 
ccelo. Pater f Verbum, et Spiritus, et hi^c tria 
unum funt in Christo Je^u. Si teflimonium 
Toaminum accipimus, teflimonium Dei majus efl ; 
et hoc efl teflimonium Dei, quod teflifcatus efl de 
Filio fuo, [quern mi/it fahalorem fuper terrain, 
etFi/ius teflimonium perhibuit inter fcripturas pro- 
ficiens, et nos teflimcnium perhibemus, quofiiam 
•videmus eum et annunciamus vobis, ut credatis. 
"Et ideo] qui credit, Sec. What a dainty mor- 
fel of fcripture had the heretics cut away, 
becaufe, I fuppofe, it was meat too ftrong for 
their fickly ftomachs. Let it be immediately 
reftored to the rank from which it has been 
fo long and fo unjuftly degraded. Firft, 
however, let us wafh off a little dirt which 
it has contradled during its difgrace, that it 
may be fit to fee company. Inter fcripturas 
proficiens is neither Latin nor fenfe. To the 
immortal honour of true criticifm, I retrieved 
the genuine reading by conjedture, in terra 
fcripturas perfciens, which I afterwards found 
confirmed by the Toledo MS. of the Vulgate, 


[ 351 ] 

of which Blanchini has inferted a collation 
in his Vmdicue Feieris Vuhata^. 

" Walafrid Strabo" (rather Strabvis), " au- 
thor of the GlqjJ'a Ordinaria, comments upon 
this verfe." Since we allow this verfe to 
have been in fbme copies of the eighth cen- 
tury, we fuppofe it to be in more of the 
ninth. Walafrid might therefore comment 
upon it, efpecially as his fcruples, if he had 
any, would be (ilenced or fatisfied by the 
fiftitious Prologue. You believe that Wala- 
frid confulted Greek MSS. and Greek MSS. 
too as old as the fifth century, becaufe he 
fays, that wherever the vulgar text of the 
Old Teftament was faulty, the Hebrew MSS. 
ought to be confulted ; wherever of the New, 
the Greek. I could prove many of the rtioft 
illiterate peafants to be proficients in Greek 
by the fame rule, for they would tell you, 
that where the tranflation is wrong or ob- 
fcure, the originals ought to be examined. 
But if this argument proves Walafrid to have 
cpllated Greek MSS, to the N, T, it proves 

* See both fhe quotations in Wetjiein^ totp. 11, p. 725, 

A a 3 him 

[ 358 ] 

him equally to have collated Hebrew MSS. 
to the Old. Firft, therefore, ihew that Wa- 
lafrid underftood Greek and Hebrew. Next 
produce a competent number of examples, 
where Walafrld compares the various readings 
of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew MSS. and 
fits in judgement on their merits. You fay, 
p. 324. " Walafrid dlre£ts his readers, in all 
cafes of difficulty, to refort to the Greek co- 
pies, ivbich implies that to be his conftant 
pradtice." Admirable ! Theodore Beza wilhes 
that editors would publifh all the various 
readings of their MSS.* which implies that 
he has fuppreffed none of his own. Mr. 
Travis is very bitter againft fophiftry, unfair 
quotation, fraud, and forgery, which implies 
that he himfelf is perfe<9:ly free from all 
fuch peccadilloes. Many thoufands of divines 
once a week (or oftener) teach the do£trines 
of religion and the duties of morality, which 
implies their ftedfaft belief of the one, and 
their conftant pradice of the other. 

Your inference from Walafrid*s advice is ' 
caught up by your friend above quoted, 

f Wetstein, Proleg. p. 148. 

p. 322. 

[ 3S9 3 

p. 322. who fays* that Walafrid Strabo pro- 
feffes to have confulted the mojl ancient Greek 
MSS, I only mention this to Ihew how rea- 
dily men will affert the moft palpable falfcT 
hoods, and how a ftory gains ftrength by 
travelling. Though you allow that both the 
Syriac and Coptic verfions omit the difputed 
verfe, this gentleman aflerts that it is want- 
ing in none but the Coptic. Another diredl 
falfehood ; which either proves that he has 
loft all fenfe of Ihame, or that he has not 
read your book with moderate attention. 

The rabble of witneffes that you bring 
after the tenth century, deferves no attentibn, 
If you could make them ten times as many, 
their joint authority would be a broken reedy 
on which if a man lean, if Ji all go into his hand, 
0nd pierce it. I freely therefore give you Ro- 
dolph, Rupert, Bernard, Vidlorinus, Lombard, 
Aquinas, Scotus, Lyranus, and as m?iny more 
as you can mufter. 

From Durandus you infer that the three 
heavenly witneffes were in the Ordo Romanm^ 

* Vindication of the Liturgy, &c. p. 4.8, 

A a ^ This. 

[ 3^0 ] 

ThhOrJo was compofed about the year y^o. 
Allowing therefore that it contained this verfe, 
it would prove little. But Durandus, by 
quoting the verl'e from the Ordo Romanus of 
his time, vyill not prove that it was extant 
there from the firft compilation. None of 
the adverfaries deny (io far as I know) that 
it had been in quiet poffeffion of almoft all 
the MSS. from the year looo. The altera^ 
tions of the liturgy would keep pace with the 
Improvements made in the other copies, and 
fometimes outrun them. Or, if they did 
not, the heads of the church would perhaps 
have fent an order to this effe£l* : Scribatur 
in iexiu Joa?mis Epi/iolce uhi deejl^ Tres SUNT 


" The deference," fay you, " yielded to 
the known learning and integrity of the La- 
teran council, caufed its decrees, in matters 
even of a fecular nature, to be received as 
law, not only in England," &c. Though 
this proves nothing in favour of the verfe, it 
proves two other points. That the clergy 
then exercifed dominion over the rights of 

* See Letter IX, p. 329, 


[ 36i ] 

myaikind, and that able tithe-lawyers often 
make forry critics. Which I dejire fome certain 
gcmloucn of my acquaintance to lay up in their 
hearts as a very feafonable innuendo. , 

To your lill of Latin witneffes you ought 
to have added three more, which MafFei found 
in the library of Verona. The firft is a dia- 
logue, not much differing from that which 
is publillied in Athanalius's works; the fe- 
cond, Athanafius's commentary on the creed ; 
the third, a book de divinis officiis, which cou- 
pks Matth. XXVIII. 19. I John V. 7. In 
the commentary on the creed, which Blan- 
chini* publifhed, or in Blanchini's notes, 
that paflage, I doubt not, occurred, which 
Wetilein has quoted, and Mr. Griefbach pro- 
feffes himfelf unable to find. That author 
thus quotes Matth. XXVIII. 19. Ite, hapti- 
zate gcntes, ungemes eos, &c. Here we have 
a fcriptural precept for the ufe of the chrifm 
in baptifm, which has now been for ages 
neglected, to the utter perdition of many 

* Ut oftendi in Enarratlone Pfeudo-Jthanafiana in Sym- 
bolum, quam Veronae edidi. Evangeliar. ^adrupl. Part I. 
p. 90. 


[ 362 3 

fouls. But of all writers that have quoted 
the verfe in queftion, the writer of the Ser- 
mones Dormi Secure (V. near the end, de con- 
cept'tone Man<e) makes the moft curious ap- 
plication of it. Unde bene dic'itur illud j. yo. v. 
Tres funt qui teftimoniuni dant, Jcilket Vir- 
gini Marine, quod Jit fine originall. Et Daniel iij. 
Hii tres quafi ex uno ore laudabant Deum ; 
fcilicet quod mairem fiiam prajervavit ah origi' 
nali. I hope you will enrich your next edi- 
tion with theie frefh teftimonies, which wiH 
make your work complete and confiftent. 


■ I know that the right of Walafrid Strabus 
to the Preface and the GhJ^a Ordinaria is ex- 
ceedingly queftionable ; but I have allowed 
it, that the difpute might be cut fomewhat 


t 2^3 3 



± H E Greek and Latin authors that cannot 
be perfuaded to quote the three heavenly 
witneflcs, are fo fairly enumerated by Mill, 
Emlyn, Wetftein, Newton, .and others, that 
I {hall do little more than repeat their Jifl, 
and add fuch remarks as may feem moft 

Greek authors. 

Clemens Alexandrinus. 
Dionyfius Alexandrinus, (or the writer 
againft Paul of Samoiata under his 

The Synopfis of Scripture^ 
The Synod of Sardipa, 


[ 364 ] 


Alexander of Alexandria. 

Gregory Nyffen, 

Gregory Nazianzen, with his two com- 
mentators, Elias Cretenfis and Nicetas*. 

Didymus de Spiritu fan£to-, 


An author under his name d^ fanSia ei 
confubjiantiali T'rinitate. 

Cyril of Alexandria. 

The Expofition of Faith in Juftin Mar- 
tyr's work^, 



The Council of Nice, as it is reprefented 
by Gelafius Cyzicenus, 



Six catenae quoted by Simon, 

The marginal fcholia of three MSS. 


John Damafcenus. 

Germanus of Conftantinople, * 


Jluthymius Zigabenus, 


{ 3^5 ] 

Latin authors. 

The author de Baptifmo Haereticoruni 
among Cyprian's works. , 



Lucifer Calaritanus, 





Leo Magnus. 

The author de Promiffis. 





,:; Bede. 




Arnobius junior. 

Pope Eufebius. 
This evidence, which might fBem to a 
common underftanding to form a flrong ne- 
gative, you waggilhly call a region of night 


[ 36<i ] 

and nothings and to guide us through this 
Region with fafety and difpatch you lay down 
two rules, I . that forae of thefe writers might 
have quoted the verfe in other works of theirs 
now loft ; 2. that when any of them negleft 
another paflage confeffedly genuine and equally 
fit for their purpofe, their omiffion of this 
verfe does not prove it to be Q)urious or un- 
known to them. But this accumulation of 
poiTibilities is ufelefs and fophiftical. It is in- 
deed poffible that a writer may forget or neg- 
le£t to urge onfe of his beft arguments ; but 
that fo many authors, with fuch repeated op- 
portunities, (hould all agree in (hutting their 
eyes againft the light of this marvellous paf- 
fage, is improbable, incredible, impoflible. 

Let any unprejudiced man ' conceive this 
verfe to be generally read and admitted for 
genuine, and then let him conceive, if he 
can, that all the defenders of the Trinity 
could preferve an obftinate filence, andHever 
appeal to it. , But how will he bring himfelf 
to conceive fuch an abfurdlty, if he has been 
at all converfant with modern, divinity ? No 
text has been fo often quoted, fince its efta- 
bliffiment in our printed editions ; none fo 


[ 367 I 

readily applied to the Trinity, of which it is 
almoft always declared to be a compleat and 
fornial proof. It is, in fhort, the very foul 
of modern controverfy, iota in toto et iota in 
qualihet parte. 

But you fee clearly enough the infufficiency 
of thefe two teafons, and therefore call to 
your aid a third, that " fome of the Fathers" 
(who have not quoted the verfe), *' perhaps 
all of them, conceived the words of this verfo 
to indicate an unity of confent only, and not 
an unity of nature." To make this more 
likely, you jocularly quote Calvin and Beza; 
who explain in this manner the claufe unum 
funt. Dr. Horfley indeed fays (Tracts, p. 345.) 
that many of the orthodox (to whom he adds 
himfelf) are of the fame opinion. As far as 
I can judge, thefe milder and pretended or- 
tliodox-are fo few, that if the more zealous 
Chriftians were divided into, companies of 
ten, and every one of their lukewarm bre- 
thren waited upon a company, many decads. 
would go without a cupbearer. I fhall produce, 
a few of thefe teftimonies, as they lie before 
me. Martin earneftly infifts, in the begin- 
ning of his Verite, upon, the great importance 


[ 3^8 1 

of this pafTage, and calls it the Jlrongejl wea- 
fon that we can employ againfl the Arians. 
" Were there," fays AtterburV, " no other 
text for the proof of the doftrine of the holy . 

Trinity but that only — — where St. John 

fpeaks of the three witnejfes in heaven, it would 
be fufficient to make that do£lrlne an evident , 
part of fcripture; though in all the other 
paffages ufually produced for it, it fhould be 
allowed to be exprefled obfcurely." Allen, 
Serm. I. p. 22. fays, with infinite candour, 
" Very probably (the Arians) forged other 
MSS. and in them wilfully omitted this verfe 
of St. John, that fo they might in fome mea- 
fure at leaft invalidate and weaken the autho- 
rity of a text, which was diredlly oppofite to 
their faJfe doftrines, and which it was t{iterly 
impqffible to evade the force of by any artifi- 
cial and unnatural conftruftions." Snape, 
Serm. VIII. p. 50 -. " That he is one and the 
fame God with the Father and the Son, is 
declared by St. John in exprefs terms ; There 
are three" &c. Felton, Mojjer's Ledlures 
VII. p. 368 : " The do£lrine cannot be ex- 
prefled in fewer or clearer words." Beve- 
RiDGE, Private Thoughts, II. p. 40 : " And 


t 3^9 ] 

yet that all thele three perfons wefe but one 
God, St. John expfefsly aflerts, faying, &c» 
which certainly are as plain and perfpicuous 
terms, as it is poflible to exprefs fo great a 
myftery in." If therefore we may judge 
from the analogy of modern times, the num- 
ber of thofe fqueamifii Fathers^ who would 
fcruple to employ this text, would be trifling, 
compared with the bolder warriors who would 
draw it as the fharpeft arrow from their qui- 
ver. But the mild interpretations of Galvin 
and Beza prove nothing concerning the Fa- 
thers. Modern expofitors have deferted many 
paflages which the ancients applied to the Tri- 
nity. Calvin's example is the lefs to the pur- 
pofe, becaufe he has been accufed by his bre* 
thren of explaining away fome of the capital 
texts. For inftance, I and my Father are one^ 
he explains of an unity of confent. But 
what an hoft of Fathers quote the fame verfe 
without fear or fcruple againft the heretics, 
to prove the deity of the Son ! Let us fup- 
pofe that a great number of our Greek MSS» 
omitted John X. 30. and that fome of the 
moft renowned, orthodox, and voluminous 
Fathers never quoted it, who fees not ths 
B b obvious 

[ 37"^ 3 

obvious and natural concluiion, that the verfe 
was unknown in their age ? It would be ai:s 
abfurd fancy to think, that they might have 
quoted this verfe in other works ; that they 
might omit it, becaufe they have omitted 
others ; or that perhaps they conceived it not 
to prove an unity of effence. 

Befides, there was another reafon for Cal- 
vin's and Beza's moderation. They knew 
the precarious tenure by which this verfe 
held its place, and it would have feemed in- 
confiftent to lay any ftrefs upon tlie orthodox 
inferences that might be drawn from a fuf- 
pe£led teftimony. You will forgive me, too, 
if I hint, that fome of thofe, who afFe£t to 
adopt Calvin's expofition, imitate j^Efop's fox, 
and call the grapes four, becaufe they cannot 
reach them. 

But,. Sir, if any of the Fathers thus ex- 
plained away the confubftantiality of the hea- 
venly witneffes, produce an example or two 
from their works. Let us have no conjec-j 
tures. If you can find, one ancient authprj 
Greek or Latin, who has thus betrayed the 
citadel to his enemies, you will not only have 
a pofitive argument on your fide, but a plau-; 


[ 371 ] 

fible objedlion to that ungracious negative. 
But thisi Sir, you cannot perform, I fear. 
Tour Jerome fays^ that this verfe is the chkf 
Jirefigth of the Catholic faith. Why then 
does not he inculcate it perpetualTy, in feafon 
and out of feafon ? Authpert twice quotes it, 
•without any particular neceffity. Such filence ■ 
then in the other Fathers is unaccountable.. 
If they had really thought that the claufe tres 
untmi funt meant only unity of confent, flill 
the paffage muft have claimed their attention, 
becaufe it is one of the few where the three 
divine perfons are connumerated diftinclly 
and in order. 

The greater part of mankind quotes fcrip- 
ture more by found than fenie. They take 
every detached fentence for a diftindl afler- 
tion or apopthegm, and apply it according to 
its apparent meaning, after they have forcibly 
torn it from its context. Though a temperate 
critic might, from a diligent examination of 
the Apoftle's argument, be induced to doubt 
whether the one eflence of the Trinity was 
here intended, how few of fuch critics were 
in the primitive church, and how few are in 
our own ! The bulk at lead would Jay vio- 
B b 2 lent 

[ 11^ ] 

lent hands upon the veFfe, and cry it up for 
a decifive teftimony. You fay, that " through 
the vaft feries of one thoufand four hundred 
years, not a fingle , author, whether Patri- 
paffian, Cerinthian, Ebionlte, Arian, Mace- 
donian, or Sabellian, &c. has ever taxed the 
various quotations of this verfe with niter- 
polation or forgery.'* You have read, I-pr&- 
fume, a competent number of the works of 
thefe heretics. You have read fome which 
were written exprefsly in anfwer to thofe 
treatifes that employ the three heavenly»wlt- 
n^ffes. If you have, Sir, be fo good as ta 
inform us where they may be found. Surely, 
Sir, you di(i not believe that this argument 
was of any weight, even while you wrote it 
down. I know only of one heretic^ Abbot 
Joachim, who has quoted the verfe ; and he 
lived when by the unanimous confeffion of 
all parties rt had been long read in the Latin 
verfion. Your reafoning therefore amounfe 
to this : Either the heretics publiflied anlrjvers 
to the orthodox writers who quote i jfohn V. 
7. or they did not. If they publilhed nO' 
anfwers, they certainly made no objeftion ta 
the authenticity of that verfe. If they pub- 


liflied any anfwers, thofe infwers are now 
loft ; and fill], as far as we know^ no objeftion 
has been made to the verfe. What an excel- 
lent judge Mr. Travis is of a negative argu- 

You perceive however, at laft, that the 
negative argument is of fome wdght, and 
therefore you fuppofe that the verfe was par- 
iially loft in fome part of the interval between 
the years loi and 384. You had better cor- 
real a little, and fuppofe that it was entirely 
omitted in St. John's auto^aph. This wiU 
folve all difficulties much better, take my 
word for it I always thought that when a 
great number of MSS. of an ancient author 
omit any paflage, upon which the interme- 
diate writers, who upon other occafions freely 
quote that author's works, are quite filent; 
though the paflage be very fit ioK their fub- 
je£l ; though tliey quote other paflages much 
kfs appofite; though they quote fo near it 
that they could not help feeing it, if it were 
extant ; though fometimes they quote the 
words that precede, and the words that fol- 
low; even though they extrad from the 
next words with great labour and difficulty 
B b 3 the 

t 374 ] 

the very fenfe which this paflage would fur- 
nifli at a much eafier and cheaper rate ; I 
always thought, that, in fuch a cafe, the 
plain reafon of thefe omiffions of the Fathers 
was a total abfence of the paflage from their 
copies, and a total ignorance of its exiftence. 
But, according to you, omiffions are no proof 
againfl a verfe, where there is pofitive proof 
for it. I alk, then, how much pofitive proof 
is neceflary ? Is any text genuine, that may 
be found in the Latin verfion, or in a few 
Greek MSS. provided no adual charge of 
forgery be brought againft it ? If this b6 
your opinion (as it feems to be), you need 
not be afraid of being confuted, for nobody 
will difpute with you. If our Greek MSS. 
unanimoufly retained this verfc, while the 
Fathers were filent upon it, this diffent might 
leave us in an unpleafant ftate of doubt and 
fufpence. But when the Fathers and Greek 
MSS. fo exactly agree in rejeding a text, to 
adopt any other reafon than the obvious fad, 
the ipurioufnefs of the paflage, is to fet afide 
all evidence, for the fble end of maintaining 
this judicious paradox, that the worfe Latin 
qopies have preferved the genuine reading. - 
, r: ' You 

[ 31S ] 

You make exceptions to feme of the par- 
ticular Fathers who have not quoted this 
verfe. You lay, that neither Alexander of 
Alexandria, nor Eufebius in his trad againft 
the Sabeliians, nor Gregory Nazianzen in his 
treatife on the Divinity of Chrift, nor Epi- 
phanius againft Noetus, cites Matth. XXVIII. 
19. But Alexander quotes John X. 30. to 
which I John V. 7. would have been an 
admirable parallel. If by Eufebius's tra£l 
.againft the Sabeliians you mean the three 
books de Ecclejiajiica 'Theologia, there is an 
exprefs quotation of it in one, and a plain 
reference to it in another of thofe books. 
If Gregory Nazianzen does not quote the 
form of baptifm in the oration that you have 
named, he quotes it as a ftrong proof of the 
Trinity in his forty-ninth oration, where he 
alfb quotes John X. 30. Now, {ince i John 
V. 7. unites in itfelf the merits of both thofe 
paffages, it is ftrange that Gregory ftiould 
never think of quoting it, he who had in his 
thirty-fixth oration mentioned the other three 
witnefles, the fp'mty the water, and the Mood. 
If Epiphanius does not quote Matth.XXVIII. 
19. againft Noetus, how often does, he quote 
B b 4 it 

[ 37^^ 1 

it elfewhere ! You add, that the Sjnopfis 
may with great probability be afcrihed to 
Athauafms, and that it plainly refers to the 
verfe in queftion. I anfwer, i, that the Sy- 
nopfis is certainly fpurious ; and, 2, that it 
contains not the flighteft veftige qf the verfe, 
but exprefsly quotes II. 33* to Ihew the unity 
of the Father with the Son, This I have 
proved at large, Letter- IX. p» z^p-r^zr^. 
And now let any man confider with himfeif, 
whether Athanafius, who frequently and re- 
peatedly cites Matth. XXVIII. 19. John X, 
30. and even the twentieth verfe of our fifth 
chapter, could be (q Wind or negligent as tq 
pafs over fuch an important text. This verfe 
would have been very cornmodious to provqi 
the deity of the Son, the deity of the Holy 
Ghoft, or the joint deity of the three perfons. 
But neither Athanafius, norDidyaius, Ror the 
two Gregories, nor Bafil, nor Cyril, though 
they have aU largely written upon thefe fub- 
je6ls, have paid any regard to the celeftial 
teftimony, The fecond perfon of the Trinity 
is here more clearly called the Logos,, than 
even in the beginning of the gofpel, How 
has it happened that no ancient writer what- 

C 377 ] 

ever quotes the verfe for this title, though 
they make feveral fantaftlcal applications of 
texts that are nothing to the purpofe ? You 
will hardly, Sir, I guefs, prefer the other 
readhig, Films, which is in a few Latin and 
feme French MSS. in WicklifFe's tranflation ; 
in a MS. of Victor, and in Bernard. For if 
you allow that Filius is the genuine reading, 
Verbum muft have been a moft impudent for- 
gery, and the credit of the Latin copies will 
be demolifhed at a blow. But taking Verhum 
for genuine, I can fee only one reafon (which 
I leave Mr. Travis to find out) why this verfe 
is never quoted to (hew that Chrift is called 
the Word. 

What a difference in value between the 
eighth and feventh verfes ! Yet the eighth 
is often quoted, the feventh fcarcely ever. 
How wonderful it is that the authors who 
quote the eighth verfe Ihould never turn a 
little out of their way, allured by the charms 
of the feventh ! We have feen the Armenian 
council three times quoting the feventh verfe, 
not becaufe the fubjeft which they were treat- 
ing required it, but merely in compliment to 
its extraordinary beauty and merit. If any 


[ 378 ] 

of the authors now extant, who quote the 
eighth verfe, had ever quoted the feventh, in 
defence of the Trinity, they furely would 
have repeated it, if it were only for the fake 
6f..old acquaintance. 

Cyril quoting the fixth, eighth, and ninth 
verfes, argues that, becaufe the Spirit is faid 
to witnefs, and this witnefs is called the wit- 
nefs of God, therefore the Spirit is God. 
But infert the feventh verfe, and this argu- 
ment is fpoiled. For the witnefs of God is 
fufficiently marked out by the witnefs of the 
Father, an heretic would anfwer, without 
extending the word God either to the Word 
or the Spirit, 

But the flrongeft proof that this verfe is 
fpurious may be drawn from the Epiftle of 
Leo the Great to Flavianus upon the Incar-- 
nation. This epiftle has been tranflated into 
Greek, read in cliurches, fent round to the 
Councils both in the Eaft and Weft, defended 
by feveral authors in fet treatifes, and confe- 
quently more generally known than moft of 
the writings of the Fathers. In this epiftle 
he quotes part of the fifth chapter, from the 
fourth to the eighth verfe, and omits the 


[ 379 1 

three heavenly witneffes. John Mofchus m-^ 
forms us, in hii Spiritual Meadow*, that he 
was told by Abbot Menas, who was told by 
Abbot Eulogius, who was told by Archdeacon 
Gregory, that the Roman church had a writ- 
ten tradition, that Pope Leo, when he had 
finifhed his-Ietter to Flavianus againft Eutyches 
and Neflorius, laid it on the tomb of the 
foreman of the Apoflles, Peter, and befought 
him to correft it, wherever it was erroneous 
or imperfe£t. After he had prayed, fafted, 
and lain on the ground, a decent time (about 
forty days ; for the Apoftle was fomewhat fhy, 
like Milton's Eve, Who would be wooed, and 
not unfought be won), Peter appeared to him, 
and faid, " I have read and corredled ;" upon 
which Leo takes the letter from the tomb, 
opens it, and finds that the Apoftle had been 
as good as his word. Upon this authentic fadt 
I fliall make a few remarks. Peter could not 
be ignorant of the exiftence of this verfe, if 
it were genuine. We may reafonably fiip- 
pofe his faculties to be fo far improved, in 
heaven, that he remembered all the N.T, 

* Coteler. Ecclef. Graec. Monum. torn, II, p. 416. 


[ 38o 3 

Or if by chance he had forgottdn this epiftic 
of St. John, or this part of it, the author was 
at hand to fet him right ; for it is i/fipaffi^le to 
fuppofi ihat^St. Peter would not infuch an under- 
taking conjlantly confer with fuch a neighbour, 
nvithfucb a friend, with fuch a fnan^ ^j5V.John*. 
He muft therefore have forefeen what unto- 
ward cohfequences the heretics would draw, 
if the feventh verfe were omitted in Leo*s 
epiftle, and would have certainly replaced it, 
if it were genuine. But by fufFering the 
omiffion to pafs uncorrefted, we may be fure 
that St. Peter thought the verfe fpuribus, or 
that it did iiot then fexift. From this con- 
clufion there is no efcaping, but by a denial 
of the fad, and that ^ouid be to introduce 
an univerfal Pyrrhonifm into hiftory. 

The only Greek evidence, earlier than the 
thirteenth century, that even feems to be in 
your favour, is the dialogue publilhed with 
Athanadus. That dialogue quotes and ap- 
plies to the Trinity thefe" words, And the three 
are one. The Greek words literally agree with 

* Mr. Travis ufes thefe words of Crifpin and Stephens, 
p.5«, 123. 


[ 38i ] 

the reading of the eighth verfe in the French 
King's MS. No. 60. K«i ol t^b:? to ev eWtv. 
And fince the marginal note upon that claufe 
is in the MS. One God, one godhead^ it need 
not be doubted but that the author of the 
dialogue meant to give the fame interpreta- 

You quarrel with us for urging the nega^ 
tlve teftimony of Bede and Oecumenlus, 
while we rejefl Vi<Stor's for being too late. 
I will endeavour, Sir, to explain this matter. 
An important and curious paffage of fcripture 
ought to be quoted by a realbnable proportion 
of the waiters of every fucceeding age. But 
if either through fraud or chance, a fpurious 
fentence is inferted into fome copies of fcrip- 
ture, though from the general propenlity of 
tranfcribers the number of interpolated MSS. 
may be daily increafed, yet feveral ages muft 
elapfe before a general corruption can take 
place. It has however at lafl: happened, in 
fome places, that ^he corrupted copies have 
almoft fwallowed up the others. In this 
cafe, if we can find that fuch a paflage was 
unknown to an author of the later ages, it is 
fo far from being a prejudice againft him> 


I 3«i J 

hfat he lived fo late, that he is a itrongef 
?fl:imony againft the addition, becaufe he 
lews that fome uncorrupted copies remained, 
ven after the interpolation had been making 
:s way for fo many centuries. If therefore 
iede was ignorant of this verfe, fince Bede . 
ms a good judge of the ftate of Latin. MSS. 
1 his time, it will follow that the Latin 
opies of the eighth century generally omitted 
:; which is other wife probable, becaufe moft 
/atin MSS. of that and the ninth centuries 
rait it. If Oecumenius and Euthymius 
!iigabenus knew nothing of the verfe, it will 
3II0W that the Greek MSS. of the eleventh 
nd twelfth centuries omitted it. 

I am willing to fuppofe that Bede had no 
Jreek MSS. except to the A£ts. But if he 
ad a Greek MS. of the Catholic Epiftles, 
/hich wanted the three heavenly witneflesy 
e could not tell us of the omiffion of them, 
nlefs he knew of their exiftence in the Latin, 
!'ou therefore modeftly affume, that fince the 
erfe was in Jerome's verfion, it muft have 
een in Bede's copy. How often fliall we be 
ivoured with this piece of fophiftry ? This 
affage, was in Jerome's verfion ; therefore- 


f 3^3 1 

Bede knew of it. I lliould think, Sir,' this 
argument more agreeable to logic : The co- 
pies of Jerome's verfion vary ; fome retain-, 
ing, fome omitting the paffage ; Bede makes 
no mention of it ; therefore Bede ufed a copy 
that omitted the paffage. Next you tell us, 
from Martin, that Bede muft have known of 
this text from Cyprian, Fulgentius, and the 
confeffion in Vidor; all of whom he has 
quoted. With refpe£t to Cyprian, he might 
not know to what place of fcripture Cyprian 
referred ; or he might think with Facundus 
that Cyprian interpreted the eighth verfe. 
With refpe£t to Viftor and Fulgentius, if he 
knew nothing of the verfe when he read 
their works, he was not obliged to record 
for quotations of fcripture paffages which he 
did not know to be in fcripture. If he 
thought they were guilty of a pious fraud, 
was he blameable for not imitating them ? 
This objection fuppofes that Bede took the 
trouble to examine critically every text quoted 
by Fulgentius and Victor. A pleafimt tafk 
you would impofe upon the poor man ! 
Why, Sir, when you took upon trufl, from 
Martin, your charges againft the Syriac and 


t 384 ] 

Coptic verdons, you are confcious that yon 
tHd act examine a fingle reference. And yet 
I apprehend this was a duty incumbent upon 
you, though Bede was bound by no tie of 
confcience to hunt after the various quota- 
tions produced by his authors. 

But if any perfon will read through Bede's 
Commentary upon the fifth chapter, he mull 
lee, unlefs he be wilfully blind, that Bede 
was totally ignorant of the leventh verfe. 
He is fo minute and exa£t, that he has tran- 
fcribed the whole text, except two or three 
words at the end of one verle, and even thofe 
he inferts in his commentary. If after all 
this you infift, that he might know of the 
verfe, I can think of no proof that would 
fettle the point, except an a£lual aflurance of 
Bede's innocence under his own hand* Per- 
haps Bede ought to have ufed fuch languager 
a-s this: " N. B. I have never heard of an 
additional fet of witneffes, nor ever faw them 
in any copy." Let it be added, that Bede 
was zealoufly orthodox, as appears from his 
hymn on St. Edeldrida, H. E. IV. 20. ^Ima 
Deus 'Trinitas, qmfecula cun5ia gubernas, Annue 


[ 3^5 I 

jam cceptfs, ahria Deus Trimias *. And upon 
this very chapter he breaks out, Pereat de 
terra vtemoria eorum, qui turn vel Deum vel 
hominem ejfe verum denegdnt. 

Newton had fufpe£bed that the words in 
terra were not written by Bede,"bec'aufe he 
fo particularly explains the reft .of , the verfe, 
without taking any notice of them. Erafmus 
had already obferved that a MS» omitted thefe 
words, though a much later hand had added 
in the margin the three heavenly witheffes. 
What pity that fuch a copy did not come into 
the hands of the firft editor, thatBede might 
have been a voucher for the verfe ! Emlyn 
tells us, upon hearfay, that the MSS. of Bede 
omitted in terra, Martin anfwered, that he 
had feen thofe words with his own eyes in a 
MS. at Utrecht. I fully believe this affer- 
tion ; for I myfelf have feen them in a MS, 
at Oxford, but very modern, and of little 
value. All the other ten that I collated omit 
in terra^ without any rafure in the text or 
note in the margin. Several of them boaft 

' * See alfo his Hymn dcQuatuor Tetnporibus, Vol.1,' 

p. 481. . : 

C c a decent 

[ S86 ] 

1 (decent antiquity, but the oldeft* carries its 
own date, A. C. 8i8« I confefs toy rudenefs 
to you in clofely tracing your fteps f<? often, 
tf in revenge fot this rudenefs you wifli to 
examine thefe MSS* and fee whether I have 
not lied for the good of my caufe (for you 
well know, Sir, that no credit is due to po- 
lemics), you will find two of the MSS. in 
our public library, two in Bennet-coUege li- 
brary, three in the Mufeum, and four in the 

In Facundus, it is true, the editions fix 
times repeat in terra ; but thefe words ate fb 
inconfiftent with the interpretation which 
•Facundus is labouring to eftablifh, that Ben- 
gelius fairly allows them to have been added 
by ti-anfcribers. We ought alfo to corifider 
that Facundus has been publifhed from a 
fingle MS. The fame corruption I fufpe£t 
to have crept into the treatife de duptici mar- 
tyrio, and the true reading to he : Co'mmemdrni 
el 'Joannes Evangeljjla triplex iejlimonium, ^iri' 
tuSf aquie-f etfanguinis. The feme author afr 

" * Mr. ^STtE has given a Specimen in his Origin vni 
frigrefs of fFriting, PI. XIX. Spec. 2. p. io6. 


I 3?7 3 

terwards fays : ^anquam hi ^ tres unum 
sunt; unus_eni]N(I Deus est, quiyper spi- 
JRITUM, AQJTAM, ET sAi^GVinKM^ dec/qrai ,h'0' 
minum generi vjrtutem (t bonitater^ fuam. How 
eafily might the feyenth verfe grow out of 
fuch obfervations as thefe ! 

I f^all now briefly examine the pleas that 
have been fet up in defence of the verfe. 
I. " The Arians erafed it." We might ex- 
pert fome fmall evidence of this accufation. 
What cunning iellovys thofe Arians were to 
erafe this teftimony, not only from their own 
hooks, but from the books and memories of 
the Cathohcs. You, Sir, I perceive, will 
neither pofitively condemn nor honourably 
acquit thefe heretics. You tell us that So- 
crates charges thein with mutilating this very 
epiftje. Does he exprefsly charge the Arians ? 
Is his charge general or particular ? He com- 
plains, that they ivh n^ljhed to feparat.e thg di- 
vinity and the Jpumanky of Chrijl had erafed 
this fentence, i John IV. 3. Every fpirit that 
divides y ejus, is not from God, *' which," fays 
Socrates, " is in the old M3S." Firft, I 
cannot fee how this doctrine could give any 
offence to, the Arians. Secondly, if Socrates 
C c 2 had 

[ 383 ] 

had accufed them here, his filence upon fuch 
a piece of fraud as the erafibn of the three 
witneffes, is a ftrong prefumption of their 
innocence. Thirdly, I fhould hke to have 
feen a few of thefe ancient MSS. For at.pre- 
fent every Greek MS. every verfion, except 
the Vulgate^ moft of the Greek Fathers 
{all, according to Mr. Griefbach), and iome 
though few of the Latins, agree in the com- 
mon reading. Befides, there is a quaintnefs, 
as Bengelius rightly obferves, which favours 
more of an interpolator's genius, than zti 
apoftle's fimplicity. And a fcholtum in one 
of Mr. Matthasi's MSS. very naturally ac- 
counts for the corruption. " It is the cha- 
rafter (of Antichrift) by falfe prophets and 
fpirits TO DIVIDE Jesus, in not confejjing that 
he is come in the flefiy However, if you 
chufe to defend Socrates, you will have the 
concurrence of that orthodox divine, Mr. 
Gibbon, Vol. IV; p. 540, or VIII. 272. For 
my own part, I think that his decifion is 
very uncritical, and that the reading of the 
Vulgate in this place has not above twenty 
times as much authority as r John V. 7. But 
be that as it will, Socrates does not accufe 
- • the 

[ 3h ] 

the Arians ; nor is his accufatloii founded, if 
he did accufe them ; nor, if the accufation 
could be proved, would it help, but rather 
hurt your argument. 

The holy Fathers were very unfuccefsful 
in fuch accufations. I have already taken 
notice of Ambrofe's charge againft the Arians, 
that they erafed Spiritus ejl Deus from John 
III. 6. What harm had this fentence done 
the Arians ? It proves, fays Ambrofe, the 
Deity of the Spirit, Could not the Arians 
fuggeft, with fpme colour of probability, that 
the true conftru£tion was, God is a Spirit ? 
Or, if they cut it out here, why did the 
blockheads leave it in the next chapter ? 
They had however good fuccefs, for the fen* 
tence was fqarcely to be found in any copies 
of that age, as Ambrofe tells us, and, I dare 
fay, with great truth, What dangerous im- 
poftors ! Dr. Horfley fays, that the orthodox 
would have poorly ferved their purpofe by 
forging I John V. 7. I fay, in like manner, 
that the orthodox would have poody ferved 
their purpofe by forging Spiritus eji Deus^ 
John III. 6. Yet I think that both places 
^^ve been corrupted by orthodox copiers, 
C c 3 They 

They crept into fbme MSS. by chance arid 
negligence, but, as foon as they were khoWn, 
were eagerly quoted and fent on every expe- 
dition againft the heretics. 

Another example of this laudable zeal of 
the Fathers againft heretics may be found in 
Ambrofe. The heretics mifapplied the verfe 
M^rkXIII. 32. which feems to afcribe igno- 
rance to the Son. Ambrofe boldly denies the 
fad. " Firfl," layis he, " the ancient Greek 
MSS. have not the claufe, that neither the Son 
limwetb; but no wonder, if they who have 
adulterated the holy fcriptures, haVe alfo faU 
fified this paflage." A little after, however, 
confcious of the weaknefs of his aflertion, 
he adds ; *' But grant it written by the Evan- 
gelifts," and then proceeds to explain. An 
advocate for Ambrofe will in vain fuppofe 
that he meant Matth. XXIV. ^6. which will 
only reduce his hero from a falfehood to an 
equivocation. The heretics would care no- 
thing about Matthew, if the reading in Mark 
were allowed to be genuine. 1 conclude 
therefore that the charges of the Fatheri 
againft the Arians fhew much rtiore valour 
and fpirit than prudence, 

H. « The 

[ 391 ] 

2. " This verfe might be loft by the ho- 
mceoteleuton. The eye might jump from one 
fif.u^\)^oZvTiQ to the other, and confequently 
the remaining part of the two verfes would 
be. For there are three that bear record on earth, 
thefpirit, the 'water, and the blood, and the three 
agree in one." To which fuppofition I an- 

Firft, that this argument ought to be fpa- 
ringly ufed. If a marginal addition be taken 
into the text t)y tranfcribers, it is likely to 
have for its beginning or ending the fame 
words that begin or end the adjacent fen- 
tence. Thus Auguftine's explanation might 
be turned into a marginal note, 'Trinilas ipfa 
e/l, de qua re£le d'lciiur, 'Tresfunt qui tejlhnonium 
dant, Spjrkus, id ejl. Pater \fanguis, id eji, Fi- 
Hui ; et aqua, id eji, Spiritiis fan^us ; et tres 
unumfunt. Such a note would foon be pruned 
and polifhed into this form, Sicut tresfunt qui 
tejiimonium dant in ccelo. Pater, &c. which is 
actually the reading of feveral MSS. now 
extant. The critics generally rejeft the ap- 
plication of the prophecy in Matth. XXVII, 
nc. Jt would be ridiculous in this inftance 
■Xo argue from limilar endings. The fame 
C c 4 lottQa 

[ 392 ] 

rotten buttrefs is ufed by Grabe to prop the 
fuinous reading, John III. 6. And the fame- 
might be ufed to fupport Cyprian's addition, 
I John II. 17. How eafy it would be to fay, 
that the words, which were in Cyprian's 
copy, and confequently. in the Qld Italic, and 
confe^uently in the Greek MSS. of the fecond 
century, and confequently in St. John's auto- 
graph, were fwailowed up by that voracious 
monfter, the homceoiehuton ! ^i autem facit 
voluntatem Dei, manet in aUrnuih, quomodo et 
Deus MANET IN /ETERNUM. If any man 
writes glofles and explanations in the margin 
of a book, he will find that inany of them 
will begin like the following or end like the 
foregoing fentence. This canon however 
will do one good thing ; it will make inter-f 
polation the eafieft matter in the world. A 
forger has nothing to do but to take care that 
the paflage which he inferts, (hall have this 
fingle requifite of a fimilar ending, and he 
will be provided with a fufficient anfwer to 
all arguments drawn from the authority of 
MSS. and of verfions, and from the lilence 
of intermediate writers, 


[ 393 ] 

' Secondly, this argument from the homceo- 
ieleuion is utterly excluded by the malice of 
fortune. For in the leap from one [^a^v^ow- 
reg to another, the tranfcriber rauft have left 
untouched thofe puzzling words, Iv t-^T yyiT. 
But thofe words are in no Greek MS. in no 
verfion, in no Greek author that quotes thet 
eighth verfe ; and almoft all the Latin MSS. 
and Fathers that omit the heavenly witneffes, 
omit too all mention of the earth. I have 
referred. Letter IL p. 26, 27. to Simon's 
feeming aiSertion that a Greek MS. retained 
the words Iv rvit y^T, but I have there given 
my reafons, why he is miftaken. Newton 
had already hinted the fame fufpicion ; and 
I have fmce feen a manufcript note of De 
Mifly's in the margin of Wetftein's N. T. 
Vol. n. p. 721, where he adopts the fame 
opinion, though he had formerly reafoned 
upon the contrary fuppofition as an undoubted 
fa£t, Journ. Brit. XI. p. 78. I now dare 
boldly affirm that thofe words were no more 
in that MS. than in any other. For Abbe 
Roger, in his differtation on i John V. 7, 
p. 32. tranfcribes the eighth verfe from this 
very MS. ,and oniits ifhe words k rx^ yi^ 


[ 394 ] 

Bede and Facundus I have already cUafed 
from this fpurious addition. Newton alfo 
fuppofes, what is not improbable, that the 
Latin MSS. which omit the feventh verfe, 
and retain in terra, were interpolated from 
orthodox MSS. by confcientious critics, who 
might not be fcrupulous about fo trifling an 
mfertion, though they were afraid to add a 
whole fentence. But fince the defenders of 
the feventh verfe may in this cafe urge, with 
fome plaufibility, the homoeotekutonf lam con- 
tent, as 1 have faid, Letter VI. p. 152. that 
all fuch Latin MSS. be neutral. 

Bengelius wifties to tranfpofe the feventh 
and eighth verfes. I believe that this was 
more frequently the pofition of the verfes, 
when the heavenly witneffes firfl obtained 
admittance. But as much as this hypothefis 
gains in one view, it lofes in the other. The 
allegorical interpretation will then fo naturally 
follow the verfe which it explains, particu- 
larly in the copies that announce the heavenly 
witneffes with z Jicui, that the manner in 
which the interpolation was made will be 
obvious to any perfon acquainted with the 
feiflory of MSS, Twells faw Ibmething of 


[ 395 ] 

fliis confequence ; for he reafons againft the 
idea of an allegory or marginal glt)fs upon 
this ground, that the oldeft and beft MSS. 
prefix the feventh verfe ; but, fays he, if the 
feventh verfe were a glofs engendered by the 
eighth, the feventh would follow the eighth. 
The plain anfwer to this reafoning is, that fuch 
indeed was the arrangement of the two verfes, 
when the interpolation began, but that it was 
afterwards altered in compliment to the fupe- 
rior dignity and excellence of the feventh. 
I have declined the conlideration of the Difd- 
plina ArcanJ, nor fhall I refume it. It is a 
dangerous hypothefis, which, if it were ad- 
mitted, inflead of flrengthening particular 
pafiages, would weaken the authority of the 
whole N. T. With equal reafon Mill be- 
lieves that the marginal notes produced by 
Simon from Greek MSS, (the mofl palpablfc 
gfoffes that can be conceived), are not in- 
tended for interpretations of the eighth verfe, 
but aire really the mangled limbs of thfe 
feventh. But while thefe learned iiien urgei 
fuch frivolous arguments, they fhew morfe 
plainly than by a direct confefSon, how fe- 
yerely they feel the want of evidence. So 


[ 39^ 1 

feverely, that Bengelius at laft begs leavt tit, 
hope, that in due time, if net S\. Johtts own 
autograph, yet fame very ancient Greek MSS. 
(:ontaining the verfe, may be found hidden in the 
fhehes of divine Providence. Tp which pious 
hope Wetftein aqfwers in the words of Ci- 
cero : Hie tu tabulas defderas Heraclien/ium 
publicas, quas Italico bello, incenfo tabulario, in- 
ierijfe fcimus omnes. EJi ridiculum ad ea quis 
habemus, nihil dicere ; quterere qua habere non 

3. " But the tenour of the context reT 
quires us to keep the verfe." The oppofers 
of the verfe fay, on the contrary, that its 
infertion confufes the whole fenfe, breaks the 
connexion, and makes the moft intricate and 
ambiguous fentence that ever was feen. For 
my own part, I thought Newton's expofitioii 
pf the Ihorter reading probable and confiftent 
enough, till I was told by Dr. Horfley, Trafts, 
p. 34.6, that " it was a model of that fort of 
paraphrafe by which an,y given fenfe may be 
affixed to any given words." I fufpedled, I 
confefs, at firft, that having before him both 
ypur expofition and Newton's, he might have 
confounded them in his mind, and given, to 


[ 397 1 

NeWtoh's the cha'ra£ler which was due to 
yours.' But this'opinvon I foon ahdridoned. 
I wifhthefefore th-at'Dr. Horfley had favoured 
•us with his own paraph rafe, and'lhewn tha- 
truth of- his affertion, " that the omiffion of 
the feventh verfe breaks the connexion and 
heightens the obfciirity of "the apoftle's dif- 
courfe." Certainly the mention of the water, 
blood, and Spirit, in the fixth verfe, is with 
great propriety followed by the repetition of 
the fame terms in the genuine text; which 
Tcpetition is rendered emphatic by the exalta- 
tion of the Spirit, water, and blood, into three 
witn-effes. If the Spirit that witneffes in the 
fixth verfe be the holy Spirit, which I think 
cannot be doubted, " becaufe the Spirit is 
truth," why is the epithet, after being twice 
omitted, added in the feventh verfe, to mark 
a diflinftion without a difference ? If the 
word *' holy," which is omitted in fome few 
MSS. be fpurious, why is the human fplrit, 
without any mark or circumflance to dlftin-, repeated in the fame breath ? But 
if the Spirit in the eighth verfe be the holy 
Spirit, what is the fenie of the fame Spirit 
witnefiing both in heaven and on earth ? It 


[ 39^ 3 

^III be to no purpofe tp inyert the order ^ 
the words, ^nd fay, 'J-here are three in heaven, 
^nd 'there are three on earthy for ftill th^e SpiriiC 
is both in heaven and earth; You teljl u^ 
that, without the fes^enth verfe, tj^e expcefr 
fion, IVitnefs of God, in the ninth, has no du? 
antecedent. This, Sir, is a mifl:a|;e. Thf 
witnefs of the Spirit in the lij^l;h ^nd ?igh,tijL 
verfes is a proper antecedent. The Spirijt 
rnay be taken in two fenfes. The prthodox, 
who underftand the Spirit perfonally, caruipt 
deny that the witnefs of the Spirit is the 
witnefs of God ; nor will either the orthodox 
or heretics deny, that the miraculous gifts of 
the Spirit, which attefted the ^divine miffion 
of Jefus, were truly the witnqfs of God, 
which he witneffed of his Son. I have dilir 
gently perufed all the orthodox expolition? 
.that have fallen in my way, but without e^ver 
having the good luck to underftand ther^, 
I remember one very ingenious gentleman, 
who, in two letters to Dr. Bentley, offers tp 
prove that the feventh verfe is eflenti^l Xo 
the context, and only aflumes two felf-evi- 
dent propofitlons : i . that the Spirit figi^ifies 
the mediatorial office ; and, 2. that the water 


t 399 ] 

is the Shechit0h. B^t I have dwelt longer 
than I hitended upgn this fubjed. Where 
there is no external evidence, internal evi- 
dence can never be pleaded for the neceffity 
of fo large and fo important an addition. I 
ihall therefore haften to difmifs the fubje£t 
by a. brief recapitulation of the inferences 
which may fairly be deduced from the fails 
difperfed through the foregoing Letters. 

The only genuine words of i John V. 7, 8. 
are thefe : "Ot< rmg tltriv d\ fioi^vpovfleg, to ttvbv 

jtta, XOU TO vSuo KOt] TO UlfiOi KOCl ol T^Si; Ug TO 's9 

tlciv. This is the reading of all the Greek 
MSS. above an hundred and ten ; of near 
thirty of the oldeft Latin, of the two Syriac 
yerfions, of the Coptic, Arabic, iEthiopic, 
and ^Slavonic. But TertuUian, in imitation 
of the.phrafe, T and my Father are one*, had 
faid of the three perfons of the Trinity, 
Which three are one. Cyprian was milled by 

* An antagonift of Beza's told him, that inftead of 
«ndeavouring to wreft fo ftubborn a text as, Thif is my 
iody, by vain explanations, he would do better to amend 
-it at once, and read. This is net my body. The Jefuit 
Garafle (fee Bayle, au mot Beze) foon after afferted, ia 
^rint, that B«aa had adually propofed this reading. 


C 400 3 

this paflage of his maft^r. Taking it for 
an allufion. to fcripture, he wifely inferred 
that it was an application of i John V. 8^ 
and, as he had no doubt of Tertuliian's In- 
fallibility, he adopted; the fame application, 
and faid boldly, Of the Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghoji, it is written^ And the three are one. . 

That Cyprian in this place interprets the 
eighth verfe, we are told by Facundus, who, 
by > appealing to this very place of Cyprian, 
to prove that the Spirit, water, and blood, 
are meant of the Trinity, (hews that he knew 
of no fnch text, and that in his opinion Cy- 
prian knew of no fuch text, as the three hea- 
venly witnefies. Fulgent! us indeed quotes 
Cyprian's authority for the modern readings 
but from the manner of his appeal it appears 
that he could not quote the verfe uppn the 
faith of copies of his own age, and therefore 
relied upon the faith, as he fuppofed, of 
Cyprian's copy. In the interval of more 
than two centuries, vrhen this interpretatioa 
had been exprefsly maintained by Auguftine 
.and Eucherlus, a marginal note of this fort 
crept into a few copies ; Sicut tres Junt qui 
iejlimonium dant in ccelo^ Paiery Sec. Such a 


[ 461 ] 

copy was ufed by the author of the confef- 
fion which Vi6lor has preferved. Such an- 
other was ufed by the author of the books de 
'TriuJtati', if indeed he was a different perfon 
from the other. He would mifs no fair op- 
portunity of producing his favourite text, of 
which he perhaps was the fonder for having 
newly found it. The verfe however fsems 
to have had very fmall fuccefs till the eighth 
century, when the forger or forgers of the 
decretals, and of the fpurious prologue to the 
canonical epiftles, recommended it to public 
notice. Yet ftill it remained a rude, un- 
formed mafs, and was not completely licked 
into fhape before the end of the tenth cen- 
tury. In the twelfth and thirteenth centu- 
ries it was univerfally received for genuine, 
and therefore cited without fufpicion in the 
A6ls of the Lateran Council. Thefe Adls 
were tranflated into Greek about the year 
1300, and from them Emanuel Calecas bor- 
rowed his quotation. Jofeph Bryennius, too, 
in the fifteenth century, quotes the fame 
verfe, but either from the Latin verfion, or 
from his friend Thomas Aquinas. In the 
thirteenth century, Haytho, King of Armenia, 

P d undei> 

C 402 ] 

undertook to make a new editloti of the Ar- 
menian fcriptures, with the aid of Jerome's 
prologues and the Latin verfion. Haytho 
moll: probably inferted this verfe in his edi- 
tion, upon the authority of his fuppofed Je- 
rome ; but if Haytho, which is fcarcely pof- 
fible, neglefted it, Ufcan, who improved Hay- 
tho's edition from the Vulgate, could not fail 
of fupplying the defe£i:. With equal accu- 
racy and fidelity this verfe has been impofed 
upon the modern Greeks in their printed 
Apoftplos, upon the Indian Chriftian^ by 
Menezes, upon the Ruffians by their late 
editors, and upon every other Chriftian na- 
tion in their feveral tranflations. It has been 
honeftly inferted in feveral of the Syriac edi- 
tions, and in the Greek and Ruffian confef- 
iions of faith. 

The reader, who recpllefls the fubftance 
of my Letters, will eafily diftinguifh the pro- 
babilities from the pofitive hd^s. But from 
the fa^ts ftated in this hiftorical deduction, 
it is evident, that if the text of the heavenly. 
witneffes had been known from the begin- 
nirtg of Chriftlanlty, the ancients would have 
eagerly feized it, inferted i^ in their creeds, 


[ 403 ] 

quoted it repeatedly againft the heretics, and 
fcledled it for the brighteft ornament of every 
book that they wrote upon the fubjedt of the 

In fhort, if this verfe be really genuine, 
notwithftanding its abfence from all the vi- 
lible Greek MSS. except two ; one of which 
aukwardly tranflates the verfe from the La- 
tin, and the other tranfcribes it from a printed 
book ; notwithftanding its abfence from all 
the verfions except the Vulgate ; and even 
from many of the beft and oldeft MSS. of 
the Vulgate ; notwithftanding the deep and 
dead fiknce of all the Greek writers down to 
the thirteenth and moft of the Latins down 
to the middle of the eighth century ; if, in 
fpite of all thefe objedlions, it be ftill genuine, 
no part of fcripture -w^hatfoever can be proved 
either Ipurious or genuine ; and Satan has 
been permitted, for many centuries, miracu- 
loufly to banifli the fineft paffage in the N. T. 
from the eyes and memories of almoft all the 
Chriftian authors, tranflators, and tranfcribers. 

At laft, Sir, I fee land. I have fo clearly 
explained my fentiments concerning the au- 
thority of the difputed verfe, and the merits 
D d 2 of 

t 404 ] 

©f your book, in the progrefs of thefe Let-» 
ters, that it will be needlefs to add any thing 
upon either of thofe topics. As 1 was p^r- 
fuaded that Mr. Gibbon would never conde- 
fcend to anfwer you, I have been bold enough 
to trouble you with my- objeftious to your 
fads and arguments. The proofs of the fpu- 
rioufnefs of i John V. 7. that I have enume- 
rated, are, in my opinion, more than fufEcient 
to convince any reafonable man. But what- 
ever fuccefs I may have had in the main 
queftion, there is another point, which I have 
proved to demonflration, that Mr. Travis is 
radically ignorant of the fubjeft which he 
has undertaken to illuftrate. You may there- 
fore reply, Sir, or not, as {hall feem good to 
you. If you think proper not to expofe your- 
felf again, which, to fpeak as a friend, I 
Ihould think your wifeft plan, I fhall attri- 
bute your iilence to a confcioufnefs of your 
own weaknefs. You will call it contempt 
of your adverlary, and I cannot deny the re- 
taliation to be fair enough, confidering with 
how fmall refpedl I have treated an author, 
who has vindicated the authenticity of that im- 
portimt pajfage ( i John V . 7*) in a fuperior 


i 405 1 

K^ay^ fx) as to leave no room for future douht or 
cavil*. But if you reply, as you half pro- 
mifef, I fhall not think myfelf bound to 
continue the debate, unlefs both your matter 
and ftyle much excel "your Letters to Mr. 
Gibbon, and ftill more that Crambe reco£ia\ 
which you called a defence of Stephens and 
Beza. Such replies will carry their own re- 
futation with them to all readers that are not 
eaten up with prejudice ; and others it would 
be folly to expedl to fatisfy. I fhall there- 
fore be perfe(3:ly liletit, unlefs you can dif- 
prove the charges, that I have brought againft 

* " An Apology for the Liturgy and Clergy of the 
Church of England," p. 57, 58. How much flronger 
is this than the faint, half-faced compliment paid by tlig 
author of *' Confiderations on the Expediency of revifmg 
the Liturgy and Articles," p. 70. Mr. Travis's labours 
en the genuinenejs of this text are highly meritorious ! 
^nd, as if this compliment were not cold enough, he foon 
damps it by adding, that many excellent critics will not 
admit Mr. Travis's vindication to be fuch as leaves no 
room for future doubt. From this and fimilar pafTages, 
our Canftjient Protejlant is, I fear, little better than an he- 

f Gentleman's Magazine for March, 1 790. 

J Gentlenv^i'J Magazine for January, J790- 


[ 4o6 ] 

you, of igaorance and mifreprefentatlon, la 
cafe of convidion, I dare not promifeto re- 
trait publicly (for I know how frail are the 
vows of authors and lovers), but I promife 
to try. If you confefs the charges, and yet 
maintain that the errors you have committed 
are venial, and confiftent with a knowledge 
of the fubjeft, I (hall excufe myfelf from 
the controverfy, and conlider you as degraded 
from that rank of literature which entitles 
one writer to challenge another.