« FöregåendeFortsätt »
been made by bis advocates. Without embarrassing this view of the subject, with the extraneous consideration, whether there be any system of classification which is not exposed to equal exceptions; or whether an adequate defence may be offered for that, on which Dr. Griesbach has formed his corrected edition; we are decided in our opinion, that in the defence which he has himself offered of his own theory he has totally failed in enforcing conviction.
None of his admirers or followers remain to be informed by us that the entire strength of his system lies in the supposition, that the Alexandrine and Western editions, which he opposes to the Byzantine, are antient and separate witnesses to the integrity of the sacred test*. The history of the manuscripts which contain the Western text is a complete refutation of this unfounded assumption. It is a fact which admits not of a shadow of doubt, that those manuscripts have been preserved in monasteries ; such is unquestionably the case with the Cambridge, Clermont, St. Germain, and Augean MSS. which are the principal vouchers for the Western recension t. On this view of the subject, the Alexandrine and Western churches are so far from being separate witnesses, that the connection between them is immediate and direct, through those who imported into the West, the monastic institutions, and a knowledge of the Greek language.
To Eusebius Vercellensis and Gregory of Tours the foun. dation of the first European monasteries is ascribed f: the former is numbered among the first of the Western fathers who possessed any knowledge of Greek; he is expressly said to have been a reviser of the Western version Ø, aud returned, from exile in the Thebais, to the Italic Diocese 11. As the low state of literature in Europe, at a period when Ruffinus and Jerome were the only persons reputed to understand Greek, renders it utterly improbable that MSS. in that language should have been at all preserved from the apostolic age in the Western regions; more especially as the copies of Scripture were sought by the early perse
* Id. ibid. Sect. III. p. Ixxxii.
Symboll. Critt. Tom. II.
+ Wetst. Proleg. Nov. Test. Tom. I.
1-9. S. Ambros. Ep. Ixiii. $ 66. Tom. II. col. 1038. Conf. S. Hier. uti infr. p. 405. n. *. Sulp. Sever. de Vit. B. Mart. cap. v. p. 468. ed. Var.
s Rugger. Descr. Cod. Verc. ap. Blanch. Evang. Quadr. Proleg.
ll Socr. Hist. Eccl. Lib. III. cap. v. p. 176. 1. 2. Conf. S. Hier, adv. Luciff, cap, vi. Tom. II. p. 201.
cutors of the Christian church with care, and unrelentingly desti oyed in the entire tract of country which extends from Byzantin to Britain *: the bare possibility that these manuscripts were at a subsequent period directly imported from Egypt into Europe, deprives the assumption on which Dr. Griesbacli:s tlievry revls, of its entire force and clicacy. But this possibly assumes the appearance of fict, when it turns out that those manuscripts betray their attimity to the Egyprian text, by ihe remarkable form of their character: + and the peculiar readings in which they abound, which coincide with the old Thebaic translation In these considerations it is obvious to us thé fundamental as sumption of the Genaui ciuc and the entire system which is raised upon it, that the Alexandrine and Western tesis are sepa. rate vouchers, collapse to the foundation.
But as a more striking form of putting the objection we shall proceed to illustrate it in an example, which seems to us to carry will it indisputable proof of ihe fact, that the Egyptian text has had a direct influence on the Wesiern. The most allthentic source in which it seems possible to acquire a just know. ledge of the Egyptian text, is the margin of the later Syriac; which contains a collation of the Egyptian masuscripts, made by Thomas Heracleensis, in the year 616 6. In Acts xxv. 24. it coultains the following extraordinary passage, which we shall confront with another extract ; transcribing both from the notes of Dr. Griesbach's corrected edition.
Act. xxv. 24. --Ιεροσολύμοις] + ένα παραδώ αυ- --- Terosolymis] + petentes ut τον αυτοίς εις βασανισμών
cum in mortem traderem. Sed Snace
δε ώστε παραδειαι αυτόν δια τας in accusatione non potui eum εντολάς, ας έχομεν παρα τε Σεβασθε. tradere, propter preceptum quod ει δέ τις αυτά κατηγορεί, λίγω έγω ένα habemus a Cesare. Si quis auεπιστρέφη εις Καισάρειαν, όπως τηρη- tem velit cum eo judicio conOno šzon in Gortes ilówr x. 7. é. Syr. tendere (sequatur eum) Cæsa. post. in murg.
Et acclamaverunt, &c.
Vers. Bohem. As we may safely collect from the notes of Dr. Griesbach, the only authority which has been discovered at all cuincidentlo this es
* Euseb. Hist. Eccl. Lib. VIII. cap. ij. p. 377. 1. 35. C'sser. Primordd. cap. vii. p. 90. + Wetst. Woid. Spohn. &c. ap. Kipling. Præf. Cod. Bez. p. xv.
İ Münter, de Indol. Vers. Salid. p. 6. ed. 1794 -" Colligere licet l'ersionem Sahidicam ad eandem Codicum classe m referendam esse, ad quam Cod. D. pertinet; ea in jue necessario ex Codicibus Græcis confectam fuisse Occidentalem recensionem exhibentibus." 9 Adler de Versionn. Syrr. N. T. Lib. II. p. 16. ed. Hafn. 1789.
traordinary passage of the Egyptian text, occurs in the Bohemian version. In what wauner, therefore, are we to account for a coincideuce so extraordinary, between versions which have been made in the most remote regions, in a passage which is utterly uniknown to the intermediate body of text which is dispersed in manuscripts versions and fathers ? The supposition, that the Bohemian version has been in this place interpolated from the margin of the Syriac, is so utterly improbable as not to deserve a moment's consideration. Nor does the hypothesis of Dr. Griesbach, which supposes the Egyptian and Western texts antient and separate wit. nesses, afford a inore satisfactory solution of the difficulty. But if we follow the history of monasteries and monachism, this reading may be regularly traced from Egypt to Hungary. The Thebais sent out the first colony of western monks to the Italic Diocese *, and to the Italic Diocese the Bohemian Church refers its origin t. As this church has resisted the oppressions of the Romish See, and preserved its sacred books free from those changes which have affected the Latin version; it is easy to see how this peculiar text, having first passed from Upper Egypt to Italy, and thence migrated to Hungary, has preserved its place in the Bohemian version. As this single passage evinces the connexion existing between the Egyptian and Western texts ; the eviction of this point saps, at least, in our opinion, the foundation on which the German critic bas erected bis theory.
But objections do not merely lie to the general or fundamental principles on which he has undertaken to recast the text of the sacred canon.
In the execution of his plan, he has, among other defects, to answer for a degree of easy acquiescence in the accuracy of the different collators and critics who supplied the materials embodied in his work, which, though it does not impeach bis own accuracy, which was unquestionably great, should deprive bis corrections of that implicit respect which has been too incautiously reposed in those critical decisions, which he has founded on the accuracy of others. As this is a charge which vitally affects the authority of his work, and is of chat nature that it ought not to be believed, but on valid proof; we shall proceed to bring it home by an exemplitication, in which it appears to us to be fully established. And that we may not incur the imputation of partiality, in selecting these examples which more particularly favour our undertaking, we shall take the two first passages of any length, or importance,
* S. Hier. ad Princip. Ep. XVI. cap. vi. Tom. I. p. 48. Conf. Ambros. uti supr. p. 103. n. I.
+ Regenvolc. Hist. Eccl. Slav. Lib. II. cap. iii. p. 157. ed. Traj, ad Ren. 1652.
which have been rejected from his corrected edition, and from which we have imbibed our conviction that great caution should be used in adopting any of his emendations.
In running our eye along the inner margin of the Corrected Edition, in which Dr. Griesbach has disposed the readings rejected froin the Received Text, the first passages which arrest our attention, on account of their length, occur in Matt. vi. 33. xv. 8. From the one place is discarded the doxology of the Lord's Prayer, “ for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, amen :” and from the other the following clause of a quotation from Isaiah, “this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and—” The reason generally assigned for this defalcation of the sacred test is, that the one passage is interpolated from the antient Liturgies, and the other from the context of the prophet Isaiahı. Such is the decision of Mills and Sabatier; who give, as their authority, Erasmus, and P. Morin *. And on the same grounds and authority Dr. Griesbach leaves us at liberty to conclude he formed his decision.
But that this decision bas been very inconsiderately formed is surely not very difficult to establish. Had the matter been such as is here represented, one should imagine just as convenient a place occurred in St. Luke and St. Mark for admitting both interpolations; the one Evangelist having inserted the Lord's Prayer without the doxology, the other the quotation from Isaiah, without the addition.
Indeed consistency of purpose would bave required from any corrector, that having made his emendation in one place, he should directly proceed to make it in the others, that he might not create an objection to his owi emendation, by setting the Evangelists apparently at variance with each other. The total absence of those clauses from the text of St. Mark and St. Luke, we therefore consider a complete refutation of the assumption, that they have been inserted in St. Matthew, through any imaginary defect in the text of this evangelist. And this consideration will probably lead us to a just view of the subject; and enable is to see that there is a little more in the maiter before us than is compreliended in the views of those who pronounce both passages spurious. The difficulty thus arising from the vurintion, in the testimony of the different Evangelists, not less than in the copies of the Evangelist who bas been altered, may receive one easy and common solution; by reversing the charge, and assuming, that the latter bave been accommodated to the former, by rejecting the disputed clauses, to do away a very obvious though a perfectly fri
* Vid, Mill. & Sabat. Nov. Test. pn. in Matt. vi. 13. xv. 8.
volous objection. It is thus easily seen bow a few copies, merely of St. Matthew, have been altered ; while no manuscript of St. Mark and St. Luke has been discovered, which has undergone any alteration, And what adds the strongest confirmation to this solation of the difficulty is, that the correction has been made in St. Matthew's text, conformably to the peculiar notions of Origen *; the canons of whose criticism were superstitiously followed by the revisers of those editions, under which the few manuscripts must be classed, which have suffered mutilation.
Having expressed ourselves thus fully on the internal evidence of the disputed passages, our limits will not permit us to enlarge as fully as we could desire on the external ; more especially as our observations on Matt. xv. 8. require a specific induction of authorities, as Mr. Valpy has blotted out a clause of this verse in his edition. The authorities adduced from MSS. and Fathers, on wbich the suspected clause of this verse is discarded, are thus detailed by Dr. Griesbach.
ο λαός έτος το στόματι αυτών και BDL. 32. 124. Ptol. Clem. Orig. Bas. Cyr. Chrys. etiam in Mt. 6. codd. Tert. Cypr. Hilar. Ambr. Ambrosiast. Hier. Gaud. Juvenc." Griesb. n. in 1.
The deficiency of Manuscript authority is here amply made up by the superabundance of Fathers. We have already disposed of the former, as good an account may, we conceive, be given of the latter. After a painful attempt to verify these referepces, which was prosecuted as low as St. Basil among the Greeks, and St. Jerome aniong the Latins, the result of the experiment was, that in this imposing catalogue of names, we could not find one father who delivered any thing to the purpose to which he was cited. For two very adequate reasons we deemed it superfluous to prosecute our researches after Origen; the very little success with which they were, in the first instance, attended, afforded us no inducement to proceed; and the evidence of the later fathers, if accounted different from his testi. mony, is easily resolved into that of the Egyptian and Palestine texts, which have furnished the manuscript authority, on which the disputed clause has been exploded.
The first authority to which we turned was that of Ptolemy. We soon discovered that Dr. Griesbach was indebted for the advantage to be derived from this heretic's name to M. Bengel ; though we could not directly ascertain, in what part of his
* Vid. Orig. Coma, in Joan. Tom. I. p. 127. e. Conf. infi'. p. 4.12. n. *.