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Would not a similar hypothesis meet all the phenomena of the case before us?
Besides we have no evidence nor even assurance from Dr. Dobbin that the same amount of coincidence with the Lincoln MS. which characterizes the Acts in the Montfortian, is found in the Catholic Epistles of the same volume. Once indeed (p. 61) we are told that “this conformity is not confined to the Acts, but runs through the Epistles,” but this assertion we take to apply to a generic conformity. At all events it is too incidental, too brief and unemphatic to justify us in concluding that the Epistles of St. John were transcribed from the same exemplar, as the Acts-more especially so as by the shewing of Dr. Dobbin himself, the Montfortian codex represents, in different parts, different originals, having been copied from at least three distinct codices. The assertion
. then that the verse 1. John v. 7., “is a capricious interpola. tion" in the Monfortian, appears to us to rest upon two assumptions, neither of which has been fully proved, and against both of which exceptions may be justly urged.
We have dwelt the longer on this defect of “ absolute proof” of transcription and interpolation, as the author has ventured to set aside or treat lightly much of the indirect or what may be called the Latin evidences in favour of the genuineness of the debated passage, 1 Johu v. 7.
I . These, whatever German criticism may decide to the contrary, have ever been of sufficient weight to influence the sober-minded in this controversy ; and recent investigation is but adding to their number. In the Library of La Sala* for instance, is an ancient copy of the Vulgate, in uncial characters and belonging, acccording to the critical estimate of Cardinal Mai and others, to the seventh century, in which the testimony of the three Heavenly Witnesses reads as follows ;—“ Et tres sunt qui testimonium dicunt in cælo Pater, Verbum et Sps et hü tres hunum sunt;" being placed after the three earthly witnesses and forming the 8th verse, (not the 7th) as was usual in the older MSŠ.
Again, in the Library of the Santa Croce at Rome, is an ancient MS. inscribed Libri de Speculo, and attributed by Cardinal Wiseman to the 6th or 7th century, in which the text of the three
• A Benedictine Convent between Naples And Salerno,
Heavenly Witnesses is quoted with great emphasis by the writer in proof of the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity. The quotations in this MS. are all from the Vetus Itala, or the old Latin version of the Scriptures in use before the days of St. Jerome. It is written in square uncial characters, and bears evident proofs of a very high antiquity. These two documents alone will shew how false is the assertion, repeated by our author with seeming approbation, that the disputed verse, 1 John v. 7, is not found in Latin MSS. prior to the ninth century. omit
, because they are already well known, the quotations of this text, as Scriprure, by Phæbadius (Bishop of Agen,) in the Fourth, Vigilius (Bishop of Tapsum,) in the fifth, and Fulgentius, Cassiodorius, &c., in the sixth century. There is evidence also, that the verse in question existed in Greek MSS. more ancient than any we now have except perhaps the Vatican and the Alexandrine. In fact with the exception of these two, (whose antiquity alone establishes their merit) we see not why such distinguished deference should be paid to the Greek MSS. which we now possess. They are for the most part of a date posterior to the ninth century. In this respect they are, with the two exceptions above stated, inferior to the Latin Manuscripts. Nor is this disadvantage counterbalanced by the circumstance of their being in Greek. Omission in a Greek copy is in the nature of things, and a priori a much more natural supposition than is interpolation in a Latin Version ; and here, as is evident, the question is betwent omission on one hand and interpolation on the other; not between the relative force of words or their proximity to the original root-for in such we should undoubtedly admit the superiority of the Greek over the Latin text.
The 7th and 8th verses of the vth chapter of St. John (ep. 1,) as they now stand, end with the same words “and these three are one." Nothing has been so frequently the cause of onnisions and blunders in copying the sacred Scriptures as this “ all-devouring OPLOLOTEAEUTOY” or similarity of desinence in succeeding clauses. The copyist has reached the end of the first clause in transcribing : his eyes are for a moment turned to the original document and keenly search out the words next in order; and words next in order to those he has transcribed meet his eye, and are diligently copied out, and in that very place an entire verse of the original is wanting in his transcript.
Now suppose an omission of this kind, owing to the cause above mentioned, to have taken place, in an early age of Christianity (say the 3rd century), in copying out one or two of the Normal MSS. of the Oriental Church. The consequence would be that apographs from these models should exhibit the same omission; and that entire recensions of some churches, together with the versions made from them, should be defective in the like manner. Some earlier MSS., it is true, would still continue to present the true reading; but even these, or the copies from them, might be corrected to the apographs we have spoken of, when these latter were once established in the churches. In this supposition the true reading would be likeliest to be preserved in VERSIONS of an earlier date and whose circulation should in some manner be isolated from the sphere of the others.
This supposition is at least as probable--nay more probable --than any that have been made in a contrary sense. It involves nothing beyond the existence of the most intelligible of all errors-an omission, and the circulation of that error to some extent. It seems to us that the facts of the case-our different readings, citations, &c. &c., of the disputed passage, 1 John v. 6, 9, are explicable on this hypothesis and no other. On the one hand the Vatican and Alexandrine codices (of the 4th century) with numerous later Greek MSS., want the disputed verse; on the other hand the Latin version called the Vetus Itala---made long before these codices were penned, and current in Africa, Spain, Italy, and Gaul --undoubtedly contained the passage. The version, or correction of the old version, by St. Jerome, appears to have lacked it; but these facts would just fall in with the supposition we bave been making-of an early onnission in a principal Greek codex. The Vatican and Alexandrine would be out apographs of this: the version of St. Jerome would have been made or amended according to the recension of which the above faulty copy was the type; while the genuine reading would have been preserved in the ancient African* versioni, till in later days-after quotations by many Fathers, with the authority, we believe, of
* The earlist Latin version of the New Testament is shewn by Dr. Wiseman to have been made in Africa. This may explain why St. Cyprian quotes the passage of the Heavenly Witnesses, though later Latin Fathers (who used Jerome's version) appear not to have read it in their texts.
some Greek MSS., and the traditions of others-it reentered the page of the Inspired Word, and was adopted as well into the common text of Scripture as into the Confessions of Faith and Liturgical* Books of all churches-Greek as well as Latin.
Such at least is the view which we have been long inclined to take as to the fortunes and phases of this much-contested passage ; nor can we say that the Introduction of Dr. Dobbin's learned work has materially changed our opinion. We would gladly, however, imitate the forbearance and impartiality of that accomplished scholar. We have stated our views frankly, but in no sense disparagingly to those (and they are many, we know) whose opinions on 1 John v. 7, are opposed to our own. As to the date and origin of the Montfortian codex, our exceptions, we beg to remind our reader, are dilatory (to speak with Roman jurists) not peremptory. We do not oppose the conclusions come to by Dr. Dobbin ; we only hesitate to embrace them to their full extent till further evidence is adduced in their support, or till other hypotheses than those he makes to account for coincident readings are shewn to be inadmissible. We have reason to believe that a further collation of the
a Lincoln and Montfort MSS. through the Epistles—a work announced by the author as ready for the press-will go far towards effecting this object. We shall hail its appearance with pleasure and regard it as an interesting accession to our critical biblical apparatus.
In the mean time we would encourage others to enter on the field which Dr. Dobbin has trodden with so much praise. There is, as he observes, harvest enough to be gathered in this field. The manuscripts enumerated at the beginning of this paper, are of themselves sufficient to excite the hopes and the curiosity of the learned : and although the inspiration of authorship is nowadays drunk in chiefly at the “ Tagus, whose sands are gold,” yet must we hope that among our countrymen there are those, who would be pilgrims to nobler streams. To each of those we would urge the neglected state of our manuscripts, and borrowing a quotation from the close of our author's preface we would say, in the language of the Apostle Paul,
ΦΕΡΕ ΚΑΙ ΤΑ ΒΙΒΛΙΑ, ΜΑΛΙΣΑ ΤΑΣ ΜΕΜΒΡΑΝΑΣ.
+ See the Confessio Orthodoxa Eccl. Orientalis, A.D. 1643, where the passage is appealed to as undoubted Scripture.
ART. VII-THE LIFE OF A SHOW-MAN.
The Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself. Author's
Edition. London: Sampson Low, Son & Co., 1855.
On rising from the perusal of this book, we should feel disposed by changing a word to coin a phrase as trite and as true as the well known adage, and exclaim in school-boys' Latin, magna est impudentiæ et prævalebit. We look
Barnum with a very considerable amount of admiration. Not admiration in the ordinary conventional meaning, which implies that the object which excites it demands our approval, as well as wonder, but admiration in its strict lexicographical understanding, which as we take it, means wonder without the respect. Men of great abilities often excite wonder, that is admiration, from those gifts which they possess ; while the character of their lives or the use to which they apply their talents must excite feelings very different from those of respect or approval. When we find qualities of any kind much superior to the general average, we look with admiration on the possessor.
If we were in a drawing-room we should assist with pleasure, the most intense pleasure, in knocking down stairs an ordinary impudent or offensive individual, while none could be better disposed to enjoy and be amused with the magnificent impertinence of Brummel. To be extraordinarily impudent, like every thing else extraordinary, requires talents of a rare, although, perhaps, not a very useful description ; ergo, our admiration of those individuals, and it may be, consequent amusement in their society. An ordinary thief or housebreaker gets his four years' penal servitude or fourteen years' transportation without even attracting our notice for a moment; whereas if one of the votaries of St. Nicholas contrives to take a few thousands worth of precious stones out of a jeweller's shop in Regent-street, in the broad noon day, from amidst active and shrewd shopmen, by a happy mixture of audacity, coolness, and tact, we read the report with the most accurate care from beginning to end, and possibly we may go to the police office to assist, as our French friends would say, at the second examination and get a full view of the ingenious rascal. It is with something of the same feeling that we believe the great majority of readers have hastened, or will hasten, to read