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We have stated these objections thus fully to the plan and exe. cution of Dr. Griesbach's popular work, with a view to shake the false confidence of those who repose so securely on his authority, as if no appeal lay to another tribunal from the justice of his decisions. In a word, the farther we prosecute our enquiries into this subject, the farther we perceive ourselves from ascertaining any solid ground on which his extraordinary popularity can siistain itself. We tind indeed a fond notion prevail with many who profess to appreciate his labours, respecting his indefatigable diligence; not a few adopting the vulgar error, that he collated every authority which he has cited: till blinded by admiration of his industry, they bestow on him unlimited credit for accuracy. The sad reality however appcars froin his own confession, that he never collated more than one Father, h's favourite Origen *; nor more than one manuscript, Stephens's eighth, and this even partially t. Of the three hundred and fiftyfive manuscripts of the Gospels which he has disposed in a catalogue, he merely inspected four # written in the uncial and thirty. four in the smaller character; his practice havmg been merely to examine in remarkable places, those which were likely to afford some illustration or support to his favourite system of classificati'n.
The great body of his notes is professedly a breviary of the invaluable collections of Wetstein, Bengel, Matthäi, and Sabatier J. The substance of their elaborate works is indeed extracted with singular fidelity, and arranged with that clear and comprehensive brevity, for which nature seems to have endowed him with a peculiar talent ;' but he employed no diligence in separating the dross from the ore, in giving a new form and currency to their bullion. He has thus adopted the collections of Dr. Mills, at second hand from Wetstein; and those of Bishop Walton at third hand, from the same critic; subject to every error which they acquired in this transfusion from the parent source through secondary authorities. His testimonies of the
objector; is it probable he would insert, nay would the objector himself insert, a phrase which was thus of doubtful authority, and which is omitted by St. Mark, in his translation ?
* Griesb. Prolegg. Nov. Test. Sect. II. p. lix. + Id. ibid. n*. The reader having perused this note, which is offered as a vindication, will be doubtless as much at a loss as ourselves, to discover how a charge may be repelled, by admitting it to the letter.
# We do not reckon the Codex Beze, as he consulted the printed edition. Q Griesb. ibid. p. lix. Ff
Fathers VOL. VI. OCTOBER, 1816.
Fathers have been as indiscriminately adopted ; being taken in a lump from the same critics, with a plenary admission of their imperfection * Though his observation enabled bim to detect many of their inaccuracies t, he has left them as they were found; without any correction by reference to the originals. Ample collections from the hands of Dr. Mills and Dr. Mangey esist in our libraries, by wbich he might have corrected the errors and supplied the deficiencies of Wetstein; those of the former he never saw t, and those of the latter he saw to little purpose g. To these imperfections chargeable against his work, we have to add an attachment to system, which has given him a peculiar bias in selecting his materials, which renders his work of little comparative utility, to those who cannot consult the originals from which it is extracted. Thus while very ininute care is employed in adducing the testimony of a few favourite manuscripts, 1. 13. 58. 69. : the testimony of many, which are of much higher importance, is wholly neglected: his negligence in onitting the testimony of those Fathers who support the received text is too notorious to need our observation or animadversion.
But as these are charges, which, though amply supported by his own concessions, we do not wish to leave standing in vague assertion; we shall proceed to substantiate them by an exemplification, wbich will not be readily excepted against, as partially chosen. Of all the passages of the New Testament which have been affected by Dr. Griesbach's mode of correction, the most remarkable is Jolin viii. 1-11. containing the paragraph relative to the woman taken in adultery. Yet although in the partial collation of Greek MSS. this passage has excited a degree of extraordinary attention, proportionable to its importance, the following is Dr. Griesbach's concluding remark, on the testimony borne by the manuscripts; of which though it must be confessed, that many are imperfect, yet many have been never examined.
u Hiant, aut h. I. examinati nondum sunt : FINOPQRTX 30. 31. 32. 41. 50. 67. 75. 81. 84. 85. 92. (laudatur tamen a Wetst. ad vs. 4.) 93. 94. 98. 99. 101. 103, 104. 107. 114. 132. 136. 140. 146. 154. 155. 156. 176. 180. 197. 216. 221, 222. 223, 224. 233. Ev. 37. 42. 43. 44. veron.” Griesb. n. in l.
Id. ibid. He indeed states, rather gratuitously, “ haud pauca ab his [Mill. Bengel. Wetsten. Matth. Sabat.] prætermissa ipse ad
+ Id. ibid. p. liv,
Id. Prolegomm. p. lyži, n*,
And were it not for the very cursory examination which the Harleian manuscripts received from Dr. Griesbach, and the Vatican and other manuscripts received from Prof. Birch, who barely inspected them in remarkable passages; this formidable catalogue must have been swelled by the following list of manuscripts that have not been examined; 113. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 126. 127. 130. 133. 138. 142. 144. 145. 150. 152, 153, 158. 159. 160. 162. 163. 165. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 177. 182. 183. 184. 185. 187. 188. 190, 191. 192. 193. 199. 200. 203. 204. 205. 206. 208. 209. 211! 214. 217. 218. 219. 220. 227. 229. 232. 234. 235. Ev. 36. 37.41. Comp. Griesb. n. in l. et Prolegom. Sect. VII. p.cviij. In verifying this reference the reader should likewise turn to p. xcviii., where he will find, that an asterism prefixed to the MSS. cited indicates that they have been examined by the last editor, and the letter c. subjoined denotes that they have merely been “ cursim inspecti." He will be thus enabled to discover that of the list which we have here subjoined, but seven, MSS. possess the note of examination, and but seven want that of cursory inspection; and that of the seven manuscripts which have been bona fide collated, not one has the asterism prefixed : of consequence, that of the authorities quoted in this catalogue alore, but seven fell into the hands of Dr. Griesbach, and were dismissed from them again, having merely received a cursory inspection!
It must be, however, admitted that those worthy professors having aimed at a peculiar object, exerted all that ardour and diligence which were necessary to its perfect attainment. Havicg their lead turned with a favourite system of classification, their sole object was to ascertain how far it admitted of support from the manuscripts deposited in the libraries of Europe; and as this object was attainable, to their perfect satisfaction, by a very
cursory inspection” of these manuscripts, they made sure of this point, and gave themselves no concern about those manų. scripts which were at variance with their systems*. And from their inquiries, however disappointed in an illusory hope, we too derive our satisfaction. Their researches, though frustrated in their proper object, have succeeded, to a miracle, in putting us in possession of that information which we principally require ; for, from the result of their experiment, we may infallibly col. lect, that the great variety of manuscripts which they examined
* Griesb. Prolegomm. Sect. II. p. lix, n*. Conf. Præf. pp. iii. iy. Prolegomin. Sect. VII.p. c. ad cod. L. p.cii. ad cod, 33. p. cix. ad cod. 127. sager
contain nothing which invalidates the authority of the received text, nothing which countenances their visiopary systems.
Let the reader now treasure up the various circuinstances in his mind, which we have laid be!ore him in detail. Let him remember how very feir of the Greek manuscripts have been examined, however carelessly, by the last editor, and how large his obligatious are to the industry, and to the accuracy, of his predecessors. Lei him bear in mind the success of our endeavours to verify the different authorities on which he has made the very earliest of his most importauit corrections. And let him consider llie objections which we have urged to the fundamentil principle, on which bis whole system is rested; that magic principle, which, by distributing a few manuscripts, of very equivocal origin, into two heaps, to be accounted Easter and Western, at the will of the disposer, is to impart to them
degree of weight paramount to that of the great body of manuscripts. He will be then at liberty to form his own couclusion ;- but let us bave ro more foolish and fulsome panegyrics on the infallible authority of “ the first of biblical scholars."
The work which has led us into this train of reflection re shall now beg leave to offer to the acquaintance of our readers, by the same form of introduction, which first commended it to our attention. Subjoined to a tract which appeared from Mr. Valpy's press, in 1811, the following notice annouuced its appearance : “ In the press, A New Edition of the Greek Tese tament, with Griesbuch's text. It will contain copious notes from Hardy, Rapbel, Kypke, Schleusner, Rosemüller, &c. in familiar Latin : together with parallel passages from the Classics, and with references to Vigerus for idioms, and Boss for ellipses. 2 vols. 8vo."
On taking up a work, for the appearance of which we con. fess we waited with no ordinary degree of anxiety, we were not much surprized to find, that it swelled under the plastic band of the editor 10 three volumes, by a process which it is unnecessary to describe to those who are embarked, like ourselves, in literary adventure. But we acknowledge that we felt po ordinary degree of surprise, mingled indeed with some share of gratification, on discovering, as we did, after a brief examination, that the editor, instead of a copy of Dr. Griesbach's corrected text, had presented us with an edition of the Greek Vulgate. This disagreement between Mr. Valpy's intention and execution, in carrying his designs into effect, we feel not a little pride in recounting; as we interpret it as a concession to the claims which we have urged, in the interim, in bebalf of that good old text which we inherit from our forefathers, uncontamipated by foreign or novel adınixtures,
That we may avoid the imputation of arrogating too much to ourselves, in claiming thus much, we shall proceed to explain the process by which we arrived at the preselit conclusion. We engage in the task, with the more williyness, as it enables us to possess our readers of means to form their own judgment of the work before is, upon the same ground, on which we have fornied our opinion.
Our first examination was directed to the three celebrated texts, 1 Joh. v. 7. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Act. xx. 28. in vindication of which we have laboured through so many pages.
But here we found the integrity of the sacred text unmolested; and even in the most hopeless and desperate case, 1 Joh. v. 7. the author's testimony given in favour of the received reading
From the examination of these celebrated texts, we directed our attention to the more important clauses or terms, which Dr. Griesbach has dismissed from his edition.
We here again found, to our very great satisfaction, the rejected readings of the following passages restored to their proper places in the inspired text of Scripture; Matt. vi. 13. xix. 17. Luc. ix, 55. Joh. i. 27. Act. viii. 37. I Cor. xv. 47. Cul. i. 14. ii. 2. I Joh. iv. 3.: together with the following, of rather inferior importance, Matt. xxvii. 35. Mar. iv. 24. vi. 11. Luc. iv. 18. X. 22. xi. 2. 4. Joh. v. 16. In this catalogue, it is true, we missed about ten or a dozen passages, which cannot be abandoned as spurious, with any show of consistency, while these are retained as authentic. But here, on balancing our profit against our loss, we willingly admitted those which were very gratuitously given up, as a more than equitable compensation, for those which were rather capriciously withheld ; and consequently were not inclined to exact rigorous justice from our author.
In examining the general texture of the text which Mr. Valpy has adopted in his edition, to which we next proceeded, confining our scrutiny to the first ten chapters of St. Matthew, the decision to which we were led, agreed in substance with that which we had formed on the preceding investigation. We ilius found, that while he rejected but few good readings, he retained many, which appear to us to be not merely defensible but genuine. Of the latter description we reckon Matt. i. 6'. ii. 11. n. 87. iv. 10°. 18o. v. 27°. 44'. vi. 18o. vii. 2h. viii. 54. ix. 189. 334. 359, 362. X. 25". 28r4 *. As these readings, though not
* These references are to the text of Dr. Griesbach's edition ; and intimate, that the correction which he has made, is adopted by Mr. Valpy. They may be easily discovered, by collating Dr. Griesbach's text and inner margin, or Mr. Valpy's text with any common edition of the New Testament,