« PreviousContinue »
Text of the First Epistle
of Saint JOHN.
Chap. v. W.7
Demonstrated by Proofs which are beyond
all Exception, taken from the Testimonies
By DAVID MARTIN, Rector of
the French Church at Vtrecht. Author of
Translated from the French.
124 3 6. 131
HO' I engage a third time upon the subject of this famous Text in St. John's Epistle, There are three in Heaven which bear record, the Father, the
Word, and the Holy Ghoft, and these three are one ;
it is not to continue the defence of it against Mr. Emlyn. There would be no end in removing the mistakes he commits in this matter, and I am naturally an enemy to ftrife and des bates. I have always been of opinion, that when a truth is fufficiently clear’d up, all that is added thereto by reiterated disputes, rather carries it off from its true point of sight, than is capable of fixing the mind upon it. Questions are multiply'd, new difficulties are started that are foreign to the principal subject, personal interests are insensibly mix'd with it, and in this confusion the Reader's mind, divided betwixt so many different matters,
gives but an imperfect attention to the subject upon which it should be wholly employ'd.
Mr. Emlyn has lately publish'd a Piece, under the name of a Reply to the Examination I had made of his Answer, by which he had pretended to confute my Differtation upon the passage of St. Johns but as he has but flightly run over some passages, and not touch'd upon divers others which carry demonstration and conviction along with 'em, I shall have no need to return frequently to him ; and if this was all I had to do, I might have dispens'd with writing again upon the same subject. The only thing which could have engag'd me in it, would have been to defend my innocence in the quotation I had made of a Manuscript of Berlin, upon occasion of which 'Mr. Emlyx has thought fit to triumph ; but one or two Sheets inserted in. fome one of the Critical Journals would have fuffic'd for this, and all the rest of his Piece.
Mr. Emlyn therefore and his Reply will be here but incidentally spoke of, and according as the matters I shall have to treat of will require : the principal design of this work does not turn upon that; and the purpose of it is of more concern to Christians, who owning no other foundation of their Faith than the sacred Scripture, cannot but with singular edification fee a Text, in which the mystery of the Trinity is evidently caught, defended against those, who thro' the malignant forcę of prejudice, or an express hatred to this sacred mystery, endeavour to take from it this Apoftolick passage, and deny it to be St. John's.
I had prov'd the genuineness of it by the most folid arguments, that can be urg'd for a fact of this nature; and these proofs are lo numerous, and of so many different kinds, that 'tis imposible not to be convinc'd by 'em, unless an obstinate
resolution formid of sec purpose against this sacred Text, shuts mens eyes to Reason it felf. I have produc'd the testimony of the Latin Church from the second Age up tờ the last; the testimony of the Greek Church; and lastly, the Greek Manuscripts of St. John's Epiftle, in the first of all the Editions which were made of the New Testament in Greek, in which Cardinal Ximenes employ'd several learned Men, and which was printed at Complutum from cřcellent Manuscripts in 113. After this famous Edition comes that of Erasmus in 1922. in which this learned Critick and Divine, inserts this passage of St. John in the manner it lay in a Manuscript found in England. These two ancient Editions were follow'd by those of Robert Stephens, who in the year 1546. and 1549. publith'd the Greek New Teftament with this Text, agreeably to several Manuscripts which he had from the Library of King Francis the Firft; and some other Libraries of that time.
Divers attempts have been made to enervate the force of this proof; I have given 'em in my two former Treatises; and have fhew'd the weakness of them. But * F. le Long, of the Oratory, has lately taken a new method of opposing the Éditions of Robert Stephens į namely; by producing the Manuscripts he thinks to have been those of this learned Printer, in which the passage of St John is not found. I have shewn that this Father, as learned as he is, has been too credulous in taking the Manuscript he produces from the King's Library for those of Stephens's; and I prove invincibly from the Manuscripts themselves, that
a F. le Long's Letter dated April 12. 1720. and inserted in the Journal des Savans in June.