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guarding the unlearned against errors, which have a tendency to perplex their minds, and make them careless of the duties of morality. (See Rom. vii. 12. to the end; and 2 Cor. iii. 5. new translation.)-4. A just translation of the scriptures, by exhibiting the doctrines of the gospel in their genuine simplicity, will effectually shew the futility of the cavils of infidels, which, for the most part, are founded on wrong views of the doctrines of revelation. These certainly are objects, which all who have the interests of christianity at heart must wish to see obtained: objects of far greater importance to the welfare of the world than those which engross the attention of a frivolous age.

The text of the Greek new testament followed in this translation, is the one in common use; which, because it was settled. according to the opinion of learned men in different countries, who compared a great number of MSS, and fixed on the readings which appeared to them best supported, the author hath not attempted to alter. Only because the oldest MSS are written without any distinction of the words by intervening spaces, and of the sentences by commas and colons, and without the spirits and accents*, the author hath altered the accenting and pointing of the common edition in a few instances, in order to obtain a better and more perspicuous sense of the passages, than that which arises from the common pointing.–Farther, although by the care with which other MSS and versions have been collated, since the text of the new testament was settled, more various readings have been procured, none of these readings are followed in this translation, except the few which our English bible hath adopted, and which shall be mentioned in the notes. The author's attachment to the common text hath not proceeded from an implicit acquiescence in the opinion of the learned men who settled it, but from a persuasion that the readings which they adopted are, for the most part, better supported by MSS, and agree better with the context, than either the readings which they rejected, or than those which have been obtained since their time*. Some of the rejected readings, indeed, stand on

*Although the distinction of words in MSS by spaces, and of sentences by points, was known in Cicero's time, it was not much used, except by the Roman lawyers in public instruments. (Clerici Ar. Crit. p. iii. sect. 1. c. X. 7. 9.) In MS copies of the scriptures, these distinctions were not used at all, till Jerome first attempted them in his translations of the books of the old testament. (Ibid. No. 5. 7.) The MSS of the scriptures now remaining, the oldest of which are more than 300 years later than Jerome's time, shew, that even then the separation of the words by spaces, and the distinction of the sentences by points, were not commonly used. It is evident, therefore, that the transcribers, who first attempted to accent and point the Greek new testament, having no ancient MSS to guide them, must have been directed merely by their own opinion of the meaning of the passages. The editors also who published the first printed copies, must have followed the same rule in accenting and pointing their editions. Wherefore, to alter the accents and points of the commonly received text, is not to alter the text of the Greek testament, but ra. ther to restore it to its primitive truth, and ought to be admitted, if thereby a better and more perspicuous sense of the passages is obtained. See examples. Rom. ij. 3, 9. vii, 25. viii. 20, 21, 2 Cor. ix. 10. xii. 11. xjii. 2, 3. new translation.

VOL. 1. 7

* On the revival of learning in Europe, some of the most eminent men of the age employed themselves in collating all the MSS of the Greek new testament which they could find, for the purpose of obtaining a correct text of these invaluable writings.

Among those who applied themselves to that important work. Cardinal Francis Ximenes, archbishop of Toledo, and his three learned assistants, whom he had made professors in the university of Alcala, for that very purpose, were most eminent, and deserve to be first mentioned ; because they set about the work early, though the fruit of their labours was not communicated to the pub. lic till a number of years after their edition was finished. The copy which they made their text was a MS sent to them from the Vatican library, by Pope Leo X. with onlers not to depart fron it in the least. Accordingly, excepting a few alterations, they transcribed the whole faithfully ; namely, the septuagint version of the old testament, and the Greek new testament, to the Reve. lation, which is wanting in the Vatican copy. This transcript they compared with a number of MSS,'some of them furnished by the pope, and others by the cardinal himself; particularly a very ancient Ms of the epistles, sent to Ximenes from Rhodes; and at the same time they marked the readings of all these MSS which were different from the Vatican copy. The new testament be ing finished, was printed in the year 1515. But Ximenes did not choose to publish it separately from the rest of the bible, which was not completed till the year 1517: and he dying, his bible was not given to the public till about the year 1524.

The next person of note who attempted to restore the true readings of the Greek new testa. ment, was Erasmus, of Rotterdam. He, by collating five Greek MSS and some Latin copies, amended both the Greek test and the vulgate version, and published both, with large notes, at Basil, in the year 1516. This was the first copy of the Greek new testament that was published from the press. Mill tells us, that, exclusive of typographical errors, it contains above 500 wrong readings, and about 100 genuine ones.

In the year 1518, a Greek testament was published at Venice, by Andreas Asulanus, Aldus's son-in-law; Aldus himself having died about two years before. Certain learned men corrected this edition, by collating it with some very ancient MSS. But its text is similar to that of Erasmus, which was published a little before. Both editions have the same apparatus, and, with a few exceptions, the same errors. Yet on the authority of the above-mentioned MSS, the Aldin edition differs from the Erasmean in not a few places.

In the year 1519, Erasmus published his second edition, with a translation from the Greek, and the notes greatly enlarged; printed by Froben. It has also an index of the solecisms, and other faults of the vulgate version, which exposed Erasmus to much censure, and created him inany enemies. Mill says the text of this edition is much more correct than that of the former.

In the year 1521, a Greek new testament was published at Hagenau, in which the editor professes to have followed the editions of Aldus and Froben. But Mill tells us, that, on examining it, he found the editor had followeal Erasmus's first Greek testament even in those readings which were corrected in the second publication.

In the year 1522, Erasmus's third edition came out, printed at Basil, by Froben, m which he followed the test of his second Greek testament, except in 118 readings, which he took from the Aldin edition, and some new MSS, which he had collated, or examined. And on the margin he marked about 19 readings, taken from Aldus. The text in this is somewhat more correet than that in his second edition. And the famous text, 1 John, ch. v. 7. concerning the testimony of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, is inserted in it in Greek. Erasmus says, he took it from a copy which he calls the British, and that he inserted it that there might be no handle for calumniating him.

At length, in the year 1524, the Complutensian, or Ximenes's bible, was published in six rolumes folio : a noble work, every way worthy of the carlinal, at whose expense it was executed, and of pope Leo X. who patronised it. I he old testament consists of four volumes, having three columns in each page. In the first is the LXX. translation, according to the Vatican copy, with an inter lined Latin version. In the second column, is the vulgate, or Jerome's translution, corrected by the best MSS. In the third column, is the Hebrew text; and below, are placed in two columns a Chaldaie translation, and a Latin version of that translation. The new testament is in one vo Jume; the Greek text, according to the Vatican copy, in one column; and the rulgate, or Jeromex translation, in another. The sixth and last volume contains a dictionary of the Hebrew language.

an equal, or, perhaps, on a better authority than those in the received text. But as they make no material alteration in

There are also a variety of prologues interspersed through the whole, of which it is needless to give an account.

After the publication of the Complutensian bible, Erasmus, in the year 1527, set forth his fourth Greek new testament, in forming which, he says, he made use of the Complutensian bible. It has three columns in each page. In the first is the Greek text: in the second is Erasmus's own translation; and, in the third, is the vulgate version. With respect to the Greek text of this edi. tion, Erasmus professes to have followed that of the Complutensian bible. Accordingly, although the text is, in general, agreeable to that of his third edition, Erasmus thought proper to depart from it in 106 instances; and, instead of its readings, to substitute those of the Complutensian bible.

In the year 1534, Simon Colirurus, a Parisian printer, published bis Greek testament, aithout any preface, informing the reader in what manner he had formed his text. So that it is uncer. tain whether he followed the text of any of the former printed exlitions, or any particular MS ; or whether he chose what he judged the best readings of all the manuscript and printed copies he bad exarained. Mill tells us, that he found in it more than 150 readings, in which it differs from all the former editions ; and that most of them are authorized by MSS. At the same time he observes, that, from the love of novelty, or, to make the text more clear, Colinæus, upon Vie au. thority of one or two MSS only, had sometimes departed from the common readings, notwith standing they are much better supported than those he hath adopted. Of this Mill gives many examples; and adds, that this new testament abounds in various readings; and that, althonghi a sonsiderable number of them are unsupported, yet he found 120, which, in his opinion, exhibit the genuine Greek text.

In the year 1535, Erasmus published his fish and last Greek testament ; the text of which is the same with that in the former, except in four places, where Mili thinks it exhibits the genuine readings. In this, Erasınus apologises for the errors of his former editions.

In the year 1546, Robert Stephen, printer to the king of France, published his first Greek testament in decimo sexto, with a preface, in which he tells us he had procured from the king's library soine M$5 of admirable antiquity; that from them he had formed his text, in such a manner as not to have admitted a letter which was not supported by the best MSS; that, among other helps, ' he had used the Complutensian bible, whose readings he found to agree wonderfully with the king's MSS ; in short, that having collated the text with the king's MSS, and with the Complutensian bible, he had admitted those readings valy which were supported by the greatest nu. ber of the best copies. But Mill thinks be esteemed those the best which agreed best with the Complutensian bible.-The MSS which Stephen collated were 15 in number. These he marked by the letters of the Greek alphabet. Mill hath given a full account of them all, in his Proleg No. 1159, etc.

In the year 1549, R. Stephen published his second Greek testament, in the same volume with the former, and with the same types and preface. In this, the number of the pages, and even the mes in every page, are exactly the same with those in his first edition. The text also is the same, except 67 readings, of which Mill thinks four are dubious, and of the rest le supposes 26 to be genuine, which are taken, partly from the last editions, partly from MSS, and partly from the Complutensian bible.

In the year 1550, Stephen published his third Greek testament, printed in a large volume with great types. When he undertook this edition, he had 16 MSS, which, sometime before, he had collated with the Greek text twice, and did the same now a third time. To the gospels he pre. fixed that account of the lives of the evangelists, which Erasmus had inserted in his latin trans tations, and to the Acts of the Apostles, some excerpts from Futbaljus's prologues to the epistles concerning St. Paul's preaching and martyrdom. He also inserted the contents of each epistle; and, on the margin, marked the principal various readings of the 16 MSS which he had so care: fully collated.--Morinus tells us, that Beza, when forming his copy of the new testament, borrowed these 16 MSS, and marked some readings omitted in Stephen's edition as too minute, though in reality they are of use in ascertaining the text. - In this copy, Stephen bath departed from the text of both his former editions in 284 instances; of which Mill thinks 71 are genuine. The rest are of doubtful authority, or consist of minutiæ, concerning which nothing certain can be deter. mined.-Milt adds, that Stephen's regard for the Complutensian bible had now become so great, that he resumed in this edition 31 of its readings which formerly he had rejected; and that he adopted 27 of them on its single authority, contrary to other MSS. Dr. Symonds, in his use til observations on the expedienxey of revising our present English bible, page 139, tells us, that this is the text which king James's translators chiefly used.

the sense of the passages where they are found, to have adopt. ed them, would have been to change the received text for

In the year 1551, Stephen published his fourth Greek testament in a smaller volume, with the vulgate version on the inward side of the page, and Erasmus's translation on the outward. The text does not differ from that of his third copy, except in one word; but it is, for the first time, divided into those verses which are now commonly used. OR the outward margin, the parallel places are marked, together with Osiander's barmony. From this edition, or rather from the preceding one, the Greek text of the new testa. ment now in common use seems to have been taken, and therefore Mill calls it, Stephanica nostra.

In the year 1564, Theodore Beza published his Greek testament, with a Latin translation and notes. He tells us, that he compared the text, not only with the ancient Greek MSS, but with the Syriac version, and with the writings of the Greek and Latin fathers. In his dedication to queen Elizabeth, he says, that while he was employed in this work, Henry Stephen, Robert's son, gave him a copy of his father's noble edition, published in 1550, on which were marked the readings of about 25 MSS, and of almost all the printed copies. But Mill affirms, that the use which Beza made of these readings was not to ascertain the text, but chiefly to give such a carn to the scriptures, as established his own tenets : and of this he gives various examples, (No. 1258.) He adds, that Beza, in his notes, adopts the expositions of the Latin, preferably to those of the Greek fathers, because they accorded better with his system of theology.

In the year 1569, Robert, the son of Robert Stephen, published a Greek new testament, in the same volume, and with the same kind of types, wherewith his father's first and second editions were printed, and added such of the readings of his father's third publication as seemed to the learned of greatest importance. The text is the same with that in his fa. ther's first and second copies, except that he hath adopted seven readings of the third.

In the year 1584, Beza published another edition of his Greek testament, in which he altered one or two of the erroneous readings which he had formerly adopted, and added some readings from two MSS of great antiquity; namely, a MS of the four gospels and of the Acts, with the Italic translation, before it was corrected by Jerome. The other is the Clermont MS of St. Paul's epistles in Greek and Latin, of these MSS, Mill hath given a full account, in his Prolegomena. Le Clerc, in his Ars Crit. part iii. sect. 1. C. 16. tells us, that in the place where Beza's MS of the gospels differs from others, the alterations are evidently made to render the style more agreeable to the Greek idiom ; on which account its authority is the less. His Ms of the gospels, Beza gifted to the university of Cambridge, wbere is now reinains.

In the year 1622, Elzevir at Leyden, published a Greek new testament in a small volume, in which the text is printed with great care, agreeably to the readings of the king's MSS, and of the MSS of the best authority.-Two years after this, Elzevir published another Greek testament, corrected, as Beza informs us, by not a few persons, eminent for learn. ing and piety. Mill says it is elegantly printed, and very correct ; and that, except in twelve instances, the text is entirely formed on Stephen's edition of 1550. From this it appears, that the learned pious men above mentioned approved of the Stephanic text.

In the year 1658, Stephen Curcellans, a learned unitarian, published his Greek new testa. ment. This industrious person, observing that most of the various readings found in the ancient MSS, were wanting in the printed editions, enriched his copy with Wechelius's readings, and those of the Clermont MS, and of that of Thuanus, which contains the whole new testament, except Matthew's gospel, and of cardinal Mazarin's MS, which is more than 800 years old, and of a MS of his own, still more ancient. All these readings he placed at the foot of the pages of his own edition. But when he had proceeded half. way, having received, from a learned friend, readings excerpted from Frobens, the Com. plutensian, and other approved copies, he placed them at the end of his Greek testament, to. gether with some from Isaac Casaubon's notes on the gospels, and from the Hervagean edition. Mill tells us, that he proposed afterwards to add the readings of the Alexan. drian MS, and of the MS of the gospels and Acts, which was Beza's ; but he died in the year his new testament came abroad. About seventeen years after his death, it was reprinted, but without the readings which he intended to have added.

Besides the above-mentioned, there were several other Greek testaments, with various readings, published, of which Mill hath given an account; but being of less importance,

no purpose.

The rejected readings, which alter the sense of the passages, especially those which relate to controverted doctrines, the author hath mentioned in his notes; but without examining their authenticity, because of these matters the unlearned are no judges; and, with respect to the learned, they may consult Mill, Wetstein, and others, who have made large collections of the various readings, and may judge for themselves.

In the larger edition of this work, the author, following Origen's plan, hath set the common English version opposite to his new translation, that the reader may see in what particulars they differ. And having placed the Greek text in a column between the two translations, the learned, by comparing them with the original, can easily judge to which version the preference is due.

SECTION IV.

Of the Prefaces, the Illustrations prefixed to the Chapters, and the Notes.

It is well known that the epistles to particular churches were written, either to correct certain irregularities into which they had fallen, or to confute the errors of false teachers, who endeavoured to seduce them. It is equally well known, that the epistles to particular persons were written to direct them in the discharge of the offices assigned to them, and to support them under the evils to which they were exposed, while faithfully

it is needless to mention them here. Farther, as the text of the new testament was settled before the Alexandrian MS was brought into Europe, and before Walton published his Polyglot, it was not necessary here to describe either the one or the other. Mill hath given a full account of both in his Prolegomena. from whence most of the above mentioned particulars concerning the editions of the Greek bible are taken.

Mill, in his own noble edition of the Greek new testament, besides a prodigious collection of readings from MSS, hath noted all the varieties which he found in the quotations from the new testament, made by the ancient christian writers. - The text in his edition differs, in a few instances, from that which is commonly used ; and, in his notes, he hath proposed more alterations, chiefly on the authority of the vulgate version. Concerning these, the reader may consult Whitby's Examen, where it is shewn that they are neither so well supported by MSS, as the common readings, nor give so good a sense of the passages. For which reasons they are by no means to be admitted.

From the manner in which the text of the Greek new testament in common use, was ascertained, every attentive reader must be sensible, that the learned men who employed themselves in that important work used the greatest diligence, fidelity, and critical skill. And as they were many in number, and of different sentiments with respect to the controverted doctrines of christianity, no reading could be admitted from prejudice, or any par ricalar bias, but every thing was determined agreeably to the authority of the greatest num. ber of the most ancient and best MSS. Therefore, if the present text is not precisely the same with that which was written by the inspired penmen, it approaches so very near toit, that it well deserves to be regarded as the infallible rule of our faith and manners. See Pr. Ess. 2, at the end.

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