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of sacred criticism, have still the ef. Disputatio Athanasii cum Ario, the frontery to contend for its authen- long tract with which my antagonist ticity.
las so highly diverted himself, and In assigning spurious and anony- which, after having once made himmous productions to their real au- self master of the judgment of the thors, there must always be much Benedictine editors, he rises up like room left for cavil and disputation. a scholar armed fully prepared to Whether I am right or wrong in vindicate as the production of Vi. ascribing to Vigilius the 1racts which gilius; I certainly am bound to contain the spurious passage, cannot congratulate him on the possession contribute in the slightest degree of a treasure to which both I and towards establishing its authenticity; the editor of my Athanasius apfor, if Vigilius was not the author of pear equally strangers; and hope, them, then his testimony is lost to it may be of some future serthe cause of the Heavenly Wit. vice in extricating him from some of nesses. Since, however, my oppo. those difficulties and perplexities in nent has had the arrogance to assert which the precipitancy of his con. Ihat my charge of Vigilius putting duct has already involved him, forth tracts under the name of Atha. I next proceed to the consideration nasius, with the verse inserted, is of what he is pleased to call his plea wholly destitute of foundation; and on record ; and on the strength of has dwelt at great length on this which he bars all tbe pretensions of point for the purpose, if possible, the African Fathers, as well from of exposing my ignorance ; I beg to deriving the contested verse from have the opportunity of vindicating St. Cyprian, as from fabricating it my own character, and of making themselves. The differences, we manifest to your readers on which are told, that set the parties at side of the dispute the ignorance lies. variance which divided this Church, First of all, then, let me state, that as they are stated by Facundus, and the Athanasii Opera which I have, is confirmed by Vigilius, were these; the Latin version only, printed at while the orthodox contended for Paris in 1608. In this edition of the Son of God in two natures; the bis works, and, I believe, in all heretics disputed for the Word of others, there are extant certain God in one simple nature; that is, Books, ad Theophilum, 'espressly with the good leave of my opponent, ascribed to the pen of Athanasius; in one simple substance; for with in the first and minth of which the the Latin Fathers, when discoursing spurious verse is cited in the very of the Godhead, nature and subsame words; and, therefore, we may stance were equivaleut terms. The be sure, by the very same author. plea being thus put on record, be This author, according to the judg. continues to point out how well such ment both of Porson and Griesbachi a verse as that of the Heavenly was the same who composed the Witnesses, must have served the confession of Faith for the African purpose of the heretics; and how Prelates; and the author of that absurd it must be in any critic at confession of Faith is thought by this day to imagine, that any of Bengelius, Griesbach, and others, if those African Prelates should fabri. not by my opponent himself, to have cate a passage which would be ruinbeen no other person than Vigilius ous to their own cause in a conflict Tapsensis. This will be amply suf- with their adversaries. ficient to shew, an what grounds I To most readers of the Remem. þave charged Vigilius with having brancer, I should think, this extracompose I certain tracts under the ordinary definition of heresy, coming name of Athanasius. But as to the as it does, from the pen of an Oxo
ford divine, must have occasioned heresy with which the orthodox of some little perturbation of spirits, that age bad to contend respecting whether in this case they themselves the mystery of the Word incarnate; must not always have been heretics; and if any of your readers will look without being conscious, that any into the Epistle of Athanasius to such poison had been lurking in Epictetus of Corinth, into a short their tenets. For what heresy, Itract or two, falsely ascribed to the pray, can there be in maintaining same pen, and headed with the the one simple nature or substance words, Quod duæ nature in Christo : of the divine Word; or what oriho. and into the conclusion of the ninth dos professor ever contended for book to Theophilus; he will be able two natures in the Word any more to trace it, in the Western Church, than those heretics described by my from Auxentius, the metropolitan of opponent? I regret being obliged Milan, down to the very times in to say, that I have not at present by which Facundus himself flourished. me a copy of Facundus to ascertain The nature of the heresy in quesby what fatality he has been led to tion being thus fully developed, the hazard so ignorant and garbled a necessity and expediency of using statement of the heresy in question; the term, Verbum, rather than the but I bave ample means of demon- term, Filius, in expressing the Tristrating, that he must have reported nity in Unity, must be apparent to a falsehood. What those heretics the least discerning. The term, really asserted was, that the Word Filius, being generally used for the subsisted in one simple nature or Christ in two natures; or for the substance not only before, but after Word, after he became flesh; might he beame flesh. They made no have afforded to the Arian and proper distinction between the Word Eutychetian heretics a ready pre. simply considered, and the Word tence to cavil, had it been incauincarnatę. To them the orthodox, tiously adopted by the orthodox in in asserting two natures in Christ, affirming of the three divine persons appeared to maintain not a trivity, an identity of substance; but to the but a quarternity in unity; as they term, Verbum, there lay no such were either unable or unwilling to exception, it fully explaining itself. comprehead, how the Word inear- Hence in the beginning of the ninth nate, with tbe Father and the Holy book to Theophilus, ascribed by Spirit, could be declared in the Griesbach and others to the pen of creed to be consubstantial and one Vigilius, the heretic is made to ask, God; unless the human nature what was meant by God and the should have been so far swallowed Son ? To which Athanasius is made up and lost in the divine, as to to reply, God and the Word; being leave the Son still of the same sim- well aware of the infinite trouble he ple and uncompound substance with must have had with his Arian disthe Father and the Spirit. Nay to putant, had he simply and absosuch a pitch did Eutyches carry his lutely designated the second person contradiction to orthodoxy, that he of the ever blessed Trinity by any asserted in Christ two natures before other term than, Verbum. What my his incarnation, but only one after opponent means by the heretical it; a dogma at once so perverse as term Verbum, I know not; but this to render the account almost incre- I will say, that he himself ought to dible, were it not too well corrobo- be denounced a heretic for having rated as well by other vouchers, as asserted and maintained in the Reby Pope Leo the Great in his cele- membrancer so beretical a distincbrated Epistle to Flavian of Constan- tion. tinople. Such, I affirm, was the But, perhaps, a regard to the REMEMBRANCER, No. 42.
beresies of the day was not the only has not only taken care to have the reason for preferring Verbum to Fi. term Verbum, in the seventh verse; lius in expressing the Heavenly but has fairly thrust out sanguis, and Witnesses. If we well consider the substituted caro instead of it in the context of this part of the Epistle, eighth verse, in order that this illuswe shall instantly perceive, that the trated text of St. Joho might be divine testimony here afforded, is to more consonant to the rest of ScripJesus Christ being the Son of God; ture, and wholly conformable to the but if one of these three witnesses language of St. Austin. were absolutely to be expounded of The tables being thus turned the Son incarnate, that would he against my antagonist, and a clear making Christ bear testimony to road made on which to advance, I himself; a consequence easily to be find myself at full liberty to dismiss avoided by introducing the term, three or four of his arguments with Verbum; for then it must needs be very little ceremony. First of all 1 the divinity, to the exclusion of the deny, that there is any absurdity iu humanity of his person, that will deriving the allegation of Pater, furnish the testimony to the divine Verbum, et Spiritus Sanctus, from mission of our Lord; and of this that of Pater, Filius, et Spiritus testimony we have the record in the Sanctus ; because in every expres Gospel, when he suffered upon the sion of the Trinity in Unity, the Ficross.
tius of the one, must of necessity · Nor is this all. There can be be expounded by the Verbum of the little doubt, that our African Fa- other. I deny, moreover, that Ful. thers, in the framing and wording gentius, in confronting Cyprian with of the Heavenly Witnesses, had a St. John, marks any distinction or particular eye to the eightb verse as difference. whatever, between their expounded by St. Austin. But if we words. He alleges, indeed, the seattend to St. Austin, in his third venth verse in due form ; and by book against Maximinus, we shall bottoming it on the cited testimony immediately see, that when he pro- of St. Cyprian, affords an opportuceeds to shew on Scriptural grounds, nity to my opponent to mark out to in what manner the Son, the second the readers of the Remembrancer person of the Tripity, may be signi. the verbal difference between the fied or denoted by Blood; he con. two terms; but he takes no notice tents himself with that testimony of of any such discrepancy himself: St. John, The Word became flesh: nor did he so much as suspect, that that, as the Spirit might well desig- there was any real difference between vate the Father, in that God is cal. them. led a spirit; and the water the Holy There is much stupidity in charge Ghost, in that water in the Gospel ing either on myself or on the Afri. is figuratively used and expounded can Fathers the absurd consequence of the Holy Spirit; so the blood of being obliged to make the Spirit, might very well designate the Son, the Water, and the Blood, three in that the Word became flesh; persons of one substance ; as from where it is observable, that unless the manner in which I suppose St. the Word may be substituted for the Cyprian to have construed the Son, and the flesh for the blood, the Greek, and from the way in which parallel must fail in respect of the St. Austin has unquestionably exSecond witness. For this reason, pounded the Latin, we all equally and no other, it is, that the forger declare, that the three witnesses of of the two Epistles of Popes Hy the eighth verse are not the Spirit, ginus and Joannes II. in which the the Water, and the Blood; but the Heavenly Witnesses are expressed, three divine witnesses of Christian baptism, of whom it may be truly over in silence, in that he had the said, that the three are one. It was civility to represent my own short doubtless the peculiarities of its paragraphs as trying your patience. grammatical construction, which
I beg to remain, first led these two Fathers to a
Your obedient Servant, theological exposition of the eighth
JOHN OXLEE. verse; but by thrusting in the Stonegrave, May 9tk. seventh, and leaving the other to shift for itself, we do nothing but interpolate the Scripture for the purpose of coefusing it.
To the Editor of the Remembrancer. 'In one instance, however, your correspondent has kindly seized me Sir, by the band, where I was by no In renewing the subject of the Pro. means prepared for his frieødly
logue to the Catholic Epistles, my grasp. That Vigilius, says he, was
principal inducement is to consider the thoroughly acquainted with the arguments, which have been advanced disputed passage, and has expressly to disprove its authenticity. The quoted it, is a point on which we fiercest assailant which the text of are mutually agreed. Now, if by the Heavenly Witnesses has found, quoting it he means, that the author has directed his main force against took it from any manuscript of the this point, as presenting the side in Epistle of St. John, we are by no
which he believed the Latin Vulgate means agreed: as the tenor of my
most vulnerable ; and the most zeal. argument is, that both Vigilius and
ous of its advocates who are disFulgentius, and every other author,
posed to maintain the last hold in who first began to express in due
its defence, have abandoned this form the Heavenly Witnesses, had
point as untenable. the verse to make as they wrote; or, what amounts to the same thing, “ – neque quisquam ex agmine tanto were content to repeat it from those
to repeat it from those Andet adire virum, manibusque inducere by wbom it had been already made
cæstus." and fitted to their hands. That they Before I venture to lay hand on actually framed it from the exposi- the gauntlet of so redoubtable a tion of St. Austin, and, that they champion, I entreat a few minutes have even signified so much, I shall parley, while I proceed with the abundantly prove in the pext letter defence of a cause, which it may be which I may have the honour to rashness to contest, but would be transmit.
weakness to abandon without a In the mean time, I would intreat struggle. your critical correspondent to write After determining the order of the as intelligibly as be can; there being Epistles, according to the Greek some passages in his communica. canons, the first point which is tions which I have not as yet, been discussed in the Prologue respects so fortunate as to comprehend; and the unfaithfulness of the Latin interit is far from my wish to pervert the preters, “ particularly in that part sense of his language. In his last of St. John's Epistle, where the unity paper, which exhibits a finer specie of the Trinity is mentioned." In men of critical mummery than I have this place, as it proceeds to observe, beheld for some time, he has occu. " the variety of the expression impied, I see, not less than sixteen or pugned itself;" and by the obserseventeen columns of the Remem- vation at once identifies the real brancer on the authenticity of the author, in specifying St. Jerome's Prologue to the Canonical Epistles; mode of proceeding in the correction & circumstance not to be passed of the Latin version. His plan, as described in the Prologue to the Greek, not less than the Latin im. Gospels, was to collate the Latin pugned itself by the variety of the copies, and when “a variety in the copies. The defect in the translaexpression impugned" the correct. tion, was of course repaired by an ness of a passage, as “that could application of the former canon, and not be true which varied,” to apply the old reading of the Latin, as pre. an emendation.
served in the greater number of In proceeding to verify these prin- copies, having been accordingly reciples, in the remains of the old tained, nothing is stated respecting Latin version; as the translation of a correction. Had a sophisticator the Catholic Epistles is not extant, taken the work in hand, he would the only idea which can be attained have boldly appealed to the Greek ; of that part of the old Italic is in for, it is absurd to suppose, that some of the early translations. In this was a length to which he who an early French version, which was would fabricate the Prologue and apparently made by the Waldenses, passage dared not proceed; as and which corresponds, in the text St. Jerome has well observed, on a of the Heavenly Witnesses, with like occasion, “ qui hoc ausus est their Confession of Faith, we con- facere, quid aliud non audeat ?" sequently discover all that is neces. The silence of the Prologue on this sary for bringing those principles to point, while it conveys a further the test. As this version substitutes proof of the identity of the real and “ the Son” for “ the Word,” and reputed author, adds the strongest omits the final clause of the eighth confirmation to the hypothesis, verse, if we suppose, that some which asserts the defalcation of the copies having these readings, and Greek, in Eusebius's edition. some corresponding with those of the But we are further informed, by modern Vulgate (as attested in the the Prologue to the Gospels, that Prologue,) were before St. Jerome, in St. Jerome's mode of correcting nothing can more appositely illus. the Latin, another test of the true trate the declaration of the Prologue, reading was implied. While the cor. relative to the variations of the ruption of the Greek is acknow. Latin version ; " neither would they ledged, in premising the possibility have created ambiguity to the reader, of detecting it, by “the translations nor would the variety of the expres- made of the Scriptures into the lan. sion have impugned itself." As the guages of different nations," that substitution of the term “ Son,” and preface “promises only the four Gosomission of the clausule are impor. pels, amended by a collation with the tant variations, which directly affect Greek.” Though in this declaration, the unity of the Trinity, they are ob- St. Jerome in plicitly avows, that viously calculated, as impeaching the the Greek alone was accessible to integrity of the text, to awaken the bim, at the time of revising the Gosdoubts of the reader, respecting the pels, the means of inquiry into å doctrine.
subject in which he was not incuri. When a variety occurred in the ous, were considerably extended at translation, St. Jerome's plan of the time of composing the Prologue correcting, as described in the Pro- to the Epistles. After some years logue to the Gospels, was “ to seek residence among the Syrians, after the true reading in the greater num- a long and intimate acquaintance ber of Latin copies," or, “ reverting with the Egyptian monks, he could to the Greek, to correct the trans- pot have been ignorant of their verlation by the original.” But here, sions of the Scriptures. He who if I am right in my notion of Euse- was so well versed in the Chaldee, bius's edition, the latter canon could not have been unacquainted failed in its application; as the with the Syriac; he has, indeed,