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Dr. Laurence states further, that a persuasion of the little dependence to be placed upon Griesbach's calculations, induced hiin to take the pains to go over the same ground himself, and to compare the various readings of the manuscript A with the text of Origen, published in the second volume of ihe Symbolæ Criticæ; and he thus gives the result:
“Griesbach calculates the agreements of A and Origen, in their deviations from the received text, at one hundred and ten, and their disagreements at sixty, and therefore classes A under the Alexandrine text. I make the agreements one hundred and fifty-four, including forty-eight inconstant readings, and the disagreements one hundred and forty : so that thus, even according to his mode of investigating the class, there appears little or no preponderance of the Alexandrine. But if we shift the balance, there will be a very considerable preponderance of the Byzantine: for then the agreements of A with the received text, in its deviations from Origen, will be found to be four hundred and forty-four; (i. e. one hundred and ninety-nine constant, and two hundred and fortyfive inconstant, readings;) and the disagreements will be only one hundred and forty, leaving an excess of three hundred and four in favour of the Byzantine, against the Alexandrine text.”
Having thus shewn the inadequacy of Griesbach's method of classifying his manuscripts, Dr. Laurence proposes another mode, which certainly seems to be the only fair one:
“The object simply seems to be, to determine with which, out of three texts, a manuscript has the greatest conformity. And this, I presume, can only be effected, not by considering the character of its deviations from one particular text, but the separate sums of its agreements or disagreements with all three, each contrasted with the other;"*
Which he goes on to exemplify at length, with nearly the same result; from which he again draws the conclusion “that the affinity of the manuscript A is much greater to the Byzantine text, than either to the Western or to the Alexandrine.” And this conclusion is of considerable moment, because this same manuscript is appealed to by Griesbach as a witness in favour of one of the most important alterations which he has ventured to make in the text of the New Testament. We must add, however, that although Dr. Laurence speaks hypothetically of three classes of text, he does not admit that the existence of an Alexandrine text has been yet established by any adequate proof; certainly not, he thinks, by the readings of Origen, which are mainly relied on for its support. He has ascertained, by a diligent investigation,t that the whole amount of
• Laurence's Remarks, ch. iv.
Ibid, ch. y.
the readings of Origen, in the Epistles of St. Paul, “is six hundred and nine, out of which, are two hundred and twenty-six wbich coincide with either Western or Alexandrine authority, or with both. Of the remainder, many, indeed, not unfrequently accord with the Byzantine, but many more are perfectly insulated. The number, however, of the latter, may, doubtless, be very considerably reduced, by making due allowances for the freedom of quotation, and for the errors of transcription,” &c. Of the two hundred and twenty-six readings which coincide with one or both of the above classes, “one hundred and cighteen,” says Dr. Laurence, “are supported by Western authority alone, ninety by both Western and Alexandrine united, and only eighteen by Alexandrine alone. Supposing the existence of an Alexandrine text, we may presume that Origen would frequently have associates of the description in peculiar readings; but this presumption is far from being warranted by fact. For in truth, the very reverse takes place; as out of two hundred and twenty-six readings, Origen has but eighteen distinguishable from the Western text, in which he is joined by any other Alexandrine father;" and in all of these, but five, by only one. “On the other hand," adds Dr. Laurence, “his alliance with Western authority, in exclusion of the Alexandrine, is so intimate, that he reads with that alone, not eighteen, but one hundred and eighteen times, a full moiety of the whole amount.”
From the foregoing statements our readers may be able to form some opinion of the grounds on which Griesbach's system of classification rests, and of the value to be attached to the results which he has drawn from it. If the former be deemed insecure, his most important alterations of the text immediately fall to the ground; for these are built upon the concurrence of a few witnesses of an assumed Alexandrine class, with those of the Western, against a host of the Byzantine. Mr. Nolan, however, agrees with Griesbach in recognizing three principal classes of text, though he differs from him in his method of investigating the several classes, and in regard to their designation, locality, and respective value. And, in fact, as it appears to us, he practically reduces them to two, since he does not allow to Griesbach's Alexandrine text any authority as an independent witness on either side. The reason of this is to be found in the influence which that text has exerted over both the others.* Mr. Nolan has shown, conclusively, that the particular works of Origen relied on, were written at Cæsarea, in Palestine, where he took up his abode, when he was forced, under most disgraceful circumstances, to make a precipitate
* Nolan's Inquiry, p. 357.
neskould amount to liided by the precedincat time at least,
flight, without his books, from Alexandria, to which he never returned.* Here bis text was adopted, and made current through an cdition published by Eusebius of Cæsarea, at the command of the Emperor Constantine; while the text of Hesychius' edition prevailed at Alexandria for some time at least, though afterwards superseded by the preceding.t This, however, would amount to little more than merely a change of names, still leaving the weight of Origen's testimony in a particular scale. Accordingly, Mr. Nolan goes further, and maintains that the inconstant or contradictory quotations of Origen, agreeing in the same passage sometimes with one class of text, and soinetime with another, prevent his admission as a uniform witness on the side of either. And, indeed, the concessions of Griesbach himself, deprive Origen's testimony of the weight which he claims for it. He adınits that, both in the printed editions and manuscript copies of his works, his quotations of Scripture have been frequently interpolated by editors and transcribers—that be often quotes loosely, changing words or the order of construction, &c.—and that the text from which he quoted was itself not free from corruptions.
Origen's testimony being thus disposed of, Mr. Nolan proceeds to account for the coincidence of the Oriental and Western versions with the Alexandrine text, which is relied on by Griesbach as furnishing the testimony of independent witnesses in favour of the genuine reading. While he fully adınits this coincidence, Mr. Nolan endeavours to deprive it of all weight, by tracing it to its source in the influence of the Palestine edition published by Eusebius, and the revisals which those versions have undergone.
“On descending to a closer view of the subject,” says Mr. Nolan,|| “and considering the affinity observed to exist between the old Italick version and the original Greek, there is, at the first glance, something suspicious in the conformity, which betrays an alliance of a recent date. For this affinity was not discoverable in the Italick version in St. Jerome's days. At the command of Pope Damasus, he undertook the revisal of the Latin translation, on account of its deviation from the original. This undertaking alone would sufficiently declare St. Jerome's opinion of this dissimilarity, which he undertook to remedy ; if
* Nolan's Inquiry, pp, 8, 11, 364, 365. t Ib. pp. 11, 129, 130. Ib. pp. 7-8. Griesb. Symb. Crit. tom. 1, pp.cviii, cix. cited at length by Mr. Nolan, p. 320.
|| Inquiry, pp. 14, 15. St. Hier. Marcel, Ep. cii- tom. ii. p. 336. Conf. Damas. Epist. cxxiii. tom. iii. p. 349. VOL. VI.-No. 12.
he had not in numerous places pointed it out.* And his declarations are fully supported by the testimony of St. Augustine."
Mr. Nolan goes on to observe that the dissimilarity between the Latin, version and the Greek, observed, and vainly attempted to be remedied by St. Jerome, was effectually cured about the middle of the sixth century, by Cassiodorus, who corrected the old Italick by the Vulgate and the Greek, † by erasing the words of the former translation, and substituting those of the latter in his manuscripts, with which he then incorporated the original Greek in the same volume. To this cause he attributes the affinity now discoverable between the Greek and Latin text; and to the same source he refers the origin of the Greck-Latin manuscripts, which occupy a principal rank in Griesbach's system of classification. In a similar manner, Mr. Nolan proceeds to account for the affinity of the old Italick with the Syriack version, by tracing it to the correction of the former by the latter, made by order of the Emperor Charlemagne;} and he strengthens his conclusion as well by the internal evidence of those versions, as by the consideration that the oldest manuscripts now extant containing the Western text, with the exception of the Cambridge and the Verceli MSS. cannot claim an antiquity prior to the age of Charlemagne. - Mr. Nolan next considers the affinity of the Latin Vulgate and the Oriental versions with the Alexandrine recension of the Greek text, and traces it to the influence of the edition of the latter published by Eusebius of Cæsarea, under the sanction of the Emperor Constantine, in the early part of the fourth century. The fact of this influence he substantiates, after adverting to the later date of most of the versions in questionby their exhibiting the sections and canons introduced by Eusebius in the division of the text-and by their agreement in the omission of several passages found in the received text, which were at variance with his peculiar opinions. The influence of his edition on the Latin Vulgate is put beyond all doubt by Jerome himself, the author of that version.||
" If the influence of the edition of Eusebius extended thus wide," says Mr. Nolao, "embracing both extremes of the Roman empire, as affecting the Eastern and Western translations ; it is not to be disputed that its operation on the original Greek must have been more powerful, where it was aided by
* Vid. Simon Hist. des Vers. ch. v. p. 40, sqq.
ở Nolan's luquiry, p. 22, sqq.
his immediate reputation, supported by the authority of Constantine.” But another circumstance which tended to extend this influence was the mode of dividing the text introduced by him, which offered great conveniences to readers; and which accordingly has been adopted in the whole body of Greek manuscripts, thereby affording no ambiguous evidence of their partial descent, at least, from the edition set forth by Eusebit:s. Mr. Nolan does not hesitate to charge him further—and he adduces some weighty reasons in support of the charge-with wilful corruptions of the sacred text, in omitting some, and altering other important passages, to suit his own views;* and in particular, with having originated those readings, I Timothy iii. 16, Acts xx. 28, and I John v. 7, which Griesbach has adopted in his edition as genuine. For the proofs which Mr. Nolan offers in detail on all the foregoing points, we must refer our readers to his very elaborate work. From the whole he draws the conclusion, that Griesbach's system of classification, and bis alterations of the text founded upon it, can derive no support from the authority of Origen, or from the concurrent testimony of the Eastern and Western versions and Greek manuscripts, thus traced up to its source in the prevailing influence of the edition set forth by Eusebius.
Having in this manner undermined the foundations of Griesbach's critical system, Mr. Nolan infers that his whole superstructure must fall to pieces; and he then proposes to recompose the same materials in a different form, and on sounder principles. Manuscripts, he observes, may be distributed into several classes, according to the coincidences of their peculiar readings; but which of these varieties was the original reading of the sacred text remains still to be determined. The first suggestion is, that of an appeal to the scriptural quotations found in the writings of the early fathers; but he shows that these furnish no adequate criterion of the literal reading of the sacred text, though highly calculated to vindicate its doctrinal integrity. These writers were so familiarly acquainted with the Scriptures that they seldom resorted to the written text in making their quotations, but were accustomed to quote from memory, and with some latitude, adhering to the sense indeed, but often deviating from the exact phraseology. No appeal then can be admitted to them, unless on particular occasions,
* Mr. Nolan adverts particularly to the facilities afforded Eusebius in this respect, by the general destruction of the sacred books in the persecution under Dioclesian and Maximian, which created the demand for new copies; and by the prevalence of the Arian heresy, to which he is more than suspected of having been favourably inclined.