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which seems to have vested him with a discretionary power of selecting chiefly those sacred Scriptures, which he knew to be useful and necessary to the doctrine of the Church, with the sacred text, as it is marked in the corrected edition lately put forth by M. Griesbach, we shall perhaps discover how far it is probable he acted to the full extent of his powers, and removed those parts of Scripture from thc circulated edition, which he judged to be neither conducive to use nor doctrine, and which are now marked as probable interpolations in the received text." p. 26. p. 8.
Were we to assume the accuracy of Mr. Nolan's translation of the letter to Eusebius, we should even then dispute the validity of his conclusions. But the correctness of his rendering is more than doubtful. Mr. Falconer properly inquires, whether there is any Greek term in the letter, which denotes an edition ; any thing which denotes the conveyance of the Imperial authority, or even the intimation of the Imperial pleasure, to do any thing more than to get fisty well-written copies of the Scriptures, of a convenient forın, for the service of the churches at Constantinople. And these inquiries be very satisfactorily determines in the negative. The correctness of the following criticism is we think indisputable.
• Let us examine however in what words and in what manner Con. stantine “invests” Eusebius with this power, according to Mr. Nolan's version of the instrument. " It seemeth good unto us to submit to “ your consideration, that you would order to be written.” From this translation it would seem, that Eusebius might consider whether he would order these copies to be made or not, and that it would depend upon the result of this deliberation, whether he would issue his orders for this purpose. The fact however is, that the words translated “ submit to your consideration,” do not convey this meaning. They are these, πρέπον γαρ κατεφάνη το δηλωσαι τη ση συνέσει. Similar phraseology is to be found in another letter of Constantine, addressed to se. veral bishops at Antioch. It is also used in another letter of Constantine, in which he commends Eusebius for refusing the overseership, or bishoprick, of the church at that place. “But your ou'veous acted very pro. perly in refusing the overseership of the church at Antioch," 'artin on σύνεσις υπέρευγε πεποιηκε, παραιτουμένη την επισκοπίας της κατα την Αντιόχειαν Exxancias. And again in another passage; “ at which council it will be “ necessary for your σύνεσις to be present ;” ών των συμβουλία και την ση TU YETTY TT Cupé svou dental. When Constantine addresses the bishops Theodotus, Theodorus, Narcissus, Ætius, Alpheius, and the other bishops at Antioch, he uses the same words; “ I have read what was written
by your Toy3 ; ; a virvay tá Ye3Qty Tà Taoà Tĩ Du Tods Tuvéơ:43. Lib. Moti ne iij. p. 619. Vit. Constant. ed. Reading. And in the close of the same
letter we have the words which Mr. N. translates, “ submit to your 6 consideration, xana; o uy is x: Snaw cat tý our ou úpwv; and in another
passage, “your cúbions will be able to regulate the election in such a | o manner, that...” Duyềơ:T2: tuay v cụy S4; ouTu couốcz1 19 x 212 2.
es, X. T. 2.
abstract good quality, a virtue, or excellent property, which it was usical to convert into an expression of compliment, or a title of respect. -'Hon ZYNFEIE, « your intelligence." " It seemed proper to signify to your intelligence that,” &c. This I conceive to be the proper ex. planation and force of the expression used by Constantine" pp. 5, 6.'
Mr. Nolan's translation is exceptionable in other particulars : “ for the purpose” has not any equivalent expression in the original, nor is it implied in the term fyxataprévobs. The copies of the Scriptures ordered by Constantine, were to be written on well preparecl parchment, εν διφθέραις εγκατασκευοις, by scribes who excelled in the art of beautiful writing, and who were celebrated for the accuracy of their transcripts ; and these particular copies were to be ' both easy to be read, and easily portable for I use,' They were for the use of the churches wbich Constantine had lately built at Constantinople, and were therefore to be prepared by the most excellent artists. Such, we agree with Mr. Falconer, was the purport of the directions conveyed to Eusebius in the Emperor's letter, and these directions, we suppose, were transmiited to the Bishop of Cæsarea, as one who well understood the mpner in wbich the required copies could best be provided for the accommodation of the churches. Such we take to be the sense of 'sy vóruota ona ģETIO XEUN' xad gnis xpñory to th's 'exxanoías aéyw 'avayxabay tives youu'txes, rendered by Mr. Nolan,
whereof chiefly, you know, the preparation and use to be ne'cessary to the doctrine of the church ;' but for which rendering Mr. Falconer proposes to read, 'necessary in consideration of, ! 'having regard to the pature and constitution of the church.' The doctrine of the church was, we think, entirely out of the question.
The construction which Mr. Nolan puts upon the letter of Constantine, it will have been noticed, is, that Eusebius was invested with the discretionary power of preparing such a text of the Sacred Scriptures, as he might judge most consonant to the doctrine of the church. But a writer must possess a strange faculty at drawing conclusions, who can deduce a position of this kind from the Imperial letter. All the directions,' Mr. Falconer justly remarks, 5 relate to externals, to the parchment, the • writing, the size, the immediate transmission of the copies, the i mode of their conveyance to Constantinople, and the person « who was entrusted with the care of them on the road.”
Mr. Nolan, on the supposed credit of the passage in Eusebius, which we bave already quoted, and which Mr. Falconer has clearly shewn to be erroneously translated, and altogether misconstrued by him, imputes to the bishop a daring and criminal proceeding : “ He removed those parts of Scripture wbich he ' judged to be neither conducive to use nor doctrine, and which • are now marked as probable interpolations in the received text.
• They amount principally to the following : The account of the
woman taken in adultery, Jobn vii. 52. viii. 11. and three texts, which assert in the strongest manner the mystery of the Tri• nity, of the Incarnation, and Redemption. I Johu v. 7. I Tim. 6 jï. 16. Acts xx. 28.' In this manner did Eusebius, according to Mr. Nolan, exercise the discretionary purer' with which he was vested, of selecting chiefly those sacred Scriptures, which he knew to be useful and necessary to the doctrine of the church. And how are we to digest this ? Could Eusebius, at Cæsarea, in the fourth ceptury, give out and obtain circulation for copies of the Scriptures which he had modelled according to his own will, and from which he had expunged whatever passages did not happen to please him? Had he previously obtained possession of all existent copies of the New Testament, and been successful in blotting out of the reinembrance of all Christians the recollection of the passages which he had presu:ved to cancel? , Were the preceding passages the only ones wbich a person who could obliterate them from the sacred text, would think of removing? And if Eusebius could perform an office of this kind, were there not other persons who had quite as good an inclination to the same work, and by whom other passages which they might not approve, may have been also expunged? If Eusebius could expunge to the extent of his wishes, be might also have inserted numerous passages, it being easy to conceive that a person who could do the former, had no reason to withhold him from the latter proceeding. Such consequences as these, all admissible on Mr. Nolan's assumption, should induce a strong hesitation in the mind of any writer, before he indulges himself in the amusing work of framing an bypothesis wholly irrespective of fact. What might be the will of Eusebius, we presume not to say, but we do think tbat the power of altering the Scriptures was completely out of his reach ; and we are quite certain that so far as the records of Ecclesiastical History are our guide to the knowledge of past transactions, which involve the wilful corruption of the Scriptures, there is not the shadow of authority to attach such culpability to the person whom Mr. Nolan has exbibited as a man guilty of this crime. The only fact, the fair, and simple account of the matter which relates to Eusebius, in regard of the question brought forward by Mr. Nolan, is, that he was directed by the Emperor Constantine, to provide fifty copies of the Scriptures, of elegant execution, for the churches which he had erected in his new inetropolis. This is the nature of the entire transaction. What possible ground could a writer of sobriety and caution find in the affair, on which to rest such positions as the following? • At the beginning of this century (the fourth)
an edition of the original Greek was published by Eusebius, of "Cæsarea, under the sanction of Constantine the great.' "The
• edition of the Scriptures dispersed and thus altered by hiin, was
peculiarly accommodated to the opinions of the Arians. "The « first edition of the Scriptures published with the royal authority.' · The peculiar alterations which the text has undergoue from " the hand of Eusebius.' 'Eusebius expunged these verses 6.(i. e.) Acts xx. 28. 1 Tim. iii. 16, 1 Jobn v. 7.) from his text, " and every manuscript from which they have disappeared is li( peally descended from his edition. This is hypothesis with a witness!
10. But“ now the charge is to be brought home to Eusebius," p. 35. The latter part of St. Mark's Gospel “ was wanting in most copies of “ the Evangelists extant, in the time of St Jerome, the beginning of " the fifth century " Eusebius composed a work called the Canons, a kind of harmonical tables, in which this part of St. Mark's Gospel, is omitted. Mr. Nolan's conclusion is, that " it must have been ex66 punged from the original text," and that “ there seems to be con6 sequently no other reasonable inference," but that “ his edition agreed « with them, and with the copies extant in the times of St Jerome, “ in omitting this passage,” p. 36. What Eusebius omitted in his canons is evident; what he erased in the fifty copies sent to Constanti. nople, and whether he erased any thing, is far from evident. The former was an innocent act, the latter would have been a gross fraud. But if these passages were erased from the fifty copies, it is clear by the hypothesis that the MSS. at Cæsraea contained them, and subse. quent copies would have defeated the intentions of the episcopal iinpostor. It is the argument of Mr. Nolan, that what Eusebius omitted in his canons, he expunged in the fitty copies of the Scriptures destined for the Constantinopolitan new churches. Will it exculpate the Bi. shop to call these fifty copies “ his edition" of the New Testament? We must remember that the original MSS. at Cæsarea were untouched, according to the hypothesis of Mr. N.' and not afterwards removed from the library, by the Emperor or the Bishop.' p. 10.
Eusebius's canons do not include the latter part of Mark's Gospel :—and what does that prove? Nothing less, according to Mr. Nolan, than that Eusebius expunged' the passage, in his edition of the New Testament! A most unwarrantable inference, truly. Does this omission admit of no other explanation than one wbich impeaches the honesty of the man? Would it not be sufficiently accounted for by the hesitation of Eusebius respecting the passage, which might be wanting in the MSS. that he used?
We thank Mr. Falconer for this interesting tract, which is written in a sober and scholar-like manner. Of its efficiency on the subject to which it relates, there can be but one opinion among those who, in such questions, form their judgement on the appropriate evidence by which alone they can be determined. We are glad to perceive in this tract, a particular examination of a subject to wlich, in our review of Dr. Laurence's pamphlet, we adverted, * and a confirmation of the sentiments which on that occasion we felt it to be our duty to express. Mr. Falconer is perfectly correct in the conclusion with which he terminates his criticisms.
• It must not be concealed, that I have condemned a part of a work which that able reasoner and theologian, Dr. Magee, the Dean of Cork, has commended. What is commended or censured has not al. ways been examined. But I venture to affirm, as that the broad and
“ deep foundation" of Mr. N.'s work, consists of materials which no E. architect, who was building for the honour of true religion, would 3 have employed.' p. 15.
Art. VI. A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of London,
at the Visitation in July and August, 1818: By William, Lord - Bishop of London. 8vo. pp. 32. 1818.
THREE years have elapsed since we had occasion to notice
1 bis Lordship’s Primary Charge, a charge distinguished, as we regretted to remark, by its purely secular character, and its tone of feeble-minded jealousy and alarm with respect to the Sectaries. The present production is but a reiteration of the same sentiments.
The Primary Charge opened with a panegyric somewhat fulho some upon Bishop Randolph; the present, in place of that, e commences with a panegyric upon bis Lordship’s clergy.
It is a pleasing reflection, that in reviewing the various transactions of so many years, I discover no personal ground of complaint against any of my clergy: it is a subject of higher congratulation, that I am enabled to regard with so much satisfaction the general complexion
of their professional conduct and attention to their sacred duties,' 1 " I may assert, with a justifiable confidence, that a body more truly
respectable, for learning or piety than the clergy of this diocese, and less in need of allowance for human infirmity and error, will not
easily be found.' to We can well imagine the secret amusement which this good
bumoured compliment afforded to some blushing subjects of bis Lordship's commendation, but the Bishop must be better acquainted with the individual characters of his clergy than we are, who know them only by common report.
No wonder that feeling this perfect satisfaction with the ministers of the diocese over which he has the singular felicity to preside, his Lordship should, in the succeeding paragraph,
proceed to declare his conviction that every measure which tends Besides to improve the condition, or increase the influence of the clergy,
* Eclectic Review, N.S. Vol. IV. July 1815. p. 9. Vol. X. N. S.