Imatges de pÓgina
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bearing of this and other readings, in which Griesbach's differs from the Received Text, makes the Authorized Version, quoad hoc, a creed, while it disclaims this character.

Secondly; To constitute the Parallelism, the Bible Society ought to be, "" The Trinitarian Society for promoting Christian Knowledge," avowedly publishing an " Improved Version of the Scriptures," &c. So long, then, as Churchmen abstain from proposing an Improved Version," and designate their societies by neutral names, they may be acquitted, “in foro conscientiæ," for retaining any corruptions which may happen to exist in the un-improved Translation. It is easy to conjecture that, on this principle, it will be long before the Church incurs the needless guilt of an “ Improved Version." Surely the frank avowal, by the words “Trinitarian Society," of a party purpose, would rather abate than augment the culpability of retaining a Trinitarian gloss; since the reader would have fair warning that the work was edited under Theological bias. And one of the most serious charges against “ the Improved Version" was precisely this : that its first edition was without party badge (the word Unitarian not appearing in the title) ; so that it might possibly deceive the unwary.

Thirdly; The parallelism is said to fail in extent; the peculiarities of the Improved Version being much more numerous, and sustained by less evidence, than the false readings of the Authorized Translation. I cannot concur in this remark, so far as it affects the evidence against 1 John v. 7. But I pass by this matter of opinion, to protest against the unjust exaggeration of a matter of fact, contained in Mr. Byrth's supposition of a Trinitarian counterpart to the Improved Version. He speaks of “a text corrected on the principles of " Theological criticism and conjecture :"-he knows that not one text is so corrected; that Griesbach's second edition is followed without variation ; that any proposed deviations from it are only typographically indicated, or suggested and defended in the notes. He speaks of the retention of "questionable passages," without “notice that their authenticity had ever been doubted ;” and the expunging of as many perplexing doctrinal texts as possible :~he knows that not one word of the most approved text is expunged, or of any less perfect text retained; and that notice is given of every deviation on the part of the Editors, in questions either of authenticity or of translation, from their standards, Griesbach and Newcome, and from the Received Text. Mr. Byrth is aware that his opponents in this controversy do not altogether admire the Improved Version ; but it is not fit that advantage should be taken of this to publish extravagant descriptions of it, in which the accuracy of the scholar, and even the justice of the Christian, are for the moment lost in the vehemence of the partizan

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It is desirable to add, that the Society which originally published the Improved Version, has long since been merged in the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. In this larger body three other societies (of which one, at least, surpassed in scale and influence the unfortunate object of our opponents' hostility) are consolidated; and its subscription list contains the names of those who previously supported any of the constituent elements of the Association. Hence it can, with no propriety, be called “ The Society instituted for the circulation" of the Improved Version. It cannot be alleged that a subscriber is bound to anything more than a general and preponderant approbation of the complex objects of the Association; nor does he, by retaining his name on the list of its supporters, forego his right of dissenting from particular modes of action which its Directors may adopt.

May I assure Mr. Byrth, that I did not intend to insinuate, that his strictures were produced " second-hand :” except in the sense that many of them had, in fact, been anticipated. I expressly guarded myself against any construction reflecting on the originality and literary honour of our opponents.

The remaining animadversions of Mr. Byrth, involving no public interest, and having merely personal reference to myself, I willingly pass by ; knowing that they can have no power but in their truth ; and in that case I should be sorry to weaken them.

ERRATA
In the Second Lecture, The Bible : what it is, and what it is not.

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Page 14, line 7 from the bottom, after 4th place insert with the Book of Acts.

19, line 6 from the top, for Gallilean read Galilean. 25, line 14 from the bottom, for reasons read reason. 32, line 8 from the top, for bold read bald. 43, line 8 from the bottom, for for read at. 45, line 14 from the bottom, for comment read comments. 49, line 13 from the bottom, before separated insert they. 49, line 5 from the bottom, for discussion read agitation. 49, line 4 from the bottom, for conducted read discussed. 51, note, last line, for 737 read 747. 56, line 9 from the top, for this heretic read these heretics. 57, line 4 from the bottom, for later read latter.

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GENERAL PREFACE.

In this Preface, and in all the other contents of this volume, we have occupied the position of an assailed párty, lending our best consideration to whatever a leagued body of resolute and unsparing adversaries could say against us. We have stood upon the defensive, not lamenting that such an occasion had occurred of exposing our views of Christianity to so severe a scrutiny, and of displaying to the world whether our position was tenable. We did not provoke this Controversy. It was of our opponents' choosing. They entered into combination, and arranged their method of attack, and invited the public attentively to look on while they performed upon us the work of destruction. With respectful attention, as men whose system of Christianity was about to be subjected to a powerful analysis by those who believed the main ingredients to be poisonous,—but with quiet hearts, as men who had no interest in this world but to discover Truth,—we have interfered no further than was necessary to make this examination, by carefulness, impar

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tiality, and accuracy, productive of a true result. We have struck out whatever was untrue, and we have supplied whatever was wanting, to exhibit a full statement of the respective Evidences of Unitarianism and of Trinitarianism. Lecture qualifies Lecture; and Preface corrects Preface. We are satisfied to have thus placed, side by side, the contrasted views of Man and God, and to await the issues.

To return upon the “ thirteen Clergymen of the Church of England” the words of their General Preface, (p. xi.) “ it is no uncommon practice in modern criticism to neglect the statements" of an opponent's case, as if they never had been made, and the corrections passed upon one's own as if they never had been experienced. It is the policy of the " thirteen Clergymen” to reiterate, nothing daunted, arguments, our careful replies to which are not even noticed, and misrepresentations whose injustice had solemnly been protested against. By these resolute repetitions some are seduced to believe, and attention is withdrawn from the overthrow of an error or a calumny by the hardihood with which it rises from its fall, and reasserts itself. Strike them down ;—they get up, and coolly offer themselves to be struck down again. Great ought to be the power of Truth; for great is the vitality and the power of effrontery in a popular error. It is only in the long combat of years and generations that the Real manifests at last its imperishable quality. The “ General Preface” quietly gathers us all the dispecta membraof

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