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Ximenes, and accordingly I find it inserted, in the Latin vulgate, published at Paris, by the widow of Thielman Kerver, fo early as the year 1526, which is also in my poffeffion.
If interpolations in the sacred Writings, were not productive of consequences too alarming and serious to admit treating them as subjects of ridicule, it would be diverting to trace the gradual progress of an interpolation, from its first rise, through its intermediate state, to its final establishment. “ Nemo repente fuit turpissimus," says the Roman historian, Sallust. Thus the interpolator arrives at consummate impudence, not tout-à-coup, or instantaneoully, but pedentetim, or by gradation. His forgery makes its first appearance, with timidity, under the specious disguise of a marginal reading, or, in the rabbinical phrase, a p Keri, afterwards, bolder grown, it obtrudes itself on the text, but in the modeft form of a diminutive parenthesis ; till at length, casting off all fear and sense of shame, it lays aside this nice distinction, with superlative audaciousness invades, and destroys the context, and usurps the right of being
regarded as equally authentic with it, thus completely constituting itself a portion of Scripture, or, Hebraice a zına Cetib.
It is said, that we are indebted to the aforesaid worthy Cardinal for another interpolation, in the aforesaid Epistle, viz. I John, iii. 16. Even the printed Greek of this passage, in every edition to the present day runs thus, 'Er tetõ eywxcepey onu ayann, ött szADOS ineg muw onu fuxnn axts Onxe i and, agreeably hereto, in the old English translation, these words are rendered, “ hereby perceive we love, that he gave his life for us;' but in the Latin vuigate we read, 'in hoc cognovimus charitatem Dei, quoniam ille animam suam pro nobis posuit; and in our present, and only publicly authorized version, we read, 'hereby perceive we thelove of God, because he laid down his life for us.' Thus, withoạt any authority from the Greek, and, perhaps, by the same human, authority, is obtruded upon the Christian world, the word Dei, and the corresponding expression of God is inserted in our English translation, thereby to infinuate that Christ is God, or the supreme Being, and that God, or the supreme Being, who is
impassible, suffered in the flesh for man; fie, fie, how long must Popish forgeries be suffered to disgrace a Protestant version of the Christian Scriptures !
To these cursory remarks on interpolations I shall subjoin this obvious truth, that an interpretation ought not to be affixt to any one passage of the New Testament, relating to the person or essence of Christ, which is not perfectly coherent with the prophecies, which went before, con. cerning him.' If a man should once argue that such a doctrinal point respecting his essence may be true, notwithstanding the filence of the prophets on the subject, there can be no end to fanciful and chimerical human inventions in this matter. St. Paul lays so great a stress on your ancient prophetic descriptions) of the person, character, and office of your Meffiah, that in the 17th chapter of the Acts of the Apstoles, he commends thepeople of Beræa, for • searching the Scriptures' (the prophecies of the Old Testament) daily, whether those things were fo;' whether the “ Jesus crucified and risen again, whom he preached unto them, was the Christ' foretold by Mo
fes and the prophets, and corresponded to the representation of him given by them. But, when modern Christians, after the example of the ancient Christian Platonists, once forsake the dictates of common sense, and : the sure word of prophecy,' which exactly çorrefpond, they incur the groffest metaphysical errors, supplant the word of God,
by the words of man's wisdom,' and amuse, or oftner vex, themselves and others with the most monstrous folly and absurdity, in their sentiments; while in their practise, are too frequently displayed, the most bitter anathemas against, and virulent persecution, . of each other, according as the favorers of . this or that nonfenfical opinion are reputed orthodox, by the civil magistrate, and armed with power by him, for the execution of their diobolical purposes. How much more profitably would their time and pains be employed, if they would rationally labour the point of your conversion, by establishing, on the solid foundation of a perfect harmony, between your Moses and their Evangelists, the strict literal manhood of Jesus, begotten by a man on the body of a woman. Moses says, “God Thall raise up unto you of your brethren, a prophet like
unto me ;' and the evangelist John declares, • I have found him, of whom Moses and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. These two passages breathe the same language. The expression of your brethren, in the first, implies, in general terms, that the prophet, the Messiah, should be the son of a man; and the latter in particular, informs us in the expression, the fon of Joseph,' that Joseph was his father.
Now this strict literal manhood of Jesus, which alone can intitle him, or any man, to the denomination of a man, since the creation of Adam, is confirmed by innumerable passages of genuine Christian Scripture. I shall, for your satisfaction, cite two, which most readily occur to my memory, viz. •The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head, and, “The Son of Man is not come to destroy mens lives, but to save them.' Again, as being the Son of Man, he is repeatedly stiled a man ; There is one mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus,” God shall judge the world by that Man, whom he hath ordained ,' Jesus, a Man approved of God, among you, by wonders and signs;' «Never