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have taken the liberty of directing his attention, had the opportunity been afforded us, to the brief considerations submitted to the theological reader, in our review of that able publication. We must also be allowed to express our surprise, that Mr. H. should have neglected to avail himself of Mr. Taylor's two admirable volumes, the “History of the Transmission of Ancient Books,” and, “ The Process of Historical Proof,” which contain so much to his purpose, bearing on the genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures.
In the second volume embracing the general heads of Scripture Criticism and Scripture interpretation, considerable additions are introduced. The second chapter, on the Critical History of the Sacred Text, contains some valuable new matter. It comprises, 1. a history of the Hebrew text; 2. a history of the Samaritan Pentateuch (which formed Sect. 2. of Chap. I. in the second edition); 3. a history of the text of the New Testament, and an account of the different theories of recensions; and 4. an account of the divisions and marks of distinction in the MSS. and printed editions. In the fifth and sixth editions of his work, Mr. Horne gave a brief account of the system of recensions adopted by Scholz; but he has now (at pp. 58–65) presented to the English student a faithful abstract of the learned Critic's matured conclusions. It appears that Dr. Scholz has, in fact, proposed two systems of recensions. The first, which was the result of his examination of forty-eight MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris, was developed in his “ Cure Criticæ,” &c. published at Heidelburg in 1820. According to this his first theory, there are vestiges of five distinct families of codices; viz. two Egyptian, one of which corresponds to the Alexandrian recension of Griesbach, and the other to his Occidental recension; and two Asiatic, one corresponding to the special Asiatic instruments of Griesbach, and the other to the Byzantine recension. To these, Dr. Scholz added a fifth, which he denominated the Cyprian, because it contained the text exhibited in the Codex Cyprius, a MS. of the eighth century brought from the Island of Cyprus. More extensive and laborious researches, unremittingly prosecuted during ten years, have induced Professor Scholz to abandon this theory of five distinct families, and to adopt the conclusion, that the extant codices and editions may be reduced to two great classes.
* To the first of these classes belong all the editions and those numerous manuscripts which were written within the limits of the patriarchate of Constantinople; that is, in Asia or in the eastern parts of Europe, and which were destined for liturgical use. The second class comprises certain manuscripts written in Egypt and the western part of Europe. Transcribed, unquestionably, from copies which were valuable on account of their age and beauty, they were intended only to preserve the contents of those copies ; but, as they presented a different text from that which was generally received, they could not be employed in divine service: hence they were for the most part negligently written, with an incorrect orthography, and on leaves of vellum of different sizes and qualities. To this class, Professor Scholz gives the appellation of Alexandrine, because its text originated at Alexandria: it is followed by several Latin and Coptic versions, by the Ethiopic version, and by the ecclesiastical writers who lived in Égypt and in the west of Europe. The other class he terms the Constantinopolilan, because its text was written within the precincts of the patriarchate of Constantinople: to this class Dr. Scholz refers the Syriac versions (Peschito and Philoxenian), the Gothic, Georgian, and Sclavonic versions, and the quotations from the New Testament which occur in the works of the ecclesiastical writers, who flourished in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and the eastern part of Europe, especially Greece and Constantinople. There are, moreover, extant other manuscripts, which belong sometimes to one class, and sometimes to the other, and which also exhibit some peculiar varieties ; but, after repeated examinations of them, he is of opinion that they do not possess sufficient characters to constitute them distinct classes. The conclusion to which Dr. Scholz has arrived, is, that the Constantinopolitan text is almost always faithful to the text now actually received, while the Alexandrine text varies from it in innumerable instances; and this conclusion he founds, not only upon the actual collation of six hundred and seventy-four manuscripts, but also upon an induction of historical particulars, of which the following is an abstract.
• The separation of the MSS. of the New Testament into two classes, in the manner just stated, (Dr. Scholz argues,) is so conformable to the real state of the text, that it is secure from every
attack : there would, indeed, be very little ground for the objection, in order to combat this classification, that the text of the greatest number of manuscripts is not yet known, and consequently uncertain. This objection can only be repelled à posteriori. For this purpose, after having determined the text of a great number of manuscripts by actually collating a few chapters, Dr. Scholz proceeded to collate them nearly at length. When, therefore, eighty manuscripts exhibited, almost constantly, the same additions, the same omissions, and the same various readings, with the exception of a fev ious mistakes of the transcribers and some unimportant modifications ;-when, further, after taking here and there fifteen or twenty chapters, he uniformly found in three or four hundred other manuscripts the same various readings as in the first eighty ;-he considered himself authorized to conclude, that the remainder of the uncollated manuscripts would present the same results as in these fifteen or twenty chapters; and that like results would be presented by all the manuscripts written in the same place and under the same circumstances as these four hundred manuscripts were written: that is to say, that all the manuscripts which were written within the patriarchate of Constantinople, and were destined to be used in divine service, followed the text of the Constantinopolitan class.
• It is by no means surprising that this classification should be thus clearly connected with ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The history of the propagation of Christianity shows us with what strictness, especially within the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople, missionaries enjoined on their converts the minutest rites of the principal church, and also to what warm disputes the least deviation from them gave rise. These discussions always terminated in reducing them to the most entire conformity with the metropolis.
• Further, from the fifth to the middle of the fifteenth century, a greater number of copies of the sacred books was made at Constantinople than in all the rest of the patriarchate. Transcribed and collated in the same convents under the eyes of the superiors, then sold and resold by the monks and priests to distant churches, all these copies presented the same text, as well as the same characters and the saine menologies, (or calendars of Greek saints for every day in the month throughout the year,) in all the provinces which were subject to the influence of the metropolitan church, of its literature, booksellers, and monks.
• When Islamism was diffused from India to the Atlantic Ocean ; when thousands of Christians were imprisoned, driven to apostasy, or sold as slaves;—when the flames had devoured a prodigious number of Greek manuscripts ;-when the use of the Greek language was interdicted and the capital of Greek literature was overthrown,-THEN the influence of Constantinople extended, without a rival, over almost every thing that remained to the Christians who spoke Greek. The text of the Constantinopolitan church, and the manuscripts which contained it, were generally adopted. The text of the other class, on the contrary, which had till then been used for divine service within the limits of the patriarchate of Alexandria, and the manuscripts belonging to that class, disappeared almost entirely. The copyists ceased to transcribe them: the most ancient and valuable perished; and their text was preserved only in a few libraries, or by a few lovers of literature, as curiosities, or as venerable relics of ancient and lost documents.
Although the Alexandrine text is sometimes found in liturgical books or in lectionaries, Dr. Scholz cannot believe that the manuscripts, which contained it, were ever destined for divine service : they have, in fact, been written with so much haste and incorrectness, that such could never have been their destination. The manuscripts of both families ordinarily have few corrections and no various readings in the margins : every thing, on the contrary, indicates that they are not exact copies of ancient exemplars.
· That so few very ancient manuscripts of the Constantinopolitan text are now extant, is a circumstance which ought not to excite surprise. They must necessarily have been worn out, and have perished, in consequence of the daily use made of them for divine service. In the fourth century the text may be regarded as equally fixed with the canon of the New Testament; after which time the veneration of believers for the sacred books would not allow the introduction of any change. Before that period, therefore, the alterations must have taken place, which
gave rise to the division of manuscripts into two classes. Since that period manuscripts have been collated and even corrected, but never arbitrarily and always after ancient documents; besides, the corrections so made were of little importance, and had only a limited influence. Although different manuscripts may be of the same country, it does not necessarily result that their text exhibits an absolute identity, but only a general conformity in the greatest number of cases.
• What then, it may be asked, was the origin of the Constantinopolitan text ? Dr. Scholz is of opinion that it was the original text, nearly in all its purity, and derived directly from autographs. This he regards as certain as any critical fact can be : history leads us to admit it; external evidence confirms it ; and it is completely demonstrated by internal proofs.
• The greater part of the writings of the New Testament were destined for the churches in Greece and in Asia Minor, where the idea of forming a collection of them would originate, as is evident from Saint John's approbation of the collection of the first three Gospels. These writings were, from the beginning, read in the religious assemblies of the Christians; and when the originals were worn out or lost by use or by the calamities which befel many of the churches, apographs or correct transcripts from them were preserved in private libraries as well as in the libraries attached to the churches. These holy writings were further multiplied by numerous copyists for the use of private individuals. In transcribing the text, the Constantinopolitan scribes certainly did not imitate the audacity of the grammarians of Alexandria: this would be in the highest degree improbable, if the question related to profane authors; but it becomes utterly incredible as it regards the New Testament. On the contrary, these writings were cherished with increasing religious veneration. The long series of venerable bishops who presided over the numerous churches in Asia, the Archipelago, and in Greece, transmitted to the faithful the instructions which they had received from the apostles. Far from altering in any degree that sacred deposit, they laboured with pious vigilance to preserve it pure and unmutilated. In this state they left it to their successors and to new churches ; and, with the exception of a few errors of the copyists, the text remained. without alteration until the reigns of Constantine and of Constans. At that time, however, some Alexandrine MSS. were dispersed at Constantinople, whence alterations were introduced in many Byzantine manuscripts. This circumstance accounts for a tendency in the Constantinopolitan family to approximate nearer to the Alexandrine text than we should otherwise expect.
Let us now examine the complaints of the ancients relative to the alterations made in the text of all literary productions, generally, and particularly in the text of the New Testament. These complaints have no relation to those countries in which Christianity existed during the first three centuries with the greatest purity. The fathers who lived and wrote in those countries, did not participate in these accusations. If they did not bring to the study of the New Testament the critical acumen of Origen, the greater part of them were not destitute of a truly classical education; and such important diversities
of readings, as are sometimes discernible in the Egyptian or Alexandrine copies, could not have escaped them. Consequently, they were unknown to them; and the manuscripts which were made use of for public worship must have been transcribed with sufficient exactness, so as to give no cause for discontent.
• We have extant critical documents, some of which were written in Palestine, and others in Syria, which agree with those of Greece and Asia Minor, even in readings that are utterly insignificant. This is the case with six Palestine manuscripts (and particularly with the Codex Regius Parisiensis 53) which were copied in a convent at Jerusalem after very ancient manuscripts. Consequently, they make known to us the text of that country for a long period of time. The text of these six exemplars is not absolutely identical, which circumstance still further corroborates the argument, and shows that they faithfully represent to us the ancient witnesses for the text of the New Testament.
: We do not here appeal to the testimony of Justin Martyr, as he frequently cites from memory or alludes to apocryphal gospels: but the writers of Palestine, who are less ancient than he was, exactly follow a text conformable to that of Constantinople. In Syria, besides some Greek manuscripts already referred to, and which appear to have been written in that country, we find the Peschito and the Philoxenian Syriac versions ; the first executed in the third, and the second in the sixth century: both these versions follow the Constantinopolitan text; no doubt therefore can now remain on this subject. The text which prevailed in Asia and in Greece during the first ages of Christianity also prevailed in Syria. It is the same text which somewhat later prevailed at Constantinople, whence it was diffused throughout the eastern empire, and which has been preserved to us with a greater degree of purity than any other text, and without any important alterations. From all these facts and arguments Dr. Scholz concludes, that the Constantinopolitan text, as it is actually found either in manuscripts, or in the Evangelisteria, Lectionaria, and other ascetic books, must be regarded as the purest text; especially as it is that which has in every age received the sanction of the church, and has always been employed in divine service.
• There exists no difference between the manuscripts of the Alexandrine family and those of what may be called the Occidental or Western Family. Both, in Dr. Scholz's judgement, form but one class: they vary, however, from each other in so many instances, that, if we do not confine ourselves to one single family, and to its general character, we must institute as many classes as there are manuscripts. Instead, therefore, of dividing the Egyptian documents into two classes as he had formerly done, on the authority of the distinguished critics who had preceded him, Dr. Scholz now re-unites them together under the name of the Alexandrine Family, because they exhibit the corrupted text of Alexandria, whence they have originally issued.
· Egypt, then, is the country whence the alterations of the text of the New Testament principally originated. They commenced in the very first century. This is demonstrated by the most ancient monuments of the text; for instance, the Codices Vaticanus, Alexandrinus,