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witness of men. He that desires to see this text farther vindicated from the malice of Faustus Socinus, may consult Pool's Synopsis, and Dr. Hammond; and also Dr. Delany, in his sermons." See the "Catholic Doctrine of a Trinity," page 124. By examining that page, you will find references made by Mr. Jones, to the proper authorities.
In addition to what has been said, I would just observe, that of the two authors, who have been mentioned by Mr. Jones, Cyprian and Jerom, the first lived in the third, and the second in the fifth century. Their testimony, therefore, is of great weight, in respect to the authenticity of the text in question.
It may, perhaps, shake the authority of the text in the view of some, that Mr. Wardlaw has not made use of it, in his discourses on the Socinian controversy. To this I reply, that he has not pronounced it to be an interpolation. He has not, indeed, grounded any argument upon it, because it was not his design to rely on any passage, to which an objection might be offered with a plausible
We admit that it is the opinion of the learned Griesbach, that 1 John, 5. 7, is an insertion; and no doubt this has shaken many minds, in respect to its authenticity. But with all his critical talents, and laborious investigation, he is not above the possibility of being mistaken. Many great and good men differ from him on this subject. But, I shall proceed,
8. To offer more proofs of the authenticity of this text, taken from ancient and authentic documents. These will be selected from the works of the Rev. George Travis, A. M. a distinguished Episcopalian divine. He commences by mentioning the writings of certain ancient and learned individuals.' He says, "Laurentus Valla, an Ital
ian nobleman, of great erudition, was the first person who set himself to correct the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He lived in the fourteenth century, and by long continued exertions, he got into his hands seven Greek manuscripts. This passage of St. John was found in them all. In a commentary upon the Scriptures, by Nicholas De Lyra, this verse is found, accompanied by the learned author's annotations without expressing any suspicion of its authenticity.
In the thirteenth century, the commentary of St. Thomas appeared on this epistle, in which this verse is expounded without any insinuation of interpolation. In the same century, this text is found in the Rationale of divine offices, composed by the Bishops of Mende. In the twelfth century, Lombard, Bishop of Paris, expressly cites this verse, in the first book of his Sentences. It is quoted in the same century, by an eminent divine, in a treatise on the glorification of the Trinity. St. Bernard, in the eleventh century, insists on the verse, in several of his discourses. In, or about this age, Radulphus, Ardens, Huge Victorinus, with other authors, whose works have survived to the present time, referred to the text in question. The Glossa Ordinaria, was composed by a learned writer in the ninth century. In it, this verse is found, and commented upon with admirable force and perspicuity. The Greek manuscripts, which directed him to insert this verse in his text and commentary, must have been very ancient, not less than three or four hundred years old. It is thought that this famous commentary stands on the authority of Greek manuscripts more ancient than the Alexandrian manuscript, or any one now known in the world. Ambrose Ansbert, in the middle of the eighth century, wrote a comment upon the Apocalypse, in which this verse is applied, in explaining the 5th verse of the first chapter of the Rev
elation. Etherius, Bishop of Uxome, in contending against the heretical opinions of Elipondus, quotes this verse in St. John. In the middle of the sixth century, Cassiodorus, wrote a commentary on the epistles, and in his annotations on this chapter, uses these words:—“ In heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God." Fulgentius, an African Bishop of great celebrity, who lived in the beginning of the sixth century, cited this text as being a conclusive evidence against the tenets of Arius. A few years before Fulgentius, Vigilius another eminent Bishop, urges the testimony of this text against the Arian heresy.
"The famous Jerom, who lived in the biginning of the fourth century, in revising and settling the text, of the New Testament, solemnly declared, that he had adhered entirely to the Greek manuscripts; and in his Testament, this verse appears, without any doubt of its authenticity. He quoted it likewise, in his solemn confessions of faith.
"Augustine, a cotemporary of Jerom, in his writings, uses these expressions "the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one." About the same period of time, Marcus Celedensis, an African, in an exposition of the Christian faith, expresses himself thus: "To us there is one Father, and one Son, who is truly God, and one Holy Spirit, who is also truly God; and these three are one:”— the precise words of the verse in question. Phebadius was Bishop of Agen in Terence, in the fourth century. He cites this verse against the Arians. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, in 248, in a treatise, uses these words:—“It is written of the Father, the Son, and the Holy SpiritAnd these three are one." Tertullian, who is supposed to have been born about the time of St. John's death; or in the year 140, as some believe, in writing against one who denied a plurality of persons in the Godhead, alleges this
passage in St. John.-" which three are one"—a literal. quotation of the text in debate."
Thus, in the documents which have been produced, we have an account of no less than twenty-three authors, of great eminence, who lived from the second down to the fourteenth century, who all cited and referred to this disputed text. This, I think, is sufficient to satisfy the most doubtful mind..
But, to the evidence of individuals of such eminence, Mr. Travis, subjoins the testimony of councils, and other collective bodies of learned men.
He says, "The council of Lateran was held at Rome, under Innocent III. in 1215. Of all the assemblies, of this kind, the Christian world ever saw, this was the most numerous. It was composed of more than four hundred Bishops, with about eight hundred inferior clergy, and an equal number of deputies. The Greek Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem, were present. The chief purpose of convening this council, was, for the examination of certain opinions of a famous Italian divine, who was accused of Arianism. He was unanimously condemned by this august body, in whose public act, we find the verse now in question, set forth in these words:-"It is read in the canonical epistle of St. John, that, there are three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one."
"About the close of the eighth century, the Emperor Charlamagne, called together the learned of that ageinstructing them to revise the manuscripts of the Bible then in use. To effect this great purpose, he furnished these commissioners with every manuscript that could be procured in his extensive dominions. In their correctorium, the result of their united labors, the testimony of the three heavenly witnesses is read, without the smallest impeachment of its authenticity.
In the famous conference at Carthage, which has been already mentioned, the Orthodox in their own defence, left this protest,-"That it may appear more clear than the light, that the divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, is one, see it proved by the Evangelist St. John, who writes thus: "There are three who bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one."
This verse of St. John, is inserted in the ancient service-book of the Latin church; in the confession of faith of the Greek church, and in their liturgy. The ancient version of the New Testament, in the Armenian language, contains this verse. The most ancient of all the versions of the books of the New Testament, from the language in which they were originally written, is the Old Italic. This version was made in the first century, and, therefore, while St. John was yet alive; and was used by all the Latin churches in Europe, Asia, and Africa, for many centuries after his death.
"Thus, the origin of the verse in question, is, at length, carried up, not by inferences, or implications, alone, however fair and obvious, but by plain and positive evidence, to the age of St. John himself. For this most valuable, as well as most ancient version hath constantly exhibited the verse, 1 John, 5. 7, throughout the vast series of one thousand and four hundred years, which intervened between the days of Praxeas, and the age of Erasmus, not a single author whether Patripassian, Cerinthian, Ebionite, Arian, Macedonian, Sabellian, whether of the Greek or Latin, whether of the Eastern, or Western church— whether in Asia, Africa or Europe-hath ever taxed the various quotations of this verse-with interpolation or forgery. Such silence speaks, most emphatically speaks, in favor of the verse, now in dispute." See Travis's works, page 319 and 320.