« PreviousContinue »
Text of the First Epistle
Chap. v. V:7.
Demonstrated by Proofs which are beyond
By DAVID MARTI N, Rector of
the French Church at Utrecht. Author of
Transated from the French.
HO' I engage a third time uron the subject of this famous Text' in St. Fohn's Epistle, There are three in Hea
ven which bear record, the Father, the
| Word, and the Holy Ghost, and the e three are one; it is not to continue the defence of it against Mr. Emlyn. There would be no end in removing the mistakes he commits in this matter, and I am naturally an enemy to ftrife and debates. I have always been of opinion, that when a truth is sufficiently clear’d up, all that is added thereto by reiterated disputes, rather carries it off from its true point of light, than is capable of fising the mind upon it. Questions are multiply'd, new difficulties are started that are foreign to the principal subject, personal interests are insensibly mix'd with it, and in this confusion the Reader's mind, divided betwixe so many different matters,
gives gives but an imperfect attention to the subject upon which it should be wholly employ'd. · Mr. Emlyn has lately publish'd a Piece, under the name of a Reply to the Examination I had made of his Answer, by which he had pretended to confute my Differtation upon the paslage of St. Johns, but as he has but slightly run over some passages, and not touch'd upon divers others wbich carry demonstration and conviction along with 'em, I shall have no need to return frequently to him, and if this was all I had to do, I might have dispens'd with writing again upon the same subject. The only thing which could have engag'd me in it, would have been to defend my innocence in the quotation I had made of a Manuscript of Berlin, upon occasion of which 'Mr. Emlyn has thought fit to triumpb; but one or two Sheets inserted in. fome one of the Critical Journals would have fuffic'd for this, and all the rest of his Piece.. ,,Mr. Emlyn therefore and his Reply will be here but incidentally spoke of, and according as the matters I shall have to treat of will require : the principal design of this Work does not turn upon. that; and the purpose of it is of more concern to Christians, who owning no other foundation of their Faith than the sacred Scripture, cannot but with singular edification fee a Text, in which the mystery of the Trinity is evidently caught, defend-' ed against those, who thro' the malignant force of prejudice, or an express hatred to this sacred myitery, endeavour to take from it this Aposto lick passage, and deny it to be St. John's.
I had prov'd the genuineness of it by the most i solid arguments, that can be urg'd for a fact of
this nature; and these proofs are to numerous, and of so many different kinds, that 'tis impossible not to be convinc'd by 'em, unless an obstinate
resolution form'd of ser purpose against this sacred Text, shuts mens eyes to Reason it self. I have produc'd the testimony of the Latin Church from the second Age up to the last ; the testimony of the Greek Church; and lastly, the Greek Manuscripts of St. John's Epiftle, in the first of all the Editions which were made of the New Testament in Greek, in which Cardinal Ximenes employ'd several learned Men, and which was printed at Complutum from excellent Manuscripts in Í 13. After this famous Edicion comes that of Erasmus in 1922. in which this learned Critick and Divine, inserts this passage of St. John in the manner it lay in a Manuscript found in England. These two ancient Editions were follow'd by those of Robert Stephens, who in the year 1546. and 1549. publish'd the Greek New Testament with this Text, agreeably to several Manuscripts which he had from the Library of King Francis the First, and some other Libraries of that time.
Divers attempts have been made to enervate the force of this proof; I have given 'em in my two former Treatises; and have thew'd the weakness of them. But a F. le Long, of the Oratory, has lately taken a new method of opposing the Editions of Robert Stephens ; namely, by producing the Manuscripts he thinks to have been those of this learned Printer, in which the passage of St John is not found. I have shewn that this Father, as learned as he is, has been too credulous in taking the Manuscript he produces from the King's Library for those of Stephens's; and I prove invincibly from the Manuscripts themselves, that
a F. le Long's Letter dated April 12. 1720. and inserted in the Journal des Savans in June.