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The author ranges the fubjects of his reprehenfions under three heads. First, Miftakes. Secondly, Redundancies. Thirdly, Errors ariling from Spleen, Party-fpirit, or Prejudice.

The mistakes are indeed very inconfiderable, and the redundancies are fo pleafing, that by way of penance we would enjoin a repetition of the fault. The most prominent feature of party-fpirit, which the Letter-writer chaftifes, is a flight commendation of bishop Parker, viz. that he was a popular writer, certainly a man of learning, and afterwards a bishop. Of this extraordinary praife, the first and laft parts are allowed facts, and the critic has not advanced a fingle circumftance to invali date the fecond. The author feems to be angry that Parker was once mentioned without an anathema.

On the whole, this Letter is a very trifling one, and rather fhows a carping difcontented spirit, than a with to reform error or to fupply defects.


A Letter to the Author of Thoughts on Executive Justice. Small 8vo. 15. Debrett.


In this Letter, the ingenious and benevolent author examines the Thoughts on Executive Juftice' with fome attention. His chief argument arifes from the facts, that in thofe countries where the punishment has been certain and fevere, crimes have been more fanguinary; on this principle, that where no more cruel, punishment than death can be inflicted for very difproportioned crimes, the culprit will endeavour to fecure his detection, for the robbery, by the death of the perfon whom he has plundered. At the fame time he contends that, at the end of the war, in 1762, crimes were more numerous, and of a deeper die, than at prefent.Thefe are circumftanees which deferve attention; but we apprehend, that the fituation of the prefent criminals will not allow us to extend the analogy of other times, and different fituations. Robbery is now a fyftem in which proficients are gradually intructed, from picking pockets to robbing on the highway; from petty pilfering in a hop to houfebreaking and its violent confequences. It ought to be confidered, whether fuch dangerous combinations fhould not be broken by violence, fince the common methods have failed; and, in many refpects, the arguments of the author of the Thoughts' feem yet to have been unaffailed.


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Lucubrations by a Lady. 12mo. 15. 6d. Johnson.

This is the production of a ferious and contemplative young woman, who appears to have spent her leifure hours very laudably, in improving her mind, and cultivating the virtues of the heart. It confifts of thirteen Lucubrations, or fhort effays, on the following fubjects: Poverty, Nature, Knowledge, Laws, Society, a Future State, Virtue, Religion, the Paffions, the Miferics of Mankind, Fame, and the Being and Perfections of God.

The writer is the daughter of Dr. Harwood.


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Letters to Edward Gibbon, Efq. Author of the History of the Decline, and Fall, of the Roman Empire. By George Travis, A. M. 800. Second Edition. 55. Rivington.

THIS is a learned and elaborate defence of the celebrated paffage in 1 John v. 7: There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghoft; and these three are one.'

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It was occafioned by the following note in Mr. Gibbon's fecond volume of the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:

"The three witneffes (1 John v. 7.) have been established in our Greek Teftaments by the prudence of Erasmus; the honeft bigotry of the Complutenfian editors; the typographical fraud, or error, of Robert Stephens, in placing a crotchet; and the deliberate falfhood, or ftrange mifapprehension of Theodore Beza."

In the first Letter, our author endeavours to fhew, that this charge against the Complutenfian editors, Robert Stephens, and Beza, is not warranted by fact, and cannot be supported in argument.'

As to Erafmus, he fays, His conduct betrays, at leaft, great weakness. If he was really poffeffed of five ancient manufcripts, in which this verse had no place, and had thought it his duty to expel it accordingly from his two former editions [in 1,16, and 1519] he ought not to have reftored it in his third edition [in 1522] upon the authority of a fingle MS. only. Either he could not produce the five MSS. in which he had alleged the verfe to be omitted; or he had other authorities, much fuperior to the teftimony of a fingle MS. for replacing the verfe, which he was not, however, ingenuous enough to acknowledge.'

VOL. LX. Sept. 1785.



This, and what follows, feems to be too fevere a cenfure upon the conduct of Erafmus. We fee no great impropriety in giving way to the zeal of his opponents, on the authority of a fingle manufcript. The text was admitted; but it was admitted as a doubtful reading; and its authenticity was left to be determined by more manufcripts, and a farther investigation.

• Veruntamen, fays Erafmus, ne quid diffimulem, repertus eft apud Anglos Græcus codex unus, in quo habetur quod in vulgatis deest.-Ex hoc igitur codice Britannico repofuimus quod in noftris dicebatur deeffe, ne cui fit caufa calumniandi.

Surely the conduct of Erafmus, in this inftance, does not deferve to be called mean,' or 'grofsly difingenuous.'

Though we do not by any means join with Mr. Gibbon in the cenfure of Robert Stephens, yet it may not be improper to obferve, that he is not the first who supposed there was a mistake or misreprefentation with regard to this paffage, in Stephens's Greek Teftament.

F. Simon (who may be fuppofed, to have been well acquainted with the Greek MSS. in France) makes the following remark:


Since we are come to Greek manufcripts, it will not be amifs to make this obfervation, that there is an apparent fault in the printing of this place, in the fair Greek edition of the New Teftament of Robert Stephens; the femicircle or hook, that fhews how it fhould be read, is placed after T gav whereas it ought to be put immediately before y; infomuch that all thefe words εκ τῳ υρανῳ, ὁ Πατης, ὁ Λόγος, και το ἅγιον Πνεύμα" και ὗτοι οἱ τρεις ἓν εισι. Και τρεις εισιν οἱ μαρτυρώντες, were not in the feven copies that are quoted in the margin of this edition. Lucas Brugenfis has already made this conjecture; for he durft not avouch that this verfe is entire in all Robert Stephens's Greek manufcripts, without the words To g. Therefore having obferved this, he fubjoins, "Si tamen femicircalus, lectionis defignans terminum, fuo loco fit collocatus:"

provided the femicircle, which denotes the end of the reading, be inferted in its proper place." Indeed it is difficult to find Greek MSS. in which thefe words are expreffed. They are, not found in any of thofe of the king's library, that I have confulted."

In the fecond Letter our author proceeds to establish the authenticity of the verfe itfelf, by teftimonies of different kinds, all antecedent, in point of time, to the days of any of the editors here mentioned; by proofs, commencing with the age of Erafmus, and afcending from thence to that of the apoftles.


Thefe teftimonies are thofe of Laurentius Valla, Nicholas de Lyra, St. Thomas, Durandus, Lombard, Rupert, St. Bernard, Radulphus Ardens, Hugo Victorinus, Scotus, Walafrid Strabo, Anfbert, Etherius, Beatus, Caffiodorus, Fulgentius, [A. D. 508,] Vigilius Tapfenfis, [484,] Eucherius, [434,] Jerome, [378,] St. Austin, [396,] Marcus Celedenfis, [one of Jerom's correfpondents,] Phæbadius, [359], Cyprian, [248] Tertullian, [192.]

To the evidence, furnished by these writers, the author fub joins the testimony of councils, and other collective bodies of


With regard to the preceding teftimonies it may be faid, that the authority of writers, or even manufcripts, of a thoufand or thirteen hundred years antiquity, is fallacious; be. cause the verse in queftion, fuppofing it to be an interpolation, was most probably inferted in fome copies of St. John's Epiftle, in the fourth or fifth century, by fome orthodox zealot *. In treating of Jerome's teftimony, our author fays:

When the pious Jerome, who died A. D. 420, had completed that great work of correcting the Latin verfion of the Old, and fettling the text of the New Teflament, which he undertook at the requeft of pope Damafus, he clofed the arduous task with the folemn proteftation, that in revifing the New Teftament he had adhered entirely to the Greek 'MSS. "Novum Teftamentum Græcæ fidei reddidi." And in Jerome's Teftament, this verfe of St. John is read without any doubt of its authenticity.'

The learned author fuppofes that Jerome tranflated all the New Teftament. But how is this to be proved? Jerome indeed fays, Novum Teftamentum Græcæ fidei reddidi.' But it is moit probable, that Jerome's tranflation was not fo extenfive. Jerome wrote his Catalogue of Ecclefiaftical Writers, in which these words occur, in the year 392. Yet St. Austin, in a letter to him, which could not be written earlier than 395, after he was bishop of Hippo, returns him thanks for tranflating Evangelium ex Græco;' and Jerom in answer, ftyles his work, Novi Teftamenti emendatio †.' We, therefore, cannot conclude from the words Novum Teftamentum, or the correfponding Greek in Jerome's Catalogue, Kan Aabun, that he tranflated the apoftolical epiftles, or corrected the ancient Latin verfion of the whole New Testament.



But granting that he did, where thall we find this tranfla tion or emendation? Mr. Travis tells us, page 93, Jerome

* Arius was condemned in the Nicene Council, A. D. 325. Hieron. Oper. ii. 336. 334. edit. 1565,

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was the author of that tranflation of the Bible, which is now called the vulgar Latin or the Vulgate: in which translation this verfe has always had a place.'


Erafmus places this tranflation among the loft works of Jerome, and fays, Novum Teftamentum Græcæ fidei reddidit; qui labor, fi extaret, aut non fuiffet nobis eâdem in re laborandum, aut certè illius ftudio plurimùm fuiffemus adjuti.' And in his commentary on the words Evangelium ex Græco,' he fays: Hieronymus dicit fe caftigaffe magis fenfum quàm verba, quanquam nec illum habemus caftigationem.'



Poole, in the Preface to his Synopfis, fpeaks of the Vulgate in the following terms:


Vulgata Latina verfio, eadem ferè quæ Hieronymi, fed variè immutata atque interpolata, et decreto Romani pontificis firmata; quam alii miris laudibus extollunt; nec alii minùs vituperant; alii verò eam facrum texum modò optimè, modò etiam peffimè, plerumque verò mediocriter, reddere fentiunt.' p. iv.

It may be obferved, that neither Bellarmine nor F. Labbé, include a tranflation or caftigation of the New Teftament among the works of Jerome, What Cave fays upon this fubject, feems to be the real truth. Quicquid ex iis [libris] extat in Vulgatis Bibliis confervatur, cum antiquâ verfione Latinâ ex Græco facta, permixtum ac confufum; adeo ut quænam fint Hieronymi, quænam antiquæ verfionis, vix ac net vix dignofci queat "."

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If we likewife confider the various corruptions, which this Latin tranflation has undergone in later ages, we cannot by any means agree with our author in believing, that we have at prefent Jerome's verfion of the text in difpute.

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One of the most important teftimonies which the writings of Jerome afford, is the following paffage in a preface to the canonical Epiftles, which paffes under his name.

Eft prima earum una Jacobi, Petri duæ, Johannis tres, & Judæ una, Que fi, ut ab eis digeftæ funt, ita quoque ab interpretibus fideliter in Latinum verterentur eloquium, nec ambiguitatem legentibus facerent, nec fermonum fefe varietas impugnaret; illo præcipuè loco, ubi de Unitate Trinitatis in primâ Johannis epiftolâ pofitum legimus. In quâ etiam ab infidelibus tranflatoribus multùm erratum effe à fidei veritate comperimus; trium tantummodo vocabula, hoc eft, Aquæ, Sanguinis, & Spiritûs, in fuâ editione ponentibus; & Patris, Verbique ac Spiritûs teftimonium omittentibus, in quo maximè & fides catholica roboratur, et Patris, ac Filii, ac Spiritûs una divinitatis fubftantia comprobatur t.


* Cave, Hift. Literaria. Vide Apparat. Biblic. by F. Lamy, lib. ii. cap. ↑ Hieronymi Divina Bibliotheca per Martianay, edit. Par. 1693. p. 1607.


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