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fended: but this Prologue is falsely ascribed to Jerome, ng Martianay has very clearly shewn, and as Bengel, with his usual candour, has admitted." Marsh's Mich. vol. iv. p. 426. Martianay and Bengelius were both strenuous defenders of the disputed passage.
6. Eucherius was bishop of Lyons about 440. In some of the editions of his works, and in two MSS. of the fourteenth century, the disputed passage is found: but, in older MSS. and better editions, it is absent. There is also ample evidence, in the other writings of Eucherius, that the was totally ignorant of its existence. That evidence is too long for us to insert. It may be found in Griesb. Nov. Test. in loc. and, in our opinion, it is impossible for any unprejudiced man to understand it, and not be convinced. The same might most justly be said of Mr. Porson's discus sion in his with Letter, which Mr. J. Pharez has thought fit to attack with his monstrously ignorant abuse!
7. Victor Vitensis a contemporary writer, relates that a Confession of Faith was presented to Hunneric, the Arian king of the Vandals, by nearly four hundred African bit shops, of the orthodox persuasion, whom he cruelly persecu ted. The confession is extant in Victor, and it clearly recites the disputed passage; nor is any objection of the Arians mentioned. Were the whole of this fully admitted, all that could be inferred from it would be, that in Africa, about A. D. 476, the passage had been intruded into some of the Latin copies. Now we believe that, about this time,the.passage did begin to make its appearance; transplanted from the modest post of a marginal annotation, (conveying the favour ite interpretation of v. 8. which we have mentioned,) to a place in the body of the text. But there are some little circumstances to embarrass the story itself. This part of it Tests upon the sole authority of Victor, a credulous writer, who has stuffed his relation with prodigies and miracles. If the passage was really cited in the genuine Confession, is Victor's silence a proof that it passed without contradiction from the opponents? Or of what value was the acquiescence of the Vandals?"Neally the same," says Michaelis, "as an appeal to the testimony of a Russian corporat, con a question of biblical criticism. Or, in fine, is there no rea -sonable probability in the conjecture, that this Confession has been repaired and beautified by Victor, by Vigilius Tapsenais, or by zealous copyists in following generations?
But, to finish our tedious lucubration, we will again borrow few lines from Michaelis. With respect to the testimony of Phoebadius, Marius Victorinus Afer, Vigilius Tapsensis, and other still later Latin writers, which are produced
by Bengel as evidence for 1 John v. 7. their evidence is of no value whatsoever. For, even if no objection could be made to it, and it were absolutely certain that all these late Latin writers quoted 1 John v. 7. the only inference to be drawn would be this, that from the time of the fourth [fifth] century, the passage stood in several copies of the Latin version. But will any man therefore conclude that it was not an interpolation in those copies, when Augustine, a Latin bishop of the fourth century, and Facundus, another Latin bishop who lived so late as the sixth century, were either so ignorant of it, or so persuaded of its spuriousness, that they were reduced to the necessity of prov ing the doctrine of the Trinity by a mystical interpretation of the eighth verse? It is really immaterial, whether the passage was interpolated into the Latin version, in the fourth, or in a la ter, century; for an interpolation it certainly is ?" Vol. iv. p.425.
We now intreat our serious and impartial readers to review the grounds of evidence over which we have travelled, and to consider whether we have not abundant reason for rejecting the controverted passage, as an unwarrantable and dacious intruder into the word of truth.
The pamphlet which has led us to this discussion, must be allowed to be an extraordinary production. A Greek motto in the title page is so happily managed, as to suggest shrewd proof that the writer cannot construe a line of that language. Grossly destitute of literature and the very lowest principles of critical science, he assaults the greatest critic in Europe, and sings aloud his self-complacent triumph. Actually ignorant what words are deemed spurious, and what are held to be genuine, and equally ignorant on the nature of the evidence and the minor points of the case, he blunders through page after page with the most comfortable fatuity. He truly deserves our pity: but as to feeling angry with him, it is quite impossible.
To relieve our weariness, this gentleman has presented us with a little story about two doughty Cheapside disputants, p. 135. But as it wants the end, we cannot find in our hearts to withhold the materials with which he may finish it. Be it, therefore, known to our redoubtable antagonist, that in all the editions of Luther's German translation printed in his life-time, he refused to admit the celebrated passage. It was first interpolated, near thirty years after his death, in the Franefort edition of 1574.
He has frequent recourse to the dishonourable artifice, of imputing a denial of the authenticity of the passage, to an avowed or secret enmity to the doctrine which that passage
has been so anworthily adduced to support. With the con sciousness of integrity, we repel his false and insolent insinuations. On the authority of the pure and unadulterated word of God, we believe the Self-Existent and Eternal Deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One Jehovah and we hold ourselves to be the best friends of divine truth, in rigidly rejecting every false, absurd, and invalid argument, which ignorant or injudicious advocates have brought forward. We solemnly retort the charge on those, who dare to pollute with human corruptions the pure streams of the water of life. One perjured witness will bring deep discredit, and lasting injury, on any cause, however good,
We also protest against the shameful and insulting man ner, in which this puny scribbler has dared to treat the memory of the late. Cambridge Professor of Greek. The moral and religious defects of that illustrious scholar, we lament more sincerely than any of his detractors: and with sorrow we look back to his example, as a melancholy lesson, on the danger of splendid talents without the protection of early, vigorous, and permanent piety. But so long as profound and elegant learning, rare and exquisite felicity in criticism, and unimpeachable integrity, are held in esteem among mortals, so long will the name of Richard Porson be remembered with reverence and affection.
Art. VIII, The Mother; a Poem, in five Books, by Mrs. West, Author of "Letters to a Young Man," &c. fcp. 8vo. pp. 242. price 78. Longman and Co. 1809.
F all earthly affections a mother's love to her offspring is the dearest and most delightful: it is at once the most exalted and condescending; and though a philosopher may pretend to consider it as only a refined and exquisite selfishness, he cannot deny it to be, in a popular sense, the most pure and disinterested. Other attachments are excited between parties congenial in soul, and comparatively equal in situation, who reciprocally receive and communicate happiness. But in the earliest stage of infancy, when the mother' love to her child is most intense and active, there is no imaginable equality of condition between them,-the former alone has the power of conferring, the latter has only the capacity of accepting benefits: nor any congeniality of spirit, the one resolutely, painfully, and perseveringly sacrificing comfort, and quiet, and health, and strength, to soothe the suffering, to appease the fretfulness, to promote the pleasure of the other; while the latter, sensible only of its own wants, alive only to its own enjoyments, seeks
nothing but self-gratification, regardless of the anxiety that watches over its welfare, and the foresight that provides for its necessities, while as yet it exists but in animal life from moment to moment, unmindful of the past, unaware of the future. The mother's love, thus gratuitously and constantly bestowed without return or reward, except the bliss of beholding the prosperity of its object, in this respect most nearly resembles the love of God to his creatures, where all the beneficence is on the one side, and all the obligation on the other. Indeed, as in the order of providence man comes into the world helpless and ready to perish from the instant of his birth, it is indispensably necessary, and therefore mercifully ordained, that on the threshold of being he should be found of a friend, willing and eager to give up every personal indulgence to administer to his accommodation alone. That friend is the mother; and her love, thus awakened by ineffable sympathy, and prompted by irresistible impulse, may truly be called the love of God himself, thus mysteriously providing for his progeny in their feeblest estate, for "we also are his offspring." When, therefore, we see an affectionate mother thus caring for her infant, we think of her as only fulfilling the precept of the great Parent of the universe, who giveth the fruit of the womb, and saith to the parent, at the birth, as Pharaoh's daughter said to the mother of Moses,--" Take this child and nurse it for me!" What follows is equally applicable; "And I will give thee wages:" for sweet are the rewards of a mother, when the little nurseling of her tenderness begins to fess it with looks of delight, and repay it with innocent caresses. Then, indeed, the weakness of human passion blends with the heroism of self-sacrifice; and thenceforward, through every gradation of growth and intelligence in the infant, the mother's love more and more assimilates itself to other attachments, and depends for its degree of fervency upon the reception it obtains; yet, under all changes and circumstances, (where it is not wholly extinguished in a depraved heart,) it preserves a purity, steadiness, and elevation, peculiarly its own. Assuredly we do not mean to disparage the father's feelings; they are precisely suited to the duties which he has to perform, and which we are not called upon to discriminate here. But it is certain, that the softer affections of children, in an amiable family, are generally more tenderly engaged towards the gentler parent; while veneration mingled with awe, chastises their fondness for him, who is at once the father and the master of his family.
Our readers will naturally imagine that we consider the Mother as a subject affording the most ample scope før sim
ple and pathetic poetry. A good mother, surrounded by her happy children, presents the most beautiful groupe which the eye can behold, or the heart contemplate; and offers tq the pencil of the painter, or the pen of the poet, a picture of loveliness and felicity unequalled out of heaven. In the present instance, were the poet equal to the theme, not only would
Mothers surely love a Mother's strain,”
but every one that has been born of woman, and drawn the milk of human kindness from the breast of affection, would be warmed and delighted with the song.
Of Mrs. West's familiarity with her subject, as an amiable and experienced parent, we cannot doubt; her qualifications to treat it poetically are not equal in degree, though unquestionably of sufficient power to give both grace and energy to the best parts of her manifold theme. The principal fault we find with her work is, that it is too long consists of four thousand lines, which would be four times as good if they were compressed into one fourth of that compass; and this might be done without much difficulty, by abridging many of the descriptions, pruning the general luxuriance of unimpressive language, and by omitting all the superfluous invective and declamation on political topics, which serve no purpose but to display the fair writer's pa triotism, at the expence of her poetical credit; for politics in verse are as outlandish and dissonant, as the horrid vibrations of a gong would be in a concert of violins and Autes. We are aware that with many poets it is easier to write ten indifferent lines than to retrench one; and Mrs. West com poses with great facility, and says all she has to say on every thing that comes before her. This is highly injudicious in any author, but eminently so in a poet, who ought not to say all of every thing, but the best of the best things which the subject presents. We are not, however, disposed to be censorious on this occasion; especially as we have little room left, and are not permitted to enter minutely into the diversified matter of the volume before us. It is in blank verse, and on the whole is fluently and pleasingly executed; the harsh passages and untuneable lines which occur, seem more the consequence of inattention, than a deficiency of ear or of taste. It is in describing characters, and in pathetic narrative, that Mrs. W. succeeds the best; the didactic parts of her work are the feeblest and the dullest. Her advice, it is true, is very good, and that is the very best that can be said of it. But it is in her similes and illustrations that Mrs. West discovers an exuberance of fancy, and an ingenuity