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impartial should, if possible, be inade out. But in order to do this

, one must conform the whole process of bis efforts to find what the true text is, to the simple and in partial rules of criticism. These have been established, so far as they may be considered as settled, on grounds independent of any particular theological bias or opinion. They are rules w bich apply to the investigation of all books alike, whether sacred or profane.

One remark more I may add, before I make the application of these principles to the case before us. This is, that questions of lower criticism, i. e. questions which simply respect the state of the text, have, and can have, with few exceptions indeed, little or nothing to do with the opinions or sentiments which may be expressed in any particular passage, or even book. The real critical question in every such case, is not whether the author's opinions are true or false ; it is simply, whether he wrote what is seemingly attributed to him.

I do not say this, however, as I have intimated above, without some limitations. There may be cases, where a passage has been fosted into a writing, which passage is so entirely irreconcilable with the tenor of the author, either as to sentiment, or manner, or as to both, that no external evidence can wholly overcome the probability of its spuriousness. Such are the passages exhibited by Mr. Norton in pp. xcv. seq. of his work. The bare reading of them seals at once their condemnation.

It is easy, moreover, to imagine many cases, where the same thing might be truly said. But then it is not common to meet with such passages in any works of importance, which are popular and well known, and have had an extensive circulation. The difficulty must have always been very great, when Mss. (and not books) were in use, of making any interpolation of this nature which would be generally adopted.

Setting aside then such flagrant cases, which occur rarely indeed, let us confine our views to the more practical parts of the subject before us. Is it true, in the cases produced by Mr. Norton which he believes to be interpolations, that there is such marked differences of style and manner, as would rank them with cases such as I have just mentioned ? I venture to say, that it is not. My belief is, that a reader, who never had heard any thing of the various readings of the New Testament, and knew nothing of the contests about the genuineness of particular passages, and whom we will suppose to be well acquainted with the subject of criticism in relation to classic authors, would never think of objecting to the passages selected by Mr. Norton, any more than to a multitude of others which present difficulties at least equally great. That there are many others of this character, it would be easy to shew. I deem the work superfluous, however, for every intelligent and well-informed reader of the Gospels must have observed them in the course of his own studies.

I must object, therefore, on general grounds, to the aspect at large of Mr. Norton's criticisms on these particular topics. It wears the air of theological prejudice—of a priori reasoning. I may say of it, I think truly, non sinit ratio nec loci nec temporis. In mere questions of lower criticism, difficulties of theology, or of rhetoric, or of concinnity, should all hold quite an inferior place. I would not say, that they should be entirely kept out of sight; but I would aver, that they are by no means to constitute a prominent part of all that we have to say on such an occasion.

Are they not, however, prominently exhibited in the remarks of Mr. Norton ? For example; what critical authority does he adduce, in order to establish the spuriousness of Matt. 1. 11. ? Not even one.

And yet he is quite in earnest, that we should reject these chapters. Why? Because they contain narrations exhibiting, in his view, various incongruities and improbabilities. But did not the Ebionites reject them on the like ground? Did not Faustus the Manichaean, whom Augustine so severely reproves, prune away these chapters because of his particular views respecting the nature of evil as necessarily attached to all which is material ? Did not Marcion prune away some parts of Luke, for the reason that he could not reconcile them with his philosophy or theosophy? Did not even Luther reject the epistle of James, because he thought that it took sides against him, in his dispute with the Romanists respecting justification ? And did he not at first reject the Apocalypse, because he could not understand it, and afterwards incline to admit it because he learned that it might be turned to good advantage against "the scarlet beast at Rome ?" Where shall we begin and end with such processes as these?

If Mr. Norton, in reply to this, should say, that the cases of interpolation produced by him, are of so flagrant a nature, that he rests his objections against them on this ground; then I must appeal to what has been said in the preceding pages, in order to disprove such an assertion.

In a word; it is to me a matter of deep regret, that what Mr. Norton has built up so ably with one hand, he should pull down with the other. His book contains much that has, in my view, more than ordinary excellence. With the maxims of lower criticism which he seems to hold on almost all occasions, I should fully accord. With his application of them, or rather (1 should say) with his failure to apply them, in the supposed cases of interpolation, I cannot be satisfied. I cannot think that he has been consistent with himself.

At all events, if the liberty he has taken with the Gospels is a matter of common right, (and why should it not be ?) then we may expect to find almost every sect in Christendom applying the shears of criticism to the New Testament, and cutting out such parts as become troublesome to them whenever they are urged against their particular opinions by a skilful antagonist. Should they follow the example of Mr. Norton, they would not need the support of Mss. and Versions, in order to justify themselves in such a process. It is enough, if they are persuaded that some parts of the Gospels which they approve seem to be embarrassed by other parts which they would willingly spare. Actum est, in regard to the latter. Scripture cannot contradict reason, i. e. their reason; and so that cannot be Scripture which seems to contradict their reason.

Where can we stop, now, in such a process as this?

Highly, then, as I think of Mr. Norton's book in many respects, and cheerfully as I concede to him the well earned praise of great diligence, much learning, and cultivated style ; much as I truly wish him success in the further prosecution of his interesting and important labours ; I must, so far as is proper for me to do, enter my most solemn protest against some of the practical developments of his criticism, and against their results in respect to those portions of the Gospels, the integrity of which he has called in question. I do not assert in a categorical manner, or with a dogmatical air, that these portions are genuine ; for of what use could such an assertion be? But it

my most sincere and hearty belief, that, as critics, we are not entitled by the present state of evidence to pronounce against them. I go one step further. I cannot even admit, with the evidence before me which as yet has been proffered, that a great portion of them are even of a doubtful character. I must on the whole, therefore, continue to regard them and to appeal to them as genuine, until new and different light shall be poured in upon them. It is on every ground safer to do so, than it is to substitute subjective feelings and difficulties for external evidence, theological opinions for critical reasons, and to launch forth on the boundless ocean of conjecture without rudder or compass.



By T. D. Woolsey, Professor of Greek Literalure in Yale College, New Haven.


THERE are one or two points connected with this verse, which may profitably be made the subject of more extended remark, than is usually found in a general cominentary. It has been doubted not a little who is meant by τον απ' ουρανών, and the opinions of critics have not been entirely united with regard to τον επί γης. The construction also of χρηματίζοντα is somewhat questionable. I beg leave to offer some observations on these points and on the verse generally, although, on account of having given little study of late years to New Testament Greek, not very well qualified for the task.

In the first place let me ask, who is meant by tov ini yñs χρηματίζοντα? Ας εκείνοι indisputably carries the mind back to those Jews of v. 19, who were witnesses of the scenes on Mt. Sinai, tov ini yñs can only point either to God or Moses. It appears that so excellent a scholar as Grotius, after the Greek commentators Theophylact and Oecumenius, has referred these words to God. But in this way, God is contrasted either with himself or with Christ. In either case, the reasoning from the less to the greater,—so evident in the passage,—is destroyed or very much weakened. Again, the form of the sentence,Tóv contrasted with róv,—seems necessarily to point at two different objects. And, as if utterly to demolish this interpretation, in the very passage of Exodus (20: 22) where the first transactions on the sacred mountain are recorded, to which these commentators suppose an allusion, God is represented as speaking from heaven; υμείς έωρακατε ότι εκ του ουρανού λελάληκα προς vuās. The author of the epistle must then have been strangely

forgetsul, to have conceived of God as speaking on earth. But a far more important question is, who is intended by rov an' ovoavov, God, or Christ? Of modern commentators, whom I have consulted, Mr. Stuart decides, with some hesitation, in favor of Christ ; Heinrich, in a trifling note, has no doubt that God is meant—“id quod sequentia necessario flagitant.” Kuinoel thinks that Christ is undoubtedly spoken of. The general opinion is in favor of Christ, speaking through his apostles, or his gospel.

That Christ, and no other, can bave been in the writer's mind, may be made evident, I think, by several considerations. In the first place, Moses and Christ are before compared in similar passages of the epistle (3: 1–6. 10: 28, 29) ; what, then, so natural, as here to argue from the danger of rejecting Moses to that of rejecting Christ? Secondly, not only are Moses and God no where else contrasted, but it would be inapposite and unsuited to the state of the Jewish mind to contrast them here ; for God was the author of the old economy as well as of the new, so that he would be equally rejected in both cases; and a Hebrew would not suppose that he rejected God, but only Christ, when he gave up the gospel, and clung to the law which God had confessedly given. Further, it deserves to be mentioned, though it may be a weaker argument, that by interpreting the latter clause of God, we take zonuaribovta in two different shades of meaning. For, when used of Moses, it points to him as making divine communications, -as introducing the Jewish system ; but if spoken of God, it must be understood of him as promulgating the christian system from heaven in a figurative sense. As referring to Christ, it compares him, the head of the christian system, with the head of the Jewish ; and then the same nuance of thought is preserved. But finally, the preceding context leads us irresistibly to regard Cbrist as intended. For τον λαλούνια of v. 24 is plainly the same as τον απ' ουρανών of v. 25. But the person there is defined by what goes immediately before " Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and the blood of sprinkling which speaketh—," What that blood speaks, is plainly spoken by Christ.

A third point, to which some attention is due, is the construction of the participle χρηματίζοντα in relation to τον επί γης, tov ári ovouvov. In connexion with this, the meaning of the parts of the verse, its relations to the context, and some points touching the language, may occupy us with advantage. SECOND SERIES, VOL. I. NO. I.


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