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17" St. Jerome in his preface to his Commentary on Daniel says, The Church, reads the prophet 'not aer, cording to the version of the LXX, (that is to say,
the Septuagint) but according to that of Theodotion who is an Infidel that lived after the time of Christ.cz
10-1 Theodotion then, my Lord, was an Infidel; and therefore, according to Du Pin, the Church inserted into the word of God, the corrections of an Infidel. And here St. Jerome tells us, that the Church did not read the word of God according to their own version, but according to the version of Theodotion, an Infidel. If these are not calculated to settle the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? nothing in this world can be. But some may say, that although the Greek versions were corrupted, and although parties had added to, and retrenched from them, still the Hebrew text was unmutilated. In answer to this, I quote the following from Du Pin:
“It is mere superstition to assert, as some authors do, That the Hebrew text which we have at present, is not corrupted in any place, and that there is no fault, nor any thing left out, and that we must indispensably follow it at all times. This is not only to speak without all evidence, and contrary to all probability, but we have very good proof to the contrary. For, in the first place, there have been differences betwixt the oldest of the Hebrew copies, which the Massorites have observed by that which they called Keri and Ketib, and putting one of the readings in the text, and the other in the margin, we have the different readings of the Jews of the East and the Jews of the West, of the Ben-Ascher and Ben-Naphtali; and the manuscript copies of the Bible are not always alike.
"Tti en Here then, my Lord, according to this eminent Christian writer, both the Hebrew text and the Greek versions of the Bible have been corrupted; that parties
have added to, and retrenched from themşi and that'the copies of the Hebrew text not only differed from the Greek versions, but the Hebrew text differed from itself in different copies, and the same with the Greek versions. Again, my Lord, I say that if this is not calculated to settle the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? nothing in this world can be. For if both the Hebrew text and the Greek versions were corrupted, where can we find the word of God in its purity ?
We are informed that Origen undertook to correct the version of the LXX, and for this purpose he made use of the version of Theodotian who, according to St. Jerome, was an Infidel. And continues Du Pin:
“ St. Jerome says, When Origen observed that there was less in the Greek than in the Hebrew, he did supply it from the version of Theodotion; and put an asterisk or star to it, to signify that this was to illustrate what was obscure.
And again Du Pin says:
“St. Jerome makes frequent mention of the additions, corrections and subtractions made in the version of the Septuagint by Origen, and of the bars and asterisks he made use of for that purpose.
And the same author observes:
“St. Jerome says, in his preface to his Commentary on Daniel, That in all, both the Greek and Latin Churches, both in those in Syria and in Egypt, the edition of Origen with asterisks and bars is made use of.
So that, my Lord, the entire of the Christian Church adopted the edition of Origen, containing the corrections and additions of Theodotian, an Infidel. But it seems that in this edition, these corrections and additions were distinguished by bars and asterisks, made use of by Origen for that purpose. And now, my Lord, for the most important of all :
“ By the carelessness of the transcribers, (says Du Pin) and sometimes of those who set them at work, the asterisks being either misunderstood or entirely left out in some places, the additions of Theodotion were confounded with the version of the Septuagint ; which perhaps moved St. Jerome to say, that Origen had corrupted and confounded the version of the Septuagint.
Thus we are told, my Lord, that the additions of Theodotian were confounded with the version of the Septuagint; that is to say, INFIDEL WORDS WERE CONFOUNDED WITH GOD'S WORDS. And yet Mr. Cleave is now suffering four months imprisonment in London, and for what? why for merely selling a pamphlet proving that the Bible is not the word of God! Not even proving, that instead of being the word of God, some of it, at the least, is the word of an Infidel, as this learned Christian writer declares.
I am quite aware, my Lord, that in making such matters as these known to the general public, I am incurring the hatred and enmity of the priesthood; (if it be possible to incur more than I have done) but I am also aware that I am doing nothing more than my duty: I am contributing something at the least, towards the settlement of that question, the agitation of which, has occasioned more contention and strife and uncharitableness and bloodshed amongst the human race, than all other causes put together; and the reflection of having done my utmost to put a stop to these, is quite sufficient to sustain me, amidst the reproaches that may. proceed from the malice of priests. Priests we know are interested in keeping the question as it is, and there
fore no effort on their parts to maintain the position they occupy, however unholy or desperate, need give us any surprise.
And now, my Lord, for another quotation from Du Pin, not less important than any that I have yet submitted to your attention
“Cornelius à Lapide, in his Commentary on the 2d epistle of Timothy, says, Observe that the Holy Ghost did not dictate after the same manner all that is contained in the Holy Scripture. For he revealed and declared verbatim the law and the prophecies to Moses, and the prophets; but as for the histories and moral exhortations, which the holy penmen had seen
or heard of, it was not necessary that they should be inspired into them by the Holy Ghost, since they knew them of themselves.
All I aim at, my Lord, is to settle the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? and if this extract has no tendency that way, no extract can have. In previous extracts we were told, that Infidel words got mixed up and confounded with God's words; and now we are told that it was not necessary that the holy penmen should be inspired with the histories and moral exhortations contained in the Bible, because they knew them of themselves. Is this not a part settlement, at any rate, of this important question? If I have any knowledge of the Bible, that is to say, the Old Testament, I should say that it consists chiefly of history, and as to moral exhortations, I will leave them for your lordship to estimate, for the more the better for my argument; and if none of these are the word of God, but merely the writings of men, because they knew them of themselves, we now have an idea of how much of the Bible really consists of the word of God, according to the confessions of Christians themselves.
But in the above passage we are told, that the Holy Ghost dictated verbatim to Moses the law and the prophecies. May I ask, my Lord, if the governments of the world adopt these laws? One law in Deuteronomy is, that if a female offend in a certain manner, she is to be taken to the door of her father's house, and there stoned to death by the men of the city. Do our government, for instance, adopt this law? And why do they not? Was it not dictated verbatim to Moses, by the Holy Ghost? by a power of infinite wisdom? If, my Lord, the governments of the world reject these laws, what use was it in the Holy Ghost dictating them to Moses? “What! (your lordship will exclaim) and are you so ignorant as not to know, that these laws were abrogated by the coming of Jesus Christ? Abrogated, my Lord! Did the Holy Ghost discover defects in laws that had proceeded from infinite wisdom? in laws that had proceeded from itself, (or himself, for I hardly know what pronoun to use) ? Did, my Lord, infinite wisdom at one time dictate certain laws, and at another time discover that those laws were defective and absurd? All this is of service in deciding the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God?
I am, my Lord, respectfully,
C. J. HASLAM.
Salford, June 5th, 1840.
P. S. I beg to inform your lordship, that I intend reprinting, as soon as possible, the whole of my Letters to the Clergy of all Denominations. A number of them are out of print, and they are very much wanted by the public. I shall print also the two Letters which have not yet appeared, and which complete the work.
C. J. HASLAM, PRINTER, SALFORD.