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kwall therefore give you the testindnyh 1904 Origen don the subject, and being one' of(tke utentesd Omen of the Church, I hope that it will have af becoming weight with your Iordship, and also with every one who does me the honour to read these Letters: 47Thé extract is as follows:

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143BIT, 9dj oni Origen, in his Commentary upon St. Matthew, says, There is a vast difference betwixt the several editions of the Scripture, happening either through the care

of lessness of the transcribers, or else the forwardne ras. some who pretend to correct and adulterate the Scripture, or perhaps by the fault of the correctors, ' WHO OFTENTIMES HAVE PUT IN AND LEFT OUT, AS THEY THOUGHT IT MOST CONVENIENT.”

81 Thus we are told by one of the greatest men of the Church, that the correctors “have oftentimes put

in' and left out, as they thought it most convenient.” the Bible is the word of God notwithstanding; and peo. ple are to be dungeoned if they deny it! The correctors, or rather priests (for that is their real name) have put into the word of God and left out of the word of God," as they thought it most convenient”, and yet the Bible is still the word of God! Could any of us say, how much it would not be convenient for priests to put in, or how much it would not be convenient for them to leave out? This passage I put forth to the world,'to enable my fellow-men to decide the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? It is the decları ation of one of the greatest men of the Church, and if greatness has any weight in other matters, it ought to have weight in this.

Was it not monstrous, my Lord, in you calling upon the Government to dungeon people, because they advanced arguments to show that the Bible was not the word of God? Does this greatest man of the Church, not bear testimony to this very position ? Does he not tell

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us that parties have put in, and left out, as they thought it most convenient? And how can we tell to what extent they have gone, in putting in and leaving out, as they thought it most convenient ? Can any of us define the convenience of priests? And will you have the hardihood to say, that the book which has been mutilated and manufactured in this manner, is the genuine word of God? Declare, my Lord, at once, that the word of man is the word of God, and the absurdity will not be greater. You ought to feel ashamed at having done your utmost to get men imprisoned, for that which is rather a virtue than a crime.

I have been abused and reproached and condemned, because I have, in my Letters to the Clergy, used strong language in describing the character of the Bible: I have offended the prejudices of the pious, and done all manner of mischief to their feelings. Let the pious learn the character of the Bible from their own Christian authorities; let them read the writings of their own Fathers of the Church; let them examine the works of their own ecclesiastical writers, as I have done, and then they will be able to bear my strong language. It is their ignorance that is offended, and not their piety; for if they knew the character of the Bible, as their own authorities describe it, their opinion of the Bible would be the same as my own But priests have preserved as much as possible, the most important writings from the eyes of the people, and this is the reason why the mass of the people are so little acquainted with that subject upon which they ought to be the most enlightened. On this ground I excuse all reproaches, and am sorry for the offended feelings of the pious.

I shall now insert from the work of Du Pin, an account which he gives of the “rise and occasion of the faults, that have crept into the Greek text of the New Testament. It contains information that it will be necessary for us to know, in order to determine the

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question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God? It is as follows:

“ The faults which have crept into the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, as well as into all other books, are owing generally to these two causes; viz. to the negligence of the copiers, and to the boldness of those who have ventured to reform the ancient copies.

“ The carelessness of the copiers may occasion omis. sions, errors, and sometimes additions. These omissions may happen through inadvertency or distraction, which might have caused the transcriber to have omitted several words or entire sentences. This frequently happens with respect to particles or stops. When two periods which come one after another, begin or end with the same words, the transcriber might easily omit one of the sentences. The inadvertency of the copiers may likewise produce the repetition of the same words or phrases, but then it is such an error as is easy to be discovered.

“ The alterations happen by the carelessness of the copiers when they take or put one letter for another, or one word for another, by reason of the resemblance there is between the letters or words, in their figure or sound. Lastly, this carelessness is the cause of very considerable additions, WHEN THEY INSERT INTO THE TEXT, THE NOTES WHICH WERE IN THE MARGENT of the manuscripts which they copied, without heading that these were such explications as ought not to be added to the text.”

I must here stop, my Lord, and offer a few remarks upon this quotation, so far as we have gone. Besides other things, Du Pin here tells us, that the carelessness of the copiers has been the occasion of

very considerable additions to the word of God; in consequence of the copiers inserting into the text, the notes which were in the margent. That is to say, the notes which weré written on the margin of the leaves, 'by any sort of people who might possess the manuscripts, containing any doctrine or any nonsense, according to the mind of the individual who wrote them; these, says Du Pin, were inserted into the text, and thus, according to this Christian writer, the words of man became the words of God. Is this not something important?

I will not say, my Lord, that this is the source of the absurd doctrines which some people find in the word of God; but who knows but that this is the source of the nonsense which some people have discovered in it?' In my Letters to the Clergy, (including of course your lordship) I took occasion to notice a proceeding in Egypt, related in the word of God, which I beg to call to your lordship’s recollection. When Moses had received his commission from God, to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage in Egypt, amongst the many things which he did to convince Pharaoh and his people of his power and connection with the Deity, he turned all the rivers of Egypt into blood; and then says the word of God, the magicians of Egypt did so likewise ; that is to say, after Moses had turned the rivers into blood, the magicians of Egypt turned them into blood also. I will not, my Lord, call this nonsense, but who knows but that the source of it, is the “ inserting into the text, the notes which were in the margent”? Who knows but that this was an explication”, written on the margin by some profound and intellectual forefather, and which, as Du Pin says, ought not to have been added to the text? I shall say no more, my Lord, at present, But am, with becoming respect,

C. J. HASLAM. Salford, July 16th, 1810.

The four Letters now published, will be stitched in a wropper, and sold for four pence; making Part I.

C. J. HASLAM, PRINTER, SALFORD.

LETTER

V.,

TO THE BISHOP OF EXETER:

CONTAINING
MATERIALS FOR DECIDING THE QUESTION,

WHETHER OR NOT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD?

BY C. J. HASLAM.

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR, 79

ST. STEPHEN-STREET, SALFORD.

Price one Penny.

MY LORD,

A most important fact was that made known to us by Du Pin in my last Letter, viz. that very considerable additions were made to the Word of God, when the correctors inserted into the text the notes which were in the margent; that is to say, the notes which were written on the margin of the leaves, by any sort of people who might possess the manuscripts, containing any doctrine, or any nonsense, according to the mind of the individual who wrote them; these were inserted into the text; and thus the words of man became the words of God. No fact could be more important than this to enable us to decide the question, Whether or not the Bible is the word of God ?

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