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a highly degrading manner:-saying, "notwithstanding the pretence of Travis, and Martyn the Frenchman, from whom this same Travis has copied, without giving credit for it." We see, my hearers, that the original is treated with as little ceremony as the copyist. The Americans, who are said to "puff off" this feeble writer, are mentioned in a way not very flattering to their feelings. They are represented as not knowing how inferior Mr. Travis is, and of being entirely ignorant of the true grounds of the controversy respecting the text in question. He contemptuously calls them, "enthusiastic devotees," and speaks of their mocking at the invincible arguments adduced against an "evident interpolation," on which, "the mene tekel of God and man is inscribed; and which is, in a little time, to be "blotted out of the book of life, and consigned to the abodes of annihilation.”
To these reveries of the gentleman, I shall not reply. They are not of the most conciliating kind; but divine rule forbids us to "render evil for evil.”
When my opponent, however, has occasion to speak of the writers who stand opposed to the text, he gives incontestible proof of his knowledge of refinement. Then he can say "The pre-eminently learned, and Trinitarian Michaelis the most learned orientalist that Europe ever produced-the most deeply versed in Biblical criticismand one of the wisest and worthiest of men." Such pleasing adjectives, also, as "celebrated, famous, learned, and highly respectable, are applied by my opponent to Griesbach, Porson and Marsh. It is, no doubt, to shake our confidence in the knowledge and veracity of the Rev. George Travis, that he is mentioned by the gentleman in such a degrading manner. As this appears to be the case, it becomes necessary for me to make some observations in regard to his standing.
We have no right to view him as being deficient, either in learning, or uprightness. If my opponent had allowed these endowments to any other writers in opposition to his scheme, we should have more reason to repose confidence in his opinion of Mr. Travis. As this is not the case, we may believe, that he is, on such accounts, as respectable as any other Trinitarian authors. With respect to Mr. Travis, a learned divine says, in his defence of 1 John, 5. 7. "For these testimonies, we are indebted to the judicious and learned works of the Rev. George Travis, A. M. Prebendary of Chester, and Vicar of Eastham, who in his letters to Edward Gibbon, Esq. has rescued this text from the hands of its adversaries, and conferred on the church an obligation of the liveliest gratitude and love."
Mr. Travis, it seems, was an Episcopalian divine, of some eminence, and possessed the degree of A. M. in the department of learning. As he undertook a defence of the text in question, it is a proof of his soundness as to the doctrine of the Trinity; and, we may think, no inconsiderable evidence of his piety. In appearing as an auther, he made himself responsible to the world for the truth of his statements. This was a powerful motive to deter him from the most distant approach to falsehood; and, therefore, we may conclude, that he has not tarnished his character by taking such a wicked and dangerous stand.
It is a vain attempt in my opponent, to think of invalidating the historical testimony of Mr. Travis, in favor of the text; for the Rev. W. Jones and Dr. Gill, have, in substance, given the same historical account. The Rey. James Sloss preached eighteen sermons on this text, in Nottingham, England, in 1736, and he gives the very same historical account of its authenticity, that is given
by Mr. Travis. He first cites Tertullian, who lived in the beginning of the second century. The very words of that ancient father, M. Sloss says, are these:
"The connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Comforter, makes three joining together, the one of which is from the other, which Three are One Thing." Tertull.. Contra Prax. Chap. 25. This, my author says, "is an exact translation of the latter clause of" the verse in dispute. He says, that "Cyprian, who lived in the next century, cites this text; saying, “And again it is written, of the Father, Son, and Spirit, These Three are One." Cyp. de uni. Eccl. cap. 4. ad finem.
This quotation from Cyprian, is evidently the last clause of 1 John, 5. 7. But it is needless to swell my pages with the evidence that follows, for it is in exact accordance with the historical testimony of Mr. Travis. In one word, all who have written in defence of the text, have given the same historical account of its authenticity; it is needless, therefore, for my opponent to think to carry his point, by sinking the respectability of Mr. Travis as an author.
But the gentleman says-" To conclude-so fully abandoned is this passage in England, by Trinitarians, that in the London Evangelical Magazine, published in the latter part of the last century, and continued in this, and read by the people very generally, I have seen the severe strictures of Professor Michaelis upon this passage quoted with approbation."
In regard to the British Trinitarians having given up the text under consideration, sufficient has been said already.
I cannot say what the London Evangelical Magazine contains, in reference to this passage, being wholly unacquainted with that publication. But there is no doubt in
in my mind, that there are many things published in England under specious names, whose complexion is AntiTrinitarian. It is well understood that gentlemen of that school, in England, are struggling for victory, with a zeal that would confer honor on a better cause.
The gentleman closes his elaborate discourse, with the following tremendous sentence; namely-" If any man, after being made acquainted with these various facts, now presented to him, is so devoid of candor, of modesty, of the sense of shame, and the love of truth, as to rely upon this notoriously spurious passage, in proof of a three-fold God, I feel compelled to adopt the language of the Almighty, and say, "Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone."
I shall only say, in reply to this extraordinary effort of my opponent's talent and spirit, that it may be considered as some apology for the severities of which I may be deemed guilty, in the course of my strictures on his performance. But, after all that he has said, I remain in the belief, that the text in debate is of divine authority.
If I be, however, "devoid of candor, of modesty, of the sense of shame and the love of truth," the crime is great; but, I am not yet convinced of any guilt in this matter. I am not willing to be frightened out of my opinion, by the mere force of unsupported expressions. The gentleman's eloquence far exceeds, in my view, the power of his argu
These things, however, must be submitted to the candid judgment of the christian world, as far as they may fall under their review.
There is one circumstance, however, which prevents me from closing my reply, with what has been said, to my accomplished opponent. In the fourth sermon, seme notice was taken of the faith of the Syrian christians, in relation to the doctrine of the Trinity; which led him to
complain, that I had omitted one thing that ought to have been mentioned; namely, the situation of the manuscripts, which Dr. Buchannan found in their possession, respecting the text in dispute. For this omission my apology is; I had not the Researches of that worthy minister of Christ before me, when I mentioned the belief of the Syrian christians, in the doctrine of the Trinity. What I then said, was taken from an extract.
When my sermon was written, I did not feel myself capable of doing justice to that part of the subject, from the mere strength of memory. I had expressly acknowledged, that the text in dispute was wanting in many versions and manuscripts of the Scriptures; and that was all which I supposed to be incumbent on me. My opponent has wholly overlooked the argument himself, in his written discourse. But, as he has now mentioned the thing, a reply becomes necessary; and, at present, the Researches are before me.
It is true, that Dr. Buchannan acknowledges that Į John, 5. 7, is not in any manuscript or copy of the Scriptures, which he examined among the insulated christians of Syria. But the Dr. says, their Bishop did not claim an antiquity for the oldest of them, above one thousand years; which does not carry them above the 9th century. It is highly probable, that those Eastern christians were furnished with their Scriptures in the time of the Arian controversy; and, therefore, no new argument arises from that quarter, in opposition to the text in view.
According to the account which they gave to the Dr. they received their version of the Scriptures in the fourth century. They had evidently some connection with the rest of the christian world, during the Arian contest; for, the name of one of their Bishops is found on the doings of the Nicene council. After the Dr's. statement, that the