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rest of the Popish writers, have been of this opinion, and being so, have not failed to draw the consequence I am now speaking of, from it, viz. that our present Greek copies are of very dubious, authority. “I affirm it,” says Baronius“, “ that “ the authority of the Greek text is very uncertain, unless we “ had the original Hebrew to compare with it.” The learned Casaubon in his answer to Baronius (though he believed St. Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew) was very unwilling to allow the Cardinal's consequence; “ If,” says he,“ the Greek “ text of this Gospel depends upon the Hebrew, then this “ Gospel, as we have it now, is of no authority ;” and adds a little after ; " then the-faith of the true Catholick Church muft “ depend upon the faith or credit of Hereticks (he means the 6 Roman Church), which God forbid b.” To this Father Simon answers, heartily espousing the cause of Baronius, and says in so many words; “ There is nothing, but the authority
of the church alone, that gives authority to this Version, and 66 that can oblige us to prefer it before the Hebrew or Chal« daick copy of the Nazarenesc.” However Casaubon and other Protestants may seem to shuffie off, and elude these consequences, they seem to be inevitable. Hence it was justly remarked by Mr. L'Enfant in his letter to Le Clerc 4; “ It “ appears to me very probable, that St. Matthew wrote his
Gospel in Greek, as the other Apoftles did, and with the « same design. For I can think of nothing that sounds more “ like a Papist, than to talk of the work of an Apostle trans« lated into Greek, by I do not know who, nor I do not know « how.” As we would therefore avoid this consequence of
fave: antwers, 1"), which
Dico, quod Græcus textus cujus fidei lit, nisi collato cum Hebreo originali, affirmare non poffumus. Apud Casaubon. Exercit. c. 16. $. 115.
b Si auctoritas Græci textus pendet ab Hebraico textu ; quum Hebræa dudum perierint, neque usquam extent hodie; fequitur ne cessario, nullum hodie ejus Evangelii debere esse pondus, nullam auctoritatem-Adde quod hæc fententia fidem Catholicæ Ecclefiae fa
cit pendere (nefas dictu) ab hæreticorum fide. Calaub, ibid.
Critic. Hift. of the New Teft. Par. 1. c.9.
« Il me paroit fort vraisem. blable, que St. Matthieu écrivit fon Evangile en Grec, comme les autres, et dans le même deffein. Car je ne trouve rien, qui ait plus l'air d’un Romain, qu'une Version Gréque d'un ouvrage d'un Apôtre, faite par je ne sais qui, ni comment. Biblioth. Choisie, tom. 16. Art. s. p. 297.
be," thar Les, argue
making the authority of this Gospel uncertain, we must conclude it not to be a translation. I would only add further on this head, that not only the Papists, but the Jews, and other enemies of Christianity, will be very likely to improve this assertion to the dishonour of this Gospel, so far as to make them reject as uncertain one of the most valuable parts of facred History. This is not only what might be reasonably expected, but what has been really matter of facta. So the learned Jew, with whom Limborch disputes, argues against this Gospel ; “ They say,” says he, that Matthew wrote in 6 Hebrew, but the original is loft; afterwards his Gospel ap“ peared in Greek, but no body knows who translated it b.
3. St. Matthew's Gospel was not wrote originally in Hebrew, but in Greek; because, if so, the original Gospel is en: tirely lost, which cannot be supposed. If it was wrote in Hebrew, it is very certain that which we now have in that language under St. Matthew's name, is not it. For this was first published by Munster, and he owns he received it from the Jews tattered, torn, and very imperfeet, and that he himself added what he thought necessary: so that it is very strange, that Quinquarboreus, in his preface to this Hebrew Gospel, should imagine it to be the very fame Gospel which St. Matthew wrote, although he had observed what Munfter faid. I need not be at the pains to confute this opinion: it is evidently a Version of our present Greek; it has here and there a few words added, and sometimes a few omitted; yet it is (as far as I have observed) a pretty good Version, though I dare affirm it is but a late one. If St. Matthew therefore wrote in Hebrew, the original is lost; but this cannot be supposed, without also supposing the first Christians and primitive churches guilty of unpardonable negligence. Is it likely a treasure of so much value, would be no more regarded ? If it
a Vid. Sixt. Senenf. l. 7. de Evang. Matth. Hærer.
6 Matthæus fertur Hebraico i. diomate scripsifle; fed quod, eo autographo deperdito, Græco fer. mone poftea translatum apparuit, ab incerto autore ea lingua donatum.
Limborch. de Verit. Christ. Relig. quæi. 4. num. 8.
c Quod autem hoc ipfum fit Evangelium, quod D. Matthæus Hebraice scripsit, ambigere quis possit. Edit. Parif. A. D. 1551.
was wrote in Hebrew, it was wrote for the Jews, and the Jews were not wont' to be so careless of their sacred books. The Bishop and Church at Jerufalem would, no doubt, have fafelý preserved a book fo valuable. “ Surely,” fays Cha. mier, « the negligence of the Universal Church, or even the “ Church at Jerufalem, would not be so great aś to let the « original of St. Matthew be lost, that there is not the least 6 of it to be found; nay that it fhould not only now be not « extant, but even utterly unknown in the second century." There were, no doubt,copies of this Gospel taken as soon as it was published, and spread among the Jews every where; and is it likely that all these copies should be so entirely loft? This is hard to be conceived, and therefore it is very improbable that St. Matthew wrote first int Hebrew. : ...!!!!
CHA P. XX. Though. St. Matthew's Gospel be supposed a Translation aut of
Hebrew, yet it was not for that Reafon more liable to Difter cation or Disorder.
A Sit is probable, that our present Greek copies of St.
1 Matthew are not a translation out of Hebrew; so
2. It is certain that if they were, they would not have been at all upon that account more liable to the confufion and disorder Mr. Whiston supposes. I confess I am not able to guess, how the translation (supposing it to be fo) could any way influence, or occasion these disocations. It were to be wished that Mr. Whiston had told us, how the translating it could have had this bad influenge, or that he had produced one single instance of any one book in the world, that has thus suffered by its being translated. Of the vast number of Versions, that have
• Non fuisse tantam sive Eccle- tionis nullum fit omnino vestigiun Size Universalis, five etiam Hieroso-" conservatum, * &c. Panítrat. Ca
lymitanæ, negligentiam, ut ejus Edie thol. 1. 11. C. 8. §. 8. . VoI. III.
been made of the Old, and the other parts of the New Testament into all languages, not one has produced this bad effect ; neither the Seventy, nør Jonathan, nor Onkelos, nor any other of the Greek or Chaldee translators, disordered the Old Testament by their Versions; neither the Syriack, nor Arabick, nor any of the many Latin translators of the New Testament, did occasion any such dislocations in it; and is it then to be credited, that the translator of St. Matthew should be the occasion of so many dislocations in this part of his Gospel? When not one of all the Versions in the world has occafioned so much as one single disorder, is it likely the translator of St. Matthew should occafion about twenty, in ten thort chapters ?
But to shew the abfurdity of this supposition, I would argue in the following manner: .
If the translation of this Gospel be supposed to influence, and cause the transposition and disorder of these several parts, then it is plain these parts were not transposed or misplaced before the translator began his work, and consequently the diforder must happen either in the time of translating, or afterwards. It was not likely to be done in the time of translating; for why should a person's reading a book with a design to translate it into another language, any more occasion a diforder in it, than if he had read it with no such design? If it was in its right order then (according to the supposition), it is much more reasonable to fuppose the translator would endeavour to keep it so, than by any means misplace it. Thus it was not done in the time of tranflating; and it is very evident the translation could not influence the disorder after it was made, but would rather be a good means to prevent any such disorder happening to the original, if there had been any danger of it.
The other remark, which Mr. Whiston makes, is, 'that this disorder concludes, and the true order begins to be observed, at a very remarkable period, viz. the death of St. John the Bap tist, and the commencing of our Saviour's single ministry thereupona. To this I think it sufficient to answer, that there are
several other periods of the Gofpel history, as remarkable às this, where no disorder has happened..!
CHA P. XXI.
Several Arguments to prove, that our present Greek copies of St.
Matthew, are not at alltransposed or disordered, since that Evangelist's, first writing. No Book ever was thus disordered. It does not seem agreeable to the Care, which Divine Providence, always exercised towards the facred Books, to per
mit this to have happened to St, Matthew's Gospel. No other ... Part of St. Matthew's Gospel disordered, and therefore not
this. The Dislocations, which Mr. Whifton supposes, could not happen to this Gospel in the Apostles' Timeaian
ITHERTO I have been considering what Mr. Whila IT ton offers in defence of his proposition, and by many ways fhewing how unreasonable it is, to assert this Gospel so transposed and misplaced, as he does. All that I shall do further, shall be only to add three or four other arguments, by which it will appear, that our present copies of St. Matthew have not suffered any disocations, but are in this respect the very fame, as when St. Matthew at first wrote.. In order to which I obferve; : 1. That there never has yet been discovered or proved an instance of any such transpositions and misplacings, in any writings sacred or profane, in any language, by any means whatsoever. It is indeed very difficult to affert and defend an universal negative proposition, and to say such a thing never has been, unless the being of it be impossible, and imply a contradiction to some certain and well-established truth. Though indeed such a disorder as Mr. Whiston supposes, be not a thing in itself absolutely impossible to have happened either to this, or some other book ; yet I will venture to assert, it is such a disorder, as never has happened to any one whatsoever. If U 2