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spurious and left out of the narrative. By the same revisers John v. 4 is omitted because not genuine. For the same

v reason the conclusion of the Lord's prayer: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever, amen,” is excluded from the revised text. We might multiply authorities, but a sufficient number have been cited to show that even the best scholars cannot be certain of the original text of the Gospels.

But supposing it possible that, by a comparison of the oldest manuscripts, we may find the true text of the evangelists, can we even then procure a perfect translation ? Luther translated the Scriptures, and of his work Zwinglius says: “Thou corruptest, O Luther! the word of God. Thou art known to be an open and notorious perverter of the Holy Scriptures. How much are we ashamed of thee now, whom we had once so much respected!'

The Zwinglian translation Luther condemned; and he called its translators "a set of fools, asses, antichrists, and impostors."

The translation of Ecolampadius and Basil divines, Beza denounces as absolutely wicked. He also condemns in as severe terms the translation of Castalis.

Of Calvin's translation Molenæus says: “Calvin makes the texts of the gospel leap up and down. He does violence to the letter and makes additions to the text.” The same author says that Beza changes the text, and Castalis declares, “it would require a large volume to mark down the mistakes and errors which occur in Beza's translation.”

We quote the above as given in a Catholic work. It is a sad commentary on translations of Scripture made by learned and honest men. But surely the Catholic Church can help us out of our dilemma. That church which is feet to the lame nd eyes to the blind, from which alone we may secure a passport of admission to the celestial abode; the repository of all sacred truth; the infallible interpreter of the word and of tradition; surely such a guide will not permit us to plod our weary way along in despondency and doubt, nor allow the pure stream of divine truth to become polluted at the fountain head. Let us see. Two infallible (?) editions of the Latin Vulgate were made by authority of two popes not thirty years apart from each other; and yet they differ in more than two thousand places! “Sextus V. issued a bull with an anathema against any man who should change his authorized Vulgate, even in the least particle (in minima particula). Yet Clement the Eighth had the audacity in despite of said bull to order a new translation, changing it more than two thousand times, and sometimes very seriously, to the amount of clauses and whole verses.” So said Alexander Campbell in his debate with Bishop Purcell, p. 274. Did the Bishop deny the statement ? No; he only said (p. 286): "That only shows that the popes never taught that their personal opinions were to be received as articles of faith, as my friend would persuade you they did. Private authority should not presume to alter the authorized version. This was the amount of the prohibition."

And why not alter it if the translation of Sextus was not authoritative, which it could not logically be if there was no certainty of its accuracy. Surely the Bible has much to do with faith and morals, in regard to which the church claims to be the infallible judge. The pope in his own sacred person is also infallible. Pardon me; I had almost forgotten that, when Bishop Purcell uttered the declaration quoted above, the doctrine of papal infallibility had not been promulged. In the light of these facts where can we find our infallible Bible?

Black.—"Nothing was said by the most virulent enemies against the personal honesty of the evangelists."

Ingersoll.—"How is this known?"

Lambert." It is known from the fact that neither in tradition nor history is there anything directly or indirectly throwing the least suspicion or shadow of doubt on their honesty, integrity, and holiness of life.”

The truth is, history, save as written by themselves, is silent on the subject.* “Tradition” is an equivocal word; but if it has spoken let us know what it said, and in what ages its voice was heard and its words recorded.

Mr. Black having made the presumed honesty of the evangelists the basis of his argument, the burden of proving his statement rested on him. But, as we have shown, at the beginning of the Christian era the disciples were few in number, and were not esteemed, at first, worthy of more than a passing notice by historians. The personal character of unlettered fishermen and tax-gatherers was not likely to be discussed pro or con. What should have drawn more attention to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John than to those men in the same social rank, whose names perished with their lives ? Not because they wrote the Gospels; for while they lived, as far as history teaches, their names were neither prefixed nor subscribed to those books.

We are told that the infidels who wrote against Christianity admitted the genuineness of the miracles recorded in the New Testament. Why? Did they witness them ? No; but miracles were then believed in the same as witchcraft and demoniacal possessions. It was the age of astrology, soothsaying, and kindred superstitions. It seems that Moses believed that Pharaoh's magicians could turn a rod into a living serpent. Who believes it now? In the early ages it was assumed that men could work miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead; and they met the claims of the evangelists, not by denial, but by asserting; and they believed no doubt, that the men of their faith and the philosophers of the past had performed as great wonders as were ascribed to Christ and his apostles. Ours is a different age. It is not inclined to accept a history of the supernaturally marvellous as a verity, whether it relate to past or present experience, without an amount of proof commensurate to the demands it makes upon its credulity. Gibbon, in chapter xv. of his great history, says: “Accustomed long since to observe and to respect the invariable order of nature, our reason, or at least our imagination, is not prepared to sustain the visible action of Deity. But in the first ages of Christianity the situation of mankind was extremely different. The most curious, or the most credulous, among the pagans were often persuaded to enter a society which asserted an actual claim of miraculous powers. The primitive Christians perpetually trod on mystic grounds, and their minds were exercised by the habit of believing the most extraordinary events. They felt, or they fancied, that on every side they were assaulted by demons, confronted by visions, instructed by prophesy, and surprisingly delivered from danger, sickness, and from death itself, by the supplications of the church. The real or imaginary prodigies, of which they so frequently conceived themselves to be the objects, the instruments, or the spectators, very happily disposed them to adopt with the same ease, but with far greater justice, the wonders of evangelic history; and thus miracles, which exceeded not the measure of their own experience, inspired them with the most lively assurance of mysteries which were acknowledged to surpass the limits of their understanding."

* This is almost literally true; and yet, as quoted by Father Lambert, 4th ed., “Notes,” p. 147, Josephus testifies that James and some other Christians were stoned as breakers of the law. Also Suetonius, who says that Claudius Cæsar expelled the Jews from Rome because they raised continual tumults at the instigation of Christ.

In a superstitious age wonders of all kinds abound, and from friend and foe of any particular faith find ready credence. Such was the apostolic age. Many of the Jews no doubt credited the miracles said to have been wrought by Christ and his followers. Why should they not? Their sacred books told of prodigies as marvellous as any the evangelists record. If a heathen magician could turn sticks into snakes, and if an ass, in human speech, could rebuke a prophet, why should a Jew marvel at anything?

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