My dearest Mary--I quite forget whether we have ever talked upon the subject alluded to in my last note--Baptismal Regeneration--but I think we have, for it is one of the few points on which I have clear views, and which is, I am sure, more misunderstood and misrepresented than any other. Do not we see that God generally employs means? I will not say exclusively, that He has appointed an outward Church as the receptacle of His promises, and outward rites for admission into it, and thus for being placed in a relation with Him by which we may receive His further grace; for till we are so connected by admission into His outward Church, we have no right to think that He will convey to us the benefits of His spiritual Church, when we have neglected the primary means which He provides. It does not, of course, follow that the outward and spiritual churches are co-extensive, that all who have been placed in relation with God by Baptism, and so made heirs of heaven conditionally, will avail themselves of that relation to fulfill those conditions--and here lies the ambiguity: because a child is born again into the Church of God, as he has been born into the world before, people seem to conclude that he must discharge all the duties of his new station, which in temporal matters we know he does not. By birth he may, if he will, truly life here; by baptism he may if he will, truly live forever. I do not say that Baptism is absolutely necessary, though from the word of the Scriptures I can see no exception, but I do not think we have a right to exclaim against the idea of the commencement of a spiritual life, conditionally from Baptism, any more than we have to deny the commencement of a moral life from birth.

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It is necessary that those handling the inspired word of God themselves be spiritual men. This is the teaching of Scripture itself 1 Cor. In Westcott was ordained an Anglican "priest" and Hort in their careers were spent mostly in academic positions rather than pastorates. As early as they began work on their Greek text of the New Testament: this project was to occupy most of their remaining lives.

In the idea of a modest revision of the A. They defended the inclusion of a Unitarian scholar on the Revision Committee.

Textual criticism cannot be divorced entirely from theology. No matter how great a Greek scholar a man may be, or no matter how great an authority on the textual evidence, his conclusions must always be open to suspicion if he does not accept the Bible as the very Word of God in FULLER, p.

Beliefs The following quotes from the diaries and letters of Westcott and Hort demonstrate their serious departures from orthodoxy, revealing their opposition to evangelical Protestantism and sympathies with Rome and ritualism. Many more could be given. Their views on Scripture and the Text are highlighted. If preaching is the chief means of grace, it must emanate not from the church, but from the preacher, and besides placing him in a false position, it places him in a fearfully dangerous one.

I, pp. I cannot determine how much we must believe; how much, in fact, is necessarily required of a member of the Church. I could not help thinking on the grandeur of the Romish Church, on her zeal even in error, on her earnestness and self-devotion, which we might, with nobler views and a purer end, strive to imitate.

Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours. I thought myself that he was grievously in error, but yesterday I read over the selections from his writings which his adversaries make, and in them I found systematically expressed the very strains of thought which I have been endeavouring to trace out for the last two or three years.

If he be condemned, what will become of me? July 31st - Hort: "I spoke of the gloomy prospect, should the Evangelicals carry on their present victory so as to alter the Services. The positive doctrines even of the Evangelicals seem to me perverted rather than untrue There are, I fear, still more serious differences between us on the subject of authority, and especially the authority of the Bible" Life, Vol.

Whatever may be thought of it, it is a book that one is proud to be contemporary with. I must work out and examine the argument in more detail, but at present my feeling is strong that the theory is unanswerable. In short, the Irvingite creed minus the belief in the superior claims of the Irvingite communion seems to me unassailable in things ecclesiastical.

II, p. I wish I could see to what forgotten truth Mariolatry bears witness; and how we can practically set forth the teaching of the miracles". So it is probably elsewhere. June - Mr. Westcott; the latter was to be responsible for a commentary, and Lightfoot was to contribute a N. Grammar and Lexicon. Life, Vol. I feel most keenly the disgrace of circulating what I feel to be falsified copies of Holy Scripture a reference to the A.

This cannot be any text resting solely on our own judgment, even if we were not too inexperienced to make one; but it must be supported by a clear and obvious preponderance of evidence. The margin wiil give ample scope for our own ingenuity or principles We came to a distinct and positive understanding about our Gk.

We still do not wish it to be talked about, but are going to work at once, and hope we may perhaps have it out in little more than a year. Westcott and Hort start work on their Greek text. First efforts to secure revision of the Authorised Version by five Church of England clergymen. All spare hours were devoted to it. May 4th - Hort to Lightfoot: "I am also glad that you take the same provisional ground as to infallibility that I do. May 5th - Westcott to Hort: "at present I find the presumption in favour of the absolute truth - I reject the word infallibility - of Holy Scripture overwhelming.

May 18th - Hort to Lightfoot: "It sounds an arrogant thing to say, but there are very many cases in which I would not admit the competence of any one to judge a decision of mine on a textual matter, who was only an amateur, and had not some considerable experience in forming a text.

I mean, a text, issued by men already known for what will undoubtedly be treated as dangerous heresy, will have great difficulties in finding its way to regions which it might otherwise hope to reach, and whence it would not be easily banished by subsequent alarms. And, whatever the truth may be, this seems just the liberty required at the present moment, if any living belief is to survive in the land. This they later circulated under pledge of secrecy within the company of N.

Northern Convocation declines to cooperate. May - Committee of 18 elected to produce a Revised Version. The 7 members of the N. Committee invite 18 others, making Indeed, there is a very fair prospect of good work, though neither with this body nor with any body likely to be formed now could a complete textual revision be possible. There is some hope that alternative readings might find a place in the margin.

June 4th - Westcott to Lightfoot: "Ought we not to have a conference before the first meeting for Revision? There are many points on which it is important that we should agreed. The rules though liberal are vague, and the interpretation of them will depend upon decided action at first.

July 1st - Westcott to Hort: "The Revision on the whole surprised me by prospects of hope. I suggested to Ellicott a plan of tabulating and circulating emendations before our meeting, which may prove valuable. July 7th - Hort: "Dr. Westcott and myself have for above seventeen years been preparing a Greek text of the New Testament. It has been in the press for some years, and we hope to have it out early next year. Vance Smith, a Unitarian scholar, was a member of the Revision Committee. Revision Company.

Smith communicated but said afterwards that he did not join in reciting the Nicene Creed and did not compromise his principles as a Unitarian. The storm of public indignation which followed almost wrecked the Revision at the outset. At length however Dr. Smith remained on the Committee. I published Text and short Introduction. May 17th - the Revised Version is published in England, selling two million copies within four days. It fails however to gain lasting popular appeal.

II published Introduction and Appendix. References: Hort, A. Hort, MacMillan and Co. Westcott, A. The unmitigating emergence of unauthorized Bible versions is risen up to challenge and remove the Authorized Version of the Bible which thing cannot be done for the Lord said that his words shall not pass away.

There will be a true church awaiting his return. This proliferating emergence of unauthorized versions is a full frontal attack launched and sustained against the word of God to remove it and replace it with something else. Satan knoweth that he hath but a short time. As for the saints, we are exhorted to Jude


Brooke Foss Westcott

His father, Frederick Brooke Westcott, was a botanist. A few years after this Chartism led to serious disturbances in Birmingham and many years later Westcott would refer to the deep impression the experiences of that time had made upon him. He took his BA degree in January , obtaining double-first honours. In mathematics, he was twenty-fourth wrangler , Isaac Todhunter being senior. In classics, he was senior, being bracketed with Charles Broderick Scott, afterwards headmaster of Westminster School. In , he obtained his fellowship; and in the same year he was made deacon by his old headmaster, Prince Lee , later Bishop of Manchester. In he was ordained and became an assistant master at Harrow School.


Life and letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, D.D., D.C.L., sometime Bishop of Durham






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