Westcott and Hort�s Diaries -
It puzzles me no end how men who profess to be sound in doctrine can be impressed with B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort. Here are a few excerpts from their diaries. A good question to ask their admirers is, �Do you respect ministers today who believe as Westcott and Hort did? If not, why do you respect Westcott and Hort so highly? - Ed
Dec. 23rd - Westcott: �My faith is still wavering. I cannot determine how much we must believe; how much, in fact, is necessarily required of a member of the Church.� (Life, Vol.I, p.46).
1847 Jan., 2nd Sunday after Epiphany - Westcott: �After leaving the monastery we shaped our course to a little oratory...It is very small, with one kneeling-place; and behind a screen was a �Pieta� the size of life (i.e. a Virgin and dead Christ)...I could not help thinking on the grandeur of the Romish Church, on her zeal even in error, on her earnestness and selfdevotion, which we might, with nobler views and a purer end, strive to imitate. Had I been alone I could have knelt there for hours.� (Life, Vol.I, p.81).
1848 July 6th - Hort: �One of the things, I think, which shows the falsity of the Evangelical notion of this subject (baptism), is that it is so trim and precise...no deep spiritual truths of the Reason are thus logically harmonious and systematic...the pure Romish view seems to me nearer, and more likely to lead to the truth than the Evangelical...the fanaticism of the bibliolaters, among whom reading so many �chapters� seems exactly to correspond to the Romish superstition of telling so many dozen beads on a rosary...still we dare not forsake the Sacraments, or God will forsake us...I am inclined to think that no such state as �Eden� (I mean the popular notion) ever existed, and that Adam�s fall in no degree differed from the fall of each of his descendants� (Life, Vol.I, pp.76-78).
Aug. 11th - Westcott: �I never read an account of a miracle (in Scripture?) but I seem instinctively to feel its improbability, and discover some want of evidence in the account of it.� (Life, Vol.I, p.52).
1860 Apr. 3rd - Hort: �But the book which has most engaged me is Darwin. 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.� (Life, Vol.I, p.416).
Oct. 17th - Hort: �I have been persuaded for many years that Mary-worship and �Jesus�-worship have very much in common in their causes and their results.� (Life, Vol.II, p.50). 1890
Mar. 4th - Westcott: �No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis, for example, give a literal history - I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did - yet they disclose to us a Gospel. So it is probably elsewhere.�
1851 Dec. 29,30th - Hort: �I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of texts, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus.. Think of that vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS.; it is a blessing there are such early ones� (Life, Vol.I, p.211).
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.� (Life, Vol.I, p.425).
1861 Apr. 12th - Hort to Westcott: �Also - but this may be cowardice - I have a sort of craving that our text should be cast upon the world before we deal with matters likely to brand us with suspicion. 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.� (Life, Vol.I, p.445).