Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/457

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Hort
Hort
445

pointed Hulsean lecturer, when he delivered the remarkable lectures published after his death under the title of 'The Way, the Truth, and the Life '(1893). In 1868 he wrote articles for (Sir) William Smith's 'Dictionary of Christian Antiquities.' In 1870 he joined the New Testament revision company, and for ten years the revision was one of the most exacting duties in life. On all matters of textual criticism and scholarship Hort's voice in the revision company carried immense weight.

It was evident that in a country parish, at a distance from libraries and burdened with parochial duties, he was carrying on his scholarly work at a great disadvantage. Accordingly the master and fellows of Emmanuel College generously elected him in 1871 to a fellowship, together with a lectureship in theology. His devotion to Emmanuel College was the return which he rendered to that society for the unusual step of electing a senior married man to a fellowship. His friend Dr. Westcott had recently been appointed regius professor of divinity, and his other great scholar friend, Lightfoot, had since 1862 been Hulsean professor of divinity.

Hort returned to Cambridge in March 1872, taking up his abode at 6 St. Peter's Terrace, which was his home for the remainder of his life. As divinity lecturer he lectured at Emmanuel College for six years (1872-8) on New Testament and patristic subjects, e.g. the Epistles, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, St. James, Rev. i-iii., Origen's 'Contra Celsum,' Irenaeus's 'Contr. omn. Haeres.' lib. iii., Clement's 'Stromateis,' lib. vii. His many-sided interests, his remarkable accuracy, his keen sense of fairness, caused him to be in much request in university business throughout a period of great development. He occupied himself with the most elaborate care in mastering the intricacies of every syndicate and board on which he served.

Meanwhile he had devoted all available time to the great work on New Testament textual criticism on which he was engaged with Professor Westcott. The work went forward more rapidly now that Hort and Westcott were near neighbours. In 1878 Hort had written for the second time an 'Introduction' to their text.

In 1876 he published two important theses, written for the degrees of bachelor and doctor in divinity, to which he had proceeded in the previous year. They appeared in thin octavo form, with the title 'Two Dissertations : 1. On Μονογενὴς Θεὸς in Scripture and Tradition, and 2. On the Constantinopolitan and other Eastern Creeds of the Fourth Century.' The importance of these contributions to scholarship was generally recognised, and they are excellent examples of the width of Hort's reading and the thoroughness of his methods. In 1877 the first volume of Smith's 'Dictionary of Christian Biography' appeared, to which Hort contributed seventy articles in 'A' and 'B' on the Gnostics, the most elaborate of them being on ' Bardaisan' and 'Basilides.'

In 1878 Hort was elected to the Hulsean professorship of divinity in the place of Dr. J. J. S. Perowne, the present bishop of Worcester, who had accepted the deanery of Peterborough. Thus the three scholar friends were divinity professors together Westcott as regius ; Lightfoot, who until 1875 had been Hulsean as Lady Margaret ; and Hort as Hulsean. The combination was short-lived, for in 1879 Lightfoot left Cambridge to be bishop of Durham.

In 1881 most of the New Testament work upon which Hort had been engaged for more than twenty years at length saw the light. The text of the Greek New Testament, as edited by Westcott and himself, appeared on 12 May, and the revised English version of the New Testament on 17 May ; while on 4 Sept. appeared 'The Introduction' and 'Appendix' explanatory of the Westcott and Hort text. 'The Introduction' was written entirely by Hort, and it at once secured for the writer a foremost position among the great New Testament critics of the century. He was denounced by the more conservative school, who considered that the textua receptus had preserved a purer text than that which had been attained by the scientific principles followed by Westcott and Hort.

The compression that had to be practised in the 'Introduction,' and the guarded language adopted in order to avoid anything like the over-statement of his case, cause Hort's 'Introduction' to be difficult reading. But every word was carefully weighed. The problems of criticism are stated with a wonderful grasp of the whole subject; the more distinctly original portion dealing with the distribution of materials into the four groups Syrian, Western, Alexandrian, and 'neutral' was hailed by the best scholars as constituting a great advance in the scientific handling of New Testament criticism.

Between 1882 and 1890 Hort was associated with Dr. Westcott and William Fiddian Moulton [q. v. Suppl.] in preparing the revised version of Wisdom and 2 Mace. ; and this work was practically finished at the time of his death.

In 1887 the Lady Margaret's readership in divinity was rendered vacant by the death