« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
ture and the arts, - to thousands, who now act in the belief, that money is the true and only Kalon. With the juster recognition of mental claims, and the increasing honors paid to letters by the few, would follow an increase of respect in the many.
Thence would ensue rectified perceptio s as to man's true aims; a calmer and righter mind; and a less blind subserviency to our too-besetting passions.
“The People (meaning the inass) have been sharper-sighted to their true interests than the rich. The means of elementary education are scattered everywhere ; munificent funds are established in many of the States, which insure the benefit of common schools to all. Those inferior departments of knowledge, whose utility is more obvious to the multitude, and within their aims, have been provided for. But where are the great foundations of the affluent ? where the evidences of their high appreciation of a noble education ? The sons of the laborer and mechanic are pushing forward; the distance is growing less and less between them and the heirs of the wealthiest citizen :
nay, often, privation and seclusion have done for the heart and the intellect of the one, what the amplest means and opportunity have failed to purchase for the other, — failed because misapplied, or not applied at all. Blindness to the real value of intellectual accomplishment lies at the root of common opinion ; and must first be cured. The possessors of wealth may, then, be disenchanted of the notion, that their sons, if not installed in the counting-room, or distributed among the professions, must be blotted from the roll of useful citizens. They must and can be convinced, that our greatest want is the want of an order combining superior means with illuminated minds ; and that the two especial testimonies, required by their country, at the hands of the opulent, are, — building towers of light to preserve rational liberty, amidst the fogs and shallows of democratical fanaticism ; and bequeathing to her their sons equipped, either for public or private life, by a consummate education.
“These views, carried out, would soon enrich us with intellectual men of fortune, numerous enough to infuse a nobler flavor into miscellaneous society ; and from whom, as from a springhead, would flow more elevated and just conceptions of the social duties of a freeman and a gentleman, exempted by his patrimony from the task of acquiring property. Their habits, opinions, and attainments would be admired and imitated.
We should have a class performing the functions of an Aristocracy, without its intolerable appendages. Our ornamental order would resemble one of our own peerless rivers, always present, to diffuse fertility and beauty, but always changing its healthful waters.”
pp. 125 – 130.
The Discourse concludes in the following beautiful strain ;
“It is impossible to expand the subject further. True-hearted earnestness, concentration, and perseverance would effect a change. The sincere cooperation of the rich alone would put causes in action, that would soon pervade and stimulate ihe whole community. - But, whatever present disappointment may await hopes like these, literary men ought never to relax their efforts, never to undervalue their noble calling. Overlooked they may be, in the busy world, or beside the political idols of the hour ; but they have sources of cheerfulness, and sustaining dignity, within, which neither fickle fortune, nor fickler party, can take away. Their peace of mind is not laid up in vessels which a demagogue can shatter ; their honors are not transitory as the tenure of office ; their independent thoughts are not tortured to conformity by the machinery of party ; their soul's vital aspiration is not staked on the issue of a canvass ; old age is not, to them, the 'pining atrophy' of worn-out or disappointed statesmen. A living fount of mental gladness sparkles in their bosom. Solitude is not solitude to them : the shadows of the past, the wide-spread, ever-varying Universe, are passing before them, and visions of the future beckon them on. Sometimes, perhaps, amidst the glare and hurry of a great metropolis, struck with the results of her confederated minds, the man of letters may feel useless and alone. Let him reflect, that all usefulness, and all happiness, are a compromise; and that periodical eclipses are the price of habitual enthusiasm. Let him ponder and compare; but never mistake so widely as to link, even in wish, his immortal part to the dragrope of the world's affairs. His pursuits refer to higher, though less obvious things; to ideal beauty, - abstract truth, - universal interests, — enduring principles : they bring wealth to the soul, and transport to the mind : they drop seeds which shoot up a growth for perpetuity : they collect radiance for the torch which Faith waves to man, contending with shadows and billows on this world's shore, ere his eye catches that fixed and purer beam, which burns alway on the battlements of his final home.” 141 - 143.
We have no words of common compliment with which to take our leave of Mr. Hillhouse. From one who so well understands the reasonableness, and has found the benefit, of the nonum prematur in annum, the public cannot expect to hear often ; but certainly there are very few living writers, from whom the announcement of a new work would give equal pleasure.
Art. XI. - CRITICAL NOTICES.
1.-1. Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar, translated from the Elev
enth German Edition, by T. J. CONANT, Professor of Hebrew, and of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation, in the Literary and Theological Institution at Hamilton, N. Y. With a Course of Exercises in Hebrew Grammar, and a Hebrew Chrestomathy, prepared by the Translator. Boston: Gould, Kendall, & Lincoln. 8vo.
pp. 325 and 60. 2. Theory of the Hebrew Verb, by the Rev. W. Yates.
the Correction of present, and the Preparation of future,
GESENIUS is so well known by Biblical scholars, as the first Hebraist of the age, that the appearance of his Grammar, for the first time in an English dress, must be regarded with high favor. His name alone is sufficient to stamp it with
value and give it currency; and when we add, that Professor Conant has executed the translation with much judgment, and with some valuable additions, in the shape of Grammatical Exercises, it must be evident, that he has established a strong claim on the gratitude of the theological and philological student. The work of Gesenius requires no eulogy from us, nor is this the place to enter into a detailed examination of his theoretical views, or practical expositions of the structure of the language ; but we concur with the Translator in considering, that, as a philosophical arrangement and explanation of its grammatical phenomena, it has no equal, and that it is particularly distinguished by a chaste simplicity and attractive clearness of method, - qualities which not only imply a correct taste and a logical understanding, but evince, also, a thorough mastery of the subject.
Our opinion would be less entitled to consideration, if it were indiscriminating ; and for the sake, therefore, not of finding fault, but of showing how little there is to be found fault with, we may state, that Gesenius appears to have fallen into a slight mistake, regarding the oriental mode of pronouncing the letter Ayin. Referring to the two sounds of this letter, with and without a diacritical point, he says, "In the mouth of the Arabian, the first often strikes the ear like a soft guttural r; the He justly
second, as a sort of vowel sound, like a.” (p. 22.) The former sound, as we have heard it in the mouths of Arabians, both Jews and Mohammedans, is any thing but a soft guttural sound. It is the hardest and harshest guttural, that we have ever attempted to master. One grammarian (Lumsden) says, that the sound is “unknown to our language, but may be easily recognised by Scotchmen” (Lumsden himself was from the north of the Tweed) as a hard and harsh guttural, having a good deal more of the letter G, than the Scotch guttural gh, in the word Daughter, pronounced DOKHTER ; another (Yates) says, that it is pronounced strongly in the throat as in the act of gargling; and a third (Shakespear) compares it to the Northumbrianr, - comparisons and explanations which show that the epithet soft is strangely misapplied.
Notwithstanding the general excellence of Gesenius's Grammar, we must acknowledge, also, with great diffidence, that we have not felt entire satisfaction with his explanation of the Præter and Future Tenses, Sections 123 – 126. says, that “it is a partial and false view, which regards the socalled Præter and Future, not as tenses, but as designed, originally, to express distinctions of mood (Indicative and Subjunctive) rather than relations of time.” This, however, is the view adopted by Mr. Yates, and defended with great research and acuteness, in his “ Theory of the Hebrew Verb," with this difference, that he has substituted the Potential for the Subjunctive mood, and considers, that each of these moods, the Indicative and Potential, contains three tenses, the present, past, and future. But when Mr. Yates has shown, that the so-called Præter is also used in the present and future tenses, and that the so-called Future is also used in the present and past tenses, he has only shown that they are both aorists, indefinite as to time, and no additional idea is gained by calling these aorists moods or modes. Then when he has further shown, that his so-called Indicative and Potential modes, “when employed to describe moral and religious truths, should be rendered in the present tense ; when employed to describe historical events which transpired before the time of the writer, in the past tense ; and when employed to describe future and prophetic scenes, in the future tense ; ” — when he has shown this, he has not shown wherein they differ from each other, and what is the distinct and definite use of each, the only points which present any difficulty, but he has in effect shown, that they are identical and undistinguishable, and that one of them, consequently, is redundant and unnecessary. But although Mr. Yates has failed to establish his own theory, he has very successfully shown the inadequacy of the usual explanations of Hebrew grammarians as well as of those of Dr. Lee, Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge, in England, who has gone out of the beaten track, and contends, that the so-called future is a present tense.
It does not appear to us, that Gesenius has removed all the difficulties belonging to this quæstio vexata, nor have we found any grammar that does. The subject needs the further investigations of scholars; and it will perhaps be found, that a more thorough comparison than bas been yet made of the structure and syntax of the Hebrew and Arabic, may supply the light that is required.
Having been led to refer to Mr. Yates's speculations in Hebrew grammar, we avail ourselves of this opportunity to bring to public notice the extensive work which he has projected under the title of " Biblical Apparatus." The preparation of the work is well advanced, but as yet only specimens, which are now before us, have been published. The work is to consist of four parts. The first part will be a Dictionary of all the Hebrew Roots and Derivatives in the Old Testament, with their meaning in English, Bengali, and Hindustani, together with a list of all the renderings employed to express their signification in the English version. The second part will be a Dictionary of all the Greek words in the New Testament, with their meaning in the same three languages, and a similar list of renderings. The third part will be a Dictionary of all the English words in the Bible, with their correspondent terins in Hebrew, Greek, Bengali, and Hindustani, together with all the Hebrew and Greek words to which they are applied by the English translators. And the fourth part will be the application of the preceding parts, and of other critical resources, to the improvement of different versions of the Sacred Scriptures; showing how greater uniformity may be secured in the rendering of the words, and greater perspicuity in the expression of particular phrases and passages. It is only one accustomed to make labor a pleasure, that would even contemplate such a work ; and it is only the most determined perseverance that will enable him to accomplish it. Mr. Yates, as a translator of the Scriptures, is the worthy successor, in the Baptist Mission to Bengal, of the late Dr. Carey ; and to no one could such a work be assigned with a greater prospect of complete success. It will be a work of the greatest utility in perfecting the numerous versions of the Scriptures into the Oriental languages, and we shall hail its appearance with the greatest pleasure. We earnestly hope, that he will receive from Missionary and Bible Societies, theological institutions, and the general students of language, the support and encouragement that will - NO. 106.