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Conjunctions that are of a positive and absolute nature require the indicative inood.
66 As virtue advances, so vice recedes :" “He is healthy, because he is temperate."
Exercises, p. 108. Key, p. 74. The conjunctions, if, though, unless, except, rohether, &c.generally require the subjunctive mood after them : as, “IF thou be afflicted, repine not;" “ Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him;" “ He cannot be clean, unless he wash himself;" “ No power, except it were given from above;"> “Whether it were I or they, so we preach.” But even these conjunctions, when the sentence does not imply doubt, ad mit of the indicative : as, Though he is poor, he is contented.”_See Subj. mood, p. 75, and pages 202, 203.
The following example may, in some measure, serve to illustrate the distinction between the subjunctive and the indicative moods. “Though he were divinely inspired, and spoke therefore as the oracles of God, with supreme authority; though he were endued with supernatural powers, and could, therefore, have confirmed the truth of what he uttered, by miracles; yet, in compliance with the way in which human nature and reasonable creatures are usually wrought upon, he reasoned.” That our Saviour was divinely inspired, and endued with supernatural powers, are positions that are here taken for granted, as not admitting the least doubt ; they would therefore have been better expressed in the indicative mood: “ Though he was divinely inspired; though he was endued with supernatural powers.” The subjunctive is used in the like improper manner in the following example: Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience, by the things which he suffered.” But, in a similar passage, the indicative, with great prd: priety, is employed to the same purpose; “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor."
vody 1. Lest, and that, annexed to a command preceding, necessarily require the subjunctive mood : as, "Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty;" "Reprove not a scorner,
lest he hate thee;" «« Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob.”
If with but following it, when futurity is denoted, requires the subjunctive mood : as, “ If he do but touch the hills, they shall smoke;" " If he be but discreet, he will succeed." But the indicative ought to be used, on this occasion, when future time is not signified: as, “ If, in this expression, he does but jest, no offence should be taken ;'* “If she is but sincere, I am happy.” The same distinction applies to the following forms of expression: “ If he do submit, it will be from necessity;"
Though he does submit, he is not convinced;" « If thou do not reward this service, he will be discouraged ;" “ If thou dust heartily forgive him, endeavour to forget the offence.”
2. In the following instances, the conjunction that, expressed or understood, seems to be improperly accompanied with the subjunctive mood. ." So much she dreaded his tyranny, that the fate of her friend she dare not lament.” « He reasoned so artfully that his friends would listen, and think [that] he were not wrong."
3. The same conjunction governing both the indicative and the subjunctive moods, in the same sentence, and in the same circumstances, seems to be a great impropriety : as in these instances. If there be but one body of legislators, it is no better than a tyranny; if there are only two, there will want a casting voice." If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them is gone astray,” &c.}
4. Almost all the irregularities, in the construction of any language, have arisen from the ellipsis of some words, which were originally inserted in the sentence, and made it regular; and it is probable, that this has generally been the case with respect to the conjunctive form of words, now in use;
hich will appear from the following examples: “We shall overtake him though he run;" that is, “though he should run ;" * Unless he act prudently, he will not accomplish his purpose;" that is, “ unless he shall act prudently."
“ If he succeed and obtain his end, he will'not be the happiers! for it:” that is, “ If he should succeed, and should obtain kis end." These remarks and examples are designed tost show the original of many of our present conjunctive forms": of expression; and to enable the student to examine the propriety of using them, by tracing the words in question to their proper origin and ancient connexions. But it is necessary to be more particular on this subject, and therefore we shall add a few observations respecting it. 12:19
That part of the verb which grammarians call the present tense of the subjunctive mood, has a future signification, This is effected by varying the terminations of the second and third persons singular of the indicative ; as will be evident from the following examples: “ If thou prosper,
thou shouldst be thankful;" “ Unless he study more closely, he will never be learned.” Some writers however would express these sentiments without those variations; “ If thou prosperest,” &c. “Unless he studies,” &c.: and as there is great diversity of practice in this point, it is proper to offer the learners a few remarks, to assist them in distinguishing the right application of these different forms of expression. It may be considered as a rule, that the changes of termination are necessary, when these two circumstances concur: 1st, When the subject is of a dubious and contingent nature; and 2d, When the verb has a reference to future time. In the following sentences, both these circumstances will be found to unite : “ If thou injure another, thou wilt hurt thyself;" “ He has a hard heart; and if he continue impenitent, he must suffer ;" “ He will maintain his principles, though he lose his' estate ;" “ Whether he succeed or not, bis intention is laudable ;" “ If he be not prosperous, he will not repine;" “ If a man smite his servant, and the die,” &c. Exodus xxi. 20. In all these examples, the things signified by the verbs are uncertain, and refer to future time. But in the instances which follow, future time is not referred to; and therefore a different construction takes place; “ If thou lidest virtuously, thou art happy;""Unless he means what he says, he is doubly faithless ;”
he allows the excellence of virtue, he does not regard her precepts: “Though he seems to be simple and artless, he; has deceived us ;" “ Whether virtue is better than rank or wealth, admits not of any dispute ;” “ If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayst," &c. Acts viii. 37. There are many sentences, introduced by conjunctions; in which neither contingency nor futurity is denoted : as,
“Though he excels her in knowledge, she far exceeds him in virtue.” “ I have no doubt of his principles : , but if he believes the truths of religion, he does not act according to them.”
That both the circumstances of contingency and futurity are necessary, as tests of the propriety of altering the ter. minations, will be evident, by inspecting the following examples ; which show that there are instances in which neither of the circumstances alone implies the other. In the three examples following, contingency is denoted, but not futurity. “ If he thinks as he speaks, he may safely be trusted.” “ If he is now disposed to it, I will perform the operation.” “ He acts uprightly, unless he deceives me.” In the following sentences, futurity is signified, but not contingency. “ As soon as the sun sets, it will be cooler." “ As the autumn advances, these birds will gradually emigrate.”
It appears, from the tenor of the examples adduced, that the rules above mentioned may be extended to assert, that in cases wherein contingency and futurity do not concur, it is not proper to turn the verb from its signification of present time, nor to vary its form or termination. The verby would then be in the indicative mood, whatever conjunctions inight attend it. If these rules, which seem to form the true distinction between the subjunctive and the indicative moods in this tense, were adopted and established in practice, we should have, on this point, a principle of decision simple and precise, and readily applicable to every ease that might occur.-It will, doubtless, sometimes happen, that, on this occasion, as well as on many other
occasions, a strict adherence to grammatical rules, would render the language stiff and formal: but when cases of this sort occur, it is better to give the expression a dif ferent turn, than to violate grammar for the sake of ease, or even of elegance. See Rule 14. Note 2,
5. On the form of the auxiliaries in the compound tenses of the subjunctive mood, it seems proper to make a few observations. Some writers express themselves in the perfect tense as follows: “ If thou have determined, we must submit:" “ Unless he have consented, the writing will be void:" but we believe that few authors of critical sagacity write in this manner. The proper form seems to be, "If thou hast determined ; unless he has consented,” &c. conformably to what we generally meet with in the Bible: “I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me." Isaiah xlv. 4,5. “What is the hope of the Kypocrite, though he hath gained,” &c. Job xxvii. 8. See also Acts xxvüi. 4.
6. In the pluperfect and future tenses, we sometimes meet with such expressions as these; “ If thou had applied thyself diligently, thou wouldst have reaped the advantage;" “Unless thou shall speak the whole truth, we cannot determine;" “ If thou will undertake the business, there is little doubt of success.” This mode of expressing the auxiliaries does not appear to be warranted by the general pracetice of correct writers. They should be hadst, shalt, and wilt: and we find them used in this form, in the sacred Scriptures.
“ If thou hadst known,” &c. Luke xix. 47. « If thou hadst been here," &c. John xi. 21. “ If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,” Matt. viii. 2. See also, 2 Sam. ii. 27. Matt. xvii. 4.
7. The second person singular of the imperfect tense in the subjunctive mood, is also very frequently varied in its termination: as, “ If thou loved him truly, thou wouldst. obey him;" “ Though thou did conform, thou hast gained .