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These missionary seminaries will be as really subordinate to the preaching of the gospel, as are the theological seminaries of our own country. If we teach in them, and in so doing turn aside in any degree from the formal ministry of the word, it will be that we may multiply teachers and ministers of the word. Our object will be the more effectually to plant those instrumentalities, which, with God's blessing, will secure for the gospel a permanent footing and constant increase in heathen countries.
Our protracted discussion now draws to its conclusion. We should not forget, however, to glance at the claims of education among the oriental churches. The oriental churches are the Coptic, Syriac, Greek and Armenian, and they number about six millions of souls. The Copts are found in Egypt; the Syrians, in Syria, Mesopotarnia, the mountains of Koordistan, and on the western shore of Hindoostan ; the Greeks, in Greece, European Turkey and Asia Minor. Many of the Arabs in Syria are of the Greek church ; and so is the Georgian nation, living at the northern base of Mount Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The country of the Armenians lies between Asia Minor and Persia, but the Armenians are a commercial people widely scattered. About a hundred thousand Maronites on Mount Lebanon, and nine thousand for each of the sects above mentioned, are converts to papacy. These are relics of the churches planted by the apostles. To them were first given the oracles of God, and from them emanated the light of the glorious gospel which shines upon us. in treading over again the tracks of the apostles,” says the Rev. Mr. Smith, “ I have sought in vain for an individual that now breathes the spirit of Jesus, unless he had borrowed it from a foreign source."* I shall content myself with affirming, that the state of education and intelligence is much lower now, in the countries where the oriental churches are found, than it was in the apostolical times. Even if it were not, regarding education as taking the place of miraculous gifts, and as our only means of raising up teachers and preachers, it is to be numbered among the legitimate objects of modern missions to these churches. The necessity for schools sustained by missionary should be reared, in the Appendix to the 28th (last) Annual Report of the A. B. C. F. Missions, p. 151–155.
• Missionary Sermons and Addresses, p. 223.
societies, is, however, less urgent among the oriental Christians, than in heathen nations; and recent indications encourage the belief, that we may pretty easily and without great expense “provoke” those churches to do far more than they are now doing in the way of self-instruction.
Thus the case stands. Apostolical usage has been urged upon us to exclude the use of education from our missions, only because the immense difference in our circumstances has been overlooked. It has been forgotten that their missions were to the most civilized nations of the world, and that ours (I speak not only of those to pagans) are to the least civilized ; that theirs were to a people comparatively educated and refined, and ours are to a people uneducated, and to a great extent barbarian, and even savage; that miraculous gifts were conferred by the Holy Ghost upon their gentile converts, so that the churches might be promptly and effectually supplied with pastors and teachers, while notwithstanding the present intellectual degradation of heathen nations, Infinite Wisdom no longer sees it best to bestow such gifts. Thus far the comparison is against us; but now the tables turn. We have a knowledge of the world such as they had not ; facilities for travelling far exceeding theirs ; paper, printing-presses, printed books, where they had only the papyrus, parchment, the written page, and the voluminous and costly manuscript. In these circumstances, so diverse from those of the apostles, why demand of us that we use no means for publishing the gospel except what they used ? Are not means and opportunities talents to be employed-providential gifts bestowed upon us with special reference to the advancement of God's kingdom of grace on earth? Why, when the Head of the church bids us go into all the world, and has provided for us rail-roads, and steam-boats, and the thousand improvements in modern navigation, should we go on foot, or venture out to sea, without compass, or quadrant, in some "ship of Alexandria ?” Why, when he bids us make known the gospel to every creature, should we depend only on the living voice and the manuscript ? Why should we not avail ourselves of the progress of mind, of art, of science? Is it said, that means are nothing in themselves, that the power which must accomplish the work is of God, and that an extended array of instrumentalities has a tendency to make us rely on them and forget his power? This is all true. But did Paul do less because his planting was rather by itself, and God must give
the increase ? Did he not exert all his strength, and plant and water, and become all things to all men, and put into requisition every possible means to save them? Unquestionably he did; and so should we. Creation, education, grace, and providence go to make up the degree of our accountability. Still it is a precious truth, that we are no less dependent on the influences of the Holy Spirit, than the apostles were.
None of our plans will succeed, none of our efforts prosper, without his influences. Go where we will, if the Holy Spirit go not with us, our missions, however vigorously prosecuted, will fail. Missionaries and their directors and patrons have not felt this dependence enough. There is no danger of feeling it too much. When weak in ourselves, we are strong in God. But faith is not the only grace we are to exercise. We must practise obedience. We must act, as well as believe. Looking unto Jesus, we must do with our might whatsoever our hand findeth to do, for the honor of his name and the advancement of his cause on earth.
REASONS FOR THE STUDY OF THE HEBREW LANGUAGE.*
By B. B. Edwards, Professor of Hebrew, Theological Sominary, Andover. The Sixth Article of the Constitution of this Seminary prescribes, that under the head of Sacred Literature shall be included " Lectures on the formation, preservation and transmission of the sacred volume ; on the languages in which the Bible was originally written ; on the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, and on the peculiarities of the language and style of the New Testament, resulting from this version and other causes; on the history, character, use, and authority of the versions and manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments; on the canons of biblical criticism ; on the authority of the several books of the sacred code; on the apocryphal books of both Testaments, on modern translations of the Bible, more par
This Article was delivered by the writer as an Inaugural Address, January 18, 1838, in the Chapel of the Theological Seminary, It is now published in compliance with the wishes of some persons who heard it. Vol. XII. No. 31.
ticularly on the history and character of our English version; and also critical lectures on the various readings and difficult passages in the sacred writings."
This may justly be regarded as a comprehensive and wellcondensed statement of the main points in a course of sacred literature. It may, possibly, be considered as an uncommonly liberal outline, if we take into account the period in which it was framed. It would have received, however, the cordial subscription of the earliest planters of New England.
John Cotton, the first minister of Boston, was able to converse in Hebrew.* Of Samuel Whiting of Lynn, it was said, “that he was especially accurate in Hebrew, in which primitive and expressive language he took great delight.” Of the very first seitlers of Massachusetts Bay, not less than twenty had been educated at the English universities. The appointed course of studies in Harvard college, at its origin, embraced Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac. Mr. Dunster, the first president, was understood to have been well acquainted with the oriental languages. Mr. Chauncy, bis successor, was admirably skilled in the learned languages, particularly the oriental.
Ip bis acquisition of the Hebrew he derived no small benefit, during the space of a year, from the conversation of a Jew.
He was the friend of archbishop Usher, and had been, successively, professor of Hebrew and of Greek, at the university of Cambridge, England. When he attended prayers in the hall at Harvard college, in the morning, he usually expounded a chapter of the Old Testament, which was first read from Hebrew by one of his pupils; and in the evening, a chapter of the New Testament, read from the Greek. Thomas Thacher, the first minister of the old South Church, Boston, having spent several years under the tuition of president Chauncy, while the latter was minister of Scituate, became well-skilled in Arabic, Syriac and Hebrew ; in the last named language, he composed a lexicon. *
* “ Wherein this is not unworthy the taking notice of; that when the poser came to examine him in the Hebrew tongue, the place that he took trial of him by was that Isaiah 3, against the excessive bravery of the haughty daughters of Zion ; which bath more hard words in it, than any place of the Bible within so short a compass; and therefore, though a present construction and resolution thereof might have put a good Hebrician to a nd, yet such was his dexterity, as made those difficult words facil, and rendered him a prompt respondent."-Life of Cotton by John Norton.
f"The fifth day reads Hebrew, and the Easterne Tongues. Grammar to the first yeare, houre the 8th: To the 2d, Chaldee, at the 9th houre. To the 3d, Syriack at the 10th houre. Afternoone. The first yeare practise in the Bible at the 2d houre. The 2d, in Ezra and Daniel, at the 3d houre. The 3d, at the 4th houre, in Trostius New Testament.”—New England's First Fruits, London, 1643.
| It was on this account, probably, that he was employed to "revise and publish, the Bay Psalm Book," printed at Cambridge, in
The thesis, which Cotton Mather maintained, when he received his second degree was “the divine origin of the Hebrew points,” though he afterwards saw reason to change his mind, and to hold to the contrary opinion to the last. During seven years after his graduation, he prepared students for admission to college, hearing recitations every day in the original Scriptures, giving particular attention to the Hebrew.
In the burying-ground in the town of Northborough, in this State, there is a monument, on which the following is the inscription in part:
“A native branch of Judah see,
Which once from off its olive broke,
Of the reviving sap partook."
This native branch” was Judah Monis, the first regular instructor of Hebrew at Harvard college. He was by birth and religion a Jew, but embraced the christian faith, and was publicly baptised at Cambridge in 1722. The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Colman of Boston preached a sermon on the occasion which was published. In the preface, he remarks, that “Mr. Monis is a master and critic in the Hebrew. He reads, speaks, writes and interprets it with great readiness and accuracy, and is truly didaxtıxós apt to teach. His diligence and industry, together with his ability, are known unto many, who have seen bis grammar and Nomenclator Hebrew and English, as also his translation of the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Assembly's Shorter Catechism into Hebrew.”+ For his Hebrew
* Wisner's Hist. of the Old South Church, p. 12.
# It was voted by the corporation, April 30, 1722, “that Mr. Judah Monis be improved as an instructor in the Hebrew language in the