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presence of the acute scepticism and the learned infidelity of these days of rebuke and blasphemy? No! sure I am that the good old proverb,
more haste, worse speed,” is as applicable to the present crying need of the Church as to any other undertaking. If we are bent on sending raw levies into the field without training and without proper equipment, what we gain in numbers, we shall more than lose in efficiency. A longer and a stricter discipline of preparation for the office of winning souls to Christ--a more extended course of probation and study, might thin for a moment the ranks of our candidates, but would far more than compensate this by improvement in their quality. If the progress of infidelity and irreligion is to be stayed, one of the first steps under God required of the rulers of the Church is, that they cease to commission to the office of teaching, young men whose deficiencies of training (by no fault of their own) exposes them to the ridicule of adversaries with whom they are unequal to cope, and who are loaded with the responsibilities of authority beyond their strength to bear at a time when they should still be sitting as learners at the feet of their elders.'
In connection with Mr. Drake's pamphlet we may notice the ordination questions of the Bishop of Norwich, as proving that the neglect of Hebrew as a preparation for ordination in the Church of England is not universal. The candidate for deacon's orders is required to translate some verses in Deuteronomy (printed in the examination paper) into English, and to give a vocabulary of the principal words. We are glad to see this, as indicating a very proper perception of the claims of this department of sacred learning. As we have said on another occasion, the bishops have the matter in their own hands, and we hope the time is not far distant when they will properly take it up. That will be an honourable day for the Church when all her ministers shall enter their holy office, not with a mere smattering of Hebrew acquired by a forced process for the occasion, but such a knowledge of the language as will make the after-study of it a pleasure. This end will be gained not by any false idea that Hebrew is of easy acquirement, which is contrary to fact, but by the appropriation to the study of it of such an amount of care and time as its immense importance deserves.
Mr. Drake endeavours to give authority to his exhortation by publishing, simultaneously with it, his Notes critical and explanatory on the Propheciest of Jonah and Hosea, with a summary of the History of Judah and Israel during the period when the Prophecies of Hosea were delivered.' He states his object to be " to supply a want which has been felt in giving instruction in Hebrew, viz., of something to assist those who have used the ordinary text-books, and yet have not become masters of the language. Between the beginner and the scholar there is a wide interval, and an increasing class of students who, having mastered the earlier stages of Hebrew, may be induced to extend their reading to the more difficult portions of the Old Testament, by the aid of notes intermediate in character between such as are simply elementary and such as might profess to be exhaustive, and to supersede the necessity of further research. I have sought to do for the prophecies of Jonah and Hosea what has so often been done for the works of classical authors, with a view to their being read by students as distinguished from scholars, though happily, from the nature of the case, with little necessity for conjectural emendation of the text. We think Mr. Drake's performance fully carries out the plan he has sketched, but it also does more; it supplies in a short compass much that is highly useful as a commentary on the substance of his authors, as well as philological and grammatical elucidations of their text. The notes seem to be such as a student would be likely to enter in an interleaved Hebrew Bible, procured with some labour, and treasured up for future use.
b Jonah is properly called a prophet, but can the book bearing his name be correctly called a prophecy ?- ED. J. S. L.
We proceed to Mr. Preston's Phraseological Notes on the Hebrew text of Genesis, which in its general features is similar to the work of Mr. Drake. It will certainly answer the same end, though Mr. Preston does not profess that to be his object, which he
says is to explain and illustrate the most remarkable peculiarities and anomalies of matter, style and phrase, in the book of Genesis.' He has produced a volume which we have read with great interest, both for its freedom from mere prejudices, and the skill with which real difficulties have been pointed out and explained. The author is quite at home with the Arabic language, in which he has published a valuable work, and used it judiciously for the explication of difficult passages. When we allude to the freedom from prejudice by which these notes are distinguished, we mean his apparent rejection of à priori reasonings, and unbiassed adherence to the phenomena of the text.
As Mr. Preston does not make any superfluous remarks, either in the preface or elsewhere, we have no means of knowing his precise locus standi in reference to dogmatic theology, but have a right to conclude it is that of a sound member of the Church of England. The following quotations will at once give an idea of the work, and
. the Targumist, “a wind from before God was blowing upon the surface of the waters.
a very powerful wind,” the words God and Jehovah being frequently placed in construction with Hebrew nouns to express merely a superlative,
may also mean רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים
&e. This is an irrefragable canon of interpretation, but yet we cannot but think there is some consideration due to the old doctrine, that the Holy Ghost may be here alluded to,
' This name of the Almighty, the plural of aibe (from Aba, colüit, adoravit) probably “ a plural of excellence or majesty," ? is here (ch. i. 1), as usual, construed with a verb singular, though in several passages, e.g. Gen. xx. 13; xxxv. 7'; Psa. lviii. 12, &e. it is construed with a verb plural. It is the only name of God that occurs in this chapter, and in certain other parts of this book, which have been supposed to be quoted by Moses verbatim from previous records relating to the general history of mankind ; those passages being regarded as more strictly his own composition, in which the name it constantly occurs (e. g. the 2nd chap. &c.). The strongest evidence for such a combination of two distinct records (Mosaic and Præmosaic) in the book of Genesis, is found in the account of the deluge, where, in the part wherein the name Duntes alone occurs, Noah is commanded to take two and two of all animals, without reference to their subsequent distinction into clean and unclean ; whereas, in the part wherein the name in is used, he is directed to take seven of the clean and two of the unclean ; and then, again, in a subsequent portion, wherein the sole use of the name ass is resumed, Noah receives permission to use all animals and birds alike as food, without the ceremonial distinction referred to.”—This seems a very fair induction, and yet, considering the use that has been made of the Elohistic and Jehovistic theory, by the adversaries of inspiration, we should have liked a hint that able men, Hengstenberg, for instance, have accounted for the peculiarities noticed on other principles
. In reference, also, to the Elohim being a plural of majesty, while we are decidedly opposed to resting the doctrine of the Trinity on verbal niceties, is it yet quite proved that this peculiar formula has no connection with it? See a dissertation on the subject in Mr. Oxlee's "The Christian Doctrines of the Trinity and IncarWith recerca clean anda tions in the paper on The Antediluvian Theocracy,' p. 402 of the present number of the JOURNAL..
Sugu We now come to what is a rare thing in Hebrew literature in our country—a work in two thick volumes, and on the trite suba ject of grammar. And they are handsome, volumes tog, leaving nothing to be desired in the departments of paper and typography, Even in their external relations, therefore, these volumes demand
our attention, and we shall proceed to introduce them to the notice of our readers.
We confess to feeling a strong prejudice against the statement of the title-page - A Hebrew Grammar, Arranged in a Series of Letters from a Teacher of Languages to an English Duchess.' We dislike the form of Letters in toto for any work of a scientific character—but Hebrew Grammar in Letters, and those addressed to an English Duchess ! our judgment revolted from the proceeding as one not based on propriety, and likely to damage sadly the success of the work. We are not averse from ladies learning Hebrew ; far from it when they have time and inclination ; but we would not certainly publish a book to stimulate them to do so, especially at a time when many really great scholars and learned divines are destitute of such an acquirement. But if we did think proper to assist the fair sex in such a recondite pursuit,
would refer to them as a whole, and not to a class—to the daughters of Great Britain, and not to a duchess. In literature, if nowhere else, we do escape from class distinctions and conventionalities, and we are sorry to see this aristocratic designation introduced, in such a way, into so expensive a work on the study of Hebrew. S Nor can we discover, by any research we have made into the matter, whether this arrangement is a pure fiction, or whether Mr. Mason has really had the honour of instructing the fair lady in the language of Moses and the prophets. So frequently is Aly Lady Duchess' alluded to, that certainly the Letters have a nature and life in
, uncouth consonants and accents, had really been presented to her Grace's eye.' It may be so, and then we can only say, that the master seems to have had a most docile and successful, as well as highly-born pupil; it may not be so, and in that case the writer has been at great pains to keep up a fiction which can only result in creating a prejudice against the real claims of his book.
We have stated thus frankly our objections to the mode of arrangement Mr. Mason has adopted, that we may the better be able to speak highly of the work itself. We know that the words in the title will, in many quarters, at once condemn the book, and we have thought it more for the interests of the author, as far as our influence is concerned, to speak plainly of the fault, before we proceed to enunciate the excellencies. We know that Mr. Mason has intended well by giving his work the light aspect it assumes, believing as he did, that many would be attracted to a study, if it appeared that it had no difficulties which a female could not overcome. But, alas ! that female being a duchess would vitiate this conclusion, for she can command time and opportunities and teachers, which those whose profession would be really adorned by a knowledge of Hebrew can never possess. But we will now dismiss the subject, and assure our readers that we consider the volumes a valuable addition to our Hebrew literature, in spite of the unfortunate error of judgment we think the author has committed.
The difficulties are removed out of the way of a beginner, by many very efficient arrangements, and by exercises rising gradually from the most simple to the more highly complicated
portions of Hebrew Grammar." In this respect, and in clear paradigms, &c., this work will prove invaluable to self-instructors. But it is on higher grounds that we are disposed to value it, for its very various and careful disquisitions on the more difficult and disputed portions of the science on which it treats. Mr. Mason is a devotee of the old Hebrew grammarians, and is ready to tilt on their behalf against all new comers, and introduces for our real benefit their rules in the original Rabbinic. Now while we do not follow him in his defence of these often mistaken writers on the language of their fathers, we are yet greatly interested in the information he furnishes respecting them. But, more than this, the rules and propositions given are defended and illustrated by most copious quotations from the Scriptures, thus enabling the reader to form his own judgment. In fact, we confess we have formed an attachment to Mr. Mason's very laborious and learned production, from the way in which its pages are highly suggestive, and the vast amount of informatiou furnished both on the philosophy and the technicalities of Hebrew Grammar. For instance, there is a full list given of the technical terms used by Hebrew grammarians, and then, as a set off against such a dry morsel, a convivial song, in very pure Hebrew, by Rabbi Solomon Ben Gvêril
, and other pieces by modern learned Hebrew Doctors. Dr. Lee's theory of the Tenses, and the Vau conversive, is attacked with great zeal, and with a copious array of examples. Without pledging ourselves to the author's opinions, grammatical or interpretative, we can recommend his volumes to the notice of our readers.
A greater contrast could scarcely be presented than is offered by Dr. Donaldson's grammar, placed at the side of Mr. Mason's. It throws off the fetters of the old Jewish school, and suggests a modern and improved mode of learning the sacred language. The work is independent in its plan, concise and scientific in its details, and will be read with interest by those who prefer some general principles of grammar to old conventionalities. The author has so well expressed the design and plan of the work, that we feel sure we shall do more justice to him, and more benefit our readers