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all times concurred in this opinion of the importance of the study of the classics — and one's habits of interpretation strengthen the judgment, give it acumen and a discrimination of things that differ. Perhaps no faculty is more susceptible of cultivation. Hence the great advantage of the study of the classics in early life. The habit of weighing and balancing evidence for or against a particular interpretation gives acuteness to the judgment even in moral decisions.

And here we might remark that the Greek classics are particularly interesting as written in the language of the New Testament. We are aware there is a difference in the idiom, the mould in which they are cast, and even in the signification of individual words. But still no one will deny that we could not dispense with classical Greek in the interpretation of the New Testament. Luther's prediction, we doubt not, is substantially true that if Greek is lost, we shall lose the Gospel. Translations would soon become obsolete, the streams would become more and more impure the further from the fountain head, and that too without remedy, or with any means of purifying them. Like the schoolmen, theologians would resort to fanciful, allegorical expositions, to subtleties, to endless quibbles, and gross darkness would brood over the world.

The study of the classics has a well nigh marvellous effect in refining the taste, and quickening the sense of the beautiful. Now as so much of the Bible is poetry, how important that we should be conversant with the best ancient poets! Though the language is different, yet it admits of illustration and comparison from the classic poets. We have but to turn to Lowth, Knapp and Grotius to see how much may be borrowed from the classics to illustrate the Scriptures. The poetry of all nations has many points in common ; though it may differ in imagery and costume. In all alike, it is the language of excited feeling, and differs in the language of ordinary life not only in diction, but in the predominance of the imagination and fancy. If this is so, the poetry of one nation


be illustrated from the universal poetic language of others. Much of the Bible is in poetry for the sake of making a deeper impression than a dry didactic manner. He, who knew all the avenues to the human heart, for he made it, has presented truth in such a way as to interest his intelligent creatures.

He who is absolute master of this poetic language, wields a powerful instrument of persuasion. We have barely alluded to Vol. XI. No. 29.


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the effects of the study of the classics upon the style. Paradoxical as it may first appear, they bring us back to the simplicity of nature, give us a distaste for false ornaments, the dulcia vitia, which so often mislead the tyro and render our language better adapted to the comprehension of the uneducated. Their noblest works are continually warning us to be simple. Cicero says, “ In dicendo vitium vel maximum esse a vulgari genere orationis, atque a consuetudine communis sensus abhorre.” If we follow such guides we cannot easily go wrong, or fall into dangerous errors of style.*

We are sorry the classics have lost their ancient appellation of the humanities, such is their effect in humanizing man, that they preëminently deserve this title. The orations found in the Greek classics form the best model for the preacher. With one consent both antiquity and modern times have pronounced them the models which approach nearest perfection. They have gained the universal suffrage of all times and ages. They have reached the summit of well-nigh unattainable perfection, and are now gazed at afar off. We hesitate not to say, that if the orations of Demosthenes were critically, and aesthetically studied, they would go very far in giving the student a taste for real simplicity, they would cure him of the vulgar appetite for tropes and metaphors and flowers ; of seeking ornaments for their own sake ; of going out of his way for flowers, instead of plucking them if found in his path. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have tried, that the faithful, oftreviewed study of one of Demosthenes's orations — that De Coronâ for instance -- would do more to give the student right apprehensions of true eloquence, than the study of all the works in rhetoric in our language. The student who has never read his orations will be astonished, as Rheinhard was, at his naturalness, his simplicity and want of affectation and ornament. He was the model Rheinhard followed, and we would hold him up to the theological student as a safe one. Could his style of argument and warmth be copied, its success would be infallible over a modern audience. The style of no orator of antiquity could be so safely copied in the pulpit. We almost wish,

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* " Tanquam scopulum sic vites insolens verbum,” said Caesar. We need not refer to the numerous rules of the same nature to be found in that most invaluable compend of rhetoric, Horace's Ars Poetica.

though it may shock some of our readers, that the stereotype models of pulpit eloquence, particularly of the French school, might be fairly put an end to. The world would be no loser ; bombast would be exchanged for simplicity, and art for nature.

Let but the preacher be as deeply imbued with his subject, with nothing but bis subject, as Demosthenes was ; let him drop himself, as Paul did ; let him seek only to be understood and felt ; let him use that vehement reasoning, that “ logic set on fire,” which Demosthenes used, and with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, he would do wonders in converting sinners from the power of Satan unto God. Perhaps the student even after a repeated perusal will not be fully prepared to sympathize with the glowing feelings of Wyttenbach,* who found nothing of eloquence in Demosthenes the first three readings. “At the fourth, an unusual and super-human emotion pervaded my mind. I could now see the orator at one time all ardor ; at another in anguish, at another borne away by an impulse which nothing could resist. As I proceed, the same ardor is kindled in my own mind, and I am carried away by the same impulse. I fancy that I am Demosthenes himself, standing before the assembly, delivering this oration and exhorting the Athenians to emulate the bravery and glory of their ances

I can no longer read the oration silently, but aloud.”+ Though the student may not be able to go all lengths with Wyttenbach, yet he will feel and admire the manner in which Demosthenes gains his purpose; now by concentrated argument, hurled like a thunderbolt ; now by withering irony and sarcasm,

See Stuart's Dissertations on the Study of the Original Languages of the Bible, p. 58.

# Why is not the De Coronâ of Demosthenes studied more in our Colleges ? This one oration thoroughly mastered would do more for the mere acquisition of the Greek language, than a collection of scraps and beauties, from all the most eminent Greek orators. It is very important that a student should feel he has mastered some one author; besides, by hurrying from Lysias to Isocrates, and from Isocrates to Demosthenes, he loses all that might facilitate bis progress in any one author from familiarity with his style. The use of Collectanea has a tendency to give miscellaneous, unsystematic and ill-digested knowledge. The student collects a few vague ideas, some moral precepts, some jokes, and some accounts of battles, instead of habits of patient thought or an acquaintance with the general style of any one author.

and thus attains the highest intellectual eminency the world has ever seen, that of

“ Wielding at will that fierce democratie,
Shaking the arsenal, and fulmining over Greece,

To Macedon and Artaxerxes' throne."* We would, were it practicable, that the classics could be studied to some limited extent in our theological seminaries as is the custom in Germany. But we fear it is out of the question. Short as is the term of our theological study, the youth of our land are disposed practically to make it shorter. Under the specious plea, that the harvest is great, and the Lord hath need of them, they take a short cut in theology, and run before they are sent. They find when too late that they have deceived themselves and robbed their minds of that knowledge and experience, by which they might have been thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work. If the student in private would keep up his classical studies, the same object would be gained.

And we would here remark, that the neglect of classical studies is to be attributed in some measure to the manner in which they are taught in the academy and college. The student, perhaps, never was interested in them; he never thought of them otherwise than a hard lesson to be conned over, recited, and as soon as possible forgotten. He knew that Xenophon was easy Greek, and Thucydides hard Greek ; but he never felt the inspiration, the freshness, the force, the truth to nature of the classics. He never looked to the living soul which animates them. He never entered into their magic circle, was never initiated into these mysteries which are eminently qornεντα συνετόισιν, which only have a voice and significancy for the initiated.

“ They have no ear, nor soul to apprehend

The sublime notion and high mystery." + One of the most common pleas for the neglect of the classics is the want of leisure amidst the arduous duties of the ministry. But we fear indolence is generally at the root of the matter, the want of a true scholar-like feeling and spirit. The time

Milton's Paradise Regained, Book IV.
Milton's Comus.

required is not great ; the benefit in improving the style and tone of thinking, real and lasting. One hour a day redeemed from relaxation, from company, or in any other way consistently with duty, would accomplish large results. It would keep alive classical studies, would enable the student to advance a step, and would add something to his intellectual opulence. We would ask the student to be honest with himself, and inquire whether an hour, not assigned to other duties, could be spent more profitably. That it is possible to find time even in the most faithful and laborious ministerial life, we learn in the case of Robert Hall. “He thought himself defective,” bis biographer remarks, “in a tasteful and critical acquaintance with the Greek poets. He read the Iliad and Odyssey twice over; proceeding with nearly equal care, through nearly all the tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides, and thence extended his classical reading in all directions. To the Latin and Greek poets, orators, and historians, he devoted a part of every day for three years. He studied them as a scholar, but he also studied them as a moralist and philosopher, so that while he appreciated their peculiarities and beauties with his wonted taste, and carefully improved his style of writing and his tone of thinking by the study of the best models, he suffered them not to depreciate his esteem for the moderns.” *

Another excuse, not now so frequently advanced as formerly, but perhaps not the less secretly entertained, is found by the student in the danger to spirituality of mind from the study of the classics. That this is not necessarily the case might be shown from the examples of Calvin, Melancthon, and the fathers of the English church - men, who were the great lights of the age in which they lived, and whose works posterity will not willingly let die. Though they were men of various erudition, though they had rifled the treasures of the old and mighty world, grappled with whole libraries and ranged the whole circle of human knowledge, yet they bowed as low at the foot of the cross, and their piety was as simple, humble and childlike, as though they had just known, and known no more, than that the Bible was from God.

But we need not enter the lists as apologists for profane

* Gregory's Life, p. 54. Am. Edit. — Pareau well remarks, “ Per universum boruin studiorum cursum, ne tunc quidem eas literas omittal negligatque, quando gravissima officia doctoris christiani habebit.

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