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as the product, not of blind chance by means of an accidental concourse of atoms, but of a certain forming and guiding providence seated in the mind of man; and accordingly endeavors by a rational analysis to separate the accidental from the essential, the divisible from the indivisible, the native from the foreign, the roots from the stems, the branches from the leaves, the warp from the woof. When this is performed in an intelligent manner, we perceive that the primary material of all the ancient languages consists in an assemblage of roots, equally flexible and commutable, and agreeing in three essential respects, that is to say, in number, form, and signification; they are found pervading all these languages, are the sources of all their strength and richness, the original producers of all their wealth of words, however different the latter may become while following common laws of formation and propagation. When by means of this analysis we have ascertained that the Shemitish family constitutes in fact but one language, whose triple branches rest on a single stem, we find also that the Sanscrit tribe corresponds to it in the manner of an equilateral triangle (!). The following are favorite maxims of the rational school : that the Shemitish dialects are simpler in their structure and less liable to change than the more highly developed languages of the Sanscrit stock; that the former are propagated by the formation of roots, which is brought about partly by internal vowel changes and partly by the external addition of inseparable increments, while the latter are formed by the composition of separable words either subordinate or co-ordinate one to the other in signification; that the Shemitish are inferior to the Sanscrit languages in the power of multiplying verbal roots, in the variety of their vowel sounds, and in the regularity of their formation; and lastly that the former are more spiritual and the latter more coporeal in their nature. But on instituting the analysis we have above described, these dogmas are found to be vain and incoherent, and the fancied excellencies of the Shemitish languages as well as their defects. vanish into thin air. I will merely allude in this place to other discoveries of Dr. Fürst which will prove of signal service in the investigation of the language, as for instance the absurdity of the so-called verbs sy and is, which were invented by arabizing grammarians after Menahem Ibn-Saruk, for the sake of obtaining roots of the usual triliteral form ; - the vocal power of the letters x, n, and y, which being established does away with a multitude of discrepancies between the Shemitish and Sanscrit languages ;-the doctrine of verbal prepositions, which, though running through the whole language, have heretofore been recognised by none; as also the nominal prefixes and endings, which before had scarcely been thought of, although common to the languages of both stocks ;-the division of the verbs into verbs ending in a vowel, concave verbs, and perfect verbs; and of the conjugations into fundamental, intensive, extensive, and reflexive ;-and finally the assertion of the primitive nature of the pronominal roots, which grammarians have heretofore most absurdly derived from verbs. All these I shall treat of separately and in their proper order in the sequel.* I will merely add a few words respecting the labors of Dr. Fürst in propounding, carrying out, and perfecting the principles of the historico-analytical school, of which I have asserted him to be the founder. He first set himself to work to bring to light the so-called Chaldee language, the oldest of the Shemitish dialects, which he saw was despised by many, and had been suffered to sink into the deepest shades of obscurity ; his object being to prove its relationship to the other Oriental languages, and by means of it, as affording the clearest evidence thereof, to demonstrate the close consanguinity of the Shemitish and Sanscrit families. He published accordingly his Systema Linguæ Chaldaica (1835), a work which received the applause of all its critics (among whom it is sufficient to mention Wilh. v. Humboldt), and which shed the most brilliant light, not upon the Chaldee only, but also on the Hebrew itself. To this succeeded an Aramaic Chrestomathy entitled Charuze Peninim (1836), in which he vindicates the principles of the historicoanalytical school against the attacks of Ewald, and confirms by a number of examples the doctrine of verbal prefixes, of which the germs only were developed in his former work. Having completed the Chrestomathy, Fürst applied himself with fresh zeal to the editing of Buxtorf's Concordance, a truly great and arduous undertaking, especially as the character of the editor himself as well as the progress of the age would not endure the republication of old and for the most part obsolete matter, unless what our predecessors had so well begun should appear per

* They form the subject matter of the third book.-TR.

+ The full title is as follows: 6930 7797 Perlenschnüre aramäischer Gnomen und Lieder, oder aramäische Chrestomathie mit Erläuterungen und Glossar.-Tr.

fected by more mature knowledge and set forth with additional advantages. Accordingly, he added to the Concordance a Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon, which had also been considered indispensable by the previous editors, Isaak Nathan (1445), Joh. Buxtorf (1632), and Mario de Calasio (1662); this is given in modern Hebrew, and also, with a few omissions and additions, in Latin. Here the signification of each word is developed, and all the passages of Scripture cited in which it occurs; this is done with constant regard to tradition, by first seeking out the original germ or Sanscrito-Shemitish root, and distinguishing it from the formative additions by which it is propagated and its various meanings diversified ;-and this not by way of conjecture, but according to certain fixed rules. The different uses are given in which a word occurs in the monuments of Hebrew literature, whether frequent or rare; the various acceptations which flow from the primary idea are enumerated in an order which is rather historical than logical ; numerous observations are made concerning the grammatical inflexion of the word, the difference between it and its synonyms pointed out, and the period designated in which it was in frequent use, acquired a new meaning, or became employed in some peculiar manner; and lastly, the distinction is laid down between prosaic and poetical terms. In this lexicon, the author has paid more attention to the etymological tban to the exegetical part, which he has thought better to reserve for one of larger dimensions. In this portion of his labors, which is truly excellent, there is little, we are glad to acknowledge, which is taken from others; and there is nothing at all admitted that is not examined anew and improved upon where necessary : there is much that first strikes the mind by its novelty, and then equally delights us by its truth. It is necessary however to compare with the Latin lexicon that in modern Hebrew, in which is found an abundant collection of synonyms, a constant comparison with the modern Hebrew and Aramaic, and a cultivated style, which emulates, as far as the subject will allow, the brevity of Ibn-Ezra, the copiousness of Salomon Papenbeim, and the ease of Elazar Kalir. It is true that this kind of writing, being somewhat hard and difficult, may displease many modern scholars, whom the learning and manners of our age render averse to the Hebrew style of com. position, and who, regarding the ancient authors as the only fit models of imitation, look upon the other treasures of the language with contempt and dislike; but if we will only take the pains to accustom ourselves to its peculiarities, we cannot bút own it to be ingeniously remodelled, curiously polished, and adorned with the finest gems of eloquence. Thus much of the Concordance, which gives a faithful representation of the gradual improvements that have been made in Hebrew philology. When this laborious undertaking shall have been brought to a close, * it will be followed by a Hebrew lexicon, which has been already for some time begun, and is now drawing towards its completion, and in which the distinctions between the simple, augmented, and compound roots and words will be marked with even still greater nicety; this, again, is to be succeeded by a grammar, in which will be explained in a plain and lucid manner all the undoubted discoveries made in the course of the preceding works.

In these seven stages which I have thus briefly sketched, the science of the Hebrew language has been begun, continued, and completed ; and if these be compared to the steps of a ladder, it can hardly be denied that we have now attained the last and topmost round. At no period have we been permitted so wide and unobstructed a view of the languages of the East, as that which has been opened to us within our own memory. We are placed, as it were, upon an eminence from which we may look forth on the languages of the remotest nations, and embrace them almost all within the sphere of our observation. From the time when we recognised in the Sanscrit our venerable mother-tongue, and in the Aramaic the ancestral speech of the Shemitish race, we have been enabled through our perception of their mutual relationship to enter also into a close familiarity with the Hebrew. Through a Divine Providence it has arisen that our age, which had disgraced itself by a most reprehensible disregard of the Sacred Scriptures, now abounds with numerous helps towards their better understanding, which our fore. fathers neither possessed nor could scarcely have any idea of. Hence it follows, if we mistake not, that now is being sown the seed of a harvest that posterity will reap; and whose maturity, although not yet arrived, rapidly draws near, by the aid of that

* This, it will be recollected, was written during the progress of the Concordance, which was published in twelve parts, extending from the year 1837 to 1840.--Tr.

Almighty grace which is renoving every obstacle to its full and perfect development. “ Plus ultra vocamur," says a distinguished doctor of our church, "ad eam in Scripturis facultatem, quæ sit virilis et regalis, perfectionique Scripturæ satis prope respondeat.” Oh that the time may hasten in which learning shall minister to faith, and all our progress to the advancement of the Church; and when all shall drink to the full of that ocean of divine truth, of which as yet we have tasted but a few holy and precious drops! Already, methinks, the rays of the dawn are breaking through the thick shades that have so long environed us. Already the time approaches, when all the languages of the earth shall stand around the sacred tongue, and, like the sheaves of old, shall make obeisance to Joseph's sheaf; when all our studies shall revolve about the Word of Life, perpetually encircling and tending towards that holy luminary.

ARTICLE VIII.

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE

UNITEV States, 1843.

By the Editor.

The Triennial Assembly was opened, on the appointed day, with a sermon characterized by those excellent qualities which mark the discourses of Dr. Wisner. The representation was, of course, not so large as in the Annual Assembly,-being limited to one delegate from each Presbytery, however numerous,-but was sufficiently large, and every way respectable. Some were there, who were also delegates, at the time of the division. Some with the wisdom of gray hairs; some in the vigor of mid-life; others in all the ardor of youth.

The Moderator, the Rev. Ansel D. Eddy, of Newark, N. J., presided with great impartiality and decorum, and the members universally exhibited a compliant, fraternal spirit

. We think

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