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the ehevi in the very imperfect state of Hebrew syllabication, having never been applied to any general use as vowels on account of the original inadvertence of the inventors as to their general availability, must have become perfectly useless as such. The cumbrous machinery of points was afterward adopted, no matter when, to supply the deficiency; and where these matres lectionis did not still live in their cognate consonantal sound, they showed their original office by quiescing with their new equivalents. In the meantime, by a happier and more matured system, they maintained their original value when transplanted in the languages of the West.
Professor Bush's forte lies in his power of popular illustration; and if he departs in a measure from the technical forms of grammatical precision, his periphrastic style, perhaps, sooner conveys the sense intended by the philological nomenclature of other grammarians. In passing over his sections on the points, accents, tones, consonant and vowel changes, we find him perfectly successful in making all these difficulties familiarly easy and intelligible to the reader. He has always ready some obvious analogy to explain his positions: he has always at hand some case by which to show the use and importance of the subject on which he happens to treat. Thus the power of the accents in changing the sense of a sentence is happily illustrated by two or three examples. He has always some physical or metaphysical reason when necessary that is easy, simple, and strikingly obvious, to explain and impress more vividly on the memory those phenomena which, in the school of Stuart, and even in the grammar of Nordheimer, freeze into rigid forms, or stand like some incomprehensible mummies in the Egyptian catacombs. We could make numerous quotations, only the burden of Hebrew typography involved in them would render them too cumbersome for general acceptance.
In passing forward to the grammatical structure and forms of words, page 100, we have Ewald's theory on the primitive elements of the parts of speech:-" It has been usual with most grammarians and lexicographers," says Prof. Bush, "to regard the verb as the most primitive element of language, the parent stock from which nearly every other part of speech is derived. This is doubtless true to a considerable extent; but the more correct theory seems to be, to consider the verb and noun as collateral derivatives from an abstract root consisting of consonants only, and involving, as it were, both the nominal and verbal meaning, either of which may be developed by means of certain vowel points. Thus, instead of deriving melek, a king, with some grammarians, from malak, to reign, or vice versa, with others, the true method probably is, to refer them both to the abstract root mlk, which is to be considered intrinsically neither as verb nor noun, but which becomes a verb if written malak, or a noun if written melek. According to this, therefore, the root, strictly speaking, exists only as a pure abstraction, as an invisible root, hidden, as it were, in the earth, whose trunk and branches are alone to be seen." Hence Professor Bush lays it down as "an axiom, in regard to the written Hebrew, that consonants are essential, while vowels are merely accidental; the former denoting the most elementary and radical ideas, as well as sounds of words; the latter expressing their various nicer modifications and distinc
VOL. X.-Oct., 1839.
tions of sense." Now as language was spoken before it was written, this theory to be correct must hold good in both cases. And, indeed, the idea of a king, and of reigning, might have both floated in the mind in the general mlk before it was divided on the tongue by the organs of utterance, through the interposition of vowels. If generalization be the nature of the first idea of the mind, and discrimination be that of the second, which is no doubt the case, the transition from the first to the second in the lightning process of thought may be easily imagined. The first idea prepared the mouth, the second gave it its specific form, and opened it in speech, according as the mind felt its desire to express the one derivative idea or the other. It is very immaterial, therefore, whether the language was first written or first spoken; suffice that it was first thought, in the several intellectual transitions of the brain. This philosophy of language may be ridiculed by those who pride themselves on what are called common-sense views of the question; men who never ascend higher than secondary causes-who, because they have never been accustomed to investigate the origin of things, are contented to take facts as they find them, satisfied that such is their nature. But a just development of the philosophy of language opens a glorious arena for mental exercise and discipline; and Professor Bush cannot be too highly extolled for introducing philosophical illustration in a practical elementary grammar, which answers one great purpose, if no other, to teach the learner how to observe, and to apply the same spirit of observation to other subjects.
To show the general difference of style and manner between Nordheimer and Professor Bush, we may take what each says of the future apocopate:-Nordheimer says, page 118, "When the future expresses a wish or command, or is connected to the succeeding word by makkeph, it is announced with greater brevity than usual,--in the former case, on account of the quickness of utterance appropriate to the expression of a command or urgent solicitation; and in the latter, in consequence of the loss of the accent, which enabled the ultimate long vowel to form a mixed syllable." Professor Bush: "As far as this contracted formation depends upon the sense, it is doubtless to be accounted for from the fact, that in expressing prohibition, dissuasion, exhortation, earnest wishing, and the like, for which the apocopated future is principally employed, the utterance is naturally somewhat abrupt and hurried, and the term employed thrown into its shortest possible form. The effect of this quickened enunciation is obvious. The stress of the voice being expended upon the beginning of the word, the tone is of course retracted, long vowels are shortened, and the final syllable being consequently but slightly enounced, it is easily lost altogether in sound; and when once lost in sound, it easily disappears in form. The mode of apocopation is therefore twofold: (1.) By shortening the long vowel; (2.) By casting away the final letter and vowel." An ordinary critic would perhaps here say that Professor Bush has used a multiplicity of words to express what Nordheimer has conveyed in a more concise and a neater form. But what is the state of the case? Professor Bush, with his periphrastic flourish of trumpets, invests every thing he says with importance. His design is to arrest attention to a fact. He has gained his object. Professor
Bush is read and remembered. No one forgets the weighty stroke with which the future is apocopated and dislocated in every joint at the word of command. Professor Nordheimer is read too. But what was it he said? Nothing more than common. We take this occasion to rebut what has been charged upon Professor Bush's style as a fault, too great prolixity, too great a redundancy of expression. If the professor's volley of grape-shot effects the desired execution, the expenditure of the powder is no loss.
In reviewing that part of the grammar which regards the tenses, we find Professor Bush not at all ready to adopt either the theory of Ewald, or that of Professor Lee. These last two grammarians both started with a peculiar hypothesis, at variance with the common system. Ewald considers the tenses of the Hebrew to be two in a very extended sense, and calls them the perfect and imperfect. His perfect includes what has been and what is, and is the common preterite; his imperfect comprises what is not yet finished, and what will be, and is the common future. Professor Lee changes what is commonly considered the future tense into a present. It is strange how apparently dissonant these theories are from each other; yet they all really approximate; and certainly the proposition of Professor Lee deserves greater consideration than it has met with in this country, defended as it is by many phenomena of the language which he adduces in support of it. However, the subject being not yet sufficiently digested, Professor Bush has not departed from the beaten track; yet we might have expected here some illuminations from his striking pen, and that he would not have suffered this subject, and that of the conversive vav, which depends on it, to sit in darkness. We hope he will carefully review this matter in his third edition. From the fact of the commonly called future being derived from the infinitive construct, there is more reason to believe that it has a present signification than a future one, since the natural force of the infinitive is to describe what is, which may be more particularly exemplified in Greek and German infinitives with the article.
Nordheimer divides the verbs into perfect and imperfect. He says the imperfect verbs "have been improperly called by grammarians irregular. We say improperly, because in Hebrew we meet with none of those arbitrary deviations from the normal mode of inflexion which are of such frequent occurrence in Greek, for example, and the modern languages of Europe." But the truth is, there can be no impropriety in the term irregular, if they depart in any one manner from the common form of the verbs in the same language, whether that term be applied to the same kind of deviation or not in any other language. Regular and irregular are relative terms, and it is not necessary that they should have the same extent and kind of application in all languages. Professor Bush very ably answers Nordheimer on this subject in pages 113, 164.
In proceeding to the classification of nouns, we think the plan of Professor Bush far more simple than that of Professor Nordheimer, as well as far more philosophical and just. Professor Stuart has thirteen declensions, following the cumbrous system of Gesenius. Professor Lee has five species of segolate nouns, eleven species of nouns not segolate, and four classes of augmented nouns. The
classification of Professor Bush is an excellent digest of the scheme of Ewald; and for all practical purposes it is far better than any that has yet appeared.
It appears that all the grammarians of America, Stuart, Nordheimer, and others, have recognized the merits of Ewald; but none but Professor Bush has brought him out in any popular form. His theories are too abstruse, and his manner too complicated for the general reader; and it is only by comparing Professor Bush's grammar with the work of Ewald itself that any one can properly appreciate the great service the former has conferred on the student by eliciting the sentiments of his author in a plain, simple, yet elegant style. In passing on to the genders of nouns we will just quote the following passage in farther illustration of Ewald's theories :
"From what has been said above, it appears, that of the two methods of distinguishing the genders, viz. by form and signification, neither is an absolutely sure criterion. The second, that of the sense, is probably the most primitive and legitimate; but even this is rendered uncertain by reason of the imaginative character of the early periods of antiquity, or of the oriental nations generally, which has given rise to a vast number of ideal feminines, in contradistinction to physical ones. Viewing nature with the most vivid perception, they seem to have conceived of all objects, not only those whose gender was externally visible, but all others which bore a resemblance to them, as clothed with the same attributes. Whatever was possessed of a higher, more original, and independent life and energy, was ranged under the masculine; while that which was comparatively inferior, weak, and dependent, was on the same principle referred to the feminine. On this principle we may suppose it is that the Hebrew words for earth, or land, or city, being conceived as the sustaining mother of the inhabitants, are uniformly feminine. Hence all names of particular countries and towns are of the same gender; nay, even the names of nations and tribes may be construed as feminine, inasmuch as land and people are cognate ideas.”
The syntax is sufficiently full and comprehensive for a language in which there is scarcely any; and a useful grammatical analysis of the first chapter of Genesis closes the work, in which all the preceding rules on punctuation and etymology are referred to and applied. The Grammar has the usual quantity of grammatical forms, paradigms, and what is peculiar, a praxis, or exercise to each section; so that while the mere reader is continually entertained with philosophical illustration, the learner is usefully employed by reducing to practice all the essential rules.
The book is by no means to be compared with Professor Bush's former work. The plan, the style, the spirit of it, is altogether different. It is equally suited to the dullest capacity as to the more inquiring mind; and all obstacles to the acquisition of Hebrew may now be said to be fairly removed. It is a book which ought to be in the hands of every student of the Bible, and become the textbook of theological seminaries. If we seem to speak high in its praise, it is because we think it is a book that ought to be fairly brought out before the public, being the first and only elementary treatise on Hebrew grammar in which the subjects are handled in an easy, elegant, and popular style, and in which philosophy and practical utility are serviceably blended. However excellent Pro
fessor Nordheimer's performance may be, yet it is certainly deficient in those peculiar qualities which constitute that pre-eminence of the work of Professor Bush by which he has supplied a long felt desideratum. We close by wishing that the work may pass through many editions until it has obtained for the author that extended reputation to which his labors and talents are justly entitled.
From the [U. C.] Christian Guardian.
BAXTER'S WORKS, WITH A BRIEF NOTICE OF THAT EXTRAORDINARY MAN OF GOD.
The Reformed Pastor; showing the nature of the Pastoral Work. Abridged from the works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, by Thomas Rutherford.
A Call to the Unconverted. By Richard Baxter.
The Saints' Everlasting Rest; or, A Treatise on the Blessed State of the Saints, in the enjoyment of God in glory. Extracted from the works of Mr. Richard Baxter, by John Wesley, A. M., late Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford.
As the seventeenth century was remarkable in the civil and ecclesiastical history of Great Britain for protracted agitations, violent convulsions, and essential changes in its whole administration and system of government and legislation; so is it equally memorable for an unequalled number of able and profound writers in the several provinces of Christian theology and Biblical criticism. On this subject, an elegant writer has well observed, that "amid all the disturbed and unsettled circumstances which prevailed during that period, both in church and state, many eminent men arose who devoted their enlarged and active powers with unweariable constancy to the investigation of sacred truth, who esteemed that truth beyond all earthly treasure; and who, in spite of persecution, privation, and sorrow, embraced and maintained it with unyielding firmness. They explored the literary sources of Scripture interpretation with a diligence and skill seldom surpassed; and they labored to exhibit the doctrines and precepts of the Christian revelation in all their native harmony and force, while they applied them with singular fidelity and zeal to the renovation of the heart, and the safe guidance of the life. 'Being dead,' they 'yet speak;' and in the venerable remains which they have bequeathed to posterity, they still claim and receive attention. The Christian student, who aspires to clear, comprehensive, and manly views of inspired theology, feels that he is amply repaid by an assiduous application to those mighty masters of a former, and in many respects less favored age."
Among the most distinguished divines in the Establishment [the Church] during that period were Jeremy Taylor, Leighton, Hall, Bull, Tillotson, Patrick, Lowth, Whitby, Pearson, Sherlock, Stillingfleet, Usher, Burnet, and others; and among the immortal men and eminent divines who preferred sacrificing their livings and enduring reproach, imprisonments, and poverty, to the enjoyment of wealth and honor, with the sacrifice of a good conscience-and many of whose names will be known through their writings to the