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should say this not merely in regard to the discharge of the clerical office, but even with respect to the qualifications for the profession.
Scarcely at any period was it more necessary than it is at present to offer this observation, and if we wanted an illustration of its justice, we could not find one more suited to our purpose
than this volume of Institutes of Biblical Criticism: which affords at once a view of the very wide field over which the able Christian theologian must range. He who consults these pages will perceive the folly of those who decry human learning in matters of religion, and the stupidity of encouraging uneducated persons to declaim from the pulpit as expositors of scripture. Whoever adverts to the history, geography, and chronology of our religion, --- to the dispensation from which it emanates, - to the age and country in which it was first preached, -- to the manner in which it has descended to our times, to the languages in which the books that must be the guide of our faith and practice were originally written,--to the several versions into which they have at different eras been rendered, -to the state of antient MSS.--to the works of the Fathers and ecclesiastical historians, -- to the labours of commentators, - to the controversies which have agitated the church, - and to many other branches of inquiry, that are essentially involved in the occupation of a biblical students-will not need to be told how very laborious must be the task of that divine, who is bent on examining fully and deeply for himself; and how deplorably inadequate those men are to correctly appreciate the scope and explain the contents of the O. and N.T., who scarcely know even their own mother-tongue.
It is not impossible that the representation which we have given may operate to discourage some indolent and unanimated clergymen from the critical study of the Scriptures : but let us add that, though the task be arduous, yet, if it be commenced with right views and pursued with a suitable spirit, it will amply. repay for all the toil which it imposes. A biblical student acquires a very comprehensive knowlege of the most curious as well as the most interesting of all compositions; he is not obliged to take the sense of the Scriptures on the authority of others ; he proceeds ad integros fontes; he feels the beauty and the force of scripture-language, and he resolves many of the difficulties which puzzle and confound others. In fine, he will be “ able to give a reason for the hope that is in him," and will build his faith on the noblest and surest ground,
As a carte du pays, this volume of Institutes is of great value; and while it displays the learning and acumen of Pro5
Tessor Gerard, it affords more than a thousand hints to the student *. The theological lecturer, also, will prize it as a text-book; to which use the author himself has applied it The illustrative criticisms are drawn from the best sources ; and the information which is communicated, though displayed with all possible conciseness, is the result of much application and extensive research.
By way of Introduction, Dr. G. lays down the following data :
1. As the Christian religion is of divine authority, and as the Scriptures are the authentic record and revelation of it, every Christian, and especially every Christian teacher, is concerned to uoderstand the Scriptures, and obliged to study them with care.
. 2. The importance of understanding the Scriptures has never been denied, though the means of attaining to it liave not always been sufficiently attended to, even in the schools of Theology.
3. The Scriptures can be understood, only by being studied and interpreted according to the genuine principles of criticism ; and a regula: deduction of these principles, illustrated by examples, seems to be the best method that can be taken for assisting students in the study of the Scriptures.
. 4. It is from the Scripture, rightly underetood, that all just opinions in religion are to be derived; but misinterpretation of it is the certain cause of error.'
After these preliminary observations, the author proceeds to a division of his subject into two distinct heads ; part I. including the sources of Biblical Criticism, and part II. the objects of Scripture Criticism. Under the first general division, he notices, in eight separate chapters,—the Manuscripts and Editions of the Books of Scripture, -- the Oriental Languages, - the Kindred Languages,-the Versions, the Circumstances relating to the Books of Scripture,--the Comparison of Scripture with itself,--the History and Manners of the Age and Country to which Scripture-History refers, and the Opinions and Learning subservient to its Élucidation
Among the objects of Scripture Criticism, are enumerated, in the same number of chapters, - Corrective or Emendatory Criticism,-the Explication of separate Words, the Explication of Combinations of Words, Difficulties in the Circumstances relating to the Books of Scripture,—-reconciling Scripture with itself, — seeming Contradictions to Reason and Motality,—seeming Contradictions to History and Matters of Facts, and complicated Difficulties. Each of these chapters is moreover subdivided into distinct sections.
The remarks of Dr. G. are numbered, and form above 1200 separate paragraphs.
On the subject of MSS., and the necessity of correcting the printed editions by MSS., many important remarks occur, and the Professor is of opinion that a much more correct edition of the Scriptures than any extant may be obtained.?
In favour of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which is an independent copy of the original Hebrew text, Dr. G. adduces several various readings to prove that the Samaritan seems to be, and, on several accounts, may naturally be expected to be, preserved more correct than the Hebrew; and therefore will supply many emendations or preferable readings.”
In order to give the student some knowlege respecting the language of the N. T., these hints are offered :
• In the language of the New Testament, all the dialects occur ; but the attic is predominant, and runs through all the books of it.
Wysii Dialect. Sacra. • But, the writers of the New Testament being Jews, would, in writing Greek, naturally run into the idioms of their own language, or introduce hebraisms or syriasms; which have, however, been without reason, denied by some, and reckoned much more numerous than they really are, by others.
• Prochenii Diatrib. de Linguæ N. T. Puritate.
Macknight, ib. Marsh's Michael. ch. 4. 5, 6. • Such idioms can be illustrated only from the oriental languages, the study of which is thus strongly recommended, as being necessary even for understanding the New Testament; and from the version of the 70, which is written in the same idiom.
• There are in the New Testament, some Hebrew and Syriac words.
• Michael. ib. $ 6.
Glass. Philol. 1. 3. t. 5.
coming of the Lord;" others, “ Excommunicated in the
Macknight.' From this passage, we must perceive the great importance of the Oriental languages to the biblical scholar ; and the subsequent remarks of the Professor, with his illustrations, will place this matter in a still stronger light:
• The kindred languages afford the best (and where the ancient versions vary in translating them, the only) means of determining
with certainty, the signification of such words as occur but once, or very seldom, in the Bible.
• The kindred languages point out the true meaning of some words, whether primitives or derivatives, to which wiong significations have been affixed in the Bible. • Isa. xviii. 2. “ Whose lands the rivers 1872;" supposed irre
gular for 1713, (which is found in one MS.) Eng. " have spoiled;" but this irregularity unexampled. (Schult Gram. p. 491.) Arab. 87), “ to lift itself up, to bring under it.” Hence, “ have brought under them," or "overflowed." But 872 Syr. and 872 Chald. signifies " a teat;" so that the verb may mean, “ have nourished;" very applicable to the Nile fertilizing Egypt.
Lowth's Isaiah in loc. • The kindred languages enable us to discover all the senses of words, some of whose significations only have been collected from the Bible, though others of them would better suit particular passages; and, by this means, both explain these passages, and illustrate the connection between roots and their derivatives.
' In particular, these languages discover the primary signification of many roots, even such as are most commonly used, whose sen condary senses alone have been attended to, though the primary sense would throw light on some texts.
97) very common, rendered “ to be great." But Arab..
(prim.) “ to twist.” Hence i5,7). Deut. xxii. 12. “ fringes.” 1 Kings vii. 17. “chain-work," i.e. twisted
threads. (Sec.) 1. “Sinewy, brawny, compact, elegant,” in the human
make. Exod. xv. 16. “ By the greatness (brawniness, firm
ness) of thine arm, they shall be as still as a stone. 2. “ To struggle, wrestle, fight.” Job vii. 17. " What is
man that thou shouldst magnify (struggle) with him?"context.
Schultens, Defect. ling. Heb. $ 202, &c. 273, very common," to be just;” but this only a secondary
Arab. (prim.) “ To be stiff, inflexible ;” also to be inflexibly straight.” Hence metaphorically, “ to be just, true.” Isa. xlix. 24. “ Shall p7920 (literally the captives of the just one be delivered " but the devil is here meant. Eng.
Eng. “the lawful captive;" but this would be unjust. “ The captives of the inflexible, rigid, or inexorable one.”
Schultens, ib. $ 217, &c. Eccles. vii. 16. “ Be not righteous overmuch.” -- objectionable. “ Be not too rigid
or inflexible." Schultens, ib. Hammond, Grotius, Patrick, and cthers, in
Our readers will recollect the observations of Dr. Paley, on Eccles. vii. 16. He would probably have subscribed to this version of it.- It is the opinion of the Professor that the Greek version of the LXX. was one of the principal means of recovering the Hebrew language ; and that it often gives a juster sense of Scripture, than what is generally put on them. He instances Gen. vi. 3. ; which is given by the LXX. “My Spirit shall not always remain" (natausim); instead of strite, as in our version. We shall add, also, that the difference of reading in the LXX. version is often striking; and we need only refer to Ps. Ixxxiv. 6., where (not to notice other dissonances) instead of “ the rain also filleth the pools,” we read “ the Lawgiver will give blessings ;" Evaoylas oxcai vouobetav; which the Vulgate literally renders “ Benedictionem dabit Ligislator.”—Protestants are apt to undervalue the Vulgate : but Dr. G. remarks in its favour that it is, in general, skilful and faithful, and often gives the sense of Scripture better than more modern versions.'
As an inducement to the consultation of the Syriac version, this notice may suffice:
The Syriac version being very literal, ascertains clearly the readings which it followed; by reason of its antiquity, it gives great autbority to these readings; and it has preserved some which appear to be genuine.
Walton, Prol. 13. 19. Marsh's Michael. ib. sect. 9.
“ After forty years Absalom said." From
“ Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Contradictory -no reason.-Syr. “ According to thine own wisdom.” So Chald. 10 by repeated from the preceding line.
Ken. ib. p. 359.' Respecting the antient versions in general, this principle is laid down;
• Being the works of men who had several advantages above the moderns for understanding the original languages, and the plırascology of Scripture ; and those of the Old Testament, in particular, being one of the principal means by which the knowledge of the Hebrew was recovered, and by more careful attention to which, it might be rendered still more perfect ; there can be no doubt but they
Prov. xxvi. 4, 5;
• See our account of his Sermons in the Review for September last.