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in his Letters to Channing, he appeared in full panoply, with weapons drawn from Teutonic armories, to beat down error, the opponents of transatlantic learning became silent. His own education for the ministry, according to his own statement, had been comprised in the reading of three or four treatises on doctrinal theology, with some of Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, and a part of Prideaux's Connection; and when he was called, in 1810, from the First Church in New Haven to the chair of Sacred Literature in the Andover Seminary, he was only acquainted with the barest rudiments of the Hebrew tongue.* By a happy coincidence, at the very time when Professor Stuart entered upon his labors, a revived interest in the study of the Hebrew was kindling in Germany, chiefly under the auspices of the celebrated scholar, Gesenius, whose works in this department were creating a new epoch in sacred philology. In 1821 Professor Stuart published a Hebrew Grammar, on the basis of the Grammar of Gesenius; and even so late as that, the difficulty of printing a book of that kind in this country was such that he was compelled to put in type a part of the paradigms with his own fingers. In the preface, Professor Stuart thus speaks of Mr. GIBBS: "In correcting the proof-sheets of the work, the author received important assistance from his friend, Mr. J. W. GIBBS, who, in a very obliging manner, revised most of them with great care. He earnestly wishes the same gentleman might be induced to undertake a translation and republication of Gesenius's Manual Hebrew Lexicon, which is a new and abridged edition of his original work, first published in two volumes octavo. The abridgment is made by Gesenius himself, for the use of schools and colleges, and is adapted, in a peculiar manner, to the wants and wishes of learners. The writer cannot refrain from the pleasure of adding, that the translation and republication of such a work is an undertaking for which Mr. GIBBS is peculiarly qualified, both from his habits of assiduous study, and from his fundamental knowledge of the German, in which the work is written, and of the Hebrew, with its cognate dialects." Before
* Professor Park's Sermon at the Funeral of Professor Stuart, 1852.
this, however, Mr. GIBBS had given proof of his rare scholarship in the translation, from the Latin, of Storr's Essay on the Historical Sense of the New Testament, a little treatise by a theologian of Tübingen, in opposition to the Rationalistic doctrine of an accommodation in the Saviour's teaching to the prejudices of his time. This translation, which was issued in 1817, Mr. GIBBS accompanied by brief marginal notes, evincing the nicely discriminating habit of his mind. In the preface, he says: "The clergy of this country will not long refuse the advantages which may be derived from the German theologians; but whether the time has arrived for incorporating their literature with our own, experiment must decide." In a second edition of his grammar, Prof. Stuart makes an allusion to the Hebrew lexicon of Gesenius, as "now in the course of translation and publication" by Mr. GIBBS, and as destined "to supply an important desideratum among the works on Hebrew Literature accessible to students in this country." The Dictionary appeared in 1824, and three years after was republished in London. It was not a mere translation, but was enriched for the use designed, by grammatical information, and by the correction of numerous oversights and errors which had crept into the original work. The preparation of this lexicon, in the faithful and excellent manner in which it was accomplished, was a very important service to the cause of Scriptural science. In addition to this work, Mr. GIBBS issued, in 1828, a dictionary of smaller dimensions, entitled a "Manual Hebrew Lexicon." In connection with a reference to the grammars of Professor Stuart, Dr. Robinson says of the larger work of Mr. GIBBS, that it " removed many of the difficulties still remaining in the way of the student." Mr. GIBBS afterwards formed the plan of an English edition of the larger lexicon of Gesenius, and had proceeded, at no small expense of time and money, a considerable way in the preparation of it. But with his wonted thoroughness, he could not leave a word until he had made the Article upon it perfect, sifting what the author had written by independent investigations of his own. The result was an unwillingness on the part of some to wait as long as it seemed likely they would be obliged to, for the completion of the
work, and the translation was undertaken and carried through by another. The labor that he had bestowed upon it was lost. This frustration of a cherished design was a painful literary disappointment, which lay heavy upon his sensitive spirit. But from its publication in 1824 until 1836, when the Translation by Dr. Robinson appeared, I suppose that the work of Mr. GIBBS was in current use, and filled an essential place among the helps for the acquisition of the Hebrew.
In 1824, shortly after the organization of the theological department in connection with College, Mr. GIBBS was appointed Lecturer in Sacred Literature; and at the same time the College library was placed under his charge. Two years later, a distinct professorship in this branch was founded, which Mr. GIBBS continued to fill until his death.
Mr. GIBBS has written not a little on matters pertaining to Biblical interpretation and archaeology. Very valuable contributions to knowledge from his pen have appeared in various theological journals.* But his productions have been mainly in the form of brief, fragmentary essays, upon special points; in many cases, fine specimens of accurate and exhaustive criticism. These have been printed, for the most part, anonymously, or with no other signature than a single initial, in the columns of different religious newspapers. So little effort was made to call attention to these essays, that it almost seemed as if his main end was to record and to have for himself in print his ideas upon the topics which they handled. Yet, with these fragmentary notes, a man of less modesty and more tact, might have won a distinguished reputation.
During the last few years, the attention of Mr. GIBBS has been principally directed to the subject of comparative Grammar. The investigation of words, which was ever his delight, resolved itself into this broad and philosophical inquiry, wherein words are traced back to their ultimate forms, and language is seen to rise into being. He embraced the gram
Mr. GIBBS has been also a contributor to secular periodicals. It is believed that not less than twenty Articles from his pen have appeared in the American Journal of Science.
matical views of Becker, and has illustrated them in an original manner from his own stores of learning, in several little volumes: "The Philological Studies," the "Latin Analyst," and the "Teutonic Etymologies;" all of which he has issued within the last five years.
When Mr. GIBBS entered in earnest upon theological study, religion in Germany was under an eclipse. The dry and unspiritual orthodoxy of the middle of the last century, represented by such men as John David Michaelis, was naturally followed by the rationalism of Eichhorn and his school. Neander, Tholuck, and their compeers, in whom profound erudition is blended with a sense for spiritual truth and a living faith, had not then arisen. In the hands of Eichhorn, the Old Testament was merely the literature of the Hebrews and experienced the fate which is apt to befall the Scriptures when they are handled from a merely æsthetic point of view, and when the vital, religious element that pervades them and is the clue to the understanding of them, is overlooked. Eichhorn had sufficient learning and ingenuity to compel every inquisitive student of theology at that time to attend to his writings; and he threw upon those who resorted to him problems and doubts enough to occupy a lifetime. With Professor Stuart and his school, he was perpetually referred to as an authority or refuted as an adversary. It was his influence, in no small degree, I suppose, that led them to go with him to the opposite extreme in discarding the mystical, allegorizing method of interpreting Scripture, and to make the rejection of the double sense of prophecy a leading point in their exegetical creed. I speak thus of Eichhorn, because the peculiar turn of Mr. GIBBS's inquiries-the difficulties which he must patiently, one by one, remove-the anxious studies of many an hour-were due to this unsound but once popular theologian. How true it is of a thoughtful student that the drift of his researches and reflections-a large portion of his inner lifemay be greatly determined by some one, remote in place or in time, whose name is hardly known to his most familiar friends! This kind of solitude is the incident-some would feel, the penalty—of his pursuits.
Having indicated the general nature and spirit of his labors, I shall now venture to speak of our deceased friend, more in particular, as a scholar, an instructor, and a Christian man.
It need not be said here that he was a scholar, and a ripe and good one. He was a great lover of knowledge. In all his investigations, his aim was to arrive at the truth. "The Love of Truth," which formed the subject of his commencement address when he graduated, was a distinguishing excellence of his character. His judgment was sober and sound. In most cases he was too jealous of everything that seemed to border on the fanciful. Yet the delicacy of his perception was admirable. His critical feeling in respect to the real intent of a passage of Scripture, as revealed in its language, was proof against all conjectural methods of explaining away the natural sense. The numerous hypotheses varying the old, accepted meaning of words in the first part of Genesis, he laid down with a quiet smile. His critical feeling in such matters was a second conscience. It was the result of the long and patient study of language and of antiquity. I think that Mr. GIBBS had a remarkable power of felicitous statement, which is one of the signs of mature and refined culture. He was slow in reaching the right form of words, but he reached it at last. valuable power of illuminating a point by a happy statement was his; and I have seldom conversed with him for any considerable length of time, without being struck and delighted with the exhibition of it. His taste in this direction,-his discriminative taste, it might be called, was one of his signal qualities as an interpreter. His eye would catch the shade of meaning; and the impression thus made on his feeling, he could convert, if time were given him, into clear thought. The pupils of Mr. GIBBS will remember his preference of De Wette to other commentators whose philology was somewhat more exact, and whose theological views were more in accordance with his own; a preference founded, I imagine, in that genial and tasteful appreciation of shades of thought, in which De Wette excels all other expositors of the New Testament since Bengel. It would not be strange if his fondness for a well cut statement occasioned him difficulty in reducing to form the