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experimental religion, and the origin of the Unitarian sect. We refer our readers to a book entitled "The Great Awakening," in which the labors of Jonathan Edwards are narrated, whom God raised up to meet the destructive apostacy from the faith that swept like a flood over all New England. If infant baptism was now observed generally as it was then, even unsupported by legal enactments, the same sad results would follow. But by positive rejection in some churches, and the almost total neglect of it in many others, it is fast waning to extinction; and the friends of experimental religion have much reason for gratitude that this error has so far declined, and will soon be buried in the rubbish of traditional errors, whose paternity the Roman Catholic Church claims. Let them have all the glory. Neither Peter or Paul wish to father it on any of the churches they founded. Our opposition to it is an honest and Scriptural one; and no one ought to blame us for rejecting an error which, in spite of every possible support, is surely dying on the hands of its professed friends. With commendable candor and manly charity, Dr. Bushnell honorably acquits us when he says, “There is little reason to wonder that the Baptists should reject infant baptism when we hold it ourselves only as a dead tradition.” We dare not uphold and spread an error so unscriptural and injurious to vital religion. If others do it, on them rests the solemn responsibility.
Here we take our stand. It is the honorable position, we think, of truth and duty. And if we must defend ourselves against the unreasonable and unjust charge of bigotry, we frankly say to all who assault us, Drive us, if you choose, into the closest exclusiveness ; but however narrow the enclosure, God and truth are with us. Yea, pressed even into the pass of that Thermopylæ which always divides truth from error, we can, if need be, like the immortal examples in our history, die for Christ and for the truth. Though it may seem a small matter to contend for, it is with us a great principle underlying the foundation of an apostolic church of Christ. As one has eloquently spoken of liberty: “When liberty is at stake, we cannot be too scrupulous; we must parley upon a hair, for that hair may be a fibre of eternal right upon which clings the destiny of millions." So we stand for a single hair of truth, and consider it more noble and important in the great issues of truth at stake to cling to that single hair, than to a cable of error and twisted inconsistencies, even though it run back into the darkness of antiquity, and is dignified by the sanctions of popes and bishops without number. It is strong enough for us if it came from heaven. It has dignity and authority enough in the single example of Christ. Every sense of right, every pulse of love to God, to man, to a world lying in wickedness, groaning to be delivered, compels us to stand before God, angels, and men the uncompromising defenders of truth, the open and avowed opposers of error, however high its pretensions, however numerous and powerful its supporters. For we believe the day is coming when truth will prevail—when the Bible will no more be wrested to support false doctrines and unscriptural ordinances, which now claim unblushingly their paternity from it, under the banner of the cross. We know not what sufferings may precede that day—perhaps a deeper baptism of fire and blood awaits us than any which our past history contains. But, glorious era, the day will come when Truth, in the strength of her divine rights, radiant in the robes of her own celestial beauty, and divested of all that false ornament with which the pride and the ignorance of her enemies have disguised her, will stand before an admiring world in more than angelic loveliness. Nations will hasten to do her homage. The earth will rejoice, the heavens be glad, righteousness will go before her, peace will follow her onward march; victory, universal and eternal, will crown her heavenly mission. We see it, and rejoice. We hail the coming glory of the apostolic millennial church!
we are struck with that lofty character of absolute perfection, which entitles its works to be viewed as classic, in the same sense as the productions of Greece, of Rome, and of the Latin peoples. Alone, among all the peoples of the East, Israel has had the privilege of writing for the whole world. An admirable poesy, certainly, is that of the Vedas, and yet this collection of the first hymns of the race to which we belong, will never supplant, in the expression of our religious feelings, the Psalms--works of a race so different from ours. The other literature of the East can be read and appreciated only by the learned; the Hebrew literature is the Bible, the book by distinction universally read: millions of men, spread over the entire world, know no other poesy. In this wonderful destiny it is necessary, doubtless, to allow for the religious revolutions which, especially since the sixteenth century, have caused the Hebrew books to be viewed as the source of all revelation; but it may be affirmed that if these books had not contained something profoundly universal they would never have arrived at this fortune. Israel had, like Greece, the gift of evolving perfectly its idea, of expressing it in a fit and finished setting; symmetry, propriety, taste, were in the East the exclusive privilege of the Hebrew people, and thereby it succeeded in giving to thought and sentiments a general form acceptable to the whole human race.
1 This version of 24, chap. 1, book II, of Renan's " Histoire Générale Des Langues Sémitiques," is presented as an interesting and suggestive passage, in its linguistic positions, and in its literary appreciation of the Scriptures. It is also measurably free from the views of ra. tionalistic criticism held by the author.-TRANSLATOR.
Although the intellectual development of the Jews presents a character of considerably advanced reflection, we must guard against seeking in it anything scholastic or grammatical. Before the captivity there is found nothing among the Jews which resembles a school, or an organized system of instruction. Rhetoric, or, in other terms, reflection upon style, the germ of which appears among the Arabs in the most spontaneous epochs of their genius, does not reveal itself among the Jews before their contact with the Greeks, and, as to grammar, they had not the idea of it until the tenth century of our era, when they followed the example of the Arabs. Their beautiful language bears no trace of the influence of rules. In view of works so imposing by their volume, their minute accuracy, and their profound method, as the Critical Grammar of Ewald, or the System of Gesenius, it might be believed that we were dealing with an idiom subjected in its smallest details to inflexible laws. Nothing, however, would be less true to the facts. Generally the most prolix grammars are those of languages which have had the least of grammatical cultivation; for then the anomalies smother the rules. In Hebrew, as in the majority of languages which have not undergone artificial reform, there is a multitude of apparently illogical constructions, and changes of style, numberless unfinished and interrupted sentences. It would be equally superficial to view these anomalies as errors, since no Hebrew thought of seeing in them transgressions of rules which did not exist, and of seeking rigorous laws, where there was only instinctive choice. The truth is that these irregularities which the grammarians undertake to explain by anacolutha, ellipses of preposition, etc., are the inadvertences, or, rather, the liberties of a language which knows but a single rule—to express with animation, by means of its natural mechanisms, what it wishes to express.
In the matter of orthography, for example, it may be said that the Hebrews never arrived at perfect regulation, and ordinarily seek only to represent the sound by the most approximate sign. Hence numerous נב=נַף סְבַךְ=שָׂרַךְ צְפַן=שָׂפַן=סָפַן :commutations of equivalent letters
1 Should not this statement be somewhat abated in view of Samuel's presidency over the "sons of the prophets" in collegiate assembly and pursuits? It is true some have supposed that the monastic and devotional element predominated in these schools; others, howeve , have regarded as a principal aim the imparting of instruction in the law, in the art of sacred poesy, and in those functions of the annalist which the Hebrew prophets so largely discharged.-TR.
737=P27: frequent varieties in the transcription of geographical names : ribv==shows the employment, more or less frequent, of the quiescent letters, according to the option of the writer; the abundance of the forms of the pronominal affix for the same person, 1=177, etc. It is important to observe, also, that the more ancient and primitive a language is, the less it has of orthography; for, possessing its roots in itself, it comes, so to speak, face to face with the articulation, which it is desired to express, without having to take account of any anterior plan of etymology. Orthography becomes one of the most complicated parts of grammar only in the case of idioms which, like the Romance languages, are merely decompositions of more ancient languages, and do not contain in themselves the law of their processes.
The same spirit of independence presides over the syntax and the general construction of the ancient Hebrew. The most correct authors seem to have little concern that their sentence should conform to a perfect and determinate model. There results in their style a
, quite childish simplicity, and a thousand devices of speech which would be effaced in a more complete periodic structure. We might adduce, for example, all the constructions which are called pregnant." Thus, when we read in the second chapter of Genesis (verse 21): Minna ning nip!!, God closed flesh in its place, our scrupulous tongue is not entirely satisfied; and yet how much less expressive is this true: God closed the empty place by putting flesh there! In like manner: They have profaned to earth thy sanctuary (Psalm lxxiv. 7), is much more lively, but less logical than: They have profaned thy sanctuary by casting it down to earth. All languages offer examples of such constructions; but I doubt if any present so frequent and marked ones as the Hebrew.
The same must be said of those numerous suspended and interrupted sentences, and those doubled by the incorporation of a different turn of expression; real negligences, which, without impairing clearness, add to naturalness. In this passage, for example, uns 34 a 15-7977"! (1 Samuel x. 9); God changed for him another heart; there are, so to speak, two constructions superposed :
וַיַהֲרֹךְ אֶלהִים לִבּוֹ .1 .וַתֶּן־לוֹ אֱלֹהִים לֵב אַחַר .2
The author commenced his sentence after the first type, and finished it after the second. Another example (Psalm xiii. 2): How
1 See Gesenius, Lehrg. der hebr. Spr., 222 b.