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SPURGEON'S SERMONS. SIXTH SERIES.*-Messrs. Sheldon & Co., the authorized publishers of Mr. Spurgeon in America, have presented the public with still another volume of his sermons, the sixth in the series. It will be gratifying to his numerous admirers in this country to be informed, on the authority of the publishers, that these sermons appear "precisely as they came from the hand of the author, with the revisions marked by his own pen, and without a passage or word being omitted or added." The discourses in this volume are addressed particularly to Christians.
EARNEST THOUGHTS.t-This is a book of select extracts from the sermons of the Rev. Dr. James Hamilton, the eminent Pastor of the Free Church, Regent's Square, London. The aptness and beauty of his illustrations, “so adorned with the drapery of a gorgeous eloquence," are well known to the religious world, and we doubt not that this little volume, whose title we have given, will find many admirers.
PREACHERS AND PREACHING.-This does not profess to be a very profound discussion of the subject announced in the title, but it is full of lively and pertinent illustrations drawn from real life, and we think will be regarded by the public as quite a readable book. It is from the pen of Rev. Dr. Murray, of Elizabethtown, the well known and popular author of "Kirwan's Letters." His object is to set forth, in a way that will attract general attention, the causes of the success and of the failure of ministers, and of the good and bad conduct of parishes and people towards them. It will serve for the reading of parishioners as well as of preachers; but of the two classes we should prefer it should have a wide circulation among the former.
THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD.§-The themes here presented for our consideration are of the most noble and inspiring character, and the views are all well calculated to lead the Christian to prize more highly the "precious things" which God has provided for those who love Him.
* Sermons : Preached and revised by the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON. Sixth series, New York. 12mo. pp. 450. 1860. Sheldon & Co.
+ Earnest Thoughts. From Discourses by James Hamilton, D. D., of London. American Tract Society. New York. 24mo. pp. 190.
✦ Preachers and Preaching. By Rev. NICHOLAS MURRAY, D. D. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1860. 12mo. pp. 303.
The Precious Things of God. Robert Carter & Brothers. 1860.
By OCTAVIUS WINSLOW, D. D. New York: 12mo. pp. 424.
Proposed New English DictionARY.- We have already directed the attention of our readers to the project of the London Philological Society for a comprehensive dictionary of the English language. The design, it will be remembered, is nothing less than to produce a complete lexicographic history of every word which has ever held a place in English literature,- to note the time of its introduction, or, rather, that of its first literary appearance, and if it has gone out of use, the time of its last appearance also,—to define its various meanings, supporting them by full illustrative quotations, and to show the changes of meaning which it may have undergone from time to time. The first thing to be done toward the practical realization of this great scheme, is, of course, to collect the raw material,—to find the words which are to be included, and to bring together the passages of English writers which shall exbibit all their varieties of use. It is necessary then, at the outset, to make a minute and wide-ranging lexical examination of English literature. This task, which obviously transcends the powers of any man, or any society acting through a single generation, it is proposed to accomplish' by a great system of coöperative effort, in which scholars and literary men are invited to participate. Each one of those who are disposed to render assistance, is to select for himself some one or more works, according to his time and inclination-of course, avoiding those which may have been already selected—and to read them carefully through with reference to the objects of the Dictionary. The literature of the language, since the year 1300, is divided into three periods, which have been determined with great good judgment, the first ending at 1525, the second at 1675, and the third coming down to our own day. For each of these periods, a separate standard of comparison is presented to the contributors. The standard for the first period is a list, published by the Society, containing all the words found in English works prior to 1300. The Concordances to the Bible and to Shakspeare furnish a standard for the second period, That of the third period will be a list, to be published by the Society, of all the words which appear in the works of Edmund Burke. What is expected of each contributor is, that when he meets with any word, or any use of a word, which is not to be found in his standard, he will write the word on a separate half sheet of paper, and transcribe below it the sentence to which it belongs, at the same time indicating carefully the place where that sentence occurs. The half shects thus prepared are to be forwarded to the agents of the Society, who will arrange them in due order for their destined purpose, - for the great and trying work of constructing from this precious but chaotic mass of material the well ordered fabric of a standard English Dictionary. Whether the hands that are to execute this most important task will be fully adequate to its accomplishment, remains to be proved; and we must frankly confess that our own minds are not wholly free from misgivings. But we are bound to hope for the best, and, whatever may be the character of the Dictionary itself, the proposed collection of materials for the Dictionary can hardly fail to be of inestimable value. It is with pleasure, therefore, that we hear of special efforts made by the authors of this undertaking to awaken interest and 10 secure coöperation on our side of the Atlantic. The entire literature of the eighteenth century has been reserved for American contributors, though no one is precluded from choosing, if he prefers it, elsewhere. It has been supposed, however, that all the important works of the last century are accessible in this country, while among those of earlier date, many are only to be found in England. To enlist the services and give direction to the labors of contributors here, the Society have appointed an agent for this country, the Hon. George P. Marsh, of Burlington, Vt. They are fortunate in baving as their
representative a gentleman so distinguished not only for his talents and influence, but also for his great attainments as a scholar, and especially his familiar acquaintance with the languages of northern Europe which are kindred to the English. Mr. Marsh's own qualifications to assist the progress of English lexicography have been abundantly proved by his course of philological lectures, delivered a few months since in Columbia College. We are glad to learn that this valuable course is now in press, and will soon be given to the public. In his efforts on behalf of the Philological Society, we trust that Mr. Marsh will find a general and active interest among scholars and literary people in our country. One great advantage in the plan proposed, is this—that one who cannot do much for it, can at least do something; every one can cast bis mite into the treasury. He who has not the leisure for examiping a large book, can undertake a small one. The contributors, it will be observed, are not obliged to give definitions, but only to write out the words with the passages that contain them. This requires intelligence and carefulness ;-carefulness in comparing the book with the proposed standard ; and intelligence to recognize what is peculiar in the former. But one need not be deterred from undertaking such labor by a conVOL. XVIII.
scious want of lexicographic ability or experience. For the services of contributors, whether English or American, the Society, we understand, can offer no pecuniary compensation. But the minute lexical study of a well-written book, especially if it be a work of genius, cannot fail to be in a high degree interesting and profitable. Nor is it a slight reward for studious exertion, to earn the consciousness of having borne a part, though it be only a humble one, in a work of great, general, and permanent value.
Hints on LEXICOGRAPHY.—Lexicography, in its leading branch, namely, the development of the meaning of words, belongs to a department of the study of language, which is passed over in our common grammars. It may be called semasiology, or the doctrine concerning the signification of words.
Notwithstanding there is much discussion arising from the “ war of the dictionaries,” yet we rarely see any definite statement of the general principles which should guide the lexicographer in deducing and defining the different meanings of words.
The transitions from one meaning of a word to another correspond, for the most part, to the tropes, or what Dr. Becker calls the figures of the logical thought. These figures are the synecdoche, metonymy, metaphor, and personification. Indeed these transitions, as exhibited in the dictionary of a language, may be regarded as faded or dormant figures.
In synonymic, on the contrary, two distinct words approach very near in signification, and do not stand even in a tropical relation to each other; hence they must be permitted to run into each other, or be separated by refined and sometimes artificial distinctions.
Words often pass synecdochically from the species to the genus, as bread for food in general; from the subordinate part or member to the whole, as a hind for a workman or agent; or from the constituent part to the whole, as soul for a person.
Words often pass metonymically from the abstract to the concrete, as government for persons exercising the government; from the instrument to the thing produced, as the tongue for speech ; froin the container to the thing contained, as a cup for the contents of the cup; from the sigu to the thing signified, as a scepter for royal authority; from parts of the human body to powers seated there, as the heart for the affections ; from the place where an article is made to the article itself, as Champagne for wine of Champagne ; or from the material of which the thing is made to the thing itself, as irons for fetters.
Words pass metaphorically from one meaning to another, wherever there is a resemblance or analogy, real or supposed; as, paradise for heaven; uprightness for righteousness; transgression for sin.
Words are often used by way of personification, or acquire more or less the attributes or powers of persons; as, wisdom teaches; prudence guards.
More particularly we have in notional words the following changes of meaning.
The names of physical objects are often transferred to constellations, on account of their supposed resemblance; as, the ram, the balance.
The names of animals are often transferred to machines or instruments or parts of them, on account of their resemblance in form or use; as, a horse, for sawing wood; a ram, an engine of war.
The names of the parts of animals are often transferred to plants, on account of a supposed resemblance; as, foxtail, buckshorn.
The names of animal members are often transferred to inanimate objects, on account of a similarity of use or relation; as, a tooth of a saw or comb; the foot of a mountain or column.
Activities and attributes of living objects are often ascribed to inanimate objects, on account of their analogy; as, a dead color; a dead coal; living water; quicksilver.
Words belonging to the vegetable kingdom are often transferred to the animal; as, a branch of a family; stock of cattle.
The name of an external action is often used by an association of ideas to denote the internal feeling; as, inclination, aversion.
Many words, originally of a good sense, acquire by association and usage a bad sense; as, boor, vi etymologiae, "a husbandman," and in malo sensu, "a person of rude manners;" clown, vi originis, "a husbandman," and in malo sensu," a person of rude manners."
Words are often transferred from one of the five senses to another; as, bitter cold; smooth notes; rough tones. These transitions rest on a perceived analogy.
Intellectual and moral ideas are expressed by physical terms, on account of a perceived analogy; as, to conceive, to comprehend, to deduce,. to infer. This is a very productive source of new significations.
There is a strong disposition in man, arising perhaps from his social feelings, to give to the birds and quadrupeds, with which he is most. conversant, the proper names of human beings; and these names have Occasionally passed, by a synecdoche, from the individual to the species or genus; as, guillemot, (a French diminutive of the proper name William,)