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'These are the men who in order to believe enough, will believe more than enough, who are not content with interpretations that are at once logical and scriptural, but delight in supposing some additional meaning, they know not what. Faith and the union of the soul with Christ, and the indwelling of the spirit and the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, these and other truths give them ready opportunity to exercise the believing, or more properly the imaginary faculty, to their heart's content, and for it all they have the sanction of their master and the spirit of the school. This in the view of many is a harmless tendency, and tends to orthodoxy and spirituality. We do not think so. The man who will believe more than by the laws of sound interpretation he feels bound to, would under other circumstances believe less. Besides, the imagination is as likely to have as much to do with this mystical faith, as the conscience has; the fancy, as the conscious wants of the soul.
The name we
Next come "the artful dodgers" in theology. own is not very dignified, nor is the occupation. These are the men who take advantage of the many-sidedness of Coleridge's theology to be on no side of any disputed point, or who by a strange and most inconsistent eclecticism, merge into their own faith ingredients the most opposite, and materials the most irreconcilable. They are High Churchmen, and yet Congregationalists, bigotedly conservative, and laxly libertine. Strongly Calvinistic, and yet grossly Pelagian. Stoically rigid in their practical views, and loosely Epicurean. Or if pressed to any logical conclusion, they find their refuge in some Coleridgian term, and hide themselves from their pursuers in a convenient mist.
We name next the Prelatic or Episcopal variety, the men who from reading Coleridge have contracted a strange sympathy with the English church, and whose heads have been turned by his allusions to his mother the church of England. This has been carried so far by not a few that they have disowned their Puritan ancestry and their Puritan baptism, forgetting that Coleridge blessed the Puritans in his heart, and rendered to them the high meed of his worthy praise. Men are indeed to be pitied, who could so pervert the lessons of such a master, on such a subject.
Last of all we name the Coleridgians, par eminence, who show their zeal for their master, by their Babylonish dialect. Who with hardly a thought that can be precisely expressed, can yet pile up mountains of barbarously compounded words into sentences of complicated construction, and can so go forward, page after page, and
Structure of the Hebrew Sentence.
perhaps volume after volume. The wonder is, by what magic of patient labor, by what mystery of intellectual toil, these sentences are ever written. It is no matter of wonder, how they can ever be read, for we are sure that they are never subjected to this operation.
If there are other varieties than these which we have named we know them not. With this enumeration, we conclude our remarks. We have spoken freely, but we hope not unkindly, plainly and perhaps pointedly, but we trust not inconsiderately nor unfairly.
THE STRUCTURE OF THE HEBREW SENTENCE.
THE subject named at the head of this Article should not be left wholly out of view, in a course of Hebrew instruction. Every biblical student should endeavor to ascertain and classify the principles which regulated the expressions of thought among the Hebrews. Without this, there can be no radical acquaintance with Hebrew syntax in general; and without it, even the meaning of the sacred writers cannot always be fully apprehended. If any one supposes that the Hebrew sentence is so simple as to afford no opportunity to exercise his powers of analysis; or that it is so stereotyped in form as to exclude any very striking exhi bition of variety, he entertains probably the common opinion on the subject, but one which is not correct. As compared with those languages which carry the system of inflection to such an extent, for example, as do the Latin and the Greek, the Hebrew moves in this respect, it must be confessed, in a restricted sphere; its sentence is, certainly, both uniform and simple. But without possessing so much flexibility as we see there, it has still left to it a wide range of movement. The inquisitive scholar has opened to him here an interesting field of study; and, after performing the necessary preparatory work, he should advance to it and add to his other knowledge that which may be gained from extending his inquiries in this direction. In truth, the greater the uniformity which may distinguish a language in the construction of its sentences, the more important and significant must be any departure
from it, which may at any time appear. The cause of such a virtual resistance to the prevailing spirit of the language, must lie deeper in the thoughts and feelings of the writer, than where such variations belong rather to the outward forms of speech, and may be taken up by him, therefore, as a matter of accident or habit, and so be entirely unmeaning. This remark is specially true of the Hebrew. When a writer or speaker here deviates from the ordinary mode of expression which the laws of the language impose so rigidly upon him, it is because he is urged by a special impulse; he breaks over the external restraint in the impetuosity of his feelings; he makes not only his words but the very order of them expressive of the state of his mind; and, in order to enter into this, to sympathize with him, to catch the exact reflection of his thoughts, we must know the difference between the ordinary Hebrew style and that of earnest, impassioned discourse; we must be able to see what new meaning belongs to the new position; we must understand the laws of that subtle, mental emphasis which prescribed to the words their unwonted order, so that as we read we may fill our ears, as it were, with the very tones with which the old prophets spoke, and bring back again the looks and gestures which gave to their language such power over those whom they originally addressed.
Perhaps no writer has treated the subject adverted to above, so well as Ewald in the last edition of his Hebrew Grammar. He has there allotted much more than the usual space to the consideration of this topic. His remarks extend over 130 pages of his work; and they deserve the careful and reiterated perusal of every one who would be master of this important branch of Hebrew syntax. The view also which Nordheimer has given of this subject in his Grammar, is replete with instruction. No system of rules, however, which another may compile, can supersede the necessity of personal observation and study. They may be of service, especially at first, in giving direction to inquiry; but will not answer even this purpose, unless constantly verified by the student for himself. In this way, possibly, the following summary of the principles which are to be observed in the construction of the simple Hebrew sentence, may not be without value to those who take an interest in such studies. It is drawn up chiefly in conformity with the views of Ewald, and rests, therefore, essen
1 Ausführliches Lehrbuch der Hebraischen Spache des alten Bundes, von Heinrich Ewald. Fünfte Ausgabe, 1844.
Position of the Predicate.
tially on his authority. It is the simple sentence alone, which is here the subject of consideration. The construction of the compound sentence with its various constituent parts, its modes of connection, its hypothetical and relative clauses, etc., forms a separate topic by itself, and is not here to be brought into view. We confine ourselves to the ground which lies before the student, on his first entrance into this general field of investigation.
The Hebrew language is inferior to the Arabic, in regard to susceptibility of inflexion; but it is not a little remarkable, that, with this inferiority, it exhibits a far greater freedom and facility of movement in the structure of its sentences. The order which words naturally assume in calm, unimpassioned discourse, the Hebrew also has in common with the Arabic; but it admits likewise of numerous deviations from this order, resulting from the excitement of strong emotion in the mind of the writer; and in the degree in which it posesses this quality, the Hebrew is distinguished above not only the Arabic, but all the other Semitic languages.
We will consider the Hebrew sentence, in the first place, in its ordinary form, where the words arrange themselves in conformity with the laws of dispassionate discourse.
Here we find that the affirmative or predicative term precedes the subject, because in most cases it contains the new or more important idea which the speaker would present. Thus, the affirmative stands first when it consists of an adjective, as pr
righteous (is) Jehovah; and still more, if it consist of a verb, since a subject is in reality already involved in all the personal forms of the verb, especially the third; so that the more definitive substantive which follows, stands originally in apposition merely with this third person; as, it (there) spake Jehovah. Where however in some infrequent cases, the predicate as well as the subject, is contained in a substantive, the former stands always after the subject, that this may not be doubtful; as, Jehovah thy God is God. See Deut.
4: 35, 39. 10: 17.
Another very common variety, even in the structure of simple sentences, is the position of the subject first, instead of the predicate;
1 So Ewald punctuates the word, and writes Jahve. This singularity it is unnecessary to retain.
which is adopted particularly in the narrative or descriptive style, when the person or actor is held up as the principal figure, while the act itself and the progress of its development, fall more into the back ground of the picture. This occurs, especially if the act or state which is attributed to the person, be an abiding one; and hence, since the participle in Hebrew expresses so often the idea of permanence, this arrangement will be found employed very uniformly in connection with the participle. Thus in Ex. 12: 11, where the condition described is introduced with the words-so shall ye eat the Passover;, your loins girded. See Judg. 15: 2. 1 Sam. 12: 17. 2 Sam. 3: 14. Hence still and T it is not, also it is (the latter much more rarely), are specially appropriate to such sentences; Ex. 3: 2. 5: 16. 9: 2. In the construction of compound and relative sentences, the principle becomes still more important.
This position acquires special significance when the participle so placed, serves at the same time to mark definite relations of time. Thus, it may stand for the relative present, expressing an
הִנֵּה אָחִיךָ מִתְנַחֵם,act which continues at the present moment, as
behold thy brother is angry with thee, Gen. 27: 42. Jer. 16: 12; or, for the relative future, which the speaker contemplating as very near or as altogether certain, views as actually present, as; nthou art about to die, Jer. 28:16. behold 1 am about to bring, Gen. 6: 17. It may represent also the relative praeter, though in a simple sentence this is less common, in cases where the hearer is admonished by something in the connection, to transfer himself to some definite situation in the past, as in the relation of a dream: behold I (was) standing, Gen. 41: 17, i. e. thought myself to be so during the dream narrated; or, in answer to an inquiry, what a person has done during some period. See Jer. 38: 26.
In this signification of the participle as a definite tense, the behold, is placed before it merely for the sake of greater animation, especially at the commencement of a new clause. This particle has a tendency to draw the subject into close connection with itself; and where this is not expressed in a definite form, will even supply its place by the suffix pronoun. Yet this law is not so strict as not to be sometimes relaxed. It may occur without any subject, provided that this is suggested with sufficient distinctness by the context; as, behold he (Jehovah already mentioned) formed, Am. 7: 1, comp. v. 7. But when does not form part of the expression, and the participle stands