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natural science and civil knowledge, that concerns the historical interpretation of Scripture, need not our mention.
• The book of which I now present a translation, is regarded . by Catholics as canonical, but by Protestants as apocryphal. • Yet, for both of them, it is necessary to be annexed to a • Translation of the Bible ; for the Catholic, since he esteems 'it a part of the Bible itself; and for the Protestant, since, • witbout its aid, he cannot understand many predictions ex• tending to the time of the Maccabees, which constitute one
of the most important parts of the prophetic writings. Hence, ' either be gets entangled in perplexing doubts, or he inter
prets them of things to which they have not the smallest
reference, probably something yet to come ; and, when his • scheme turns out abortive, he creates to himself ideas alto
gether visionary of future events. This is incidental, not only to the unlearned, but also to the learned ; particularly in relation to the prophets Daniel and Zechariah. A principal cause of this evil is, that even well-educated men are
not early enough, from their very youth, (for it is in the pe. ' riod of youth that a correct knowledge of history is acquired) • made acquainted with this important part of the Israelitish
history, to which so many predictions of the prophets have respect. In fact, it is, to a certain degree, a defect in our plans of domestic and school education, that this book is not read from childhood,-in order to impress early upon the
memory the historical circumstances so necessary to be • known. At least, 1 regard this book as an almost indispen'sable appendix to the Bible; and for that reason, I here
give a translation of it.- I treat it merely as a book of history.- Indeed, it is one of the most important and interesting. It comprises a period of about thirty-five years : but how momentous are the transactions compressed into that period ! A people, which had not, for a long time past, been at all addicted to war, which, on account of its remarkable error upon
the law of the sabbath, could never have become war• like, which had continued for almost a hundred years slaves
to the Babylonians, then for two hundred and ten years after' wards favoured subjects under the gentle yoke of the Per
sians, and then again under the Egyptian and Syrian kings; -such a people, in consequence of a persecution of their
religion, becomes at once, not merely warlike, but heroic, bids • defiance to the mighty kingdom of Syria, defeats its armies,
sees the fortune of war sometimes against it, but soon recovers itself, and, after thirty years, becomes, not indeed completely independent, but yet a tolerably free state, allied to the Syrian kingdom much in the same way as a power
'ful German prince is connected with the Empire, enjoying • the right of making war and peace, and even entitled to
wage war against the Emperor himself. All this happens in • the space of a man's life, by means of the sons of a single • priest, who had first roused the Israelites to fight for their
liberty of conscience. And one of his sons, and he, as it • appears, even the eldest, after his four brothers have either • fallen in battle or been murdered, lives to see this people in • the condition of freedom above described ; to be himself their • Prince ; to coin money, of wbich specimens remain to this • day; to possess a respectable army and fortified places ; to • reign not only over Judæa, but over several regions in the • vicinity, the right to which he contests with the Syrian king;
to construct a haven where nature had not formed one, and • that with such success that, in a following age, pirates
sally out from this haven, with whom the Romans have to • contend, and who are extirpated at last by Pompey the • Great; and in the last four years of his life, to maintain a war
with the greatest of the Syrian kings, which issues more • successfully for himself than for the Syrians : This period is • truly the most brilliant in the whole Israelitish history.'
Our digressing upon this subject will not be useless, if it should excite any to a serious consideration of the benefits to be derived to the evidence and elucidation of the Holy Scriptures, from the ancient and most valuable, though uninspired, writings of the Jews, principally in Egypt, during the period from the closing of the old Testament to the opening of the Christian dispensation. Possibly, also, the suggestions here thrown out, may put some ingenuous inquirers upon their guard against the grievous meddling with Scripture Prophecy which it is our pain and grief to see carried on, by persons who possess scarcely the first elements of the qualifications necessary for a proper enucleation of the difficult and awful theme.
We return to Mr. Ewing's third edition, just issued from the Glasgow University Press, most clearly and beautifully printed, and, what is a still higher praise, with exemplary accuracy. In making continual improvements to his second edition, the Author informs us, that he became more than ever convinced that, without a GENERAL knowledge of Greek and Greek writers, no one can duly appreciate the characteristic phraseology of the Scriptural style. Instead, there. fore, of multiplying authorities for the meanings assigned to single words, he wished to excite an increased inclination for CLASSICAL READING. With this view, he encountered the laborious task of enlarging the volume to its present extent; and has now to acknowledge the kindness of Divine Providence in permitting him to accomplish it. The illustration of the Holy Scriptures is still his principal object : but students of every description will, he hopes, find the book, in some degree, suited to their respective pursuits, not of the Holy Scriptures alone, but also of several other of the most valuable Grecian authors of antiquity. He has long been desirous of aiding studious fellow-Christians in their researches into the original records of the word of God; and he has, of late years, been particularly awakened to the importance of guarding them against the errors likely to be generated by a superficial and partial acquaintance with miscellaneous specimens of Biblical Criticism.' Pref. p. viii.
The Greek Grammar which Mr. Ewing bas prefixed, occupies 158 of the large octavo pages, closely but luminously printed. We are delighted with its order, simplicity, terseness, and comprehensiveness, and the masterly use of the rational principles of philology. It breathes throughout, a conscientious anxiety to supply the pupil with clear information upon every point necessary to be known, or gratifying to the rational curiosity of a thoughtful and sagacious student. His discussion of the Varied Forms of Verbs, upon the principles of Professor Moor, is admirably conducted, and cannot fail to interest and delight an intelligent pupil in a high degree. In the Syntax, the principles of philosophical Grammar are applied so as to render the rules few and their reason evident, while the illustration by examples is copious. The Prosody and the Section on the Dialects, deserve our warmest praise, for the same enlightened and liberal spirit which shews itself through the whole work, the combination of high attainment with a conscientious solicitude to render the result the most comprehensive and satisfactory possible. The Section on Accents would have been improved by a page enumerating the classes of Oxytons. Section XII. « On the Style of the
Septuagint and the New Testament,” is of singular importance and value. It consists of an historical and descriptive Disquisition upon the formation of the Alexandrian or Hellenistic style, Rules of that idiom, and Examples rich in both direct and collateral information. We doubt, however, the doctrine of the Aorist, as laid down at p. 147. If it be understood as a Hebraism, the position might be enlarged and extended to the Perfect and Imperfect in Hellenistic usage ; for we apprehend that the two Hebrew tenses are really aoristic. But, if it be adopted in the sense which Lennep asserts (De Anal, Ling. Gr. p. 59), as a rule of the Greek language generally, we are of opinion that Hermann has sufficiently shewn the error of such a notion, in his work De Emendanda Ratione Græcæ Grammaticæ, pp. 186–95. We return to quote a paragraph from this part of the work.
• In the Hellenistical style, sentences are generally shorter, more simple and uniform in their structure, and more similar to the order of words in English, than they are in Classical Greek writers : of course they are more easily construed by the English_reader, especially if he be previously well acquainted with the English Bible. Some think that the Hebrew idioms, which abound in the Greek Scriptures, are a cause of great obscurity. No doubt, in order to understand any class of writers, it is of consequence to observe their sources of information ; the state of society at the times and the places in which they lived; the principles and institutions of their religion ; the constitution of their country; their own character and habits ; and the design of their compositions. But, when it is considered that the Hebrew is a language of the greatest simplicity ; that it resembles not only other oriental languages, but even the ancient Greek, and that so strongly as to be thought its parent; that the writers and first translators of Scripture were plain men, less anxious about style and the reputation of elegance, than about the practical instruction of their readers ; that they had in view the instruction of all ranks of men; that, though numerous and in various situations, they wrote in one cause and the dictates of one Spirit ; that the whole of the Mosaic and Christian institutions are engrossed in those writings which allude to their peculiarities, and are further illustrated by the history of the manner in which they have answered the end of their appointment; there remains little cause, indeed, to despair of ascertaining, with sufficient precision, the meaning of the most singular expressions which the Holy Scripture are found to contain. Let both the original languages be studied, and let the different books be perused and compared, with the serious diligence which their importance demands; and, by the divine blessing, success will reward the labour.'
p. 142. In connection with the Section on the Greek Accents, we wish that our excellent Author had taken some notice of the custom, so preposterous in theory, but so rooted in the practice of our country, that of pronouncing Greek by the rules of the Latin accentuation, modified by numerous deviations from quantity derived from the habits of our own language. Against this custom, universal with Englishmen at least, Horsley threw his indignant bolt, in bis book “On the Prosodies of the Greek " and Latin Languages." Dr. Marsh has taken the pains to give a faithful description of it, but without a hint of either apology or censure, in one of bis valuable Notes on Michaelis, vol. ij. p. 892. This practice, considered in itself, must be confessed to be ridiculous enough. It is just as reasonable as a direction would be, to pronounce Italian as if it were French. We think that we have perceived of late years, symptoms of a disposition to make head against it. On the other side, however, something is to be said not unworthy of attention. We apprehend that the true and ancient method of reciting Greek, VOL. XXVII. N.S.
with a just observance of both quantity and accent, would be found impracticable to us and to some other European nations, unless our organs were sedulously trained to it from early infancy: and it must be admitted, that our method, strange and barbarous as it confessedly is, makes very agreeable euphony, both in prose and the different kinds of verse, if it be managed with a little taste and skill. Some excellent scholars are careless and slovenly in this respect; but, at least, all ought to endeavour to make the best of a bad thing, till public opinion, promulgated by the practice of the royal schools and the English Universities, shall have introduced a more dignified system. The neglect of the accents in practice, led Warton and some others, infausto omine, to try to eject them. Gilbert Wakefield threw himself into this forlorn hope, and Dr. Jones, with his characteristic enthusiasm, was so hasty and unwise as to join the band. Porson's celebrated remark at the outset of his Medea, was probably intended to give a castigating touch not very gentle to Mr. Wakefield ; but, for better reasons, it is entitled to perpetual remembrance. "Si quis vestrum ad accu
rutam Græcarum literarum scientiam aspirat, is probabilem sibi 'accentuum quam maturrime comparet, in propositoque perstet,
scurrarum dicacitate et stultorum irrisione immotus. Qui hanc doctrinam nescit, dum ignorantiam suam candide fatetur, inscitiæ tantum reus : qui vero, nescire non contentus, ignorantia suæ contemtum præterit, majoris culpæ affinis est.'
In the Lexicon part, Mr. Ewing's plan is, to give the derivations and compositions of the words, and their significations, arranged in the order of their probable production by the association and succession of ideas : but he does not usually introduce examples or phrases, excepting in those instances in which he has written little Dissertations upon particular words. Of such articles, the number is very great, referring chiefly to subjects of Biblical Interpretation; many of them are extended to considerable length; they embrace the most interesting questions in Sacred, and often in Classical Criticism; and were we to say that they alone are, to a Christian scholar, worth more than ten times the purchase of the whole volume, we should be guilty of no extravagance. We have drawn out a list of those which have appeared to us the most important: but it is become so long, and yet is a mere selection, that we must suppress it. The student of the Holy Scriptures who is not neg. ligent of his own benefit in the most essential respects, will possess himself of the book, if in his power. Its cheapness is only equalled by the beauty and clearness of its typography ; and, in the grand point of accuracy, it is exemplary. We have not discovered a single verbal or literal error, and only two in the marks of quantity. We may add that, in assigning the