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member of the body to stand aloof from the others, has taught them by no means to "have the same care one for another!!" The last bond of primitive union was the occasional consultation of different churches by representatives convened in a council or synod. This means of prolonging unity among Christians was for several reasons not very frequently resorted to in the apostolic age. The continual journies of the apostles tended in a measure to answer the same purpose. How often councils for mutual consultation were held, prior to that at Rome, mentioned by Eusebius, we know not; but the principle being sanctioned by the apostolic example, Acts xv., the church should apply it just as extensively as is found to promote the spirit of union, brotherly love and order among Christians. As however neither Christ nor his apostles have appointed such bodies as courts of judicature or appeal; it is probable, that whatever business of this kind is referred to the more extensive judicatories, their decisions should be regarded mainly as advisory, and should have no other force than results from the evidence alleged in support of the opinion given. The danger of such General Synods, Assemblies, or Conventions, arises not so much from the number of churches represented in them, as from the great number of the delegates, from the degree of power conferred on them by the elementary members of Christ's body, the individual churches; and from the amount of actual business which is transferred from the churches in their elementary capacity, to these judicatories. If the delegation be small, so that the whole body will not be unwieldly; if the business transacted be not such as properly belongs to the individual churches; if it relate only to the general interests of the church; and if the powers of the body be only advisory; this principle of mutual consultation might to a certain extent be safely employed.
In view of these facts and principles, the writer regarded with high approbation the proposition for a re-organization of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church by making it an Advisory Council. That measure, which was proposed in the Biblical Repertory of 1832, was by uncontradicted fame attributed to the Rev. Dr. Alexander, and contains a distinguished specimen of practical wisdom, and enlarged views of the principles of our holy religion, in their application to ecclesiastical jurisprudence. On precisely the same general principles, the General Synod of the Lutheran Church in this country was
founded seventeen years ago, and of its salutary and safe practical operation, scarcely a dissenting voice is heard among the enlightened friends of evangelical piety among us.
We have thus endeavored faithfully to exhibit the features which constituted the unity of the primitive church. now pursue the subject further, deduce the principles furnished by these facts, and finally develope a plan to restore the unity of the body of Christ on the same apostolic principles, which constituted it in the primitive ages; a consummation which ought to be devoutly wished for by every disciple of that Saviour who so earnestly prayed for the union of his followers; an object so dear to the heart of the nobleminded Calvin, that to accomplish it he says: "As to myself, were I likely to be of any service, I would not hesitate, were it necessary, for such a purpose, to cross ten seas" (Quantum ad me attinet, siquis mei usus fore videbitur, ne decem quidem maria, si opus sit, ob eam rem trajicere pigeat. Calvin's Epist. p. 61).
THE HEBREW TENSES.
Translation of Ewald's Syntax, in the second (abridged) edition of his Hebrew Grammar, so far as it respects the use of the Tenses in Hebrew, with remarks on the same, by M. Stuart, of the Theol. Seminary, Andover.
[THE apparently unlimited metes and bounds of the Hebrew tenses, as employed in the Old Testament Scriptures, have given rise to many curious, and to some not uninteresting theories, in relation to this subject. Long has this usage been the stumbling-block of grammarians, and particularly of those who were inclined to maintain, that every thing in language is managed with the most perfect regularity and uniformity. That the Future tense in Hebrew should ever be employed as the common historic Aorist in narrations of events that occurred in past time, while the Praeterite has far more than an equal share in designating things yet to come, is a phenomenon which at least is singular in many respects, and which would (as it has actually done) naturally give rise to many and diverse theories and conjectures.
It is not my present purpose to enter into the history or the examination of these at large. It would require somewhat of a volume for either; and my apprehension is, that such a volume would not find a very numerous class of readers; certainly not in our country. Most of the theories which have been broached, have indeed been ephemeral. They have appeared and disappeared with the authors of their existence. And one good reason for this has been, that most of the authors of such theories have been men of very limited acquisitions in the Hebrew language, and therefore could not have much weight in the scale of Hebrew literature, nor extend their influence very far.
At present, however, we find the matter in circumstances which are quite different. Ewald is unquestionably among the first Hebrew scholars now upon the stage of action. He has great talents for linguistic acquisition; nor is he by any means wanting in the power of philosophical speculation on the nature and attributes of language. That he is free from all embarassments on the ground of precedents, is sufficiently manifest, in every step of his progress, to please the most independent class of critics, who hold least of all to authority in these matters. In my own view, this independency is excessive in Ewald. It seems to me to have become even a morbid feeling, and to have urged him on to make the differences between himself and other grammarians as numerous and as large as possible.
On no subject, perhaps, has he gained more reputation for himself, than in the department of Hebrew Syntax. It has become fashionable among one class of Hebrew critics in Germany, to appeal almost exclusively to Ewald as authority; and seldom do they mention other grammarians, unless it be in the way of a sneer, or in order to show some kind of contempt for them. One would think, from the tenor of what is said by them in relation to this subject, that all other Hebrew philologists now on the stage had already outlived their fame and their usefulness.
Having recently been engaged in publishing a new edition of my Hebrew Grammar, I went through a review of the Syntax in as thorough a manner as the haste with which it was printed permitted me to do. One duty which I prescribed to myself was, to read and compare Ewald's Syntax; specially that of the abridged edition of his Grammar, which contains a more orderly digest than the first edition, and thoughts more matured. In making this comparison I was much struck with that part of
his Syntax which has respect to the use of the Hebrew tenses. When I had completed my grammatical labour, and finished the printing of my book, I felt a strong desire to re-examine (more at leisure) the theory of Ewald on the subject of the Hebrew tenses. This I have done, and the following translation, with the remarks which are appended, is the result of my reexamination. I give them to the public, because the subject is one of deep interest to every student of Hebrew grammar, and of much importance, to say the least, to Hebrew philology and criticism.
In introducing Prof. Ewald to speak for himself, I hope that I shall avoid the imputation of having misconstrued or misrepresented him. At least this cannot be charged upon me, unless I have purposely mistranslated him. This I have not done; but I cannot assure the reader, that I have always translated him with correctness. I can truly say, that I have done my best to accomplish this; but, I must add, that after being for a quarter of a century somewhat acquainted with the German language, and after having read more in it, during that period of time, than I have in my mother-tongue, I am still unable in some cases to find out the meaning of Prof. Ewald to my satisfaction. I can only say, now and then, as Castalio says in his apologetic note for a version of a passage more literal than he was accustomed to make: "This I have translated literally, because I do not understand it." Perhaps as to one or two passages in Ewald, some one who can better strip off the Umhüllung which this celebrated writer throws over all his speculations than I can do, might feel disposed to question, whether I had gone so far as to give even a literal version. Be it so then; Si quis prospiciat- vaticinetur.' He shall do so at least with my liberty, and I will make-not my palinode, for that would imply that I had consciously done wrong, or at least through negligencebut, my acknowledgements that there are depths in Ewald, down into which I have not had address or skill or strength enough to plunge.
But some things which I think I do understand, I have called in question. Ewald's views and mine, therefore, are both before the reader; and he has the opportunity of judging for himself. This is all that justice and candour can demand; and in the doing of this, I am satisfied that I have done my duty fairly. -M. S.]
SYNTAX OF THE VERB, by Prof. Ewald.
$470. Five forms of the Hebrew verb serve to designate time or tense; viz. the two Modes [Praeter and Future tense],* which at the same time also mark the distinction of Mode; the same two Modes with Vav relative or conversive prefixed; and the Participle. The Hebrew employs these forms, not according to the method of distinguishing tenses in our languages, (to the spirit of which it is quite foreign), but still with a distinction so definite that they cannot be exchanged for each other, while they plainly mark the principal difference of the
471. THE TWO MODES [Praeter and Future], considered merely in respect to their use as tenses, represent all action aoristically, i. e. without reference to any other action or time. They differ from each other in such a way, that the first Mode marks that which is completed, definite, and certain; the second Mode that which is not completed, indefinite, and dependent on circumstances. Consequently they do not in themselves mark a time which is definite, but are capable of being applied to any portion of time, provided that the leading idea designated by them be retained.
472. Hence the FIRST MODE [Praeter] is employed, (1) To designate the past, when an action that has once taken place is simply presented, without any reference to any thing else; e. g. God 7, created the world;', what hast thou done?
The passages explanation. M. S.
(2) To designate the present; (a) When any particular action which has once taken place, may be again repeated; e. g.
my, the wicked man despises Jehovah, Ps. 10: 3. (6) When a state or condition began in some undefined past time, and one still sees the completion of it, [i. e. one sees that the same state or condition is still continued]; e. g. 7, I know; 2, I remember, Num. 11:5;, he loves; he hates; in, he refuses, Ex. 10: 3; on, he despises. Of course such a meaning [i. e. that of the present tense] is frequent in [the first mode of] intransitive Verbs. Different from
included in brackets, I have added for the sake of