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Section 8.-Subsidiary Means of Discovering the Signification of Words.--Direct Testimony to the Signifi-
amongst the various Portions of Revelation-The Law Introductory and Preparatory of the Gospel-Divine
and Herod - The Synagogues, &c.
Section 5.—Ministers of the Jewish Sanctuary.--The High-priest—The superior Officers of the Temple-
SECTION 6.–Sacrifices and Oblations. The Origin of Sacrifices—The Victims to be offered— The several
The Bible the Highest Source of Historical Knowledge-Character of the Sacred Historians—The Events
SETION 2.- Jurisprudence, and Forms of Legal Procedure.-- Perfection of the Jewish Law-Courts of Judi-
SECTION 3.–Military Affairs.—The whole Hebrew Nation liable to be called to Arms—Exemptions from Mili-
SECTION 2.-Countries beyond Judea, mentioned in Scripture.--Asia : Arabia ; Armenia; Assyria ; Asia
SETION 3.—Provinces, Cities, and Towns, mentioned in Scripture, alphabetically arranged
PART VI.--BIBLICAL ARTS, SCIENCES, AND DOMESTIC USAGES.
Chap. 1.- ARTS.
Section 4.-Music.-Antiquity of the Art-Civil and Sacred Music-Instruments of Music mentioned in
SECTION 2.-Geography.-Limited Extent of Geographical Knowledge among the Hebrews-Cosmological
Chap. III.-SOCIAL CUSTOMS.
TIIE REVIVAL AND PROGRESS OF BIBLICAL LITERATURE.
Revival of Biblical Learning in the Fifteenth Century--Impetus | gians, who by a perverse use of the Aristotelian and Illostrative Writers Present state of Biblical Learning pliilosophy reduced the doctrines of religion to a -Character of Works on Biblical Interpretation – Advan number of absurd subtleties, incomprehensible by tazes derivable from Biblical Studies — Divisions of Biblical all minds—not excepting their own; and the bihLeaming-Object and Plan of the present Work.
lical doctors, who by a system of mystical and 1. The progress of sacred literature in modern allegorical interpretation perverted and darkened times furnishes a topic of gratifying and instructive the sublime truths of Scripture, and rendered their inquiry, and is fraught with considerations emi- meaning a matter of doubt and uncertainty. The nently calculated to excite the gratitude and insane religious wars called the crusades were not strengthen the convictions of the Christian stu- without their use, being overruled by Providence dent. A few remarks upon this subject will there to the most beneficial purposes. By introducing fore appropriately introduce the various scriptural into Europe a number of learned Greeks, they topics described and treated of in the present originated a spirit of inquiry in Italy and elsevolume.
where ; while the universities that were shortiy 2. From the fifth to the fifteenth century, afterwards established, and in which the oriental biblical learning was in a deplorably low state. languages were cultivated, tended greatly to the Religious feuds were the curse and disgrace of revival of learning, and prepared the way for an Christendom. Bitter controversies touching the improved system of interpretation for the sacred forms of religion, or, more properly speaking, volume. touching the powers and functions of those who 3. As early as the latter end of the fifteenth assumed to be its authorized and exclusive pro- century, some vigorous efforts were made to propounders and guardians, absorbed the attention of mote the rational interpretation of the sacred the Christian world. The Scriptures were only writings. The labourers, however, were few, and resorted to as the arsenal in which were deposited the aids they possessed for the elucidation of the the argressive arms of the spiritual combatants; text were scanty and imperfect. Early in the and these were used against each other in the seventeenth century, their numbers were greatly most arbitrary and unskilful manner. All desire increased, and we find many names distinguished for true learning became extinct ; the principles of in the republic of letters, who were then successinterpretation were lost sight of and forgotten; and fully cultivating this branch of learning. By the there were few who could even read, and much middle of this century, the number of biblical stu less understand, the text of the sacred books. In dents was considerably augmented, and the result of the twelfth century, the Scriptures were torn in their labours was proportionately increased. After pieces between two parties: the scholastic theolo-1 all, however, those who were at this time devoted to
the pursuit of scriptural inquiries formed but an established that new era of sacred criticism which insignificant band, and were regarded by their Mr. Harmer anticipated. contemporaries as the students of an isolated branch 6. From this period, the sphere of biblical reof learning, too uninteresting in its aspect and too search and illustration has been gradually enlarglimited in its results to command or reward general ing. The metaphysician and the naturalist, the attention.
antiquary and the traveller, the philologist and 4. Towards the close of the seventeenth cen- the historian, have contributed their respective tury, biblical learning was brought into more shares towards the criticism and exposition of the general favour, and assumed a more popular and Bible. The materials now collected for elucidating inviting form. It was no longer viewed as the the sacred text are numerous and valuable, and exclusive possession of the clerical body, but as scarcely a month passes without furnishing the forming part of the common property of the re- most unquestionable evidence that their value is public of letters. Numerous and valuable acqui- well understood by those competent to employ sitions were made to the previously existing stock them, in removing obscurities, clearing up difof materials for the criticism and interpretation of ficulties, eliciting new beauties, or educing further the Bible, and the success with which these were instruction from that Book which is above all applied, stimulated numerous minds to further in- price. But such persons are comparatively few; quiries and research for the discovery of new and much remains to be done before the aids we sources of information.
possess for interpreting and illustrating the Scrip5. The enlightened and indefatigable exertions tures can be rendered available for general use. of Mill, Wetstein, Griesbach, and Kennicott, were 7. Hitherto, with but one or two exceptions, the directed to a restoration of the integrity or purity method in which the several branches of criticism of the sacred text; while the learned and ingeni- and interpretation have been treated, has had the ous Shaw, whose “Travels and Observations, re- effect of restricting the study of these topics to those lating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant,” whose professional engagements have rendered such appear to have attracted the notice of the cele- study imperative; or to those whose learning brated Harmer, pointed out a new source of bib- and leisure have induced them to look upon lical illustration. The “Observations on various the study as a source of mere intellectual enpassages of Scripture, placing them in a new light, joyment. It does seem strange that it should and ascertaining the meaning of several not deter- scarcely have entered into the minds of those who minable by the methods commonly made use of have written upon these topics, that the great bulk by the learned, from relations incidently mentioned of the Christian community is individually and in books of voyages and travels into the East,” are immediately interested in them, and that the stores too well known and valued to require more than of learning which have now been thrown open, this passing remark. The hope expressed by the might be rendered available for the purposes of indefatigable author, as to the result of his labours, general instruction. Treatises on biblical criticism has been fully realized : “ If my design succeeds, and interpretation are, with scarcely an exception, commentators will not, I hope, for the future, think so elaborate and profound, so abstruse and technithey have extended their inquiries far enough, cal, that an ordinary mind, unused to severe study, when they examine a text with grammatical nicety; cannot fail of being deterred from making an they will, along with that, pay an unbroken attention attempt to investigate the principles of these into the customs of the eastern people, and look upon teresting and important themes. this additional care as absolutely necessary to make 8. It must not be inferred from what is here a good commentator.” About the same period, the said, that it is conceived to be possible for any learned Michaelis was engaged in a similar course, valuable acquisitions to be made in this departon a large scale, for the illustration of the Serip-ment of learning, without a close application to tures; and he had induced the king of Denmark study; or that a competent knowledge of its printo send a deputation of learned travellers, to pursue ciples may be attained by a mind naturally slugthe necessary inquiries, under his directions, in gish or obtuse. But on the other hand, it may Egypt and Syria. The result of their voyage was be maintained, without fear of successful contragiven, in French, by Mons. Neibuhr, in a work diction, that much of that description of learning which, as to the part connected with these sub- which the art of interpretation requires may be jects, was never translated into English. The brought within the reach and be adapted to the labours of Michaelis and his followers, on the con- comprehension of persons whose minds are not tinent, and those of Mr. Harmer and his successors above the ordinary standlard, and whose circumin England, aided by the observations of a series of stances require that much of their time and atintelligent and learned travellers, have completely tention should be given to other affairs.