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residents (already great) still increased, and his wish that the provisions of the Curates' Act (57 Geo. III. c. 99) be strictly attended to, in all applications from non-resident incumbents.
In the diocese of Chester, it appears, the care of the churches and the glebe-houses devolves principally upon the Bishop, from the imperfect constitution of the archdeaconries and rural deaneries. His Lordship alludes to the defective condition of many of the buildings as the result of the want of local superintendence, and intimates his wish to remedy the evil by appointing a sufficient number of commissaries for this purpose:
He afterwards expresses his sentiments with regard to candidates for holy orders. He requires to have three months' notice given to him from every candidate, to admit of time for inquiring into his character and pursuits; and he earnestly presses it upon the consciences of his Clergy, to exercise the greatest caution in signing testimonials for holy orders. Alluding, also, as the Bishop of Gloucester does in his Charge, to the practice of giving “sham titles;" he strongly condemns it as simoniacal in its spirit and tendency, and declares that if any individual should so obtain deacon's orders in his diocese, he will not admit him to the second order in the ministry, nor countersign his testimonials to another Bishop.
He further requires that no curates should officiate in his diocese permanently without a license, or, if only for a short period, without his permission. This, his Lordship urges, from his own experience, as necessary to prevent the intrusion of improper, and even unordained, persons into the churches.
He concludes these suggestions with expressing his sense of the readiness of the Clergy to second his views.
“ With sincere pleasure I add, that I have already experienced the greatest readiness in the Clergy of this diocese, to comply with my wishes in all these particulars, as far as I have had an opportunity of making them known; and I think I may say of the Clergy in general, that where a particular line of conduct is recommended to them, by those whom they have reason to respect, and is shown to be probably advantageous to the cause of religion and virtue, there exists not a lody of men more ready to sacrifice, not only prepossession and prejudice, but personal ease and comfort, to the claims of duty. Indeed, in this respect, the world at large is apt to deal unreasonably with the Clergy, and expects to find in them an indifference to worldly objects inconsistent with natural affection and common sense ; and a ilegree of disinterestedness, which in other men would be regarded as the height of imprudence." Pp. 32, 33.
The remainder of the charge is Chiefly occupied with the proposal of a general fund for the whole body of the Clergy, after the manner of a mutual benefit society, so as to afford means, not only for the relief of the widows and orphans of
Clergymen, but to the poorer Clergy for the education of their children, and as a resource to the old and disabled. His Lordship considers, that a fund of such a nature would supersede the present diocesan and local charities for the like object ;that as partly raised by the recipients themselves, it would be divested of its eleemosynary character, and would afford both encouragement to respectable candidates for the ministry, and a resource to all.
It is, of course, little more than a bare proposal of such a plan which his Lordship brings forward on this occasion. He only earnestly recommends the principle of it to the consideration of the Clergy at large.
The Bishop adds, that he had intended to offer some observations on the various societies which claim the support of the Clergy. The only one, however, of which he makes any particular mention,-after stating the necessary connexion which must consistently be believed to hold between the support of our Church and that of true religion,-is the Society for Promoting the Enlargement and Building of Churches and Chapels. He states the gratifying fact, that this society, by the expenditure of about 86,0007. had provided 113,000 sittings, of which 84,000 are free for the use of the
contributor of one guinea may fairly calculate that he is providing a free seat for one poor person in his parish church.”
We cannot better conclude this article, than with the following conclusion of his Lordship :
“ And here I bring my observations to a close, not without an apology, of which I am sensible there is too much need, for having occupied so large a portion of your time. The first meeting of a Bishop with the Clergy of his diocese is an occasion of no trivial concernment to both parties. The subjects which relate to our common duties, and to our common interests, are so various; the present state of the Church is of so peculiar a complexion; and the opportunities of these synodical addresses are so unfrequent ; that I have felt it my duty to speak to you, not only with great plainness and earnestness of language, but more at length than may have seemed to be convenient, or perhaps necessary.
“ On this occasion, and from this place, it is incumbent upon me to offer you my advice. You will not, I hope, on that account believe, that I am otherwise than deeply sensible of the need, in which I myself stand, of the counsel and assistance of my brethren. The same candour with which I have now spoken to you, will, I trust, mark your future intercourse with me, in all matters which may concern your own comfort, the well-being of the Church, and the honour of religion. And now, under an awful sense of the responsibility, which rests upon me, as the chief pastor of this extensive and populous diocese, I entreat the assistance of your prayers, that He who hath given me the will to do these things, may grant me also strength and power to perform the same: and that He, who hath called us all to the ministry of his holy Word, may make our labours effectual to the great purposes of his Gospel.
" • Finally, my brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things :-and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds, through Christ Jesus.'” Pp. 37, 38.
ON THE STUDY OF HEBREW.
To the Editor of the Christian Remembrancer. Sir,-As a minister of the Established Church, willing to learn every thing which can render him a more efficient pastor, and regarding an acquaintance with the original languages of the Bible of no mean importance, you will, I trust, allow me to occupy a small portion of your next Number. The subject to which I wish to call attention is the study of Hebrew,-a language, which no man, who values his reputation as a correct interpreter of Scripture, can safely neglect. But, unfortunately, however necessary this acquisition may be, those who, from any one of the various causes which compel a man to rely on his own exertions, are unable to procure a guide, either in a master or a friend, are not unfrequently, I fear, driven to adopt a course of oriental reading, which employs more time than they can conveniently spare, or to abandon a design, which, if persisted in, would be attended with very beneficial results. Under the influence, then, of these feelings, I am induced to request, that, by means of your pages, we who are willing to learn may not be discouraged; for there must be many young divines, who, like myself, are “quite out at sea” on these matters; and who, in their attempts, like Virgil's Sergestus, irrisam sine honore ratem agerent. The first obstacle that presents itself respects the vowel points ; for, as the study of Hebrew has been but lately revived, we cannot learn with precision, whether we should apply ourselves to it, under one or the other form. If a young man examine the generality of books within his reach, he finds only disquisitions on the remote or comparative antiquity of these points ; a question, which, however necessary to be duly examined, is totally irrelative at the very commencement of his studies ; for, until å tolerable knowledge of the language has been acquired, it does not seem possible to come to any settled opinion,- unless, indeed, to swell merely, as a kind of nominis umbra, the train of the illustrious names which are ranged on either side. This, however, is an unsatisfactory mode of proceeding, particularly when the student reads, that “ unless he has determined for himself, after a mature investigation,” this knotty point, “ he cannot with confidence apply to the study of the language." Horne, indeed, says, that "it has been recommended to learn the Hebrew language in the first instance without the points, as the knowledge of them can at any time be superadded, without any great labour," which would seem all that we uninitiated could require ; but as it comes without the sanction even of our author's authority, we know not yet what cause to pursue. But suppose a man determines to be an antipunctist; what grammar is he to use ? for, as I am only alluding to those who are from necessity avtodidaktor, this information is of no small importance. If he read over Horne's list, he finds plenty of guides indeed,-- but which is he to choose ?--Are they all equally good, or must he select at random? This again stops him. The same observation may be made with regard to the choice of a Lexicon. Now, then, imagine the student fairly landed in the midst of prefixes and subfixes, - What book is he to commence with ?-How is he to direct his reading ? There is not, indeed, a great variety of authors; but there must be some selection particularly adapted for beginners, some spicelegium which may diminish his labour, and enable him, in a much shorter space of time, to arrive at the object of his wishes. In short, Mr. Editor, you will, I think, do the Theological State much service, if you would lead us by the hand in this matter, and favour the rising generation of divines with some advice in this branch of their studies.
I remain, Sir,
It will have been observed, from what we have said in a former page of this Number, (p. 85,) that we entirely concur with our correspondent in the importance of the study of Hebrew. Now as to the question, whether it should be read with or without points, we decidedly give our vote in favour of the points. We shall state our reasons for this preference in the words of that accomplished divine and scholar, the late Bishop Middleton. "I wish," he said, in writing to a friend,)“ that a certain quantity of Hebrew learning were made indispensable in all candidates for orders. It is best learnt, I think, with the points : not that I ascribe to them a high antiquity, or believe that they constitute the 'Hebræa veritas ;' quite otherwise; but, without them, we have no system of pronunciation at all : we must make our own points; and considering that the same three consonants, accordingly as we point them, may be either a verb or a substantive ; and, if a verb, of different voices and moods;' without some system, we must get into endless confusion. I know, indeed, that the variety of meanings which the same consonants admit is made an argument against the Masoretic punctuation ; but this is only saying, that we will have nothing to do with a rule which is not infallible. So far as I have observed, the Masoretes agree generally with the Septuagint, where the latter have any agreement with the present Hebrew text; for where they differ, the Masoretes have generally given the more probable sense. It is something, too, that the memory of the learner of a dead language should be aided by a settled system of pronunciation, and one which admits a great variety of sounds, distinctive of the different uses of what the Anti-Masoretes would call the same word; e. g. saphar, he wrote ; sopher, a scribe ; sepher, a book; it is still merely sepher : this surely cannot be meant to facilitate the progress of the learner."* -Memoir of Bishop Middleton, prefixed to his “ Sermons and Charges,” by Archdeacon Bonney, p. Ixv.
We can speak from experience of the excellence of a little grammar, by Israel Lyons, revised and corrected by Henry Jacob, published by Lunn, in 1810. There are some very good rules given in the Preface to it for pursuing the study of the language. The Psalms perhaps, from our familiarity with them in the course of our public services, are the most natural introduction to the labours of the student. There is a small edition of the Psalms with points, by Reeves, which may serve as an useful first book to the learner. He should accompany it with Bythner's Lyra Prophetica, as a clavis. It may be objected, that the Psalms, as a poetical book, are not so proper for a beginner as the Book of Genesis. This objection, we think, does not apply to the mere beginner, whose object is, not the full understanding of his author, but the learning of words. We quarrel aot, however, if any one prefers beginning at the beginning. To speak à la Dibdin, the young man should certaiuly possess himself of such a treasure as Van der Hooght's Hebrew Bible, the Amsterdam edition, 8vo, 1705. As for a Lexicon, the most accessible perhaps is a 12mo edition of Buxtorf's Lexicon, Basilea, 1689, which contains, we should think, every thing that a learner can want; to which, however, may be added, “Stockii Clavis Linguæ Sanctæ," Lips. 1753, and Parkhurst's Lexicon'; though the latter, indeed, is no help so far as the points are concerned, but is chiefly to be valued for the stores of theological erudition which it contains.
PHILOSOPHY AND SOCINIANISM.
A Third Letter to the Editor of the Christian Remembrancer.
DEAR SIR, In the remarks I have made in my preceding communications, on the religious opinions of two eminent philosophers, whose names the Unitarians have been extremely anxious to exhibit in the list of their own adherents, I have several times had occasion to allude to the peculiar mode of interpretation of Divine truth adopted by this sect; and to remark, that the spirit which leads to such an interpretation, is, generally speaking, of a nature claiming kindred with the spirit of philosophy: in fact, the principle most commonly urged as the ground
• Bishop Middleton, in the same place, gives his opinion, that the guttural y is the parent of the Greek digamma. It is generally represented as equivalent to gn or ng, -or, according to Bythner's amusing account of it, edit talem (ut Syrus Grammaticus ait) qualem vitulus edit, absente matre,”Bishop Middleton considers it as little more than a breathing.
VOL. VIII. NO. II.