« AnteriorContinuar »
linguages are learnt most easily of sex to inanimate objects, his · and expeditiously by rote. Such remark that the custom of speakwas the origin of the system of ing of ship, brig, and snow as fe principles, which the author has males, seems to have been estabpublished under the foregoing tin lished prophetically, as if to per. tle, the plan of which is to initiate sonify those objects to which the a learner in the French language, English were to owe their glory by means of familiar phrases, and prosperity, does not corres. without first acquiring the rules of pond in good sense, with the genGrammar.
eral tenor of his work, and marks The first volume consists whol. the predominance of fancy over ly of phrases or sentences, with a judgment. translation of each. It begins with In a note, page 35, the author sentences in which occur the alleges it to be “impossible to names of material objects ; pro- account for the invention of adjecceeding to those in which are used tives, unless we have recourse to verbs, adjectives, abstract nouns, their origin from youns.” This &c. In this part of the work, we remark is believed to be too posithink the author has selected tive and general. It is true, as in phrases with judgment, and gen- the examples he offers, that aderally translated them with cor. jectives are often formed from rectness. In a few instances we names; but, by recurring to the think the author will do well to primitive languages, we shall find revise the translation. For exam, no small part of nouns and verbs ple, in the first page, “ Il n'a plus derived from adjectives. In the de dents, il est obligé de manger first stages of society, men would de la mie,” is rendered “ He lost unquestionably give names to oball his teeth, he is obliged to eatjects the most necessary, and crumb." The first part of the most frequently used, or to the sentence however, does not cor most striking qualities ; and not respond with the last. It ought unfrequently, a quality would reto be, He has lost all his teeth, or ceive a name, before the object or he has no longer any teeth, and objects in which it was observed therefore is obliged to eat crumb, to exist. In deducing the, the or the soft part of the bread in English article, from there, a noun distinction from the crust. of place, the author indulges con
In the second volume, the au: jecture too far for a Grammarian, thor enters into a philosophical in- whose province is restricted to vestigation and elucidation of the simple facts. The Saxon article clements of language ; explains was not the but se; and the has and exhibits by examples the probably a common origin with sounds of the letters in the French chat, being primitively used as a language ; defines the parts of pronoun. speech, and explains the general. Under the head of the article, principles of Grammar with great the author classes mine, thine, clearness and precision. He con. yours, ours, theirs, who, which, siders the interjection as the first thal, &c. for which arrangement language of men, or mother of he assigns his reasons language ; and contends that it On the subject of the verb, the ought to have a place among the author has some very ingenious parts of speech. In explaining the observations, in which he attempts origin of the English application to show that the terminational irflections of the French verb are The idioms of every language modifications of the verb etre, to are so difficult to acquire with be; and something like this use perfect accuracy, that the attaina of the verb is found in other lan- ment is seldom made by those to guages.
whom the language is not the In illustrating the tenses of mother tongue. For this reason Terbs, the author has attempted we think, that Mr. Dufief's work to fix their meaning, and true use, would have been rendered more and has assigned to some of them accurate and acceptable, had he ner denominations, expressive have submitted it, previously to of their application to time. The its publication, to the critical in= old imperfect he calls the Present spection of some native English Arterior, for in the phrase, “ Je or American scholar, who doubtportais vos livres, lorsque vous less would have corrected several m'avez rencontré," I was carrying words and phrases, which indicate your books when you met me : to the English reader, that the he alleges that the intention of author is a foreigner. the speaker is to inform the liear. Notwithstanding our doubts on er that the action of carrying cor a few points, and the small defect responded in time with the meets suggested, we are much pleased ing ; that is, it was then present ; with the general plan and execubut wben compared with the time tion of this performance. In gen. of speaking the act appears to be eral, the author appears to have a past or anterior. This form of clear knowledge of his subject, and time, “ Je portai hier votre lettre to be happy in his illustrations. á la poste," I carried your letter The difficulties which every learnyesterday to the post office, the er of a foreign language by gramauthor calls the present anterior mar bas to encounter in the periodical ; because, periodical is threshold of his studies, by being derived from period, a determinate subjected to the drudgery of comtime, and this marks an action per- mitting to memory a long cataformed in a particular space of logue of rules and abstract terms, time. Where it may be proper present a formidable obstacle to to observe that this is a new the progress of languages. To use of the word periodical, which remove these obstacles is certainaccording to our established ly desirable; and no small praise usage, is appropriated to the sense is due to the man who attempts to of returning or occurring at regu- open a more easy and direct path lar intervals.
to the attainment of a foreign In like manner the future tense language. ' It is not improbable is called the present posterior; that a youth, who spends several J'ai eu is called the past ; J'avais years in the acquisition of the Lattu, the past anterior ; l'eus eu, the in, Greck, and French, would, if Migel anterior periodical ; J'aurai he could live among people who eu, the past posterior, &c.
should speak no other, learn either On the subject of these altera- of those languages in a single tions, we shall offer a single re- year. Every man of observation mark, that as the old denomina. must have noticed the ease with tions of the tenses are confessed which a young person learns a ly imperfeci, we have some doubts foreign language by rote. Our whether the proposed names are native tongue is always learnt by the best which can be devised. rote first, and by grammar after. Vol. I. No. 5.
ward. Next to the mathematics, pears to censure, with no small grammar is perhaps the most degree of asperity, the whole body difficult science for a beginner, and of orthodox christians, for their to augment the difficulty, the sub- want of charity toward those, who ject is embarrassed with technical deny the doctrine of the sacred terms, wholly arbitrary, some of Trinity. He pleads for that unwhich are in themselves unmean- bounded catholicism, which eming. Thus the words, noun, adbraces all denominations of chrisjective, and verb, being used only tians, and which excludes the in grammar, and in themselves name and the guilt of Heresy from insigpificant, that is, having no the whole christian world. This meaning but what is arbitrarily liberality of sentiment he founds given to them in that branch of upon the principle, that no man science, present no ideas to the can be infallibly certain, whether beginner; and he plods on for anyone article of his religious months, perhaps years, before he creed be agreeable to the word of has a clear conception of their use God. Hence the whole train of and application.
his introductory remarks is calcu-For these reasons we concur lated to open the door to every with Mr. Dufief in the opinion, species of religious errour, intithat languages are most readily delity, and skepticism. acquired by the ear, the memory, Among many instances of high and by practice ; or, according to colouring and misrepresentation, the popular phrase, by rote. This calculated to mislead his readers, method is less difficult, slow and
we quote the following : Speakdiscouraging, than the ordinary ing of the influence of education method ; and even facilitates the
facilitates the on theological students, he says, subsequent acquisition of gram- Ch. 78. Introd.) « While under matical rules. We therefore con
the care of his respected include these remarks by wishing structor, he is furnished with such him success in his laudable under
authors, as ingeniously defend his laking, proportioned to the inge- peculiar sentiments. He is taught nuity and ability with which these
to contend earnestly for the creed volumes are executed.
of his teacher as being the faith We are happy to learn that seve
once delivered to the saints ; and eral instructors in different parts
having examined one side of a of the United States, are teaching
question only, and been inspired the French language on Mr. Du- with sufficient prejudice against fief's principles.
every opponent, he is sent forth to
preach and to defend the doctrines One God in one person only : and in which he was born!"
Jesus Christ a being distinct from We know of no theological inGod, dependent upon him for his structor in New England, who · existence, and his various powers; treats his pupils in the manner · maintained and defended. By here described. We doubt wheth.
John Sberman, Pastor of the first er Mr. S. can substantiate this church in Mansfield, Connecti- bold and unqualified charge by a cut.) pp. 200 8vo. Worcester, single example. · 1. Thomas, jun.
Ée divides his dissertation into In his introduction to this per- two parts. In the first part, he formance, Mr. Sherman uses proposes to shew that the passaggreat liberty of speech. He ap. es and considerations, alleged in
favour of the supreme and inde of the gospel. He has taken un. pendent Deity of Christ, do not due methods to strengthen his own establish such doctrine concern- cause, and to weaken the cause of ing him : and in the second part, his opponents. he proceeds to state what appears We see no propriety in his mato him direct and positive proof, king a merit of changing his senthat Christ is not the most high
timents. Had he overcome the
tim God, but a being entirely distinct from God, inferior and depend
prejudices of education, in reent, his Son, servant, messenger,
nouncing errour and embracing &c.
truth, his conduct would have No theological subje&t has been
been truly meritorious. But since more frequently, more fully, and
he has rejected a precious and immore ably discussed, than the doc
portant truth, for the sake of trine concerning a Trinity of Per
adopting and propagating a danfons in the only living and true
gerous errour, he has, we believe, God. Every corner in this field
merited those marks of displeasure, of controversy has been repeatedly
which he says he has received traversed by the most ingenious
from his brethren in the ministry, and learned divines. It is not to
and which he may still receive be expected, after eighteen cen
from the friends of truth. turies have been employed in
He appears very difingenuous, searching the writings of both in- in holding himself a Non Descript spired and uninspired men, that
among the various denominations any thing really new, in point of
of christians, who deny the proper hiftory, criticism, or argument,
Divinity of Christ. “ In the followcan now be advanced upon this ing treatise (hę says) we have not fubjet. Mr. Sherman does not thought it proper to bring into view pretend that he has devised any peculiarities, which we may entertain, niew method, or made use of any
and which diftinguish us from any new weapons, to attack and over
denominations of those, who deny throw the commonly received doc
the supreme and independent Detrine of three distinct and equally
ity of Christ and the commonly redivine Persons in the Godhead.
ceived doctrine of the Trinity. He professes only to exhibit his
Seeing the only question of priown sentiments in his own way. mary importance, is · Whether And it is but inftice to acknowls the commonly received doctrine edge, that he is no servile follower
concerning Christ and the Trinity of those who have gone before be true or false,' we shall confine him in this controverfy : that he our arguments wholly to this has written in a perspicuous and fingle point.” P. 15. Introducindependent manner ; that he has tion. searched the Bible and other By taking this stand behind the books diligently ; and that he has curtain, he avails himself of the thought closely upon both sides of learning, the artifices, and the the great question, which he has reasonings, of the Sabellians, of undertaken to decide. But still the Arians, of the Socinians, and We are sorry to find, that he has of the Unitarians ; without emspent so much time and pains in barrassing himself with the pecu. an insidious and fruitless attempt, liar difficulties which attend their to subvert a fundamental do&rine different and opposite schemes of faith. Though all these fectaries his treatise. He collects all his may now claim him as their ad- direct and positive proof, that vocate, yet whenever he shall find Christ is not the most high God, it convenient to throw off the mark but a being entirely disting from and take his proper rank, he may and inferior to God, from what appear as zealous and powerful in the Scriptures assert, and what the opposing them, as he now does in Trinitarians allow, concerning the opposing the Trinitarians. His humanity and official inferiority chief aim appears to be, to demol of the Son to the Father, which ish the commonly received faith is so far from refuting, that it concerning the Trinity, without' does not even touch the true doc. attempting to furnish a substitute. trine of the Trinity. This part His conduct in this respect, is nei- of his performance abounds with ther justifiable in itself, nor con- misconstructions and misapplicasistent with his boasted frankness tions of scripture, and a train of in avowing his sentiments. . reasoning about the mysterious
But these are venial faults, in mode of the Divine Existence, comparison with the unfair method which is a subject totally beyond he has taken to accomplish his the province of reason. designs. He very well knew, that His whole publication would the orthodox doctrine supposes have appeared to more advanthree equally divine Persons in the tage in the eye of the publick, if he Godhead. But he has first and had concluded it with only claim. chiefly directed his arguments ing the right of private judgment, against the supreme and independent instead of calling upon the whole Deity of Christ, without bringing body of the orthodox, either to into view the doctrine of the Trin. yield to his arguments, or come ity in general, and what the Scrip- out and meet him in the field of tures reveal concerning the union controversy. They may believe, and order of operation, of the as well as he, that truth will finally three divine Persons in the econo- prevail and triumph oyer errour, my of redemption. Beside, his and yet have painful apprehenusing the phrase, “ Şupreme and fions, that multitudes will be deIndependent Deity of Christ,” stroyed, before the latter day light seems to insinuate, that the ortho- and glory Mall diflìpate all the dox set up the Son as equal, if not clouds of ignorance, errour, and Superior to the Father, in all re- delusion, which now overspread spects. Upon this ground, he the earth. And under this im. considers every text that speaks of pression, they will" undoubtedly the Son as inferior to the Father, feel themselves bound in duty to in any respect, as militating against check, rather than promote, the their doctrine. Every critical circulation of his, or any other and impartial reader will readily publication, which they deem perceive that the whole plausibile fraught with the poison of fatal ity of the first part of his disserta- errour. lion, arises altogether from this artful mode of treating the subject Remarks by another hand. in debatę.
Much of this author's theory The same observation is equally depends on critical disquisitions on applicable to the second part of the original languages, in which