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lor groundwork of the language of
THE SACRED CLASSICS
Defended and Illustrated. ***********
PART II. CHA P. I. $ 1.
Shall beg leave here to repeat what I advanc'd in the first Part, that the main substance and
the Gospels and Epistles is incontestably the same with that of the old authentic Grecians; their narrative and morals are express’d in parallel terms; and in equal exactness of grammatical concord and government.
In short, the language is the same, excepting when the rites of the Jewish, and new revelations of the Christian Religion requir'd new terms; and where the usage of Hebrew modes of speech, and allusions to the oriental customs express’d the thing with more vigour, and advantage and satisfaction of the people to whom the Gospel was to be address’d and preach'd. Even in the Hebraisms and peculiarities of the new Testament as good a regard has been had to the general analogy and true propriety of grammar, as in the purest and sublimest writings, which make up
the standard of the Greek language.
'Tis very remarkable that those Hebraisms are us’d by the writers of the new Testament which are us'd by Plato, Herodotus, &c. as fubstantives instead of adjectives, a nominative case without any verb, repetitions of the same word, that look very like tautologies; and other modes of speech that we have above shew'd to be common to the Hebrew and Greek languages: but other Hebrew forms of expression, i tho' scarce bolder or harsher than these, are not us’d. by the sacred writers; I believe because they wou'd have been real solecisms, and violation of the analogy and custom of the Greek and Roman language, as never adınitted into it; nor us’d by their approv'd and principal writers. The relative asher is frequently
gree with the
suppressid in Hebrew", as the relative who or which is in English. In regimen of nouns the governing noun is alter'd, not the governed". The adječtive and the substantive are of different genders and numbers. The verb sometimes does not a
proper nominative case, but is of the same number with the oblique case in the claufe". And several other Hebraisms there are that are repugnant to the usage of the Greek language, and never us’d by the divine writers in Greek.
I much wonder at that formal remark of a very learned man on Afts v. 30. « St. Luke being a
scholar, uses many words purely Greek.” Why don't St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Paul, St. John use many words and phrases purely Greek? Is that to be doubted by any one that ever read them? Has not that excellent critic himself given numerous instances of it; and prov'd it by parallel instances out of the best authors ?
$ 2. In this chapter I lay before the young scholar some remarkable passages, precepts of morality, comparisons and proverbial sayings in the
· Pral. li, 10. b Prov. xxiv. 25. Job xxxiv. 28.
ci Sam. ii. 4. Ifa. xvi. 18. Jerem. X. 22. Job xxix. 10. Haggai ii. 8. Vid. Buxtorf. Thesaur. Grammat. Linguæ Sand. Heb. in Syntaxi. Vid. etiam Bithner. Inftit. Linguæ Sandæ ad calcem Lyræ Propheticæ cap. 9. Vid. Proverb. xxviii. I.
sacred writers, which are us’d in the most tofty and noble foreign writers. And the reason I draw this parallel is, only to shew the wisdom and condescention of the Divine Spirit, in directing the Evangelists and Apostles to use those customary and well-known modes and forms of speech which are found in those writers, which are generally and justly admir'd for their agreeable and prevalent manner of applying to the reason and affections of mankind. The hand of God in the old and new Testament expresses his providence and power": In which sense it is taken by the noble Pindar : OZ oùy tandua', a haven of Crete that lyeth towards the Southwest, &c. is a low translation, and takes away the prosopopeïa and vigour of the original; and is not more plain or intelligible than the literal rendring of it ven which looketh towards the Northwest, &c. The noblest Classics have the same form tory of Salamis looking towards Megara.
Aristophanes lays of Juno, whom the pagan world suppos’d to be that Deity which presided over the nuptial rites, that she keeps the keys of
- a ham
. Psal. xcv. 4. xlv. 6. Luke i.66.
f Pindar. O!. 10.V. 25. $ Acts xxvii. 12. Thucid. 2. 141. 1. 8. So in Xen. Cyrop. 8. 5. 2. 317. Tregs tw Brf SOLV TAV oxnvío · Spectant in Septemtriones & Orientem folem. Cætar. Commen. 1 lib. p.