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they may. But has he promised to preserve it in any partiular part of the world where it has once been established? Certainly not. On the contrary, we see that the Asiatic churches, to whom the apostle John addressed his messages in the Apocalypse, have long since had their candlestick removed out of its place. In like manner, a large proportion of the places where the gospel was once preached in its purity, are now totally deprived of its blessings. The truth is, that the usual tenour of the divine procedure is, to take the gospel from those who continue to neglect, undervalue and despise it, and to send it among others who are not guilty of these crimes. I sincerely hope and pray that such may not be the destiny of the United States; and yet there is little more necessary to effect it, than that the very state of things which now exists should continue about half a century longer. It is always an evidence either of ignorance, or of something worse, when men profess to depend on God to take care of his cause, while they make no exertions to promote it. We are to cast our cares but not our du
ties upon God. We are not to be less active in endeavouring to promote the gospel, than if every thing depended on our exertions. When thus active, we have a right to expect a blessing, and confidently and comfortably to rely on God to confer it. If I could see the professors of religion in the United States awake to their situation, and actively.. engaged to prevent the evil I rave exhibited, I should hope that
God would certainly avert it. But on the contrary, the most threatening circumstance of all is, that while the evil is impending, professing Christians seem to be asleep under it. If it shall really be averted, we shall see a very different state of the public mind before it takes place. With a view to contribute my mite towards this desirable change, I have thrown out these hints. And I shall only add further at this time, that he who wishes to do the most towards promoting and preserving the gospel in this country, should turn his attention to the education of young men for the gospel ministry; and that every professing Christian should favour every plan which conduces to this, by all the means in his power.
MAIMONIDES says that the great Sanhedrim were accustomed to sit in a chamber in the tem
ple, to examine and judge of the
dismissed from the court of the
priests in the temple; but if found to possess the requisite qualification, he was clothed in white, and went in to minister with his brethren. This process illustrates the words of Christ in Rev. iii. 4. "They shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy."
Ainsworth's Pref. to the Pentateuch. [Evan. Intel.
enable me to embrace Jesus Christ freely offered to me in
To the Editor of the Rel. Mon. the gospel."
I READ with pleasure the interesting anecdote of the Rev. Thomas Doolittle, published in one of your late numbers. In addition to what was there said of him, it may be mentioned, that few ministers discovered more concern for the rising generation, or laboured more than he did, to bring young sinners to Jesus Christ. For this end he composed several small tracts, and among others, an explanation of the Assembly's Catechism.; and, every Lord's day, he spent some time in catechising the members, especially the young people of his congregation.
Among other pleasing circumstances which attended those exercises, the following produced a most happy effect. The question for the evening being, "What is effectual calling?" the answer was given in the words of the Assembly's Catechism.
This answer being explained, Mr. D. proposed, that the question should be answered by changing the words us and our into me and my. Upon this proposal, a solemn silence followed, many felt its vast importance, but none had courage to answer. At length a young man rose up, and with every mark of a broken and contrite, heart, by divine grace was enabled to say, "Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convinc ing me of my sins and misery, enlightening my mind in the knowledge of Christ, and renew, ing my will, he did persuade and
The scene was truly affecting. The proposal of the question had commanded unusual solemnity. The rising up of the young man had created high expectations, and the answer being accompanied with proofs of unfeigned piety and modesty, the congregation was bathed in tears.
This young man had been converted by being catechised, and to his honour, Mr. D. says, "of an ignorant and wicked youth, he had become an intelligent and serious professor, to God's glory, and my much comfort."
WALKING in the country, (says the Rev. Mr. Jay,) I went into a barn, where I found a thresher at his work. I addressed him, in the words of Solomon, My friend," in all labour there is profit." But what was my surprise, when, leaning upon his flail, he answered, and with much energy, "No, Sir; that is the truth, but there is one exception to it: I have long laboured in the service of sin, but I got no profit by my labour." "Then," said I, you know somewhat of the apostle's meaning, when he asked, "What fruit had ye in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?" "Thank God," he replied, "I do; and, I also know, that now, being freed from sin, and having become a ser vant unto righteousness, I have my fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
Review of New Publications.
A Review of A Philosophical and Practical Grammar of the English Language, by Noah Webster, Esq. New Haven, Oliver Steele & Co. pp. 250. 12mo.
To prevent disappointment, we deem it proper to state, that the following observations are intended more as a description of what Mr. Webster has done, than as a minute philological criticism, followed up, as such criticisms usually are, with extravagant panegyric, or fearful anathemas. After a brief description of the principal peculiarities of this Grammar, some reasons will be offered why every scienshould thoroughly peruse it, before he rejects it as
The first prominent feature of this work, which strikes a reader is, that disregard of authority which prompts the author to form a Grammar according to the true idioms of the English language, as it is written and spoken, without being fettered by rules arbitrarily imposed by men in a considerable degree ignorant of the science, which they professed to teach. Leaping over the limits by which the students of philology, both in Great Britain and America, have almost habitually bounded their inquiries, he traces the sources of the language and its idioms from the primitive Teutonic and Celtic; a field of knowledge with which Harris did not profess himself acquainted, and
which Johnson and Lowth never pretended to have explored to any considerable extent. The result of his researches is, in his opinion, to prove many of the grammatical rules and distinctions now received as true, to be entirely false; and either tending to pervert the genuine idioms of the language, or to leave them obscure, and not satisfactorily explained.
To Mr. Horne Tooke, author of the Diversions of Purley, Mr. W.professes himself indebted for the outlines of his plan. He was led to these researches by the discovery of Mr. Tooke, about 30 years ago, by which it appears that the particles or indeclinable words in our language were originally verbs, nouns, or adjectives; and that instead of being unmeaning by themselves, according to Harris, and other writers, they are all significant, and their appropriate use depends, in a great measure, on their original senses. In prosecuting this inquiry, it ap pears evident that the distribution of the words in our language is, in some respects, erroneous; many of them being ranked with those parts of speech to which they have no relation.
To prevent the errors, which must result from the present distribution, Mr. Webster has made a new classification, which he sup poses not liable to the same objections. Thus, for example, the words called pronouns are found not always to stand for nouns. Many of them stand
in the place of adjectives, of sentences, or of a few particular words, and therefore are not pronouns when thus employed That this inconvenience may no longer exist, Mr. Webster proposes to give them the name substitute, a term which explains the real use of all the words classed under it.
Under the head of Limitation of Names, the author shews the incorrectness of the received rules in regard to the articles. We will give a brief example from a note in page 18.
"The rules laid down by Lowth, and transcribed implicitly by his followers, is general."A substantive, without any article to limit it, is tak en in its widest sense; thus man means all mankind." The examples already given prove the inaccuracy of the rule. But let it be tried by other examples. "There are fishes that have wings, and are not strangers to the airy regions." Locke, b. 3. just that fishes is to be widest sense," then all wings!
If the rule is
taken in its fishes have
"When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies"-What! all armies? "There, shall be signs in the sun"-What! all signs," Nation shall rise against nation"-What! every nation? How the rule vanishes before the text !"
The head of substitutes or pronouns, is thoroughly discuss ed, and much light is thrown on this class of words, by quotations from classical English authors, and frequent references to the Saxon, and to other languages out of which the English is formed. Among other things, the writer endeavours to prove, that the words mine, thine, &c. are not the possessive or genitive case, as grammarians have commonly supposed, but the
nominative or objective; and that the principles of construction in the sentences where these words occur, cannot be explained unless the words are so considered. To strengthen the arguments adduced many authorities are cited. To mention one word out of many, the author has proved, beyond a doubt, that the word as, does the office of a nominative and objective, and is, in its various uses, equivalent to who, that, which and what.
Of the English verb the author has given a more full display, than we recollect to have before seen. This will be particularly useful to foreigners, as our verbs present almost insurmountable. obstacles to a learner, especially in the imperfect forms in which English Grammars have hitherto exhibited their combinations and inflections. In his criticisms upon the tenses of the subjunctive mode, the author attempts to show that the future and the pres ent are often confounded; and that what is called the present is really a conditional future. To the arguments here adduced we would confidently recommend the student for satisfaction, as to the use of the subjunctive mode. Certain it is, and every man of observation must know it, that of late years we have been deluged with such a flood of subjunctives, from public speakers, and the press, and in common conversation, as cannot find a parallel in the history of any language. This part of Mr. Webster's subject is illustrated by numerous authorities from the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Saxon and English.
In short, the idioms of our language, which form the only
basis of correct grammar, are exhibited in a new light, and explained by copious extracts from the most classical writers. A mong the English writers cited we recollect Locke, Bacon, Milton, Addison, Pope, Young, Bolingbroke, Thompson, Johnson, Paley, and a great multitude of others. Mr. Webster differs in many particulars, from other authors who have attempted to digest the principles and usages of the English language into a system; and cites the best authorities, in support of his princi ples. If these authorities, as Mr. Webster supposes, do support his principles, the grammars now taught in our colleges and schools are, in many particulars, extremely erroneous.
Having given this short account of what Mr. Webster has done in his grammar, we will, as briefly as possible, state some reasons why the work should receive a candid examination from every scientific man.
1. The science of grammar is an essential part of a liberal education, and unquestionably it has not yet arrived to a state of perfection. Every thing is useful, therefore, which will enable the student to correct his errors, and improve his language.
2. Mr. Webster has professedly been engaged many years in the study of philology, which makes it very reasonable to believe, that he should be able to detect errors in antecedent writ
Chronicles to the present time, not refusing the adventitious assistance to be derived from a knowledge of other languages.
4. He is the only writer of a grammatical system, who has made much use of Horne Tooke's discovery, a discovery which Dr. Johnson himself pro nounced to be of great impor tance.
5. This work is an American production; patriotism alone ought, then, to procure it a fair perusal.
Universal Salvation, a very an cient Doctrine; with some Ac count of the Life and Character of its Author. A Sermon delivered at Rutland, (Vt.) WestParish, 1805. By Lemuel Haynes, A. M. Sixth Edition. Boston. Carlisle. pp. 11. 12mo. THE following are some of the excellencies of this sermon.
1. The text is very aptly chos
Gen. iii. 4. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die. In a short preface we are informed, that the discourse was delivered at Rutland, (Vt.) June, 1805, immediately after hearing Mr. Ballou, a universal preacher, zealously exhibit his sentiments. The author had been repeatedly solicited to hear and dispute with him, and had been charged with dishonesty and cowardice for refusing. Though he thought it not decorous to engage in a personal dispute with the universalist, he felt that some kind of testimony ought to be borne against his erroneous sentiments. Nothing could have been better suited to the occasion, or to the design of the discourse, than the text abovemen◄