« AnteriorContinuar »
even this is no ground for a general limitation, or for making a difference between proper names, and all nouns descriptive of office, dignity, &c. : for of these latter, there are many which express diversity as strongly and as necessarily as any proper names whatever can possibly do. Thus, for instance, king and queen, husband and wife, &c. with all those which I mentioned in my former letter, and many more that might be mentioned, are as different as Sharp and Blunt. If, then, proper names are beyond the reach of your rule, because they, by their nature indicate diversity, so likewise must all such personal nouns as these, be, which, by their nature are equally indicative of diversity. Before, therefore, you can proscribe such examples as consist of proper names from being brought against your rule, you must reduce that rule to narrower limits, and confine its operation, not merely to personal nouns, but to personal nouns of one sort only. And then, in the next place, before you can apply your rule to the proposed correction of our common version in those texts you have selected, you must shew that XP1505, xupios, and owing, as applied to Jesus, differ less widely from é Jeos and ó meyves Jeos, than one proper name does from another. * And when you have done this, it to be rendered : “ The Lord is our God, the Lord alone." We have no need to say, who shall go up to heaven, or beyond the will then be a proper subject of inquiry, whether such a circumstance, affords sufficient ground for maintaining that personal nouns, even of this sort, are differently affected by the article and conjunction from proper names. Should you say
to bring us the secret things of our religion, for us and for our children, that we may believe all the words of this law! Deut. xxx. 11-14. xxix. 29.
* Dr. Clarke calls these,“ nouns characteristical and equiva" lent (as it were) to proper names.” See the passage quoted from his Reply to Nelson, in page 30.
that your limitations are founded on the observation of fact, and not deduced from reasoning; and that you have discovered by experience that they actually do exist and prevail in the greek language, though you are unable to explain why they should do so; I would ask, what is your experience, wherein does it consist, and what does it amount to? Is it because you have found some half-dozen of examples,* in which nouns that are personal, singular, and not proper names, accord with your rule, and as many more in which nouns that are impersonal, plural, and proper names, contradict that rule, that therefore you think yourself justified in making this arbitrary distinction, and laying it down as a fact, that nouns of the cne sort are necessarily affected by the article and conjunction in the way you mention, and those of the other sort, not?
As well might you take a list of the lottery for half a dozen years, and picking out this or that thousand in which some numbers might happen to be drawn on a Wednesday or a Friday in those years, affirm, that those thousands were subject to a law from which others, that you did not find on those days, were exempt. The experience which
* The examples by which you confirm your first rule, the one here discussed, are just half a dozen, if we deduct those which consist of a repetition of the same words.
you have had of your rule falls far short of that in the well known instance of the king of Siam, who, because he had never seen or heard that water would become solid by freezing, denied the possibility of it; and still more short of that assumed by Mr. Hume as a ground for denying the possibility of miracles. And yet you and I, Sir, are well assured that the experience of both these sceptics was good for nothing. So that experience, such as your's, confirmed by so few instances, seems to be a weaker foundation, than that of reason, to build your limitations on.
Indeed what you have said about these limitations does not appear to have any great force or validity even in your own estimation. A man's practice is often a better ground for judging of the strength of his convictions than his theory. Now you, practice, have neglected all these limitations, and have brought examples to confirm your rules, which violate every one of them.
Thus many of the examples in your second, third, and fifth rules, and the majority of those in the sixth, consist of nouns which are not personal. In your sixth rule, we have an example from John xi. 44. consisting of two plural nouns.
And again, in the third example, in page 31, we have two plural nouns taken from Philip. iii. 3. which you mark as a capital confirmation of your first rule. And when you lay down the limitations about plurality, you take care to inform us (p. 6), that there are not * wanting examples, even of plural nouns, which are
expressed exactly agreeable to your first rule;' an observation made for no other purpose that I can
discover, but that of insinuating, that there is nothing in plurality so incompatible with your rule as to prevent even plural nouns from being some confirmation of its truth. In your third rule (page 10), we have an example from Ephes. V. 20, in which
Jesus Christ makes one of your nouns, though you have told us (p. 19), that you consider it as a proper name, and have distinguished it from a descriptive - noun. In page 18, you consider an example in which we find
one, if not two, proper names, viz. Devil and Satan (Rev. xx. 2.), as one that would belong to your fifth rule, if the context did not make it an exception. And in the first of your mistranslated texts, viz. in Ephes. V. 5. you make both the nouns, Christ and God, by the way in which you render them in your table of contents, to be proper names; and in all the renderings which you give us of the same text in page 31, whether you translate by hook or by crook, the latter noun God is made a proper name, and in the last rendering, both nouns. Thus
you have destroyed by your practice those limitations which, though you have formally laid down, you never have confirmed, and, I will venture to say, never can confirm, by your theory. Looking upon myself, therefore, as quite at liberty, in arguing against your rule, to disregard limitations which I have shewn to be destitute of all foundation, and which you yourself have disregarded in your attempts to establish your rule, I shall now go on to give you the remainder of those examples which I was about to produce when our attention was called off to discuss the business of the limitations. But this I shall reserye for another letter.
'Tis certain that arguments run very low indeed, when al}
grammar is forced to be reversed in such a manner, as would make every language a mere Babel of words. By grammar, I mean, not only the artificial rules of grammarians, but the common and natural sense of mankind.
CLARKE's Reply to Nelson, p. 41. Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.-VIRG. Like a man, that without a foundation built a house upon the
earth.-Luke vi. 49.
ETTING aside those limitations which I have
proved to be futile and groundless, I now proceed to lay before you some further examples of your rule, from which you will see more of the many admirable consequences of your discovery, than perhaps you were fully aware of.
By the application of your rule to the greek text of the following passages, you may shew that there is no difference, not only between a street and a lane (Luke xiv. 21.), but between a high-way and a hedge (ibid, verse 23.); not only between love and peace (2 Cor, xiii. 11.), but between consolation and salva-' tion (2 Cor. i. 6.). You may prove not only that high-priests and scribes, (Matt. ii. 4.), that scribes and pharisees, (Matt. v. 20.), that scribes and elders, (ib. xxvii. 41.), and that publicans and sinners, (ib.ix. 11.) were the same persons; but moreover, that pharisees and sadducees, (Matt. iii. 7. xvi. 1,6,11, 12.), apostles