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with the Hebrew; and to divide the attention, so as to appropriate the morning to the more difficult, and the afternoon to the more easy language. This practice cannot, however, be recommended, when an affinity exists between the tongues studied, as it would then introduce confusion.
If it be thought that the Hebrew claims precedence of the Greek, in point of order, I do not decidedly oppose the position; nor need a learner be discouraged from adopting it, by adverting to the popular method of teaching, in the order of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Some there are who entirely reverse the seties; neither does this arrangement want the support of reason, or the sanction of success.
Whatever plan the reader determine to adopt, let it be his primary care, to attend to things really essential in preference to those of inferior momenta It is indeed much to be wished, that this admonition were more deeply impressed on the minds of students, because the observance of it, in any branch of learning, would invariably ensure advancement.
The method which I shall propose for acquiring the Hebrew language, resembles that prescribed for the Greek. The first four chapters of Genesis should be studied and collated with an accurate version, until the learner be capable of rendering the Hebrew text into his vernacular idiom, without the aid of a translation: The versions of Junius and Tremellius me
rit a preference; and this is likewise due to the version of the first four chapters of Genesis, prefixed by Opitius to his Atrium. That of Genesis by Pagninus, enriched with short annotations, and accompanied with the Hebrew text, will prove useful to beginners. (h)
It will next be proper to commit to memory some rudiments of the grammar, so as to enable the learner to know what are prefixes and affixes, as well as the more necessary paradigms. (i) More time must, however, be allotted to reading the text itself, than to studying the grammar; which will undoubtedly be attained with greater facility and pleasure, when the language is become, in some measure, familiarized. Experience has repeatedly and clearly evinced, to the conviction of many besides myself, that, in the course of only four days, these chapters may be perfectly known; so known, as that the student shall be able to translate the text into another language; to ascertain the roots and their signification; and to separate from them the prefixes and affixes with which they stand connected. The great assistance which this must afford in a second reading, is very evident. Surely, a week so employed, is calculated to improve a learner more than three months spent over the grammar, and in the practice of analyzing alone; through a dislike to which, many persons have totally given up the study of the
A good Tutor will, at this juncture, prove eminently useful, in order to deliver to the pupil, in a concise and perspicuous summary, such grammatical rudiments as he may consider essential. They who do not enjoy this privilege, must avail themselves of those works which have been drawn up to supply the deficiency. Such are the Analysis of the first chapters of Genesis, annexed by Opitius to his Atrium; and the Hebrew Lexicon of the same celebrated man, written for the use of beginners, after the plan of Schrevelius'. Besides these, we should notice Baldovius' Analysis of Genesis, accommodated to his Grammar, and printed with it; Bythner's “Lyra Prophetica,” or a Critico-practical Analysis of the book of Psalms (a most excellent production in this way;) and Leusden's “ Clavis Veteris Testamenti;" a work similar to that compiled for the Greek Testament, by the same author. (k)
Having perused the chapters prescribed, and committed to memory the more essential rudiments of Grammar, (as far as this can be done without becoming tedious,) it remains that the whole Bible should be immediately and thoroughly read through. Compendiums, Manuals, &c. may respectively possess merit; but they must never be suffered to preclude the learner from the Scriptures, which should constitute the main object of his attention. Many have erred greatly in this point; and after consuming much
time over compendiums, their advancement has been considerably impeded, and they have frequently been prevented from studying the whole of the Sacred Writings.
In this perusal of the Scriptures, the version used should be accurate; that of Tremellius with Notes, will be found to merit recommendation. It must also be prosecuted with as much persevering assiduity as possible, lest after long intervals have elapsed, the learner forget what he had previously known.
The significations of words may be written in the margin, or interline the text, until, by means of repetition, they become familiar. Numbers have testified from experience, the utility of this mode; though I would allow every one to enjoy his private opinion. No person can, however, learn mere unconnected words with either pleasure or profit; nor would I advise the reader to make use of a Lexicon, unless indeed it be that of Opitius; for, not being advanced in grammatical knowledge, much of his time would, in consequence, be irrecoverably lost. It will prove more beneficial to have a Bible with all the roots expressed in the margin, such as that of Montanus; or, otherwise, to write those roots which are not known, and ascertain their significations from a friend. Besides, it is of little moment, if, in a first reading, some words remain unexplained: many have protracted their advancement by yielding to the unreasonable desire of knowing all at once,
While thus employed, in reading the Original Scriptures, the Hebrew Grammar, *under the direction of a master, will be gradually acquired; for when a person is daily engaged in studying the Text, most grammatical difficulties will be overcome in one or two weeks. They, however, who can never rest satisfied without inquiring into every critical nicety, will eventually lament, that their time has been misapplied.
The Old Testament being thus thoroughly perused, which we have known some do in the course of three months, it may be read a second time, and in a shorter period; remembering, that it should be a chief concern with the student not to lose what was acquired in the first reading. With this may be connected an examination into Idiom; a subject of which we shall treat hereafter. If in this second reading, the student be inclined to make use of Leusden's Hebrew Manuel, in order to commit the words of the Old Testament to memory with greater facility, I would not dissuade him from the attempt. (m)
It plainly appears, from what has been advanced, that, in order to study the Hebrew effectually, we should place entire dependance neither on a Tutor, nor on private exertions, only; they must be conjoined. However excellent the method, a very great loss of time will undoubtedly be prevented, if the efforts of the student be seconded by those of a teacher; because the latter can introduce him to a deep acquaint