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previously versed in the Hebrew, will cost them little trouble to understand. See Pfeiffer's “ Critica Sacra,” page 398, &c. (y)
4. Of the Rabbinical Writings. The study of Rabbinism presupposes an acquaintance with the Hebrew and Chaldee; and is better learned by practice, than by precept. Cellarius has written on this subject; and Sixtinus Amama has proposed an easy method of acquiring it. Those who do not make this their professed study, (which can be proper for but few,) will find it safficient, if they attentively peruse Michlal lophi; which is a kind of Literal Commentary on the Old Testament, and contains the substance of all the Rabbinical Annotations. A Master will be useful in this branch of Scripture literature, in order to explain any difficulties that may occur.—They who wish to engage in the study more fully, may consult the Biblia of Buxtorf; and Pfeiffer's “ Manuductio facilis ad lectionem TalmudicoRabbinicam.” Vide “Critica Sacra," Page 517, &c. (2)
He who applies himself to the writings of the Rabbins with an undue and intemperate ardour, may, perhaps, enjoy his labours; but I would caution the reader against filling his mind with Judaical absurdities, while the Sacred Volume invites him to contemplate divine truths, and to participate of divine pleasures.
OF HISTORICAL READING,
HISTORICAL READING is confined to the outward Letter of Scripture, and its proper tendency is to lead the mind to an historical knowledge of the things contained in it, as the Argument, Scope, &c.—whether this knowledge be sought in the Volume of inspiration itself, or through the medium of other helps. (a).
Historical reading comprehends an acquaintance with the following particulars:
I. The SUM AND SUBSTANCE of the Old and New Testaments. This may be acquired from a cursory perusal: and, indeed, might be reasonably presupposed in a student of divinity, who is expected “ to have “ known from a child, the Holy Scriptures:" 2 Tim. ili. 15. The Sum and Substance of the Old and New Testaments, we define to be what is understood by the Old and New Testaments;" and, likewise, the points in which they differ from each other. Luther's Prefaces will furnish the reader with all ne
cessary information on this head; and give him a general idea of the subject matter of the books of Scripture. (b)
II. The INSPIRED PENMEN.
III. The OCCASION or Causes of writing. These are, most commonly, declared by the Sacred Writers in explicit terms; and, when diligently examined, they assist the reader in ascertaining the Scope, and in gaining a fuller conception of the Subject.
IV. The Scope: so far as it can be gathered from historical incidents.
V: The ARGUMENTS of the respective books: a perfect acquaintance with which, prepares the mind for more accurate investigation. A knowledge of the Arguments, whether of books or chapters, may be acquired with more advantage from Scripture itself, than from any compilations that have been made to assist the memory; aś Martin's “ Memoriale Biblicum,” Heidegger's “Enchiridion," &c.though works of this kind may be useful in the business of repetition, and in more forcibly impressing on the memory what has been previously learned. It is, nevertheless, proper to guard against wasting time over compendiums; and against such an attention to
the mere Letter, as might induce a neglect of the Spirit of the Holy Oracles. Diligence in reading and examining the Word itself, is a compendious system of mnemonics. (C)
Under this head, there are three helps worthy of remark:-a Tutor, Diligence, and Exercises instituted between fellow-students.
A Tutor. The instructions of an able Tutor or Friend, will prevent much loss of time, and be otherwise of essential service; when the student is engaged in obtaining a knowledge of those things, which relate, as well to the whole Scripture, as to its respective books. Indeed, it cannot but prove exceedingly prejudicial to the learner, if he be deprived of the advantages that result from the cathechetical mode of teaching; which, by descanting on the scope, argument, &c. of a book, and by asking questions concerning them, is so happily calculated to impress the memory.
Diligence. The best mode of confirming the mind in the recollection of what has been previously learned from the lips of a Tutor, is to read and re-read the books of Scripture. It is indeed necessary to be incessantly exercised in these elements of exposition, and thus to render them familiar; lest, in interpreting any Sacred Writer, we be betrayed into error.
Exercises between Associates in Study. Frequent
discussion and converse with fellow-students, are, in this, as well as all other parts of learning, extremely helpful to the memory, when conducted with due moderation. By means of these, we may both form an acquaintance with the Arguments, &c. of books and chapters; and likewise retain them constantly in recollection.
VI. The SEATS OF SUBJECTS. A knowledge of these is requisite, in order that the Scriptures may be digested in the mind, as it were, into common-places; whence passages parallel to any text that may occur, will readily suggest themselves. With a view to this, it is recommended by Wolffgang Franzius, in his admirable preface to his treatise, “ De Scripturæ Sacræ Interpretatione,” not to measure our reading by the chapters into which Holy Writ has been divided, but to peruse an entire subject at one time. this monition strictly regarded, students would clearly perceive, that to explain scripture by scripture, and difficult passages by others of easier solution, is an invaluable expository help: and they would likewise have in constant readiness, a system of Divinity, compiled from the Sacred volume itself, and divested of all human glosses. (d)
The high importance of this help was not unobserved by Chemnitz. He says—“Since the several articles “ of the Christian faith, have their own peculiar Seats,