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An INQUIRY into the NATURE and PHILOSOPHY of LAN-
CHAP. I.-SEC. I.
Notices in the Scriptures respecting certain facts, as pertaining to the arts and sciences-their differences-the ends which they are calculated to promote-object of the following Treatise-to discourse on the Nature and Philosophy of Language, as connected with the Sacred Scriptures-author of the "Diversions of Purley"—the noun -verb, and its "peculiar differential circumstance," &c.—the philosophy of Horne Tooke not favourable to the inquiry respecting the verb-destruction of the MSS. of Horne Tooke, and the probable conclusion to be drawn from the circumstance--the opinions of other writers respecting the primitive part of speech-the object of the present Treatise more fully stated, and the plan for pursuing the inquiry laid down.
ALL the circumstances and relations, which are incidentally mentioned in the sacred records respecting contemporary manners and the arts and sciences, are, unquestionably, calculated to assist and strengthen the intellectual energies of man. But the intimations and relations which we find in those sacred stores are of a two-fold nature. They are divisible into those which are essential to the necessities and comforts of man in this lower world, and into those which have reference more particularly to his being and happiness in that which is to come. The former may be viewed as so many relations of facts, which were addressed immediately to the external senses at the time those facts are recorded to have taken place; and this knowledge, the sound philosopher believes could not, at so early a period of the creation,
have been acquired by unassisted reason. Such, among others, are the relations respecting language, husbandry, the reduction of metals, and metallurgic science: while the latter, viz. those intimations which concern the happiness of man in a future state, were designed more peculiarly to stimulate the nobler faculties of the mind, and were further intended for reproof and for instruction; such are the intimations in Genesis, Joshua, Isaiah, &c. respecting the sun, and the token of the
* Sun stand thou still, &c. Josh. x. 12. It is remarkable, that the terms in which this event is recorded in the sacred writings, do not agree with what is now known concerning the motions of the heavenly bodies; for whereas it is recorded, that the sun and moon were made to stop for a whole day, it is how sufficiently known that day and night are not caused by any motion of the sun, but by the rotation of the earth on its own axis. It should be remembered, however, that as in those early ages men had not the slightest notion of the modern discoveries in astronomy, it was unavoidably necessary that the event should be described according to the knowledge then obtained. If God had dictated to Joshua to record the miracle in terms suitable to the modern discoveries in astronomy, Joshua would have appeared to express it in a manner directly contrary to all the rules of science then known: and his account of what had happened would have been objected to as false in astronomy. It would have appeared rather a wild fancy, or à gross blunder of his own, than a true account of a real miracle; and so would have been received with little attention by the persons for whom it was written. Thus when God directed Joshua to record this miracle, he did not direct him to record it in a manner more agreeable to true astronomy; because if he had done so, unless he inspired the world at the same time with a true knowledge of astronomy, the account would rather have tended to raise amongst those who read it and heard of it, disputes and "oppositions of science falsely so called," than have promoted the great ends of religion intended by it.-Dr. SHUCKFORD, D'Oyly and Mant's Bible.
It has been observed that the Hebrew word (D) does not signify the sun, but the solar light; thus God might, at the desire of Joshua, have so increased the refractive power of the atmosphere, that the light of the sun was observed long after the regular setting of that luminary; in other words, the solar light remained on the earth, or figuzatively "the sun stood still.” God, by staying the departure of the
Covenant of Almighty God after the flood, the rainbow ;* recitals plainly conforming to the opinions and notions of the patriarchal ages and such, likewise, are all the exact and perfect declarations respecting true philosophy and metaphysical science; exhibiting to our minds the present weakness of our capacities, and offering to us constant lessons of humility; exciting in us feelings of industry to improve our knowledge and enlarge our faculties, and finally, tending to fortify our minds against the violation of scepticism on the one hand, and spiritual pride on the other. Abstractedly considered, such, doubtless, is the two-fold meaning of all the scientific circumstances and intimations, illustrative of the opinions of the times, which are to be met with in Scripture; and which, to the highest degree, are interesting to students of every branch of sound, unsophisticated philosophy. Considered in a religious point of view, those relations are intimately connected with the internal evidences of the Bible.
The object of the following Treatise is to discourse on one branch of science; the Nature and Philosophy of Language, as connected with the Sacred Scriptures. During the inquiry, it shall be my endeavour to show, in opposition to sceptical philosophy, that the substantive, and not the verb, is the primitive part of speech;
sun's light, exposed to the Hebrews the Philistines' folly in attributing omnipotence to a body which could be arrested at the pleasure of a superior power.-Encyclopædia Metropolitana.
It is not at all necessary to inquire whether there was or was net any rainbow before the flood. Upon either supposition the Divine Wisdom is very apparent, in appointing the rainbow for a token of his Covenant and a memorial of his promise, that as often as men should see it, they might remember, that God had given them such a promise, and that his infallible word should be their sufficient security.-Dr. WATERLAND, D'Oyly and Mant's Bible.
and, consequently, that it is that into which every one of the rest is more easily to be resolved: "And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field."
In my attempt to unfold the office and character of the verb, I shall endeavour to expose some of the principles and doctrines of Materialism, Atheistical and Sceptical Philosophy, and to offer one or two remarks on the nature of the passions. To this I shall add a few suggestions respecting grammar; a few hints concerning the formation of sentences, as connected with the state and progress of thought; and, finally, in conjunction with arguments deduced from the sacred authority of Scripture, an inquiry relating to the primitive language, the changes and diversity of tongues.
CHAP: I-SEC. II.
It is singular, that the author of the "Diversions of Purley," should have traced every part of speech to its original source, and in the structure of language marked the precise boundaries of each, and yet that he should have affirmed the verb to be something more than the noun: so that while he separated the rest of the parts of speech from their root, he suffered the verb to remain in quiet possession of the "peculiar differential circumstance" which he conceived it to inherit over and above the noun, the primitive part of speech or root. Preparatory to his Philological Diversions, had Horne Tooke permitted himself to investigate the natural progress of his own thoughts, had he derived his philosophy from its true and genuine source, had his mind been engaged