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Syriac Lexicography.-Arabic Grammar.
two Epistles to the Thessalonians is published, and one on the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, by Dr. Huther, is in press.
The last Heft of the Journal of the German Oriental Society for 1849, contains an article of 44 pages, entitled "Contributions to the Correction of single passages and words in Syriac printed works," by Dr. Bernstein of Breslau. "Syriac lexicography," says the author, "is still in its infancy. Castell, in his Lexicon, 1669, certainly did what was possible for the time in which he lived and wrote. J. D. Michaelis, who caused Castell to be reprinted, enlarged it but a little, and rarely amended it, though more important helps were accessible. This, with all its poverty and weaknesses, is the most copious Syriac lexicon which we possess." In order to supply this great deficiency, Dr. Bernstein has been laboring on a Syriac Dictionary for many years, sparing neither time nor money. He speaks of making much use of the rich and important Lexicon of BarBahlul and of Lorsbach's collections for a Syriac Lexicon. The first Heft of the Oriental Journal for 1850, contains, among other articles, one by Dr. Frankel, chief Rabbi at Dresden, on the Relation of the Alexandrian and Palestine Jews, particularly in an exegetical respect. Two new Arabic Grammars have lately appeared in Germany, that of Caspari, "Grammatica Arabica in usum Scholarum Academicarum,” with a brief Chrestomathy, Leipsic, 1848, pp. 350, and "Grammaire Arabe," by Ch. Schier, Dresden and Leipsic, 1849, pp. 466. "Neither," says Prof. Fleischer," lays claim to any independence. Both, in all essential particulars, are dependent on De Sacy and Ewald." For the scientific advancement of Arabic grammar, there is needed a "revision of the original sources used by De Sacy, and the mastery of the most important remaining sources. The original lexicons in Arabic, and the oriental translations of the same, the printed and unprinted works of grammarians and commentators, contain for the material and formal culture of the grammar of the ancient Arabic an affluence of noble ore hardly yet uncovered."
A fragment of the 98th book of Livy has been discovered on a parchment beneath Jerome's Commentary on Isaiah. It was purchased of a Spaniard in Toledo, by Dr. Heine. The age is the first century of the Christian era, the oldest known MS. It contains a narrative of events in the years 70 to 68 B. C. under the censorship of a Metellus. — The vol. of "Neuer Necrolog der Deutschen for 1848," completes the 25th year of the work. In this quarter of a century copious biographies have been given of 8449 persons, short notices of 25,630 persons; in all, 34,279. In 1848, pp. 1038, the deaths of 1914 were recorded, 304 of whom were accompanied with more or less full notices.
The most copious and valuable Manual on Ancient Geography is that by Albert Forbiger, the well known editor of Virgil, and one of the teachers
in the Nicolai School at Leipsic. It is entitled, " Handbuch d. Alten geographie aus den Quellen bearbeitet." Vol. I. 1842, 668 pp. 8vo., contains an Historical Introduction, and Physical and Mathematical Geography; Vol. II. 1844, pp. 920, the political geography of Europe. The work is supplied with maps and full indices.
A valuable history of the university of Tübingen, by the librarian, Dr. Karl Klupfel, 1 vol. 1849, pp. 589, has been published. The university is one of the oldest in Germany, and its religious history at the period of the Reformation and subsequently, was very interesting. The number of volumes now in the library is stated at 200,000; of MSS. about 2,000.
Garcin de Tassy's History of Hindustani Literature has been translated into Hindustani at Delhi, in a folio of more than 500 pp.
The new Museum at Basle has been completed, and has received the collections in natural history, the library of the University, the Holbein paintings, etc.
The 9th vol. of Dr. Henry Ritter's History of Philosophy, the first on Modern Philosophy, has appeared. - The 5th and concluding vol. of Mailath's History of Austria, ending with the capitulation of Comorn, has been published.
The number of students at some of the German universities in the session just closed was as follows: Erlangen, 386, of whom 159 studied theology; Freiburg in the Breisgau, 388, Theol. 158; Giessen 430, Theol. 81, Chemistry 23; Göttingen 789, Theol.146; Halle 652, Theol. 348; Heidelberg 537, Theol. 52, Jurists 302; Leipsic 950, Theol. 200; Pesth 661, Theol. 47.
We have before us two Numbers of the "Allgemeine Monatschrift für Literatur," which has taken the place of the Allgem. Litt. Zeitung. It is under the charge of Drs. L. Ross and G. Schwetschke of the university of Halle. Dr. R. was formerly professor in the university at Athens. The new periodical is printed on fine paper, in a convenient 8vo. form, is published in half-monthly parts, and has decided advantages over its cumbrous predecessor. The leading papers in the two Nos. are a notice of two Scandinavian works by Jacob Grimm; on the Idea of a Christian "Irenik” by Prof. Fortlage of Jena; on Herbart's Doctrines and the Present times by Dr. Erdmann; Palaeontology by Dr. Burmeister of Halle; on the Modern Investigations in regard to the Phoenicians by Dr. Ross; Present Condition of the Science of Language by Dr. Steinthal of Berlin; Gottsched and Lessing by H. Düntzer of Cologne ; Anaesthetics and its Literature by Dr. Ross of Altona; Politics of the Present Times by R. Haym of Halle. Notices of books, intelligence, and a copious list of new works, are appended to each Number. The German "productivity" in books, after the collapse, is again obvious.
New Works in Germany and England.
Among the additional works lately advertised in Germany, we notice the following: Isaiah, not Pseudo-Isaiah, exposition of chs. 40-66 of his Prophecy. With an Introduction against the Pseudo-criticism, by Dr. R. Stier, first part published; Plato's Whole Works, translated into German by H. Müller, with Introductions by K. Steinhart; Travels in the Holy Land by Dr. Philip Wolff, preacher at Rotweil, with a new Plan of Jerusalem; the first half of the second part of Dr. Moritz Dreschler's translation and exposition of Isaiah, from ch. xiii. to ch. xxvii.; Stengel's Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews; Second enlarged and improved edition of Meyer's Commentary on the First Epistle to the Corinthians; Interpretation of the Discourse of Stephen the proto-Martyr, by H. Thiersch; the Greek N. Testament critically revised according to the best helps, with a new German translation by Dr. H. Meyer, the commentator; the third part of Hävernick's Introduction to the Old Test., edited by Dr. K. F. Keil; the first part of the 2d vol. of Böhringer's Church Biographies, embracing the Middle Ages; Denzinger of Wurzburg, on the Genuineness of the existing text of the Ignatian Epistles, pp. 108; the 3d and 4th parts of the 2d vol. of the 2d edition of Gieseler's Manual of Church History; 3d edition of Hundeshagen's German Protestantism.
Rev. William Cureton of the British Museum is about to edit a new edition of the Peschito, or ancient Syriac Version of the Old Testament. He proposes to commence with the Pentateuch from a MS. of the very early date of A. D. 464. With the exception of the books of Chronicles, there are, among the Nitrian treasures in the British Museum, MSS. of the several books of the Old Testament, not less than 1300 years old, from which he is prepared to take the text of the new edition. For the "Reasons" for this new edition, see a valuable pamphlet by the Rev. J. Rogers, canon of Exeter cathedral. Lond. 1849.
The expenditures for the British Museum for 1849 were £41,791, of which for the excavations at Nineveh £1855. The number of persons admitted in 1848-9 was 979,073.
Dr. Henry Barth's Wanderings along the Punic and Cyrenaic Shores of the Mediterranean, from Tangier to the Nile, have been translated into English. Barth is a pupil of Ritter. He describes particularly Carthage and Cyrene.
Mr. Loftus, the geologist, attached to the British expedition that is running the frontier line between Persia and Turkey, has visited "Ur of the Chaldees," and represents it as of great extent and of extraordinary interest. He found vast numbers of ancient coffins of baked clay.
A new edition of Dr. Samuel Davidson's Lectures on Biblical Criticism is in preparation. It will be entirely rewritten. Rev. Henry Burgess is engaged in preparing a translation of the Festal Letters of Athanasius,
recently discovered in a Syriac translation, the Greek text having long been lost. - Some valuable additions have lately been made to the Bodleian Library, among which is a collection of Sanscrit MSS., 160 in number, made by Dr. Mill, when in India.
Cambridge University.-The number of undergraduates in 1850 is as follows: Trinity Coll. 525, St. John's 345, Caius 110, Christ's 82, Queen's 93, Emmanuel 95, Corpus Christi 68, St. Catharine's Hall 79, St. Peter's 50, Clare Hall 50, Jesus 59, Magdalene 61, Trinity Hall 48, Sidney 31, King's 12, Pembroke 23, Downing 11, Total 1742. Members on the Boards 7047. Members of the Senate 3931.
We have received Dr. Owen's edition of the Acts of the Apostles, and shall examine it at some length hereafter. The Greek type is the Porson, so called, most beautiful. It is a real luxury to look at the pages. The Notes, which are mostly grammatical, give evidence of the editor's usual care and scholarship.
A number of errors of the press have remained in the Article on Champlin's Demosthenes, in consequence of the writer's not having seen the proofs. The most important of these are the following:
P. 428, note 2, for Lehr. 6, read Lehrb. P 429, line 9, dele in. P. 429, line 23, for eponymers read eponymus. P. 429, note 2, line 1, insert are after remarks. P. 430, line 11 from the bottom, read Budika. P. 431, lines 25, 28, 31, read 337 for 339. P. 436, line 12 from the bottom, after code, the point should be a semicolon. P. 436, the 5th line from the bottom is misplaced; it should follow the present 3d line from the bottom. P. 437, line 11, after thus, insert ". P. 437, note 2, line 4, after Timocr, insert § 27. Bekker. P. 441, line 4, for Hartung 6, read Hartung's. P. 442, line 8 from bottom, for Çapúoaodai read ¿§apúσaoval. P. 443, line 15, for Athenian, only point Athenian only, P. 443, lines 11,13, etc., the two forms pylagorae and pylagori appear together on this page by an oversight; the writer prefers pylagorae. P. 445, line 4 from the bottom, Tauric for Tauris. P. 449, line 28, add "before this. P. 450. line 27, read Boëdromion for Baedromion. P. 450, line 5 from bottom, read a for an.
ON THE IDEA OF AN INFINITE SERIES, AS APPLICABLE TO NATURAL THEOLOGY.
By Rev. Joseph Tracy, Boston, Mass.
THERE was no first man, say some atheists. The human race, they assert, has been from eternity, and each of us has an infinite series of
The answer is old, that this hypothesis is self-contradictory. It assumes, concerning each and every individual of this infinite series, that there was a time when he had not yet come into existence; and if this is true of every one of them, it must be true of all of them. There must, therefore, have been a time when none of them existed; which is contrary to the supposition.
This reasoning has usually been met, we believe, by the naked assertion, that it is unsatisfactory, a mere dialectical subtilty; that, as eternity runs back without limit, it is evident that the same may be true of the human race; and that the argument which pretends to prove the contrary, must contain some sophism. It would be more satisfactory, could we be told precisely what that sophism is, and where it lies.
But we will not insist upon that. For the sake of honest minds, to whom the atheists' reply seems plausible and embarrassing, we will take up the question anew, and endeavor to ascertain whether any series of finite terms, or of individuals, can be infinite, except in theory. If we succeed in showing that the actual completion of an infinite series of finite terms is an absurdity, it will follow of necessity that the series of fathers and sons, to which we belong, is not infinite, but must have had a beginning.
VOL. VII. No. 28.