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poured out his feelings before his congregation: "Brethren, pray for us ; and let your first and last petition be humility. Once, yea twice, has a voice cried to the ministers of this city; and again since we last met it hath cried with the sound of a trumpet, · All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field !' The dispensation to which I refer has produced a deep sensation : 0 that it may be permanent and salutary! The time has not come when ceremony permits the dead to be spoken of in public. But I hasten to say the little that I have to say, especially as it is not in the way of eulogy. Others will praise him: as for me,- I can only deplore him. And my deploration shall not turn on the splendid talents with which his Master adorned him,the vigour of his understanding; the grasp of his intellect; or the unri. valled force of his masculine eloquence,-but on his honest, firm, unflinching, fearless independence of mind; a quality eminently required in the present time, in which, I may say, he was single among his fellows, and which claimed for him respect as well as forbearance, even wben it betrayed its possessor into excess.”
In the beginning of 1835, Dr. M'Crie's health failed; his work became a burden; and half-an-hour's speaking exhausted him. No man could have been less fanciful or superstitious; but a little before his death, he was powerfully impressed by a dream, in which he saw his mother in the same aspect, with the exception that her face was very pale, as when she knelt with him behind the rock, and bade farewell to him on Colding. ham Moor. In the dream she beckoned to bim to follow her, which he promised to do. The last sermon he preached was on the text, “ Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquench. able fire.” It was noticed at the close of the service, that, contrary to his asual custom, he sat at the door of the vestry watching the people as they left the church. There were but few of them that he saw again, for early the following week he was stricken with disease, which proved fatal; and he entered on his eternal rest on August 5th, 1835, in the sixty-third year of his age.
THE EGYPTIAN LANGUAGE.* We are happy to see that a considerable impulse has lately been given to archæological studies. The discoveries made within the last quarter of a century in Mesopotamia, amidst the ruins of Babylon and Nineveh, by revealing to us new facts in connection with the Eastern world, a portion of it, at any rate, till now comparatively unknown, have re-acted most curiously upon Egyptian lore; and endeavours are constantly being made to simplify the work of those scholars who feel anxious to become acquainted with the political, religious, and literary traditions of races of men mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures, and whose history is interwoven with that of the people of God. Classes have sprung recently into existence for the purpose of studying the language of hieroglyphics, and that of cuneiform inscriptions ; the results of these meetings are satis
“ An Elementary Grammar of the Ancient Egyptian Language, in the Hieroglyphic Type. By P. Le Page Renouf.” 8vo. London: Bagster,
factory beyond the expectations of those who felt most deeply interested in their success; and competent archæologists have undertaken to write elementary grammars and text books with the view of helping persons ans. ious to investigate the mysteries of non-classical antiquity. Let us say a few words, in the first place, of M. Lo Page Renouf's Egyptian Grammar.
When, in 1814, Dr. Young commenced an examination of the triple inscription on the Rosetta stone, he found at once within his reach a valuable clue to the mysterious characters which he had to study; for whilst one of the inscriptions was in the hieroglyphic, and another in the enchorial (as it was designated) or native characters of Egypt, the third, which represented a translation of the accompanying two, was in Greek. By writing the Greek above the enchorial, which reads from right to left, and comparing one part with another, Dr. Young succeeded in deciphering it, being aided by the words king, country, and, etc., which had been previously discovered. Dr. Young next turned his attention to the hieroglyphic inscription, which was much mutilated : this he also deciphered by the aid of the other two inscriptions. Having satisfactorily ascertained the name of Ptolemy, which was enclosed in a ring of oval, he jastly conceived that the characters composing the name might be used otherwise than symbolically; he therefore proceeded to apply these characters phonetically or alphabetically, as well as those contained in the name of Berenice, which he had ascertained ; and with the help of these characters, he succeeded in deciphering other groups. Mr. Banks, who had received a communication from Dr. Young when he was in Egypt, discovered the names of Ptolemy and Cleopatra on a temple and obelisk at Philæ, which corresponded with the Greek dedicatory inscriptions found upon the buildings, thus confirming Dr. Young's discoveries.
We do not mean to dwell at any further length on this preliminary part of the history of Egyptian literature, for the field open to our survey is so wide that the small space at our disposal is barely sufficient to cover it in a satisfactory manner. To the casual observer who stares at the monuments of ages long gone by which are preserved at the British Museum, it seems impossible that a language the characters of which are bulls, apes, beetles, parts of the human body, storks, and flowers, shoulă beamenable to any of the ordinary laws governing comparative grammar; yet so it is, and one of the most notable discoveries made by modern science is undoubtedly the fact that languages, as all other natural productions, develop themselves according to certain fixed rules which are the conditions of their growth. To quote a passage from M. Le Page Renouf's observations : “ It would be absurd to suppose that the Egyptian language was at any time in its existence exempt from the operations of those physiological laws now so familiar to students of comparative philology, through which in the course of ages the entire aspect of a language is gradually and insensibly altered and destroyed. The Egyptian language was not more stationary than any other living tongue. It is true that the language of the inscriptions of the Roman period is, in spite of its corrupt and barbarous style of orthography, identical in vocabulary and grammar with that of the earliest periods; but at the Roman period the Egyptian was a dead language, like the Latin of modern inscriptions, and had been so for many centuries.”
The remains of Egyptian literature which time has transmitted to us are of two kinds. First, Inscriptions engraved on stone or metal; second, Papyri containing written texts. With reference to the former class of documents, we may say that a gradual deterioration is observable in them the nearer we approach modern times. “The rage,” M. Lo Page Renouf observes, "for novelties which prevailed among the writers of the later inscriptions, seriously detracts from the credit which might otherwise be granted to their evidence.” In the case even of the finest monuments a considerable amount of criticism is necessary, for errors have crept in where it would be deemed impossible, a priori, that they should find their way; then it is that the concurrent testimony of other inscriptions becomes so valuable. With respect to manuscripts, “ those written in the cursive, or, as it is called, the hieratic character, have, too, important advantages over monumental inscriptions. Letters are written in their exact order, without the regard which the lapidary style so often pays to the notions of the artistic symmetry; and evidence as to vowels, which are often omitted in the severe style of the inscriptions, is often supplied by the manuscripts."
It must not be imagined, however, that there are not drawbacks to the merits of written texts. “The funereal papyri,” our author goes on, “ which were not expected to be seen by any mortal eye after they were deposited in tombs, are often most carelessly written, and full of the most evident blunders. The collation of many manuscripts is indispensable for the right understanding of these texts. It is quite certain that they were often written by persons who did not understand them. But many of the manuscripts which we possess are full of blunders which have a different origin from that of incorrect copying. The most rapid means of multiplying manuscripts is dictation. A careless or unintelligent listener will produce much more incredible nonsense from dictation than the idlest and most ignorant copyist would be capable of. We must beware of erecting the blunders of ignorant and idle scribes into a system which could not fail to prove ruinous in the end to any scientific inquiry which allowed itself to be mastered by it.”
Having thus stated the sources from which we derive our knowledge of ancient Egyptian literature, and balanced the comparative merits of inscriptions and texts written on papyri, we are, in a certain measure, prepared to study M. Le Page Renouf's excellent Grammar. There is, of course, something awkward, at first, in seeing the well-known letters of the alphabet superseded by pictorial emblems; but the student soon gets reconciled to that system of writing, and he finds after a little while that the rules for the accidence and syntax of Egyptian nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and verbs are quite as strict as in the Aryan languages.
The fundamental law to be noticed in connection with our subject is that hieroglyphic signs are either phonetic or ideographic. Phonetic signs are either purely alphabetic or syllabic. If we examine, in the first instance, the ideographic characters, we see at once that they are subdivided naturally into various classes. One kind is the direct imitation or pictorial representa tion of the things intended to be expressed ; thus, a bullock or a ram was represented by a figure of the animal; and a bow and arrow, similarly, by a graphic imitation of these two weapons. Another kind of symbolic writing was the tropical or figurative; that is, by metaphors and similitudes. For instance, the rough image of heaven and a star would signify night ; a leg in a trap would stand for deceit; a man breaking his own head with an axe or club, for the wicked, etc., etc. The third kind of symbolic writing was called enigmatical; thus, the sun was expressed by a circle, and the moon by a crescent.
Let us now look at the phonetic signs; as an example of the purely alphabetic group, we may take the picture of an owl which stands for the letter m. It is often represented alone, in which case we must suppose that a vowel sound equivalent to a or e was either prefised or added to it in pronunciation. As an example of the syllabic class, we may name the representation of a parallelogram standing on one of its smaller sides, and crossed in the middle by a small horizontal line; this figure is intended for the syllable am. According to M. Le Page Renouf's work, the purely alphabetic signs are twenty-nine in number, and, of these, twelve are interchangeable; that is to say, our European i, u, mn, n, r, and 8, are represented by two signs each. The syllabic characters or figures are numerous,
but each of them is restricted in its use to a limited number of words; they are also commonly accompanied by one or more of the letters which they represent, and these alphabetic signs are called phonetic complements. Thus we find in certain inscriptions the sign which stands for ab expressed by two signs, namely, ab and b; am is often given in the combination am +a+m; anch in anch +ă +1.ch, etc., etc. Almost every Egyptian word is followed by an ideographic sign, which is either the picture of the object spoken of, or a conventional symbol of the class of ideas expressed by the word. The word ah, which means an ox, for instance, may be written a +h+ the figure of an ox, or a+h+the figure of a hide, the hide being the recognised symbol of all quadrupeds. These two kinds of ideographic signs, when placed at the end of words, are called determinatives. Those of the first kind may be designed as ideograms ; those of the second, as generic determinatives.
A further complication arises from the fact that the same sign having often an ideographic and a phonetic value, its meaning may be entirely different, according to the word of which it forms a part. Thus the figure representing a star may stand by itself for the word sba, which signifies “star”; but in the word sba, signifying " a door,” the same figure is used as a purely syllabic character of the value sba, accompanied by phonetic complements. Thus, again, in the word ab, signifying "a kid," we have the ideogram representing the animal itself; but in the word ab, signifying “thirst,” the same figure of the kid is found merely on account of its syllabic value ab.
The explanations we bave thus given will, we trust, sufficiently illustrate the peculiarities of the Egyptian word-formation. At what period hieroglyphic writing was first used in Egypt it is impossible to say; but the inscriptions on the monuments carry us back to a very ancient date. The name of “Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia,” (2 Kings xix. 9,) who flourished about seven hundred years before Christ, was discovered by Mr. Salt at Medinet Haboo, and at Birket, in Ethiopia, in phonetic characters. M. Champollion also found at Karnak the name of “Shishak, King of Egypt,"
(1 Kings xiv. 25, 26,) who lived about nine hundred and seventy years B.C., phonetically written. He is represented as dragging the chiefs of thirty conquered nations to the feet of the Theban Trinity. Among these he found written letters in full length, Joudaha Melek, “the King of the Jews; "and, in fact, the inscriptions alluded to may be considered as a commentary on the above named chapter.
The self-styled savants who are, and have been for a long time, endeavouring to find out in the wide field of history, arguments against the authenticity of the Old Testament Scriptures, imagined, eighty years ago, that the annals of Egypt were an inexhaustible mine of weapons ready at hand for their use. They picked out at random a few facts, and raised upon these facts theories so absurd that the slightest examination disposed of them at once. They forgot that scholars who bow before the authority of God's holy Word had also directed their own attention to Egyptian studies, and that in these days of universal inquiry, sophisms would not be allowed to pass unchallenged. The learned works of Messrs. Osburn, Thornley Smith, Birch, etc., have done much in that direction, so far as England is concerned. The curious series published under the title “Records of the Past,” deserve also to be noticed, and M.Le Page Renouf' clear and comprehensive Grammar will no doubt encourage many investigators to prosecute researches where there still remains so much to be accomplished.
EARLY METHODISM AND DIGNITARIES OF THE
GEORGE LAVINGTON, BISHOP OF EXETER. GEORGE LAVINGTON was born at Mildenhall, in Wiltshire. He was baptized in 1683. He received a good education first at Winchester School, and then at New College, Oxford, of which he became Fellow early in the reign of Queen Anne. At the University he was distinguished for his wit, learning, and attachment to the Protestant succession. In 1717, the rectory of Heyford Warren, in the diocese of Oxford, became vacant, and it was presented to him by the college of which he was a member. Subsequently, he was appointed domestic chaplain to Earl Coningsby, and still later to George I. During the reign of that king, he held a prebendary stall in Worcester Cathedral, which appointment led to an abiding friendship between him and Dr. Hare, then the Dean of Worcester. On the removal of Dr. Hare to St. Paul's, London, he did his utmost to draw his friend Lavington after him, and accomplished his purpose. In 1732, Dr. Lavington became canon residentiary of the same church, in consequence of which he obtained in succession the rectories of St. Mary's, Aldermary, and St. Michael, Bassishaw. On the death of the Bishop of Exeter, Lord Chancellor Hardwicke and the Duke of Newcastle recommended Lavington to the King to fill that See, to which he was promoted in 1746, and of which he had the oversight till the termination of his earthly career, in 1762. Soon after his elevation to the See of Exeter, Lavington delivered, in 1748, a Charge to the clergy of his Diocese.