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AMONG all the inquiries which are presented to the student, there are few so well calculated to call forth his energies as some of the elementary questions respecting language. Those particularly, concerning articulate voices in contradistinction to instinctive signs, the nature of the substantive and the verb, the use of the various parts of speech, universal grammar, and the diversity of tongues,—are topics which excite in the mind of the intellectual student an especial interest.
The Author has endeavoured to explain the significations of the substantive and the verb by the use of particular and general arguments,all tending to assert the being and attributes of a First Cause, and to oppose the popular doctrines of atheistical and sceptical philosophy.
What he has advanced concerning the writings of Locke, and his controversy with the Bishop of Worcester, is offered with exceeding diffidence.
The arguments respecting the primitive language are deduced entirely from the sacred writings, and the greater part of the notes illustrative of the text are sanctioned by the authorities of D'Oyly and Mant.
As the writer of a recent work has affirmed, that the verb is the primitive part of speech, and that every sentence is a factitious word, it may be here noticed, that a few hints on the same subjects, but espousing contrary doctrines, will be found in the following pages. The Author conceives it hardly requisite to mention, that the remarks on sceptical philosophy have no reference whatever to the above writer.