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In 1660, Mr. Pocock took the degree of D. D. In the same year, he published his Arabic version of Hugo Grotius's treatise on the truth of the christian religion. It was printed at the sole expense of Robert Boyle. The next thing Dr. Pocock published was an Arabian poem, in which he designed not only to give a specimen of Arabian poetry, but also to facilitate the attainment of the Arabic tongue. In 1671, the doctor's eldest son, Edward Pocock, published, with a Latin translation of his own, an Arabic composition of Ebn Tophail. Dr. Pocock prefixed a learned preface to his son's book. In 1677, Dr. Pocock's commentary on Micah was published. His principal object was to settle the genuine and literal meaning of the Hebrew original, by showing, first, the improbability of the Jews corrupting their own Scriptures ; second, that the Seventy always followed the letter of the Hebrew copy; and, third, that the version of those interpreters has been transmitted pure to us. In the same year, he also published his commentary on Malachi, which proceeded on the same principles, and was directed to the same end with that on Micah. In 1685, his large and laborious commentary on Hosea was published. A main object was to defend the purity of the Hebrew text against the objections raised by Isaac Vossius, Capellus and others, from the disagreement of that text with the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Chaldee paraphrast. In 1691, his last work, the commentary on Joel, appeared.
He died on the 10th of September, 1691. His only disease was his great age, which did not hinder him from praying with his family, even the night before he died. He wanted but two months of completing the 87th year of his age. His intellectual faculties were but little impaired to the very last.
last. His son was rather tall and slender; his hair and eyes were black, and his looks cheerful and lively. In his ordinary conversation, he was free, open, and affable, retaining to his death, the briskness and facetiousness of youth. He was extremely obliging to all who applied to him for directions in the study of those languages in which he excelled. His courteous reception of foreigners, who resorted to him in great numbers, spread the fame of his bland disposition, as well as of his learning, throughout Europe. He was modest, humble and sincere, detesting all moroseness, hypocrisy and falsehood.
Dr. Pocock's intellectual abilities were great, and his acquisitions, extensive and profound. He had a quick apprehension,
tenacious memory, and unwearied industry. His acquaintance with the sciences was not inconsiderable. He was profoundly skilled in the Hebrew, Arabic and Syriac tongues; was well acquainted with the Persian, Samaritan, Coptic, Ethiopic, Turkish, and Italian languages, and was somewhat conversant with Spanish. His writings and letters bear testimony to his skill in Greek and Latin. The latter he wrote with much more propriety and elegance then he did the English.
But his crowning excellence was his unfeigned piety. God was the beginning and the end of his studies and undertakings. To his glory they were devoted, and by his help they were finished, as appears by expressions sometimes in Arabic and Hebrew, and sometimes in English, which we constantly find in his note-books, and elsewhere.
John Lightfoot. But few names in English literature are more to be honored than Lightfoot's. His learning was extensive and profound. In that department to which he especially devoted himself, — Rabbinic and Talmudic literature, his reputation is firmly established, and his unrivalled excellence has been acknowledged by all scholars most competent to decide the question. He brought his immense learning to bear on the sacred volumes, and diffused light wherever he went. His principal works are his · Horæ Hebraicæ et Talmudicæ' on the New Testament from Matthew to the first of Corinthians inclusive ; · The Temple Service as it stood in the days of our Saviour ;' The Temple, especially as it stood in the days of the Saviour ;' and · Harmonies' of various parts of the Scriptures. His works were published by Bright and Strype in two volumes folio, in 1684. They were republished at Rotterdam, in the same form by Texelius, in 1686. A third edition, in three folio volumes, appeared in 1699. The first two volumes were edited by John Leusden. A complete and excellent edition came out in London, in 1822–5, in thirteen octavo volumes, edited by the Rev. John Rogers Pitman. In arranging the Talmudical quotations, the editions of Bright and Leusden were carefully compared. Throughout the whole of the work, indexes are dispersed in suitable places. Many interesting letters, found in the British museum, have been inserted. The Journal of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, of which Lightfoot was a member, is print
ed from the MSS. of the author deposited in the university library, Cambridge. Dr. Lightfoot's library of Rabbinical works, oriental books, etc. were bequeathed by him to Harvard College. They were unfortunately consumed, with many other valuable books, on the 21st of January, 1764.*
Dr. Lightfoot was born on the 19th of March, 1602, at Stoke upon Trent, in Staffordshire; and died on the 6th of December, 1675, in the 74th year of his age. His diet had always been very spare and simple, not accustoming himself to drink any other liquor than water and small beer. Being indisposed, he was induced to drink two or three glasses of claret, which occasioned, or, at least heightened, a fever that proved fatal. His systematic temperance had endued him with a sound and healthful constitution. In his advanced age, he was able to pursue bis studies. In a letter to Buxtorf, not above a year before his death, he congratulates himself, with pious acknowledgements to God, upon his “ Vivacitatem corporis, animi, atque oculorum.” This was the more remarkable, as he had been a most indefatigable student. In 1630, in order to pursue his Talmudic studies without interruption, he purchased a field adjoining his house, in which he erected in the midst of a garden, a small building, containing three rooms, his study, parlor, and bed-chamber. In this retreat he devoted to study whatever time could be spared from his ministerial duties; and not content with passing the day at a distance from all domestic interruptions, he often slept in this hermitage, though contiguous to his parsonage-house. The fatigues incident to the laborious and incessant occupation of usher of a school; his subsequent marriage, and the care of an increasing family ; his distance from the university, and consequent privation of many helps to learning; his assiduous attention to the duties of a parish-priest, both in visiting his flock, and in preaching twice on each Sabbath ; the abstruseness attending the studies of which he had undertaken the cultivation; these difficulties must have presented insuperable bars to the progress of any scholar, whose obstinate industry was not equal to Dr. Lightfoot's. His favorite motto was that which Bright and Strype have quoted in the title-page of their edition of his works, 57377 DS07; implying his resolution to rise up early, and sit up late, in the pursuit of science.
The humility of Dr. Lightfoot was great and unaffected.
* Mr. Pitman erroneously places the fire in 1769. VOL. X. No. 27.
Few persons were oftener consulted by learned men; few scholars have been more commended by those whose commendation was worth having; and yet no man could be less inflated by vanity, or be induced to think the more highly of his intellectual attainments. In his address to the reader, prefixed to his Harmony of the Old Testament, he says: “What I have done, I leave with all humbleness, at the reader's mercy. If he accept it, it is more than I can deserve; if he answer it, it is no more than I shall willingly undergo; being most ready ever to submit to others, and to acknowledge my own infirmity; and owning nothing in myself, but sin, weakness, and strong desires to serve the public.”
Though fond of abstruse disquisitions, his sermons, addressed to his country hearers, were always full of much practical matter.
On the Sabbath, he preached morning and evening, and often continued in the church the whole day. Whether abroad or at home, he scrupulously abstained from all food, until the evening service had been completed, that he might be the more intent upon his sacred duties, and preserve his thoughts from drowsiness. Not being rigidly episcopalian, the dissenters of his parish scrupled not to attend on his ministry.
Dr. Lightfoot's love of letters, and exemption from literary jealousy may be seen in the assistance which he afforded to contemporary scholars. He contributed his valuable aid to Dr. Walton, in arranging the Polyglott Bible, by revising the whole of the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch; by drawing up a general sketch of sacred geography as a commentary on the common maps of Judea; by correcting many errata in the Hebrew text, and by procuring subscriptions to the work. It appears from the letters of Poole, that Lightfoot contributed his learned aid to the Synopsis Criticorum. To Dr. Castell the learned editor of the Heptaglott Lexicon, Dr. Lightfoot's friendship and encouragement were consolations under difficulties, which were more than sufficient to break the spirit of ordinary men. Samuel Clarke, one of the assistants of Walton, submitted to the judgment of Lightfoot his translation of the Targum on Chronicles. Contemporary scholars regarded him as a sort of oracle, and seemed to proceed more cheerfully and confidently in their respective labors if sanctioned by the favorable judgment of Lightfoot.
Edmund Castell was born in Hatley, in Cambridgeshire, in 1606. He was educated at Emanuel college, Cambridge, from whence he removed to St. John's college where he proceeded regularly to his doctor's degree. While at the university, he labored in compiling his Lexicon Heptaglotton. In 1666, he was appointed chaplain to the king, and Arabic professor at Cambridge, to which were added a prebend of Canterbury, the little village of Hatfield Peverell, in Essex, and the rectory of Wodeham Walter, in the same county.
nty. His last preferment was Higham Gobion, in Bedfordshire, where he died in 1685.
Castell's work, the Lexicon Heptaglotton,* is one of the greatest undertakings hitherto performed by human toil. Dr. Castell expended both his fortune and his life in this immense labor. It is true he had help from several learned men. Dr. Murray lent him assistance in Arabic; bishop Beveridge in the Syriac; and Dr. Wansleb, in the Ethiopic. But the person to whom he was most indebted was Dr. Lightfoot, as we shall see in the sequel. When Dr. Castell sent him his lexicon, he acknowledged that it owed a great part of its perfection to his learning and industry, and thought his name should occupy a distinguished place in the title-page. The Persian lexicon is the fruit of the joint labor of himself and Golius. This
This part of Dr. Castell's work has been undervalued by such as either did not or could not consult it ; but it is a valuable work; to it Meninski and Richardson are indebted for a multitude of articles. Its chief fault is want of distinct arrangement; the words are sadly intermixed, and many Persian words are printed with He
* The full title is : "Lexicon Heptaglotton, Hebraicum, Chaldaicum, Syriacum, Samaritanum, Ethiopicum, Arabicum, conjunctim; et Persicum separatim. In quo omnes voces Hebrææ, Chaldææ, Syræ, Samaritanæ, Ethiopicæ, Arabicæ, et Persicæ, tam Manuscriptis, quam impressis libris, cum primis autein in Bibliis Polyglottis, adjectis hinc inde Armenis, Turcicis, Indis, Japonicis, etc; ordine Alphabetico, sub singulis radicibus digestæ, continentur, etc. Cui accessit brevis et Harmonica (quantum fieri potuit) Grammaticæ omnium præcedentium linguarum delineatio. Authore Edmundo Castello, S.T.D. Regiæ M. à sacris : Linguæ Arabicæ apud Cantabrigienses professore, etc. Londini, imprimebat Thomas Roycroft, L. L. Orientalium Typographus Regius, 1669, 2 vols. folio."