March 13, 1846
The word that springs to mind after reading the following lines from FR, is philology, which means "historical linguistics," coming from Greek roots meaning love of learning. If she was anything, FR was a lover of knowledge, especially the meanings of words and names. I find it beautiful how she traces language back to God.
Here are some excerpts from a letter written 169 years ago today to her good friend The Reverend W. J. Irons:
"You would all save yourselves a great deal of trouble if you would use words in their radical* sense—to develope is to unveil, to uncover, as a seed from the husk, a doctrine, from en veloping mysteries, &c.
"Our idea is from ido to know, Semitic, what God knows and causes us to know, and truth is what God troweth.
"God, the source of knowledge, communicates ideas to man, the recipient of it. The idea must exist before it can be developed."
This opened up a new thought for me. I had always assumed that when we develop an idea, we are adding to it, growing it. But now I see that the word develop itself is a reminder that all knowledge already exists; we only discover what is hidden there; we de envelop it.
FR uses radical in its first meaning of root.