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INTENDED AS A NEW AND IMPROVED
COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE.
WHEREIN THE AUTHOR ATTEMPTS TO GIVE MORE RATIONAL
READING AS FOR REFERENCE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year A. D., 1871, by
W. E. MANLEY, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Northern District of
AUBURN, N. Y.
BS 1/5 M3 vet
Our apology for the long delay, in publishing this volume, is the old one, to which for many years we have attributed our short comings, namely, poor health. Nearly all the time since the third volume was issued, (and even before that,) we have not been able to write so much as a letter to a friend, without great inconvenience. Our intimate friends are more surprised, that we have done any thing, than that we have done so little.
The introductory chapters, except the first, take in, not only the books commented on, but all the historical books after the Pentateuch. If these chapters seem long, the importance of the subjects is our defense. Generally, too little attention is given to such subjects, except in works that are exclusively devoted to thein. There are some subjects, too, in the body of the work, which we discuss more at length than is usual in other commentaries. The reason is, that in other commentaries, they are not discussed sufficiently to be fully and clearly understood. We think we have made up for this, by the little or no attention we have given to those comparatively trifling matters that burden the pages of other works.
The more we study the Scriptures, and write to explain them, the more thoroughly convinced we are, that a brief commentary (if the author would satisfy bis readers) is utterly impossible. We would bring more of the Bible into each volume, if we could, without danger of spoiling the whole work.
We might indeed, use finer type, as is common in works of this character. But knowing the evils of being deprived of good eyesight, we will not be accessary to inflicting these evils on others. Most persons that read these books, are past middle life, when it is seen to be an object to favor the eyes; and as we write nothing but what we would have read, we put it in type that will favor and encourage the reading. It is different with the Scripture text, with which the reader is generally somewhat familiar; and if he wishes larger type than we furnish, he can read out of his large Bible, which he is presumed to have. In giving the text in small type, and the comments in large, we are aware that we reverse the common practice, but the reasons for this are entirely satisfactory to us, and probably to all that devote any thought to the subject.
It is not our business to speak of the merits of the work as a whole ; but we may at least express the opinion that the present
volume is not inferior to the preceding, if it does not show obvious signs of progress. The confident belief, (whether well founded or not,) that our “Biblical Review or New and Improved Commentary 'is destined to do a great and good work among men, inspires us with courage to continue our labors under every disadvantage.
Having no material resources of our own, and no kind friend that has, to reach out a helping hand in this great enterprise ; and with physical prostration and infirmity that to most men would be deemed a sufficient excuse for not attempting to do any thing of importance, we can do but little, compared with what we would be glad to do, and could do, under other and more favorable circumstances.
We should be glad to think that the “ Biblical Review” will ultimately be deemed worthy of some systematic effort, on the part of the denomination to which the author belongs, to place it on a permanent basis, and insure its completion. The approach of old age, and increasing infirmity, admoni us th what is done, will need to be done speedily, if it is ever our happiness to complete our life purpose,
With proper arrangements, we believe it could be done, and done in a manner that would do equal credit to the author, and to the people that aid the enterprise. The great want is means to place the author above all care, save that which shall be directed to the accomplishment of his work in the best possible
In the volumes on the Pentateuch, the paragraphs were numbered, to make them more convenient for reference to Sunday Schools and Bible Classes ; but as other portions of the Old Testament are not so likely to be used in this way, the numbering will be omitted in the other volumes.
Volume Vth, is prepared and will be published as soon as possible, probably in the coming spring.
W. E. M. AUBURN, N. Y., Oct. 1874.