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EDITED BY THE REV.
34, PATERNOSTER ROW,
CONTRIBUTORS TO THE EXPOSITOR.
THE VERY REV. THE DEAN OF CANTERBURY.
“ The EXPOSITOR will be, as its name indicates, devoted to the Exposition of the Sacred Scriptures. It will contain Expository Essays and Discourses, Commentaries on the various Books of the Bible, and, occasionally, reviews of such works as are found to be most helpful in the study of the Inspired Word ; in short, it will aim at gathering to itself whatever may throw light upon the sacred page.
" It will not address itself to scholars exclusively or mainly, but to the intelligent Christian public in general. At the same time, it will be written by men who have already distinguished themselves in the field of Biblical criticism and exegesis, and should therefore contain much that even scholars will value.
“It will seek to furnish all who teach and preach the Word, not with complete and finished sermons indeed, but with the stuff out of which sermons are made; and it will contain many Essays, Lectures, and Dissertations which 'will readily lend themselves to pulpit use. But its main aim and intention will be to assist all who 'search the Scriptures' so to search as to find, by placing the best results of ancient and modern Biblical learning at their command in a comprehensive, popular, and attractive form.
“ The EXPOSITOR, moreover, will be informed by no narrow and sectarian spirit. It will face difficulties honestly ; it will deal with them sincerely; its tone will be broad, generous, catholic as the names of its Contribu
tors, drawn from almost every section of the Christian Church, will suffice to indicate.
“Its motto will be Quality, rather than Quantity; it will not profess, or attempt, to give the largest number of pages at the smallest cost; it will aim rather at getting for its readers the best thoughts of the best men on the best of books, and on presenting them in a handsome and convenient form. The Magazine will therefore, it is hoped, possess a permanent value, and live as a book long after its work as a periodical has come to an end."
These were the promises which went before to announce the advent of The ExPOSITOR. How far they have been fulfilled, it is for the public to pronounce. To a large and surprising extent, indeed, the public has pronounced already, both by the voice of critics who have accorded the Magazine a singularly generous measure of praise, and by giving it a circulation which even at this early date has outrun the expectations it seemed prudent to frame.
No one can be more sensible than the Editor, however, that the Magazine is far from having reached the pitch of excellence at which it aimed and which the Prospectus may have seemed to promise. There are always difficulties to be surmounted at the commencement of an enterprise of this kind which do not attend its after course. And in this special venture a special difficulty had to be met in the fact, that most of the gentlemen who have pledged themselves to contribute are men of many and onerous engagements, and can always find, not excuses simply, but solid and pressing reasons for postponing their help. The majority of them have not been able to send so much as a single paper to this first Volume—to the great regret of the Editor and the public loss. But at least some of them may be expected to put in an early appearance, and all of them will, it is hoped, put their hands to the plough ere long. Of this our readers--may their name soon be “ Legion" — may rest assured, that no effort will be spared to get these gentlemen to work, to enlist the aid of other Biblical scholars of repute, and not to maintain simply, but to raise the tone of the Magazine.
One or two of our readers, while expressing their general satisfaction and approval, have hinted a fear — based, I must say, on a very partial induction of facts—lest The EXPOSITOR should drift into an attitude of antagonism to the supernatural element of the Bible. Once for all, let it be said, there is not the slightest ground for any such fear. I am persuaded that I may say for every Contributor, no less than for myself, that we heartily and unfeignedly believe in the supernatural character of the Biblical revelation ; nay, that we cannot so much as conceive how God could speak to men, and much less come down and dwell among them, without doing much which, while natural to Him, must be supernatural to such creatures as we are in such a world as this. Nor reed any of our friends fear that The EXPOSITOR will aim either to secure popularity, or to shew itself original, by straining against, or breaking away from, the limits of the Catholic Faith, or by seeking wilfully and causelessly to depart even from the customary conceptions of that Faith. Our sole purpose is to expound the Scriptures honestly and intelligently, to permit them to explain themselves indeed; neither thrusting upon them miracles which they do not claim or dogmas to which they lend no support, nor venturing to question the doctrines they obviously teach or the miracles which they plainly affirm. Of course, men of the calibre of those who write for The EXPOSITOR cannot be tied down to any forms of words; they must be left to express themselves freely, each in his own way: and so long as they give an intelligent and reverent interpretation of the several Scriptures they handle, no attempt can or should be made to bind them to a common mode of thought or common formulas of expression. Each is responsible for his own views, and for his mode of stating them, and for these alone : and even that redoubtable and mysterious despot—The Editor-has