Page:Biblical Libraries (Richardson).djvu/9

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PREFACE

this point and carries over into the beginning of the Christian era.

Previous volumes have on the whole been received in the spirit in which they were issued—as unpretentious essays, spreading a wide net and gathering in, together with a good deal of small fry, a considerable haul of real food—for those who like the kind of food. A few however of those who have been good enough to read or at least glance at one or an other of these essays have missed the point of them and gratitude seems to require that some effort should be made to explain. Two or three e.g. have been struck by what has seemed to them the earnest seriousness with which certain matters have been treated and one has even gone so far as to reproach the writer with "conscientious scholarship." Now to have conscientious scholarship is a high ambition but to enjoy the reputation of it on false pretenses is to prove one not a

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