By J.C. Ryle
The volume now in the reader's hands, is a continuation of the "Expository Thoughts on the Gospels," of which two volumes have been already published.
The general design of the work has been so fully explained in the preface to the volume on Matthew, that it seems needless to say anything further on the subject. I will only remark that I have steadily adhered to the threefold object, which I proposed to myself, when I first began. I have endeavored to produce something which may meet the needs of heads of families in conducting family prayers--of district visitors in reading to the sick and unlearned--and of private students of the Bible who have neither large libraries nor much leisure. These three classes I have constantly kept in view. Their needs have been continually before my eyes. Whatever would be unsuitable to them I have diligently tried to avoid.
I now send forth this volume with an earnest prayer, that the Holy Spirit may bless it, and that God may be pleased to use it for His own glory and the benefit of many souls. My chief desire in all my writings, is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of men; and to promote the increase of repentance, faith, and holiness upon earth. If this shall be the result of this volume, the labor that it has cost me will be more than repaid.
I have a strong conviction that we need more reverent, deep-searching study of the Scripture in the present day. Most of Christians see nothing beyond the surface of the Bible when they read it. We need a more clear knowledge of Christ, as a living Person, a living Priest, a living Physician, a living Friend, a living Advocate at the right hand of God, and a living Savior soon about to come again. Most of Christians know little of Christianity but its skeleton of doctrines. I desire never to forget these two things. If I can do anything to make Christ and the Bible more honorable in these latter days, I shall be truly thankful and content.