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    APOLOGUE TO VOLUME This volume certainly enjoys the pre-eminence, so far as material is concerned, of having the full monopoly of our Lord’s life and ministry the last six months, winding up with His tragical sufferings and death and glorious ascension. When we read human biographies; our interest increases as we approach the end. I feel satisfied that this volume will be intensely interesting and edifying to all who, in the good providence of God, shall read it.

    APOLOGUE TO THE GOSPELS VOLUMES 6 and 7 contain the biography of our blessed and wonderful Savior, given, by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We all frankly admit that the world never saw such a preacher as Jesus. Consequently His life and ministry are bound to interest and electrify every true Christian. While many have written commentaries on the Gospels, this is the only one, at this date, which expounds them harmonically, so that you have everything in the order in which it occurred, from the announcement of His conception by the angel Gabriel till His final ascension from Mount Olivet. Some things they all wrote; others, three of them have put to record; others, two; and much that is wonderfully interesting was only written by one, especially Luke or John, and, to a large extent, Matthew. I am sure you will find these Commentaries by far the most convenient you have ever investigated, especially from the fact of their harmonical arrangement.

    When you read through these two books, you will see all the Scriptures of the four Gospels elucidated in chronological order.

    APOLOGUE TO THE NEW TESTAMENT COMMENTARIES — SEVEN VOLUMES — AND FOOTPRINTS OF JESUS These eight books, containing jointly about four thousand five hundred pages, have cost me five years of constant labor, day and night; meanwhile I have made two voyages to Europe, Asia, and Africa, traveling about thirty-five thousand miles, in the interest of this writing. I could have done the writing, the Lord helping, without this laborious, costly, and perilous traveling, but I knew that the books would be more edifying to the readers. a. These books are purely exegetical, expounding the precious Word, to enable the people to understand it. They are not critical; as many of the brightest lights in the holiness movement requested me not to encumber the books with criticism. But I may here observe that I have kept close company with the greatest critics of Christendom, the last twenty-five years, and especially those of Germany and England. To Tischendorf and Alford, I am especially indebted for the pure text of the Sinaitic Manuscript and the learned exegesis. I acknowledge my obligations to these, and many more whose names are in the Book of Life. b. In this writing, I have used nothing but the Sinaitic Greek Testament by Tisehendorf, the highest New Testament authority on the globe, giving my readers the full advantage of the pure text. c. We have very frequently used abbreviations, in the interest of the reader, thereby giving you much more in the same space and for less financial expenditure--i .e ., id est , that is e .g ., for example; N.B., Take Notice; O.T., Old Testament; N.T., New Testament; M. Matthew; Mk., Mark; L., Luke; J., John; E.V., English Version; R.V., Revised Version. d. You certify me that these books are utterly nonsectarian, uncreedistic, and free from controversy. Neither the baptismal, Calvinian, nor any other controversy, has found a place in these books. The Bible is not controversial. These books contain nothing but a simple, plain, and disinterested exposition of the Word. The people who want the truth, and nothing else, will be interested and edified reading these Commentaries, e. As some have already complained of the big words, permit me to observe: I have done my utmost to abbreviate the work, and give the necessary explanation in the shortest space. If I had left out these big words, I must have used circumlocution — i .e ., going round and using whole sentences, where you have but a single word — thus adding to the size of the book and the expense of the reader. You all have access to Webster’s Dictionary, and it will do you good to consult it. Perhaps you will not find every one of these words in it, in the precise form in which they occur, as words assume different shapes and dimensions, accommodatory to the different grammatical forms of speech. But you will find the word, perhaps with a little different termination, but giving you the definition which applies to all of that family. These large words are full of meaning, actually abbreviating the book, and could only be dispensed with by substituting a clause or a sentence containing many words. f . The last fifteen years the Lord has especially used me as a teacher of His Word in the camp-meetings and cities throughout the continent, having no thought of ever writing commentaries till the holiness people became clamorous throughout the entire country, unanimously laying this Work on your humble servant. Feeling my unworthiness, I resisted their overtures about ten years, till I became afraid longer to desist from a work so arduous and responsible lest I might fight against God. g . I consider “Footprints of Jesus” one of the Commentaries, making eight instead of seven, because it is pre-eminently expository off the Bible; not only the New Testament, but more prominently the Old, as there is so much more about the Holy Land in the latter than the former. Of course, a New Testament Commentary could not make a specialty of the Old Testament; while an exposition of the Holy Land incidentally superinduces almost constant explanation of the Old Testament. h. As the holiness people from ocean to ocean clamored me into this great work, which God in His wonderful goodness has permitted me to complete, of course we consider that the books, in the providence of God, belong to the great holiness movement which this day girdles the globe, the most of the missionaries in heathen lands being identified with this glorious, heaven-born revival. i . Sanctified people, filled with the Holy Ghost, are all preachers, regardless of age, sex, race, or color. Acts 8:4: “They went everywhere preaching the Word.” It is my heart’s desire and prayer to God night and day that all of the holiness people shall read these books and go preaching. j. The normal attitude of the holiness people is that of preaching the gospel.

    Not one in a thousand has the benefit of a classical education. In these books you all have the Word expounded from the inspired original, so you can learn it, and go and preach it as if you enjoyed a classical education. In my humble way, I have been preaching forty-six years. My best preaching is in these books. I do believe God is going to use them to make multitudes of preachers, who shall go to the ends of the earth and proclaim the everlasting gospel while I am playing on my golden harp. k. Grace is as free as the air you breathe. It is your glorious privilege to go to God for a clear and unmistakable experience of regeneration, a sky-blue sanctification, and the glorious fullness of the Spirit. With this blessed, heavenly enduement, your precious Bible, and these books to explain it, you can all preach the everlasting gospel, and win a crown of glory that will never fade away. 1 . In view of the rapidly-approaching “end of the age,” which is attested by all chronologies, and a thousand prophetic fulfillments among Jews, Moslems, Greeks, Romanists, Protestants, heathens, politics, nationalities, the arts and sciences, the world and infidelity, it is really imperative that the holiness people in all lands shall respond to the call of the Holy Ghost to preach the everlasting gospel to all nations. m. This becomes imperative in the superlative degree when we contemplate the fatal latter-day apostasy of the Churches, grieving away the Holy Spirit, so that He is everywhere calling the holiness people into the evangelistic field. n. For the first time in the history of the world all nations, indiscriminately, are open to the gospel herald. The apostles all went up to heaven wearing a martyr’s crown, because the evangelization of the nations in their day meant nothing less than bloody death. o . The holiness people have about three thousand missionaries now in the heathen field. Will you not all ask God to multiply them a thousand-fold, swelling the number to three millions? The holiness people can do it, if they will go and trust God to feed them as He feeds the birds, and clothe them like the lilies. p. Now, to the holiness people in all the earth, girdling the globe with their arms of faith, prayer, and heroic work for Jesus (and by holiness people I mean all who take the Bible for their only guide, believing everything in it, and the Holy Ghost as their Convictor, Regenerator and Sanctifier), I dedicate these eight books, which God has given me to teach the honest, humble, simple, true-hearted people the way to heaven, and make them the willing, happy, and heroic messengers of His truth. Amen!


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