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Bible, llit. John, English
ALVAH HOVEY, D. D., LL. D.
1420 CHESTNUT STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1883, by the
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY, In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
For a statement of the purpose and plan of this series of Commentaries on the New Testament, the reader is referred to the last part of the General Introduction, published in the volume on the Gospel of Mark, and for a more particular account of the sources of the present volume, to the last part of the following Introduction. Two or three remarks are all that seem to be required in the way further explanation.
Whenever the words of another writer are employed, his name is given, though it has not always been thought advisable to mention the volume and page from which the words are taken. In a great majority of cases they are from Notes on the particular passage under examination. Sentences are sometimes put in quotation marks, not because they are borrowed from another, but because they are meant to represent in paraphrase the words of Christ, or of the Evangelist, in the text explained.
For critical notes upon the text in several important passages, the writer is indebted to the kindness of Prof. John A. Broadus, D. D., who is preparing the volume on the Gospel according to Matthew. These Notes have been inserted in the margin, followed by the letter B. They are uncommonly clear and discrimipating, and the conclusions which they reach are believed to be, in every instance, correct. The judgment of one who has given special attention to textual criticism will be highly valued by the reader.
To the preparation of this Commentary, the writer has given all the time at his com!nand for such labor, during many years. And though the work produced is very imperfect, when compared with his own conception of what it should be, he cannot repress the hope that it will be useful to some who love "the spiritual Gospel.” Often has this Gospel appeared to him, while exploring it, like the land promised to the Israelites by the Lord—“a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and
barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of olive oil and honey; a land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack anything in it.” (Deut. 8: 7–9.) Wells of purest truth, deeper than Jacob's well at Sychar, are in this Gospel, and the interpreter may let down his tiny cup a thousand times, with perfect confidence that it will always return filled to the brim.
May the Son of God, whose person is so fully revealed in this Gospel, accept the humble effort which has been made to expound his words, and by means of it bring a blessing to the hearts of his people! And to this end, may the reader fervently pray to the Father of lights, “ Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Ps. 119: 18.)
ALVAH HOVEY. NEWTON THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTION, Nov. 26, 1885.