It is now upwards of twelve years since the writer first read Mr. Andrew Jukes' book on the Gospels, wherein he so ably outlined the various characters, in which the four Evangelists, severally, present the Lord Jesus Christ. Since then we have continued, with ever increasing delight, to trace out for ourself, the various features which are peculiar to each Gospel.
It has been our privilege to give a series of Bible readings on the design and scope of the Gospels, to various companies, both in England and in this country; and many have been the requests for us to publish them in book form. We have hesitated to do this, because Mr. Jukes, fifty years ago, had already dealt with this subject with better success than we could hope to achieve. Since his day, a number of others have written upon the same theme, though not with the same perspicuity and helpfulness. Really, Mr. Jukes covered the ground so thoroughly (at least in its broad outlines) that for any later writer who would present anything approaching a bird's-eye view of the four Gospels, is was well-nigh impossible to avoid going over much of the ground covered by the original pioneer, and repeating much of what he first, under God, set forth to such good effect. It is only because Mr. Jukes' work is unknown to many whom we hope to reach, that we now present these studies to the Christian public. We have worked diligently on the subject for ourself, and have sought to thoroughly assimilate that which we received first from the writing of the above mentioned, while adding, also, our own findings.
In sending forth this little book, much of which has been gathered up from the labors of another, we are reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, his son in the faith: "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men" (2 Tim. 2:2). And again: "But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them" (2 Tim. 3:14).
We are fully assured that there is very much in the four Gospels which manifest the Divine perfections and distinctive beauties of each one, which has not yet been brought forth by those who have sought to explore their inexhaustible depths; that there is here a wide field for diligent research, and that those who will pursue this study, prayerfully, for themselves, will be richly rewarded for their pains. May it please God to stir up an increasing number of His people to "search" this portion of His holy Word which reveal, as nowhere else, the excellencies of His blessed Son, which were so signally displayed by Him during the years that He tabernacled among men.