Expository Thoughts On the Gospels, by bishop J. C. Ryle. Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Published as a reprint by the Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Mich. Price per Volume $4.95.

The Zondervan Publishing House certainly did all students of the Bible, whether ministers or laymen, a service by offering a reprint of the above mentioned work. It is more than a commentary. (The work is deeply spiritual and devotional. It is written in a very lucid style, so that everybody can easily read it. While the work is based on the exposition of the text, it offers, at the same time, many practical suggestions. Bishop Ryle, a divine of the last century, was a lover of Holy Writ and a warm hearted Bible student. His “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels” makes very pleasant and easy reading.

To give our readers a taste of the contents of these “Thoughts on the Gospels” I cannot refrain from quoting one or two passages from it. The first is on “the children sitting in the marketplace” from Matthew 11:16ff:

“It is a mournful fact, that there are thousands of professing Christians just as unreasonable as these Jews. They are equally perverse and equally hard to please. Whatever we teach and preach, they find fault. Whatever our manner of life, they are dissatisfied. Do we tell them of salvation by grace, and justification by faith? At once they cry out against our doctrine as licentious and antinomian;—Do we tell them of the holiness which the gospel requires ? At once they exclaim that we are too strict, and precise, and righteous overmuch.—Are we cheerful? They accuse us of levity.—Are we grave? They call us gloomy and sour.—Do we keep aloof from balls and plays, and races? They denounce us puritanical, exclusive, and narrow-minded.—Do we eat, and drink, and dress like other people, and attend to our worldly callings, and go into society? They sneeringly insinuate that they see no difference between us and those who make no religious profession at all, and that we are not better than other men.—What is all this but the conduct of the Jews over again? “We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced: we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.” He who spake these words knew the hearts of men.” p. 113.

The second passage is on Mark 13:20:

“It is plain from this, and other passages in the Bible, that God has an elect people in the world. They are those, according to the seventeenth Article of our Church, whom ‘He has constantly decreed by His counsel. Secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation ; those whom He hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and decreed to bring by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honor.’ To them, and them only, belong the great privileges of justification, sanctification, and final glory.” etc.

We cannot agree with Ryle’s contention that there will be a second siege of Jerusalem in the end of time.