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The Christian's Daily Companion
Presenting an entire view of Divine truth in a series of meditations for every morning and evening throughout the year by thirty-one clergymen of the Church of Scotland (1843)


In presenting this volume now complete, it is gratifying to state, as affording the hope of its usefulness, that its first design was suggested by many who were the devout readers of its predecessor—the “Family Worship.” That work, penned by upwards of 180 ministers of the Church of Scotland, is now well known to the Christian public, who have testified their sense of its value as a help to family devotion. And this, now offered as a fit associate and auxiliary to the former, has been accomplished by a more limited number of clergymen, whose names are given in connection with their several allotments; and who being distinguished for talents and learning, for piety and evangelical views of divine truths, as well as pains-taking and experience in applying the words of eternal life to every rank and condition of their flocks, must afford a sufficient guarantee for the worth and faithfulness of those instructions which they have been called in the providence of God thus to convey.

Whilst the former work has its place in ministering to the family altar, this is calculated to assist in the equally important duties of the closet. We say equally important; for certain it is, that the devotions of the household will dwindle to a cold formality, unless there be a serious and constant regard to those which are personal and secret, in the observance of which it is felt that the soul has singly to do with its Creator and Redeemer. With what livelier heart do the inmates come together, when, morning and evening before assembling, they have severally held communion with God by a prayerful meditation on his word! Or, on leaving the family altar, what nobler preparation for the duties of his calling will each one find, when he retires for a few moments to ask a blessing on the service past, and learn for himself a special lesson from the lips of that great Lord who came to be the light and life of the world.

And who can fail to own the necessity, or, when trial is made, to reap the fruit of secret com-munings with his own heart! “Come my people, enter thou into thy chambers and shut thy doors about thee/ This is no unwelcome task to those who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity; who have sought a hiding-place in his pavilion, and have tasted of the hidden manna. And if there be any who have no relish of such heavenly communion, let them inquire how far they are prepared to meet their God,” to go through the valley of death, or even to endure a night of solitary sickness. How should they be prepared for the great reckoning? if they have not learned to meditate alone and pray alone, while there is nothing external either to soothe or to distract; to call self to an account; to penetrate the recesses of the heart, and from the depth of its discovered iniquities to cry unto God. To the darkest of these depths, though there be a wall on every side, there is light above; a space of open sky and a memorial there, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious.” “If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniouities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee that thou shouldst be feared; with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.” And if this secret communing with the heart be so essential, we doubt not the brief doctrinal and practical discourses of the Christian's Daily Companion will be found eminently conducive to that end; serving to improve and endear those retired hours, which, though taken from the world, will yet add to its stores, and enrich the soul by treasure laid up in heaven.

But accommodated as these meditations are to the studies of the closet, they are beyond all question equally appropriate to the family circle; and wherever circumstances may allow, it will be found that this work, as its title implies, will prove a fit companion to the “Family Worship.” There is no duty of man; no relation in which he is placed; and no doctrine; no precept; no promise, unfolded in the divine Word, which this manual fails, however shortly, to handle; and much care has been taken that it might, by the divine blessing, be efficacious to the awakening of the conscience, and engaging the affections of parents and children, of masters and servants, with a view to strengthen every obligation and enhance every endearment of the family tie.

But whether perused in company or seclusion, it is calculated, by its Scriptural lessons for every morning and evening throughout the year, to afford a pleasant and profitable way of acquiring a comprehensive knowledge and inward application of revealed truth. It has often been recorded, as the experience of devout Christians, that besides searching the Scriptures daily, it is of excellent use to take a small portion of the Word as a theme of meditation for the day. By this method some momentous text of inspiration is more fixed in the memory, whilst being clearly remembered, it becomes by much thinking engraven on the heart; and the scenes which from morning to night are ever shifting before the eye; whether they be of inward emotions, or the ways of men, or the dealings of Providence; Present the occasions on which the truth so kept in view cannot fail to be applied as Heaven’s own wisdom, and to be appreciated as heaven’s best treasure. And if such method of using the sacred volume be found so highly beneficial, then obviously the work ’ now furnished is not only in accordance with that method, but designed for its furtherance and fitted to secure its best results. It is indeed the Spirit of God who alone can make the ’ word spirit and life, or cause anything of man’s help to avail; but it is by such means as those now contemplated that the Spirit is pleased to operate; that He guides the believer into all truth, and brings all things to his remembrance whatsoever the Lord hath spoken. . And, 0 if the reader would but reckon the mornings and evenings of a year, and the number of lessons for eternity which might thus be easily and successfully learned, he would be -astonished on the one hand at the amount of good that might be gained by the diligence which keeps pace with time; and on the other at the loss insensibly incurred by taking no note of moments as they fly, and suffering so many seasons of grace to pass away unimproved.

To the reader it may not be uninteresting to know what is the scope of this work, and by what means it was provided that a diversity of writers might be led to act in concert, and avoid alike the tediousness of unnecessary repetition, and the injury of vital omissions. It was essential to the attainment of an end so desirable, that a previous plan and arrangement 4 „ of the several parts should be laid and conducted by one hand; a department which it is hoped the reader will find to have been well entrusted to the Rev. Dr. Paterson of Glasgow.

And with regard to the scope of the work, it was judged necessary, and this is its chief characteristic, that the passages for meditation should not be merely select, but so selected as to embrace an entire view of Divine truth, in its doctrines, promises, and precepts, as well as practical application; and that not in the dryness of a system, but after the manner of the Word itself, now giving relief by variety, and now lending force by the union of precept and promise; of privilege and duty. It will be observed, however, on glancing at the “List of Subjects,” that the exercises for each day have a special bearing on each other, and preserve for the most part a certain association whether of resemblance or of contrast; ? whilst the whole series has been so ordered as to unfold to the utmost that the limits would allow, all that counsel of God which is given to make wise unto salvation. And let the pious reader rest assured that he is followed by the prayers of all who have contributed to these pages. It is their earnest desire, that in all their labours, whether of the pulpit or the pen, they may have a single eye to the glory of God and the saving of souls; and their humble hope is, that this work may, by the Divine blessing, be of use to many, long after its writers are numbered with the dead; that it may prove a guide to the young, a staff to the aged, a consolation to the afflicted and the dying. Let every reader proceed with its perusal only in the spirit of prayer, and then as the Lord hveth, and is faithful and true, there will be a good hope through grace that this manual of devotion will be instrumental in winning souls to Christ, and increasing the faith which worketh by love, purifieth the heart, and overcometh the world.

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