On the use of this little volume I would fain say two things which lie upon my heart.
The first is this: that the Christian who desires to make use of it must not be content merely to read and to understand the portion for the day, but must take time to meditate upon it and to appropriate it. I am convinced that one chief cause why some do not grow more in grace is that they do not take time to hold converse with the Lord in secret. Spiritual, divine truth does not thus become our possession at once. Although I understand what I read, although I consent heartily to it, although I receive it, it may speedily fade away and be forgotten, unless by private meditation I give it time to become fixed and rooted in me, to become united and identified with me. Christians, give yourselves, give your Lord time to transfer His heavenly thoughts to your inner, spiritual life. When you have read a portion, set yourselves in silence before God. Take time to remain before Him until He has made His word living and powerful in your souls. Then does it become the life and the power of your life.
And this brings me to the second remark which I desire to make. It is this: that the Christian must take special care that he do not suffer himself to be led away from the Word of God by the many manuals which in our days are seeing the light. These books will have this result, whenever a man seeks his instruction only in what the writer has to say, he then becomes accustomed to take everything at second hand. These books can become a blessing to the reader only when they bring him always to that portion of Gods Word which is treated of in order that he may meditate further upon it himself as from the mouth of God. Christians, there is in the Word of God an incredible power. The blessing which lies hid in it is inconceivable. See to it that when you have read a portion you always return to that passage of the Scriptures of which an explanation is given. Receive that not as the word of man, but, as it is in truth, the Word of God, which works mightily in those that believe. Hold fellowship with God through the Word. Take time to speak with Him about it, to give an answer to Him concerning it. Then shall you understand what the Lord Jesus says: The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit and life. Then shall Word and sacrament gloriously work together, to make you increase in prayer and in the life of God.
That the Eternal God may bless this little volume also, to make His children learn His own Word, is the prayer of the author for all his readers.
Part 1: The Week Before The Supper
My God, and is Thy table spread? And does Thy cup with love o'erflow? Thither be all Thy children led, And let them all its sweetness know. Hail, sacred feast, which Jesus makes! Rich banquet of His flesh and blood! Thrice happy he who here partakes That sacred stream, that heavenly food! O let Thy table honored be, And furnished well with joyful guests; And may each soul salvation see That here its sacred pledges tastes. Let crowds approach with hearts prepared, With hearts inflamed let all attend; Nor, when we leave our Fathers board, The pleasure or the profit end. Revive Thy drooping Churches, Lord! And bid our drooping graces live; And more, that energy afford, A Saviour's love alone can give. —Philip Doddridge
- Sabbath Morning: The Divine Invitation
- Monday Morning: The Preparation
- Tuesday Morning: The Host
- Wednesday Morning: Self-Examination
- Thursday Morning: Confession Of Sin
- Friday Morning: Faith
- Saturday Morning: Self-Surrender
Part 2: The Communion Sabbath
Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face; Here would I touch and handle things unseen; Here grasp with firmer hand and eternal grace And all my weariness upon Thee lean. Here would I feed upon the bread of God, Here drink with Thee the royal wine of Heaven; Here would I lay aside each earthly load, Here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven. This is the hour of banquet and of song; This is the Heavenly table spread for me; Here let me feast, and feasting still prolong The brief, bright hour of fellowship with Thee. —Horatius Bonar
- The Morning Of The Lord’s Day: An Exercise Of Faith
- A Prayer of Thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity (For the Communion Sabbath Evening)
Part 3: The Week After The Supper
Too soon we rise: the symbols disappear. The feast, though not the love, is past and gone; The bread and wine remove, but thou art here, Nearer than ever, still my Shield and Sun. I have no help but thine: nor do I need Another arm save Thine to lean upon; It is enough, my Lord, enough indeed; My strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone. Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness; Mine is the guilt, but thine the cleansing blood; Here is my robe, my refuge and my peace Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God. Feast after feast thus comes and passes by, Yet, passing, points to the glad feast above, Giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy, The Lambs great bridal feast of bliss and love. —Horatius Bonar.