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A calendar for reading through the Word of God in a year.
By the late Rev. R. M. M’CHEYNE, M.A.
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THE WHOLE BIBLE WILL BE READ THROUGH IN AN ORDERLY MANNER IN THE COURSE OF A YEAR. – The Old Testament once, the New Testament and Psalms twice. I fear many of you never read the whole Bible, and yet it is all equally divine. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect.” If we pass over some parts of Scripture we will be incomplete Christians.
TIME WILL NOT BE WASTED IN CHOOSING WHAT PORTIONS TO READ. – Often believers are at a loss to determine towards which part of the mountains of spices they should bend their steps. Here the question will be solved at once in a very simple manner.
THE PASTOR WILL KNOW IN WHICH PART OF THE PASTURE THE FLOCK ARE FEEDING. – He will thus be enabled to speak more suitably to them on the Sabbath: and both pastor and elders will be able to drop a word of light and comfort in visiting from house to house, which will be more readily responded to.
THE SWEET BOND OF CHRISTIAN LOVE AND UNITY WILL BE STRENGTHENED. – We shall often be lead to think of those dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, who agree to join with us in reading these portions. We shall oftener be led to agree on earth, touching something we shall ask of God. We shall pray over the same promises, mourn over the same confessions, praise God in the same songs, and be nourished by the same words of eternal life.
The centre column contains the day of the month. The first two columns contain the chapters to be read in the family. The two last columns contain the portions to be read in secret.
The head of the family should previously read each chapter for family worship, and mark two or three of the most prominent verses, upon which he may dwell, giving a few explanatory thoughts and asking a few simple questions.
Frequently the portion named in the calendar for family reading might be read more suitably in secret: in which case the head of the family should intimate that it be read in private, and the chapter for secret reading may be used in the family.
The portions read, both for family and private readings, would be greatly illuminated if they were preceded by a moment’s silent prayer – “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law.” (Ps. cxix. 18).
Let the conversation at the family meals frequently turn upon the chapter read. Thus every meal will be a sacrament, being sanctified by the Word and prayer.
Let our private reading precede the dawning of the day. Let God’s voice be the first we hear in the morning. Mark two or three of the richest verses, and pray over every line and word of them. Let the marks be neatly done, never so as to abuse a copy of the Bible.