Come Ye Apart - Preface

The volume of a year's readings has been prepared in the hope that it may prove daily food to some earnest children of God in their life of care, struggle, and duty. It is made to cover the earthly life of our Lord, from its beginning to its close. The texts are selected from the several Gospels, following the order of Robinson’s “Harmony.” The book thus provides a year's daily readings on the story and the words of Jesus.

The readings themselves are only fragments of thought suggested by the texts. They are neither exegetical nor expository, but are rather practical and devotional hints. The author’s aim has been to put a life-thought on each page, — a word that may give a little glimpse of some phase of the beauty of Christ, or unveil in some of our Lord’s sayings a suggestion of duty or of encouragement or of comfort. The book has but a single aim — to honour and glorify Christ in the eyes of those who follow its pages.

There is a tendency to leave the Bible out of the closet. We hear a great deal of earnest counsel concerning secret prayer. We are urged both to open and close the day at God’s feet. We are taught that prayer is the Christian's vital breath. And not a word too much can be said on this subject. If we would live strong, noble, beautiful, radiant, and useful Christian lives, we must get seasons of secret prayer into all our busy days. But we must take our Bibles with us into the closet. While we talk to God, we must also let God talk to us. God feeds us through His Word. It is “into all truth” {John 16:13} that the Holy Spirit leads Christ’s disciples. Seasons of prayer without meditation on some word of God cannot yield the full blessing that we need.

For devotional pondering it is well always, however much of the Scripture we may read besides, to fix our thought on some one verse or clause, taking it as a word for the day. It is in this way that it is hoped this book may prove a help in the closet. Its daily text, with the few words of practical suggestion that accompany it, may help the reader to make the day’s life more beautiful, more victorious, more radiant, more beneficent.

Life is hard for most of us; at least, it is hard to live nobly, grandly, purely, Christianly. We can do so only by getting a great deal of help from Christ. We need, therefore, daily to heed His invitation, “Come ye apart.” {Mark 6: 31} In communion with Him we shall receive strength and blessing to enable us to fulfil our mission of obedience and ministry in His name. We shall rob ourselves therefore, of divine anointing and divine help if we do not make room in our busiest days for quiet retreats from noise and strife,—apart with Christ, where we may sit at His feet to hear His words, or lie on His bosom to absorb His spirit, for the refreshing and transforming of our own lives. A sweet-voiced poet thus writes of “The Valley of Silence”.