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DAILY EXPOSITIONS OF THE GOSPELS.
REV. BARTON BOUCHIER, A.M.,
CURATE OF CHEAM, SURREY,
JOHN FARQUHAR SHAW,
21, PATERNOSTER ROW.
EDINBURGH: J. MENZIES.
DUBLIN: J. ROBERTSON.
10%. a. 20.
It is with no presumptuous purpose to depreciate or supersede the labours of others in the same field, that I am induced to publish the present Commentary on the Gospels. It might, indeed, be sufficient to say, that the mine, or the stream, or the mountain-side, or wherever the ore may be found, is ample enough to admit, and rich enough to reward, the labours of each that digs. But I would simply state my own feelings on the subject, and what it was which first led to the present work.
Having been, for many years, in the habit of reading expositions of Scripture in my domestic worship, I had soon exhausted the few volumes adapted for that purpose which I possessed, and was then induced to make trial of original exposition. Indeed, even at an earlier period, I had often been forced to blend the two. So many circumstances arose amid the various exigencies and events of a somewhat large and promiscuous household, requiring, or at least seeming to call forth, a peculiar notice, either for warning or encouragement—to build up, or, it may have been, even to lay the foundation that I had soon found that no Commentary, however ample or however excellent, could meet all the varying phases and requirements of an ever-changing family circle. I therefore had recourse at last to reliance on my own resources; and though, in many a particular, I could not but be conscious of the inferiority, yet, upon the whole, I found it more useful, and far more easy, in that way to give to each his due portion of meat in his season. I had in this way gone through the whole of the New Testament; and then, after some interval of other portions of Scripture, I again, a few months ago, resumed the Gospels. It then occurred to me to gather up, as it were, on the following morning, as accurately as I could remember, the crumbs I had scattered the preceding night. This I continued to do without any reference to or idea of publication, till they began to accumulate on my hands, and it then suggested itself to me, that that which I felt and knew had, through the blessing of God, been useful to some, might, through the same blessing, be beneficial and acceptable to others.
I am, at the same time, quite aware, that neither this Commentary, nor, in fact, any, can supply the deficiencies I felt in my own household, and which each one, no doubt, equally feels in his. It is the same with prayer: no form of prayer, however excellent, can meet all the requirements of a family congregation. The want of to-day is perhaps supplied by the gift of to-morrow, and succeeded by another want of another character: the health of to-day may give way to the sickness of to-morrow, or the sickness be replaced by health; the departure of a member of the household on a journey may call for especial prayer for protection, or the return in safety for especial thanksgiving. The inadvertence or thoughtlessness of the younger, and the deliberate transgression of the older member, demand different language ; and no source but the gushing out of the feeling from the heart at the moment of need, is adequate to supply all this. And yet there are so many wants in common, so many infirmities, trials, and afflictions shared alike, and “ accomplished in our