January 1—Morning

"The Lord is my light."

Genesis 1:1-5

The mere reading of the holy Scriptures will be of no avail to us, unless the Holy Spirit sanctify the truth to our souls. Let us pray that (in commencing this years Family Reading) he who commanded light to shine out of darkness may shine into our hearts and give us to know the inner meaning of his word. We shall begin at the opening page of revelation.

Genesis 1:2

Thus dark are we by nature, thus disordered are all our powers through sin. We are nothing but confusion and emptiness.

The Spirit of God is the first efficient mover in the new creation. He visits the dead and dark heart, and begins the work of salvation within

Genesis 1:3

Thus powerful is the word of the gospel when heard in the soul. May its enlightening power be felt by us all.)

Genesis 1:4

Wherever God puts his grace he looks upon it with pleasure

Genesis 1:4

Grace also makes a separation, for what fellowship has light with darkness?

Genesis 1:5

Thus the first day of the week, the day of our Lord's resurrection is a day of light. May. it ever be so to us.

It is interesting to notice how the New Testament, as written by John, opens in the same manner as the Old Testament, with "In the beginning." Let us add to our reading the first fourteen verses of John's Gospel. Jesus, the Lord our Saviour, is called "the Word," or the uttered mind of God.

John 1:1-14

John 1:2

Jesus was in existence when all created things began; he was with God in nature, in love, and in cooperation, and he is himself essentially God.

John 1:4

If we live unto God, and have any spiritual light, it comes to us by Jesus Christ.

John 1:5-9

No one can get light from any other source, and all who desire light may have it from him.

John 1:11

The Jews, who were his own kinsmen, rejected him; and, alas! too many of the children of godly parents refuse the Saviour. May it not be so in this house.

John 1:12

This is the essence of the gospel, Christ is the giver, we are only receivers. Faith like a hand receives Christ, and with him the privilege of adoption.

John 1:14

The Lord grant unto us to receive of his grace and to know his truth. Amen.


Ere the blue heavens were stretch'd abroad,

From everlasting was the Word:

With God he was; the Word was God,

And must divinely be adored.


But lo! he leaves those heavenly forms,

The Word descends and dwells in clay,

That he may hold converse with worms,

Dress'd in such feeble flesh as they.


Mortals with joy beheld his face,

Th' eternal Father's only Son:

How full of truth! how full of grace!

When through his eyes the Godhead shone!


January 1—Evening

"Create in me a clean heart."

Genesis 1:6-13

The expanse of the atmosphere separates the vapours above from the waters below. Luther used to wonder at the arch of heaven, which stands unsupported by pillars. He saw in it a lesson for his faith, teaching him that the Lord could uphold him by unseen power. He who creates with a word can sustain in the same manner.

Genesis 1:7

What the Lord in the former verse commanded he in this verse creates: in the same manner one Scripture bids us believe, and another tells us that faith is the work of God.

Genesis 1:8-9

Note the frequent repetition of those little words, "and it was so." We may gather from them that none of God's words of promise or threatening will fall to the ground.

Genesis 1:10

God's care in naming "day" and "night," and "earth," and "sea," should teach us to call things by their right names; let us never call sin pleasure, or the Lord's service a weariness.

Genesis 1:11-12

When God has put light into a soul, and divided its sin from its new life, he next looks for fruit, and ere long it is brought forth to his glory.

Genesis 1:13

So far, we have considered the second and third day's work of creation: it may be well for us now to be reminded that our Lord Jesus was there, and "without him was not anything made that was made."

Proverbs 8:22-36

Proverbs 8:22-36

May we hearken to him who is "made of God unto us wisdom" and find life and favour in him.


I sing th' almighty power of God

That made the mountains rise;

That spread the flowing seas abroad,

And built the lofty skies.


There's not a plant or flower below,

But makes his glories known;

And clouds arise, and tempests blow,

By order from his throne.