by Matthew Henry
These are commentator Matthew Henry's (1662-1714) lecture manuscripts focussing on beginning, abiding and closing each day with God. They were originally published in 1712 and their counsel remains just as applicable today. The devotional life of every Christian depends on maintaining a close walk with the Lord and the principles set out here are both biblical and practical. Henry's vivid style makes "Directions for Daily Communion with God" one of our favourite books on the topic.
TO THE READER
The two first of these Discourses was preached (that is, the substance of them) at the Morning Lecture at Bednal Green, the former, August 13, the other, August 21, 1712. The latter of them I was much importuned to publish by divers that heard it; which yet I then had no thoughts at all of doing, because in divers practical treatises, we have excellent directions given of the same nature and tendency, by better hands than mine. But upon second thoughts I considered, that both those sermons of beginning and spending the day with God, put together, might perhaps be of some use to those into whose hands those larger treatises do not fall. And the truth is, the subject of them is of such a nature, that if they may be of any use, they may be of general and lasting use; whereupon I entertained the thought of writing them over, with very large additions throughout, as God should enable me, for the Press. Communicating this thought to some of my friends, they very much encouraged me to proceed in it, but advised me to add a third discourse of closing the day with God, which I thereupon took for my subject at an evening Lecture, Sept. 3. and have likewise much enlarged and altered that. And so this came to be what it is.
I am not without hopes, that something may hereby be contributed among plain people, by the blessing of God upon the endeavour, and the working of his grace with it, to the promoting of serious godliness, which is the thing I aim at. And yet I confess I had not published it, but designing it for a present to my dearly beloved friends in the country, whom I have lately been rent from.
And to them with the most tender affection, and most sincere respects I dedicate it, as a testimony of my abiding concern for their spiritual welfare; hoping and praying, that their conversation may be in every thing as becomes the gospel of Christ, that whether I come and see them, or else be absent, I may hear comfortably of their affairs, that they stand fast in one spirit with one mind, striving together for the Faith of the gospel.
Their Cordial and Affectionate
Sept. 8, 1712
Table of Contents
To the Reader
The First Discourse: Showing How to Begin Every Day with God
The Second Discourse: Showing How to Spend Every Day With God
The Third Discourse: Showing How to Close Every Day with God