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Dr Chalmers's Industry








In October, 1841, Dr. Chalmers commenced two series of biblical
compositions, which he continued with unbroken regularity till the day
of his decease, May 31, 1847. Go where he might, however he might be
engaged, each week-day had its few verses read, thought over, written
upon--forming what he denominated "Horae Biblicae Quotidianae:" each
Sabbath-day had its two chapters, one in the Old and the other in the
New Testament, with the two trains of meditative devotion recorded to
which the reading of them respectively gave birth--forming what he
denominated "Horae Biblicae Sabbaticae." When absent from home, or when the
manuscript books in which they were ordinarily inserted were not beside
him, he wrote in short-hand, carefully entering what was thus written
in the larger volumes afterwards. Not a trace of haste nor of the
extreme pressure from without, to which he was so often subjected, is
exhibited in the handwriting of these volumes. There are but few words
omitted--scarcely any erased. This singular correctness was a general
characteristic of his compositions. His lectures on the Epistle to the
Romans were written currente calamo, in Glasgow, during the most
hurried and overburthened period of his life. And when, many years
afterwards, they were given out to be copied for the press, scarcely a
blot, or an erasure, or a correction, was to be found in them, and they
were printed off exactly as they had originally been written.

In preparing the "Horae Biblicae Quotidianae," Chalmers had by his side,
for use and reference, the "Concordance," the "Pictorial Bible,"
"Poole's Synopsis," "Henry's Commentary," and "Robinson's Researches in
Palestine." These constituted what he called his "Biblical Library."
"There," said he to a friend, pointing, as he spoke, to the above-named
volumes, as they lay together on his library-table, with a volume of the
"Quotidianae," in which he had just been writing, lying open beside
them,--"There are the books I use--all that is Biblical is there. I have
to do with nothing besides in my Biblical study." To the consultation of
these few volumes he throughout restricted himself.

The whole of the MSS. were purchased, after Dr. Chalmers's death, for a
large sum of money, by Mr. Thomas Constable, of Edinburgh, her Majesty's
printer; and were in due time given to, and most favourably received by,
the public.

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