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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 Testa
ent, 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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