Both scriptural and practical, The Christian’s Daily Walk, by Henry Scudder, has become a classic Puritan devotional work. Scudder plumbs the depths of Scripture to describe the attributes of a holy life, and instructs his readers how to live lives of service and devotion to God. Scudder describes the practice of spiritual devotion, the means of acquiring the peace of God, and the characteristics of those who walk with God.
The Christian’s Daily Walk was first published in the early seventeenth century, but it did not attain wide readership until it was endorsed by John Owen and Richard Baxter several decades after its initial publication. In fact, Baxter wrote that there was no book better equipped “to be the daily companion of Christians, to guide them in the practice of a holy life.” By the nineteenth century, it had become a bestselling Puritan devotional and a standard work applying biblical truth to daily Christian living.
There is generally that soundness and gravity in the whole doctrine of the book, that weight and wisdom in the directions given in it for practice, that judgment in the resolution of doubts and objections, that breathing of a spirit of holiness, zeal, humility, and the fear of the Lord, in the whole; that I judge and am satisfied therein, that it will be found of singular use unto all such as in sincerity desire a compliance with his design; namely, such as a walking with God here, that he may come to the enjoyment of him hereafter. . . . I do find in this [book] . . . that authority and powerful evidence of truth, arising from a plain transferring of the sacred sense of the Scripture in words and expressions suited to the experience of gracious, honest, and humble souls, that the most accurate and adorned discourses of this age do not attain or rise up unto.
. . . I remember not any book which is written to be the daily companion of Christians, to guide them in the practice of a holy life. . . . For so sound is the doctrine of this book, and so prudent and spiritual, apt and savory the directions, and all so fully suited to our ordinary cases and conditions, that I heartily wish no family might be without it . . .
It defines the nature of walking with God—urges the duty and obligation of it—gives minute counsels for beginning, continuing, and ending the day with God. It discusses the duty of special humiliation and fasting, the proper observance of the Sabbath, and the nature of the sacraments. It contemplates the Christian in solitude and in society, in prosperity and adversity—distinguishes between his lawful and his unlawful cares—enlarges upon the peace of the believer—the impediments to it, the false fears which disturb it, and the true means of its preservation. . . . There are few topics arising in the Christian’s daily experience which are not touched in this volume.
—Southern Presbyterian Review, April, 1850
Henry Scudder was a prominent Presbyterian minister. He graduated from Christ’s College at Cambridge in 1606, and became a Presbyterian minister—first at Drayton in Oxfordshire, and then Collingborn-Dukes, in Wiltshire, in England. He was a member of the Westminster Assembly in 1643, and became a proponent of the Westminster Confession of Faith. He also preached before the House of Commons in 1644.