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In the dim twilight preceding the dawn of Indian literature the historical imagination can perceive the forms of Aryan warriors, the first Western conquerors of Hindustan, issuing from those passes in the north-west through which the tide of invasion has in successive ages rolled to sweep over the plains of India. The earliest poetry of this invading race, whose language and culture ultimately overspread the whole continent, was composed while its tribes still occupied the territories on both sides of the Indus now known as Eastern Kabulistan and the Panjab. That ancient poetry has come down to us in the form of a collection of hymns called the Rigveda. The cause which gathered the poems it contains into a single book was scientific and historical. The number of hymns comprised in the Rigveda, in the only recension which has been preserved, that of the Cakala school, is 1017, or, if the eleven supplementary hymns (called Valakhilya) which are inserted in the middle of the eighth book are added, 1028. These hymns are grouped in ten books, called mandalas, or "e;cycles,"e; which vary in length, except that the tenth contains the same number of hymns as the first. In bulk the hymns of the Rigveda equal, it has been calculated, the surviving poems of Homer.
This little volume is sent forward with the prayer that it may assist many Christian people whose early religious training, education and experience have not been such as to enable them to give reverent expression to their spiritual needs, and this book is aimed to aid all such to formulate their thoughts, and train them along devotional lines. The arrangement of the prayers in calendar form should prove a constant reminder to them of their privilege to talk to their Heavenly Father at the beginning of every day. No printed prayer can always present the individual soul wants, but some of the most effective prayers are the printed ones. Those by the Psalmist have been appropriated by many who found in them the spiritual expression of their soul's inmost needs. Some may claim that they have no time for such worship. It requires only 25 seconds to repeat the model prayer that our Lord taught His disciples. The name given to this volume, "e;God's Minute,"e; conveys the idea that these prayers of about two hundred words in length will require about a minute to give each reverent expression. Every contributor, representative of both the religious and the intellectual forces in the English speaking world in the pulpit and in the pew, did his work willingly and gratuitously, so that the volume could be sold at a price within the reach even of people with humble means. May God bless every reverent user of this little volume, and the many good people who have so generously aided us in making its publication possible.