“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord. . . . And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water” (Psa. 1:2-3).
Newspapers, and circulating libraries, and magazines, and little religious books—very good in their way, but secondary and subordinate—have taken the place that our fathers used to have filled by honest reading of God’s Word. And that is one of the reasons, and I believe it is a very large part of the reason, why so many professing Christians do not come up to this standard; and instead of “running with patience the race that is set before them,” walk in an extraordinarily leisurely fashion, by fits and starts, and sometimes with long intervals, in which they sit still on the road, and are not a mile farther at a year’s end than they were when it began. There never was, and there never will be, vigorous Christian life unless there be an honest and habitual study of God’s Word. There is no shortcut by which Christians can reach the end of the race. Foremost among the methods by which their eyes are enlightened and their hearts rejoiced are application to the eyes of their understanding of that eye-salve, and the hiding in their hearts of that sweet solace and fount of gladness, the Word of Christ’s patience, the revelation of God’s will. The trees whose roots are laved and branches freshened by that river have leaves that never wither, and all their blossoms set.—Alexander Maclaren.
We search the world for truth, we cull
The good, the pure, the beautiful
From graven stone and written scroll,
From the old flower-fields of the soul,
And, weary seekers for the best,
We come back laden from our quest,
To find that all the sages said
Is in the Book our mothers read.
—J. G. Whittier.