"Be Bible Readers"
"Let us stop and consider the merciful nature of God, in having written us a Bible at all. Ah! He might have left us without it, to grope our dark way, as blind men seek the wall.
He might have suffered us to wander on with the star of reason as our only guide... The light of creation is a bright light.
God may be seen in the stars. His name is written in gilt letters on the brow of night. You may discover His glory in the ocean waves, yea, in the trees of the field.
But it is better to read His glory in two books rather than in one. You will find it here more clearly revealed, for He has written this book Himself, and He has given you the key to understand it, if you have the Holy Spirit.
Ah, beloved, let us thank God for this Bible. Let us love it. Let us count it more precious than much fine gold.
But let me say one thing before I pass on to the second point. If this be the Word of God, what will become of some of you who have not read it for the last month?
'Month, sir! I have not read it for this year.'
Ay, there are some of you who have not read it at all.
Most people treat the Bible very politely. They have a small pocket volume, neatly bound. They put a white pocket-handkerchief around it, and carry it to their places of worship.
When they get home, they lay it up in a drawer till next Sunday morning. Then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes to chapel.
That is all the poor Bible gets in the way of an airing. That is your style of entertaining this heavenly messenger.
There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write 'damnation' with your fingers. There are some of you who have not turned over your Bibles for a long, long, long while, and what think you? I tell you blunt words, but true words.
What will God say at last? When you shall come before him, he shall say, 'Did you read my Bible?'
'I wrote you a letter of mercy; did you read it?'
'Rebel! I have sent thee a letter inviting thee to me: didst thou ever read it?'
'Lord I never broke the seal; I kept it shut up.'
'Wretch!' says God, 'then thou deservest hell, if I sent thee a loving epistle and thou wouldst not even break the seal: what shall I do unto thee?'
Oh! Let it not be so with you. Be Bible readers; be Bible searchers."
--Charles H. Spurgeon, "The Bible" in The New Park Street Pulpit Sermons (vol. 1; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1855), 112–113.
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