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How Readest Thou?

by 1917 Word and Work

From Word and Work June, 1917


It is one thing to read the Bible thro, another thing to read to learn and do.

Some read it with design to learn to read, but to the subject pay but little heed.

Some read it as their duty once a week, but no instruction from the Bible seek.

While others read it with but little care, with no regard to how they read, nor where.

Some read it as a history book to know how people lived three thousand years ago.

Some read to bring themselves into repute by showing others how they can dispute;

While others read because their neighbors do, to see how long ’twill take to read it thro.

Some read it for the wonders that are there— how David killed a lion and a bear.

While others read it with uncommon care, hoping to find some contradictions there!

Some read as though it did not speak to them, but to the people at Jerusalem.

One reads it as a book of mysteries and won’t believe the very thing he sees.

One reads with father’s specs upon his head and sees the thing just as his father said.

Some read to prove a pre-adopted creed, hence understand but little that they read.

For every passage in the book they bend to make it suit that all-important end!

Some people read, as I have often thought, to teach the Book, instead of being taught.

And some there are who read it out of spite— I fear there are but few who read aright.

So many people in these latter days have read the Bible in so many ways

That few can tell which system is the best for every party contradicts the rest!

But read it prayerfully and you will see, although men contradict, God’s words agree.

For what the early Bible prophets wrote, we find that Christ and his Apostles quote.

So trust no creed that trembles to recall what was then penned and verified by all.


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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10