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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thoughts on the Bible

“If we once get above our Bibles, and cease making the written word of God our sole rule both as to faith and practice, we shall soon lie open to all manner of delusion, and be in great danger of making shipwreck of faith and a good conscience. Our blessed Lord, though he had the Spirit of God without measure, yet always was governed by, and fought the devil with, ‘It is written'.”

(George Whitefield, “Walking with God”)

“All men now presume to criticize the gospel. Almost every old doting fool or prating sophist must, forsooth, be a doctor in divinity. All other arts and sciences have masters, of whom people must learn, and rules and regulations which must be observed and obeyed; the Holy Scripture only, God’s Word, must be subject to each man’s pride and presumption; hence; so many sects, seducers, and offences.

I did not learn my divinity at once, but was constrained by my temptations to search deeper and deeper; for no man, without trials and temptations, can attain a true understanding of the Holy Scriptures. St Paul had a devil that beat him with fists, and with temptations drove him diligently to study the Holy Scripture. I had hanging on my neck the pope, the universities, all the deep-learned, and the devil; these hunted me into the Bible, wherein I sedulously read, and thereby, God be praised, at length attained a true understanding of it. Without such a devil, we are but only speculators of divinity, and according to our vain reasoning, dream that so and so it must be, as the monks and friars in monasteries do. The Holy Scripture of itself is certain and true; God grant me grace to
catch hold of its just use.”

(Martin Luther, “Table Talk,” LXI, LXII)

“[W]e do not err when we believe that no Scripture is exhausted by a single explanation. The flowers of God’s garden, bloom not only double, but sevenfold—they are continually pouring forth fresh fragrance.”

(Charles Spurgeon, “The Sure Mercies of David”)

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