9 Quotes From “Bible Reading”

J.C. RyleJ.C. Ryle’s book Bible Reading has a question repeated all throughout the book: What are you doing with the Bible? do you read it? how do you read it? This is a book that will challenge and encourage both the Bible-reading novice, and the Bible-reading veteran. You can read my full book review by clicking here. Below are some quotes that I highlighted in this powerful little book.

“This is the Book to which the civilized world is indebted for many of its best and most praiseworthy institutions. Few probably are aware how many good things that men have adopted for the public benefit, of which the origin may be clearly traced to the Bible. It has left lasting marks wherever it has been received. From the Bible are drawn many of the best laws by which society is kept in order. From the Bible has been obtained the standard of morality about truth, honesty, and the relations of man and wife, which prevails among Christian nations, and which—however feebly respected in many case—makes so great a difference between Christians and heathen.” 

“The Bible applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit is the grand instrument by which souls are first converted to God. That mighty change is generally begun by some text or doctrine of the Word, brought home to a man’s conscience. In this way the Bible has worked moral miracles by the thousands. It has made drunkards become sober—immoral people become pure—thieves become honest and violent-tempered people become meek. It has wholly altered the course of men’s lives.”

“The Bible can show a believer how to walk in this world so as to please God. It can teach him how to glorify Christ in all the relationships of life, and can make him a good leader, employee, subordinate, husband, father, or son. It can enable him to bear misfortunes and loss without murmuring, and say, ‘It is well.’ It can enable him to look down into the grave, and say, ‘I will fear no evil’ (Psalm 23:4). It can enable him to think about judgment and eternity, and not feel afraid. It can enable him to bear persecution without flinching and to give up liberty and life rather than deny Christ’s truth.” 

“The Lord God knows the weakness and infirmities of our poor fallen understandings. He knows that, even after conversion, our perceptions of right and wrong are extremely vague. He knows how artfully satan can overlay error with an appearance of truth, and can dress up wrong with plausible arguments, till it looks like right. Knowing all this, He has mercifully provided us with an unerring standard of truth and error, right and wrong, and has taken care to make that standard a written Book—the Scripture.”

“A man must make the Bible alone his rule. He must receive nothing and believe nothing which is not according to the Word. He must try all religious teaching by one simple test—Does it square with the Bible? What does the Scripture say?” 

“A false minister may say, ‘You have no right to use your private judgment: leave the Bible to us who are ordained.’ A true minister will say, ‘Search the Scriptures, and if I do not teach you what is scriptural, do not believe me.’ A false minister may cry, ‘Listen to the Church,’ and ‘Listen to me.’ A true minister will say, ‘Listen to the Word of God.’”

“Love of the Word appears preeminently in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He read it publicly. He quoted it continually. He expounded it frequently. He advised the Jews to search it. He used it as His weapon to resist the devil. He repeatedly said, ‘The Scripture must be fulfilled.’ Almost the last thing He did was to ‘open their minds so they could understand the Scriptures’ (Luke 24:45). I am afraid that man cannot be a true servant of Christ, who has not something of his Master’s mind and feeling towards the Bible.” 

“Read the Bible with Christ continually in view. The primary object of all Scripture is to testify about Jesus: Old Testament ceremonies are shadows of Christ; Old Testament judges and deliverers are types of Christ; Old Testament history shows the world’s need of Christ; Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s sufferings; Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s glory yet to come. … All these shine forth everywhere in the Bible. Remember this clue, if you would read the Bible right.”

“Let us resolve to read the Bible more and more every year we live. Let us try to get it rooted in our memories, and engraved into our hearts. … Let us resolve to be more watchful over our Bible reading every year that we live. Let us be jealously careful about the time we give to it, and the manner that time is spent. Let us be aware of omitting our daily reading without sufficient cause. Let us not be gaping, and yawning and dozing over our book, while we read. … Let us be very careful that we never exalt any minister, or sermon, or book, or tract, or friend above the Word. Cursed be that book, or tract, or human counsel, which creeps in between us and the Bible, and hides the Bible from our eyes! … Let us resolve to talk more to believers about the Bible when we meet them. Sorry to say, the conversation of Christians, when they do meet, is often sadly unprofitable! How many frivolous, and trifling, and uncharitable things are said! Let us bring out the Bible more, and it will help to drive the devil away, and keep our hearts in tune.”

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