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Puritan Catechism Question of the Week
Q 16. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Give Thyself Unto Reading

Ligon Duncan over at the T4G blog quoted an excellent excerpt from Spurgeon. I recommend reading Duncan's whole post, but I will only reproduce the quotation from Spurgeon here. It is quite a dandy!

Referring to this verse:
2 Timothy 4:13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments.

Spurgeon says:

How rebuked are they by the apostle! He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a man to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, "GIVE THYSELF UNTO READING."

The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. YOU need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master's service. Paul cries, "Bring the books"join in the cry.

Paul herein is a picture of industry. He is in prison; he cannot preach: WHAT will he do? As he cannot preach, he will read. As we read of the fishermen of old and their boats. The fishermen were gone out of them. What were they doing? Mending their nets. So if providence has laid you upon a sick bed, and you cannot teach your classif you cannot be working for God in public, mend your nets by reading. If one occupation is taken from you, take another, and let the books of the apostle read you a lesson of industry" (from Spurgeon'’s sermon #542 "PAUL - His Cloak And His Books" in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 9 (1863): 668-669).

In Christ alone,


Blogger Puritan Belief said...

So appropriate.

Paul the writer of so many books in the new testament wanting books is such a grand idea and thought.

Spurgeon brings one idea out here which is so encouraging for us to follow.

I would like to add another thought if I may.

When Paul was preparing a sermon do you think he would have just went there and said it without preperation? I would think not. I would say he would have went to the bible (The words which the Lord wrote through him) studied His own writings for they are (God inspired 2 Timoth 3:16) and then from this he would have delievered his sermon. He would have quoted these words. For they are scripture. His own fleshly words would and could have been severely tainted so I think like us Paul would have continually reverted back to the scripture.

Just a thought

6:02 PM  

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