How to Read the Scripture

If you desire to read the scripture in such a manner as may most effectually answer this end, would it not be advisable,

1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose?
2. At each time if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old, and one out of the New Testament: if you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one?
3. To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixt resolution to do it? In order to know his will, you should,
4. Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith; the connexion and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines, Original Sin, Justification by Faith, the New Birth, Inward and Outward Holiness.
5. Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used, before we consult the oracles of God, seeing "scripture can only be understood thro' the same Spirit whereby it was given." Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts.
6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen short.

And whatever light you then receive, should be used to the uttermost, and that immediately. Let there be no delay. Whatever you resolve, begin to execute the first moment you can. So shall you find this word to be indeed the power of God unto present and eternal salvation.


John said...

I like to begin my devotional Bible reading with the prayer of the Venerable Bede:

May your spirit, o Christ, lead me in the right way, keeping me safe from all forces of evil and destruction. And free from all malice, may I search diligently in your holy Word to discover with with the eyes of my mind your commandments. Finally give me the strength of will to put those commandments into practice through all the days of my life. Amen.

Brother Marty said...

Reverend Wesley,

How dificult it is for us all to remove ourselves from the world around us to indulge in daily reflections as you suggest. You must be in a position of favour amongst those who finance your work in the name of our lord.

But, yield to your supplications I will. No matter how difficult to manage the time, the circumstance, or the audience, I will yield to the Word of God, and exhort His will to those who come for enlightenment. And if they come for some other reason, may the enlightenment of Our Lord fall upon them.

Brother Marty