Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Burgon on the Scriptures

"...while you read,--safe from the risk of interruption...and with every faculty intent on your task,--try, as much as possible to go over the words as if they were new to you; and watch them, one by one, so that nothing may by any possibility escape your notice. Do not slumber over a single word. Nothing can be unimportant when it is the HOLY GHOST who speaketh. It is an excellent practice to mark the expressions which strike you; for it is a method of preserving the memory of what is sure else soon to pass away.

"And next, be persuaded to read without extraneous helps of any kind...

"But then, though you are entreated not to have recourse to the notes of others, you are as strongly advised to make brief memoranda of your own: and the briefer the better. Construct your own table of the Patriarchs,--your own analysis of the Law,--your own descent of the Kings,--your own enumeration of the Miracles. A pedigree full of faults, made by yourself, will do you more good than the most accurate table drawn up by another: but if you are at all attentive and clever, it will not be full of faults.--You will perhaps make the parables 56 instead of 30: you will have gained 26 by your honest industry. Nay keep a record of your difficulties, if you please; or of anything which strikes you, and which you would be sorry to forget. But, as a rule, it is well to write little, and to give your time and thought to the record before you...

"...Feel persuaded that details, seemingly the driest, are full of GOD. Remember that the difference between every syllable of Scripture and all other books in the world is, not a difference of degree, but of kind. All books but one are human: that one book is Divine!"

From a sermon by John William Burgon

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