How Readest Thou?

It is one thing to read the Bible through,

Another thing to read to learn and do.

Some read it with design to learn to read,

But to the subject pay but little heed.

Some read it as their duty once a week,

But no instruction from the Bible seek;

While others read it with but little care,

With no regard to how they read, nor where.

Some read it as a history, to know

How people lived three thousand years ago.

Some read to bring themselves into repute,

By showing others how they can dispute;

While others read because their neighbours do,

To see how long ’twill take to read it through.

Some read it for the wonders that are there,-

How David killed a lion and a bear;

While others read it with uncommon care,

Hoping to find some contradictions there!

Some read as though it did not speak to them,

But to the people at Jerusalem.

One reads it as a book of mysteries,

And won’t believe the very thing he sees.

One reads with father’s specs upon his head,

And sees the thing just as his father said.

Some read to prove a pre-adopted creed,

Hence understand but little that they read;

For every passage in the book they bend,

To make it suit that all-important end!

Some people read, as I have often thought,

To teach the book instead of being taught,

And some there are who read it out of spite-

I fear there are but few who read it right.

So, many people in these latter days,

Have read the Bible in so many ways

That few can tell which system is the best,

For every party contradicts the rest!

But read it prayerfully, and you will see,

Although men contradict, God’s words agree.

For what the early Bible prophets wrote

We find that Christ and His apostles quote:

So trust no creed that trembles to recall

What has been penned by one and verified by all.

From “Special Bible Subject Helps: A Guide to Bible Truth and Exposition of Bible Prophecy” by H.M.S. Richards.  Pub: William Collins, New York.

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