An exhortation to read Holy Scripture
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, ESV)
Westminster Shorter Catechism Question & Answer # 90:
Q. 90. How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
A. That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receive it with faith and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.
“If we profess Christ, why be we not ashamed to be ignorant of his doctrine? Seeing that every man is ashamed to be ignorant in that learning which he professeth. That man is ashamed to be called a philosopher which readeth not the books of philosophy, and to be called a lawyer, an astronomer, or a physician, that is ignorant in the books of law, astronomy, and physic. How can any man then say that he professeth Christ and his religion, if he will not apply himself (as far forth as he can or may conveniently) to read and hear, and so to know the books of Christ’s gospel and doctrine? Although other sciences be good, and to be learned, yet no man can deny but this is the chief, and passeth all other incomparably. What excuse shall we therefore make, at the last day before Christ, that delight to read or hear men’s fancies and inventions, more than his most holy gospel? and will find no time to do that, which chiefly, above all things, we should do; and will rather read other things than that, for the which we ought rather to leave reading of all other things? Let us therefore apply ourselves, as far forth as we can have time and leisure, to know God’s word, by diligent hearing and reading thereof, as many as profess God, and have faith and trust in him.” Source: “The Second Part of the Sermon of the Knowledge of Holy Scripture”, p. 5 in The Book of Homilies (Various Anglican Divines; Printed by The Prayer Book and Homily Society, London, 1852: Nahosh House Press, fascimile reprint 2013)