Christian World Pulpit
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…
All our practical knowledge of God is comprised in the Bible. The Bible then ought to be to us that which the chart and the compass are to the mariner on a stormy ocean; we have absolutely no other guide, no other directory to our course. In what light, then, do we practically regard the Bible? Is it enough to possess the Scriptures, to have been instructed out of the Scriptures in infancy, to hear them read in public worship, to have a general approbation of their contents? Would it be satisfactory to the mariner merely to possess a compass on board his vessel; to have received information as to its use in infancy, to admire its utility, or to discourse sometimes publicly of its merits; meanwhile he is driving on, it may be, to rocks, to shoals, to sands, or quite away from his course? But how many an individual lives in this precise manner, as to his use of the Scriptures! Day passes after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, and God marks not his anxious eye pondering over this chart of life. Politics, science, poetry, history, it may be lighter productions — these can arrest his attention and interest his mind; but the Bible which notifies the waymarks to eternity — this excites no interest. And yet such a person perhaps expects God's favour — expects to reach the harbour of endless peace, and never even dreams of the probability of intervening shipwreck! Mournful and inconsistent expectations! Many, however, are to be found who are by no means chargeable with this entire neglect of the Scriptures. Some have, from infancy, acquired regular habits of reading the Bible, and peruse, as a daily or at least as a weekly task, their allotted chapters. But they do this oftentimes without anxiety, and without progress in religious knowledge. The fact of reading is to them more important than the contents which they read. They manifest no submission of the heart to God's teaching — no godly diligence to lay up in the soul His statutes and promises. Eternity fastens not upon their thoughts — the wonders of redeeming love attract not their affections. They read with coldness, and languor, and unconcern. There is no scrutiny as to the effect of their knowledge — as to the conformity of their views, and sentiments, and habits, with the decisions and intentions of God! The heart makes no progress in its voyage — it is no nearer to God — no nearer to the dispositions of Heaven than it was many years ago. Think again of the mariner — his eye glances daily upon his compass — or once a week he fixes his look upon the needle; but he uses not the helm — he brings not the vessel into the prescribed course I As well then might the compass be cast into the depths of the sea I Now, it is evident that this is not the use of the Scriptures which God demands — this is not to possess any anxiety as to the knowledge of God's will. Those who thus neglect, or thus imperfectly respect the Scriptures, are not among those who "work out their salvation with fear and trembling."
(Christian World Pulpit.)
Parallel VersesKJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: