I am afraid that the plain, practical duty of reading their Bibles is getting to be a much-neglected duty among professing Christian people.  I do not know how you are to keep the words of Christ’s patience in your hearts and minds if you do not read them.  I am afraid that most Christian congregations, nowadays, do their systematic and prayerful study of the New Testament by proxy and expect their ministers to read the Bible for them and tell them what is there. . .I am afraid that newspapers and circulating libraries and magazines and little religious books – very good in their way, but secondary and subordinate – have taken the place that our fathers used to have filled by honest reading of God’s Word.  And. . .I believe it is a very large part of the reason why so many professing Christians do not come up to this standard and, instead of “running with patience the race that is set before them” walk in an extraordinarily leisurely fashion, by fits and starts – and sometimes with long intervals – in which they sit still on the road are are not a mile farther at a year’s end than they were when it began.  There never was, and there never will be, vigorous Christian life unless there be an honest and habitual study of God’s Word.  There is no short cut by which Christians can reach the end of the race. – Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), commenting on Revelation 3.10.

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