Wednesday, February 22, 2006

W. B. Johnson (1792-1863) on reading the New Testament

from "The Gospel Developed" in Polity: Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life: A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents


"The New Testament is comparatively a small book, and can be deliberately read through in two days’ continuous reading. It will be practicable, then, to read this book through once a month with care, so that a comprehensive view of the whole may be obtained in that time. And if such a reading of this book was to be observed once a month, it would be read through twelve times in a year. And what an acquaintance with the commands of Christ would be received in this period of time. And if to this frequency of reading this book, prayer, spiritual, fervent prayer for the aid of the Holy Spirit, be added, and if, when believers met, they would talk about what they had read, and assist each other in understanding it, and yet again, if they would faithfully obey the teachings of that book as fast as they learn them, who could calculate the amount of knowledge which they would acquire—knowledge, not speculative, but practical, spiritual, sanctifying—in one year? O! what a different aspect would the churches then present! What a moral power would they exert upon the world, for they would then be removed from the false position in which they now too generally appear, and occupy their right position."

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Immoderate: W. B. Johnson (1792-1863) on reading the New Testament

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

W. B. Johnson (1792-1863) on reading the New Testament

from "The Gospel Developed" in Polity: Biblical Arguments on How to Conduct Church Life: A Collection of Historic Baptist Documents


"The New Testament is comparatively a small book, and can be deliberately read through in two days’ continuous reading. It will be practicable, then, to read this book through once a month with care, so that a comprehensive view of the whole may be obtained in that time. And if such a reading of this book was to be observed once a month, it would be read through twelve times in a year. And what an acquaintance with the commands of Christ would be received in this period of time. And if to this frequency of reading this book, prayer, spiritual, fervent prayer for the aid of the Holy Spirit, be added, and if, when believers met, they would talk about what they had read, and assist each other in understanding it, and yet again, if they would faithfully obey the teachings of that book as fast as they learn them, who could calculate the amount of knowledge which they would acquire—knowledge, not speculative, but practical, spiritual, sanctifying—in one year? O! what a different aspect would the churches then present! What a moral power would they exert upon the world, for they would then be removed from the false position in which they now too generally appear, and occupy their right position."

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