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 to bring themselves into repute,
By showing others how they can dispute;
While others read because their neighbors 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 if it did not speak to them,
But to the people of Jerusalem.
One reads with his father’s specs upon his head,
And sees the thing just as his father said.
Some read to prove a preadopted 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 that there are but few who read it right.
But read it prayerfully, and you will see,
Although men contradict, God’s words agree…
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