Daily Riches: Spiritual Formation and the Love of Books (Henry Ward Beecher and Charles H. Spurgeon)

“Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore?” Henry Ward Beecher

“He was inspired, and yet he wants books!
He had been preaching for thirty years, and yet he wants books!
He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books!
He had a wider experience than most men do, and yet he wants books!
He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things that it was not lawful for a man to utter, and yet he wants books!
He had written a major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!” Charles Haddon Spurgeon on the Apostle Paul

“Give yourself to reading. …Master those books you have. Read them thoroughly. Bathe in them until they saturate you. Read and reread them…digest them. Let them go into your very self. Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading. Some men are disabled from thinking by their putting meditation away for the sake of much reading. In reading let your motto be ‘much not many.’” Spurgeon

 “When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus,
and the books, especially the parchments.”
2 Timothy 4:13

“But beyond this, my son, be warned:
the writing of many books is endless,
and excessive devotion to books
is wearying to the body.”
Ecclesiastes 12:12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do agree that both reading too little or reading too much can be a problem?
  • Do you carve out time to read regularly and deeply? Do you also read widely – e.g., interacting with authors from other times, other continents, other cultures – people’s whose temperament, race, gender, economic status, politics or religion is very different from yours?
  • Can you relate to the danger of “putting meditation away for the sake of much reading?” If this is a temptation for you, what is behind it? What exactly is the danger for you?

Abba, thank you for all the men and women whose books I turn to again and again. Their words help me to hear your Words. Draw me closer to you through them.

For More:  Lectures to My Students by Charles H. Spurgeon

These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”



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