“We are not merely to study the Word for the comfort of it, and the suitableness to the conscience. As man is a reasonable creature, he will delight in knowledge; and as he has a conscience which presages death and judgment to come, he may delight in the comfort of it. Many search out promises, but do not love precepts. The stony ground seem to have a joy; they may delight in the comfortable part of religion, but this joy comes to nothing—this gladsome forward spring is no sure prognostication of a plentiful harvest. Then only do we receive the Word aright when we look to the holy part, and mortify our natural desires and affections. Many deal with the Word as great men do with fleshly companions—willing to entertain them at their tables—to hear their discourse, because of the pleasantness of their mirth; but to enter into bonds for them, and discharge them from debt, or better their fortunes, that they will not do. So many will give Christ and the Word, especially the comfortable part of it, entertainment; but they are loath to take the duty of the Gospel unto themselves. Therefore it is not enough to study the Word merely that we may cherish our own persons with the comforting part of it, but we must also study the holy part and that which does require our duty. Then let us labor to hide the Word in our hearts as David did: that we may not sin against God.” (Thomas Manton)
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