Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Learning Scripture by heart

I'm a great believer in memorising texts, the better to appreciate and understand them, though it gets harder and harder to do as you get older.  Nevertheless, as you can see from this extract, I'm in good company. 

From the additional notes to Charles Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, on Psalm 119 verse 72.

You that are gentlemen, remember what Hierom reports of Nepotianus, a young gentleman of Rome, qui longs et assidua meditatione Scripturarum pectus suum feterat bibliothecam Christi, who by long and assiduous meditation of the Scriptures, made his breast the library of Christ. Remember what is said of King Alfonsus, that he read over the Bible fourteen times, together with such commentaries as those times afforded.
You that are scholars, remember Cranmer and Ridley; the former learned the New Testament by heart in his journey to Rome, the latter in Pembroke hall walks in Cambridge. Remember what is said of Thomas a Kempis, — that he found rest nowhere nisi in angulo, cum libello, but in a corner with this Book in his hand. And what is said of Beza, — that when he was above fourscore years old he could say perfectly by heart any Greek chapter in Paul's Epistles.
You that are women, consider what Hierom saith of Paula, Eustochiam, and other ladies, who were singularly versed in the Holy Scriptures.
Let all men consider that hyperbolical speech of Luther, that he would not live in Paradise without the Word; and with it he could live well enough in hell. This speech of Luther must be understood cum grano salis. — Edmund Calamy
[or possibly his father, also called Edmund]
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