The end of study is information, and the end of meditation is practice, or a work upon the affections. Study is like a winter sun that shines but does not warm, but meditation is like blowing up the fire, where we do not mind the blaze but the heat. The end of study is to hoard up truth, but of meditation to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation. In study, we are rather like vintners that take in wine to store themselves for sale; in meditation, like those that buy wine for their own use and comfort. A vintner’s cellar may be better stored than a nobleman’s; the student may have more of notion and knowledge, but the practical Christian has more of taste and refreshment.Thomas Manton (1620-1677)
We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God by its miraculous preservation in all ages. The holy Scriptures are the richest jewel that Christ has left us; and the church of God has so kept these public records of heaven, that they have not been lost…The letter of Scripture has been preserved without any corruption, in the original tongue. The Scriptures were not corrupted before Christ’s time, for then Christ would not have sent the Jews to them. He said, ‘Search the Scriptures.’ He knew these sacred springs were not muddied with human fancies.A Body of Divinity, 27
What is the best safeguard against false teaching? Beyond all doubt the regular study of the Word of God, with prayer for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was given to be a lamp to our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). The man who reads it aright will never be allowed greatly to err. It is neglect of the Bible which makes so many a prey to the first false teacher whom they hear. They would have us believe that “they are not learned, and do not claim to have definite opinions.” The plain truth is that they are lazy and idle about reading the Bible, and do not like the trouble of thinking for themselves. Nothing supplies false prophets with followers so much as spiritual sloth under a cloak of humility.J. C. Ryle
Wheresoever God’s Word hath supreme authority, where Christ Jesus is affirmed, preached, and received to be the only Savior of the world, where his sacraments are truly ministered, and, finally, where his Word ruleth … there is the true kirk of Christ Jesus.
A letter to his brethren in Scotland, dated December 1, 1557 in Select Practical Writings of John Knox.
Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God, I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
April 18, 1521 in protest at the Diet of Worms
As recorded in Roland Bainton, Here I Stand, 180.