A man may be well versed in Scripture, both in the English and in the original tongue; he may be accustomed to read the best of commentaries, and be acquainted with Eastern manners, and yet he may be quite ignorant as to the word of God. For the understanding of this Book, as to its depth of meaning, does not lie within the range of natural learning and human research; reason alone is blinded by the excess of light, and wanders in darkness at noon day; for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Before my conversion I was accustomed to read the Scriptures, to admire their grandeur, to feel the charm of their history, and wonder at the majesty of their language; but I altogether missed the Lord’s intent therein; but when the Spirit came with his divine life, and quickened all the page to my newly-enlightened soul, the inner meaning shone forth with quickening glory. The Bible is to many carnal minds almost as dull a book for reading as an untranslated Latin work would be to an ignorant ploughman [ed. - plowman], because they cannot get at the internal sense, which is to the words as juice to the grape, or the kernel to the nut. It is a tantalising riddle till you get the key; but the clue once found, the volume of our Father’s grace absorbs our attention, delights our intellect, and enriches our heart.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Hidden Manna," delivered March 12, 1871. Image by Ian Muttoo under Creative Commons License.