Language of Those Who Neglect the Bible

Edward PaysonNo man will ever voluntarily neglect to make himself acquainted with the contents of a message sent to him by one whom he acknowledges as his superior, or on whom he feels himself to be dependent. Let a subject receive a communication from his acknowledged sovereign, and as it claims, so it will receive his immediate attention. Nor will he, especially if it contains various and important instructions, think a hasty perusal of it sufficient. No, he will study it till he feels confident that he is acquainted with its contents, and understands their import. At least equally certain, and equally evident is it, that every man whose heart acknowledges God to be his rightful Sovereign, and who believes that the Scriptures contain a revelation from him, will study them attentively, study them till he feels confident that he understands their contents, and that they have made him wise unto salvation. The man who does not thus study them, who negligently suffers them to lie, for days and weeks, unopened, says, more explicitly than any words can say, I am Lord; God is not my Sovereign; I am not his subject, nor do I consider it important to know what he requires of me. Carry his messages to those who are subject to him, and they will, perhaps, pay them some attention.

-Edward Payson (1783-1827), The Works of Edward Payson, vol. 1