Over the years I’ve gotten in the habit of inserting photos and papers between the pages of my Bible. That’s one reason the book's hard cover has weakened from the abundance of things (not only photos but pens, church bulletins, notes for teaching, devotionals like The Upper Room) stuffed into the text. I even keep photographs of favorite places. I’ve also a photocopy of the following John Wesley quote. His words emphasize the joys and peace of Bible reading which, over the years, I’ve sought and discovered.
I want to know one thing—the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God Himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri [“a person of one book”]. Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone: only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights: “Lord, is it not Thy word, ‘If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God’? Thou ‘givest liberally, and upbraidest not.’ [James 1:5] Thou hast said, ‘If any be willing to do Thy will, he shall know.’ [John 7:17} I am willing to do, let me know, Thy Will.” I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I meditate thereon with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains I consult those who are experienced in the things of God; and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.(1)
1. From John Wesley’s Theology Today by Colin W. Williams (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1960), page 24. Williams used his own book for the course I took in Methodist theology back in 1982.
Although Wesley wanted to be a person of one book, he didn’t limit himself to that single book but also read widely and eagerly, and authorized his preachers to love reading, too. Williams, page 25.