By Mrs. E. G. White
The Bible, with its precious gems of truth, was not written for the scholar alone. On the contrary, it was designed for the common people. The poor man needs it as much as the rich man, the unlearned as much as the learned. It is a great mistake for ministers to give people the impression that they can not understand the teachings of the Word of God, and should be content with the interpretation given by those whose business it is to proclaim the Word of God. Ministers who thus educate the people are themselves in error. To him who loves the truth, the Word of God is as a light shining in a dark place, pointing out the path so plainly that the wayfaring man, tho a fool, need not err therein.
The uneducated man, in earnest desire of soul, may in humility and simplicity reap from the Bible far greater consolation than the more highly educated man. He may never be able to present the same evidences of the inspiration of the Word that a learned man could, but he can bear in his life a testimony that will have greater power than any other testimony in convincing men and women of the power of the truths of God’s Word.
It is God’s purpose that the poor and uneducated shall have, in His Word, a sure guide in the path of righteousness. If they are sincere, and desire earnestly to know the will of God, they will not be left in darkness. It is the privilege of every one to understand the Word of God for himself. The great truths necessary for salvation are made as clear as noonday; and none need mistake and lose their way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the plainly revealed will of God. A single text has proved in the past, and will prove in the future, to be a savor of life unto life to many a soul. As men diligently search, the Bible opens new treasures of truth, which are as bright jewels to the mind.
If the unlearned are not capable of understanding the Bible, then the mission of Christ to our world was useless; for He says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”
The command to search the Scriptures, Christ addressed not only to the scribes and Pharisees, but to the great multitude of the common people, who crowded about Him. If the Bible is not to be understood by every class of people, whether they be rich or poor, what would be the need of the Saviour’s charge to search the Scriptures? What profit would there be in searching that which could never be understood? What would be the consistency of this command, if the searching of the Scriptures would not dispel the clouds of error, or lead to an understanding of the revealed will of God?
Let every one who has been blessed with reasoning faculties take up the Bible and search its pages, that he may understand the will of God concerning him. In this Book divine instruction is given to all. The Bible is addressed to every one—to every class of society, to those of every clime and age. Every one should read the Bible for himself. Do not depend on the minister to read it for you. The Bible is God’s Word to you. And Christ has made this Word so plain that in reading it, no one need misunderstand. Let the humble cottager read and understand the Word given by the wisest Teacher the world has ever known, and among kings, governors, statesmen, there is none greater than He.