As the Scriptures are inspired, so, if faithfully used, do they become life-awakening and soul-inspiring. As they are living, their pupil is living likewise ; as they are wise and loving, he is changed into the same image from strength to strength, and from glory to glory. . . .
But in order that the inspiration in the Bible may become inspiration in us, we must read, and muse, till the fire burns. The deep book must be read with our deepest mind. “If the well is deep, and we have nothing to draw with, from whence then can we have that living water ?” Voltaire confessed that he had not even read the whole of the book upon which he poured out such a merciless scorn. Other infidels have confessed to a similar neglect. We say, then, for honesty’s sake, give as much study to your theology as you do to your geology or astronomy, your navigation, engineering, or farming, and “hasten slowly” in making up a final judgment on a collection of books so various, so reverend, and so ancient. But if you weigh it carefully, and drink in its spirit, if you read and re-read its Job and its John, and consider its moral tables and golden rules, and exult in its songs, and hush your heart with its prayers, and descend depth after depth into the passion and pathos of Jesus, and, after all this spiritual process, you still find it to be only a bundle of Jewish and old wives’ fables, then you will have falsified, we do not say the highest yearnings and moral instincts of your own being, but the colossal testimony of the ages, the innermost experience of the wisest men of the Christian ages.
— Abiel Abbot Livermore, “The Bible, Inspired and Inspiring”