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30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

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28. He read Esaias. The reading of the prophet showeth that the eunuch did not worship a God unadvisedly, according to the understanding of his own head, whom he had reigned to himself, but whom he knew by the doctrine of the law. And surely this is the right way to worship God, not to snatch at bare and vain rites, but to adjoin the word thereunto, otherwise there shall be nothing but that which cometh by chance and is confused. And certainly the form of worshipping prescribed in the law differeth nothing from the inventions of men, save only because God giveth light there by his word. Therefore, those which are God’s scholars do worship aright only, that is, those who are taught in his school. But he seemeth to lose his labor when he readeth without profit. For he confesseth that he cannot understand the prophet’s meaning, unless he be helped by some other teacher. I answer, as he read the prophet with a desire to learn, so he hoped for some fruit, and he found it indeed. Therefore, why doth he deny that he can understand the place which he had in hand? For because 544544     “Nempe... agnoscit,” namely, he acknowledgeth. he manifestly confesseth his ignorance in darker places. There be many things in Isaiah which need no long exposition, as when he preacheth of the goodness and power of God, partly that he may invite men unto faith, partly that he may exhort and teach them to lead a godly life. Therefore, no man shall be so rude an idiot 545545     “Idiota,” unlearned. which shall not profit somewhat by reading that book, and yet, notwithstanding, he shall, peradventure, scarce understand every tenth verse. Such was the eunuch’s reading. For seeing that, according to his capacity, he gathered those things which served to edification, he had some certain profit by his studies. Nevertheless, though he were ignorant of many things, 546546     “Si multa eum latebant,” though many things escaped him, were hidden from him. yet was he not wearied, so that he did cast away the book. Thus must we also read the Scriptures. We must greedily, and with a prompt mind, receive those things which are plain, and wherein God openeth his mind. As for those things which are hid from us, we must pass them over until we see greater light. And if we be not wearied with reading, it shall at length come to pass that the Scripture shall be made more familiar by continual use.




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