I ran across this excerpt in the book “Creeds of the Churches” in the section on Protestant creeds, as part of “Certain Sermons or Homilies, Appointed to be read in churches in the time of the late Queen Elizabeth of famous memory.”
It’s by a guy by the name of Thomas Cranmer, who was Archbishop of Canterbury during Henry VIII and Edward VI. He’s considered one of the founders of Anglican thought.
Anyway, enjoy this excerpt from his second sermon in the series, entitled, “The Second Part of the Sermon of the Knowledge of Holy Scripture.”
“If we profess Christ, why be we not ashamed to be ignorant in his doctrine? seeing that every man is ashamed to be ignorant in that learning which he professeth. That man is ashamed to be called a philosopher which readeth not the books of philosophy, and to be called a lawyer, an astronomer, or a physicican, that is ignorant in the books of law, astronomy, and physic. How can any man then say that he professeth Christ and his religion, if he will not apply himself (as far forth as he can or may conveniently) to read and hear, and so to know the books of Christ’s gospel and doctrine? Although other sciences be good, and to be learned, yet no man can deny but this is the chief, and passeth all other incomparably. What excuse shall we therefore make, at the last day before Christ, that delight to read or hear men’s fantasies and inventions, more than his most holy Gospel? and will find no time to do that which chiefly, above all things, we should do, and will rather read other things than that, for the which we ought rather to leave reading of all other things. Let us therefore apply ourselves, as far forth as we can have time and leisure, to know God’s word, by diligent hearing and reading thereof, as many as profess God, and have faith and trust in him. “