MILK YOUR OWN COW by HA Ironside
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2)
Patrick was an Irish Catholic, who for years had longed for the assurance of peace with God. A visiting tourist, who fell in conversation with him, left him a copy of the New Testament. Through reading this, Pat was brought to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and from that time on, read and studied his Testament with eagerness, ever seeking a deeper knowledge of the things of God.
The parish priest, who had missed him from the regular services, called on him and found him deep in the study of the Word.
“Pat,” he asked, “what is that book you are reading?”
“Sure, your reverence,” was the reply, “it’s the New Testament.”
In horrified accents the priest exclaimed, “The New Testament! Why, Pat, that’s not a book for the likes of you. You’ll be getting all kinds of wild notions from reading it and will be running off into heresy.”
“But, your reverence,” remonstrated Pat, “I have just been reading here - it’s the blessed apostle Peter himself that wrote it - ‘As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,’ and sure it’s a newborn babe in Christ I am and it’s the milk of the Word I’m after. So I can’t see the harm of reading the Testament.”
“Ah,” said the priest, “It’s perfect true, Patrick, that you need the milk of the Word, but the Almighty has appointed the clergy to be the milkmen. The clergy go to the college and the seminary and learn the meaning of the Word and then when the people come to the church we give it to them as they are able to bear it, and explain it in a way that they won’t misunderstand.”
“Well, sure, your reverence,” said Pat, “you know I keep a cow of me own out there in the barn, and when I was sick, sometime ago, I had to hire a man to milk the cow and I soon found he was stealin’ half the milk and fillin’ half the bucket up with water, and sure it was awful weak milk I was gettin’. But now that I am well again I have let him go and I am milkin’ me own cow, and so it’s the rich cream I am gettin’ once more. And your reverence, when I was dependin’ on you for the milk of the Word, sure it was the blue, watery stuff you were given’ me. But now I am milkin’ me own cow and enjoyin’ the cream of the Word all the time.”
We may well emulate Patrick and each for himself milk his own cow and thus get God’s Word firsthand as He opens it up by the Holy Spirit.
note: For centuries the Catholic leadership did not allow the laity to read the bible and actually persecuted those who translated it and made it available. It was only with the inevitable results of widespread printing that they were forced to allow men to read it. Today the hindrance is that the reader cannot interpret it for himself, as Rome only allows the interpretation that Rome gives. These are historical facts, and not based on an anti catholic bias of some sort.