I’d like to devote a few blogs over the next couple of weeks to offering a condensation of a 1909 book, How to Memorize. It’s by the prolific author, William Evans, an English-born Bible teacher connected with the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA). His ministry spanned the first half of the twentieth century. I’m indebted to friend, Dr. Lee Cope of Jackson, Mississippi, for giving me a copy of this classic book about Scripture memory, published by The Bible Institute Colportage Association of Chicago. Since it’s out of print and because most readers don’t have time to search out and read the whole thing, I’ve prepared a “reader’s digest” version. Here are chapters 1 and 2.
Chapter 1: The Importance of Having a Good Memory
Of what profit is all our wisdom, reading, and study if we are unable to preserve the knowledge we’ve acquired? Memory enriches the mind by preserving the results of our study and learning. It’s the basis of all knowledge and the treasurer of the mind.
Chapter 2: The Need of Cultivating the Memory
The inability to recall a thought or passage when needed has been a source of discomfort to many students. How often, on the other hand, has the ability to recall the desired passage been a means of strength in argument and a lifting up to a high place of worth in the estimation of those with whom we deal and among whom we work. The other day a letter came from a minister in Michigan speaking of the value of knowing the Scriptures by heart. An infidel in his town had been able to argue successfully with all the ministers in the place. He gloried in the fact that he had beaten the ministers in their own arguments and that they had failed to convince him of the truth of the Bible. At last, however, he met his equal. It was a young student who knew much of the Bible by heart and had been taught the value of memory training. Said the infidel, “That young fellow seems to know every page in the Bible. He quoted Scripture to meet every objection I made. I am now convinced I was wrong, and I believe what I before doubted. Further, I am going to have this young man teach me more about the Bible.”
Jesus broke the lance of the tempter by saying, “It is written….” He confounded His enemies more completely by His ready use of their own Scriptures than by His amazing miracles.