"Are you so dull?"

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Mark" 1857)

"Are you so dull?" Jesus asked.  Mark 7:18

We see here—how slow of understanding
men are in spiritual things.

The corruption of human nature is a universal
disease. It affects not only a man's heart, will,
and conscience—but his mind, memory, and

The very same person who is quick and clever in
worldly things—will often utterly fail to comprehend
the simplest truths of Christianity. He will often be
unable to grasp the plainest reasonings of the Gospel.
He will see no meaning in the clearest statements of
evangelical doctrine. They will sound to him—either
foolish or mysterious. He will listen to them like one
listening to a foreign language, catching a word here
and there, but not seeing the drift of the whole. He
hears, but does not understand.

We must pray daily for the teaching of the Holy Spirit,
if we would make progress in the knowledge of divine
things. Without Him, the mightiest intellect and the
strongest reasoning powers will carry us but a little way.

In reading the Bible and hearing sermons, everything
depends on the spirit in which we read and hear. A
humble, teachable, childlike frame of mind is the grand
secret of success. Happy is he who often says with
David, "Teach me Your statutes." Such a one will
understand as well as hear.