I’ve just spent much of my morning trying to track down some references that I could have pinpointed in a couple of seconds if I were surrounded by my (regular) library. Alas, the books for which I was looking seem not to have made the Atlantic crossing; specifically, I was looking for my copy of Benedicta Ward’s Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Anyway, I eventually located:
Epiphanius said, “The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them. For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin, and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness.”
He also said, “Reading the Scriptures is a great safeguard against sin.”
He also said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is a precipice and a deep abyss.”
Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection, §8, 9, 11
Interestingly, Mike Gorman blogged the first of the sayings earlier this year — but that’s not surprising, granted the extensive overlap of our interests and sympathies.