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4. That though a man must not speak or write before he knoweth what and how, yet thus exercising the knowledge that we have doth greatly increase it. And no minister must be studying, when he should be preaching, praying, catechizing, or visiting, or instructing his flock. 5. It is but few men that are born with an acumen fit for writings and controversies: those few must read the more to be fit for it: the rest may take up with such preparations as they have use for, and exercise them, viz. in the pastoral oversight of the flocks, and propagating plain and necessary truths. And therefore though I am one that have been thought to burden men's understandings with methods, distinctions, directions, and controversies, it is but few that I persuade to use them; and am as much as any for most men's adhering to plain fundamentals, and truths of daily use, and honour those that go no further, and are faithful in this work; so be it they have not the pride to think that they know more than they do, and to wrangle against that which they understand not, and set not the church on fire as ancient ignorance did, by accusing those of heresy that knew more than themselves, when they got but the throne or the major vote. 6. That though I chiefly commend systems of theology, I know not one whose method satisfieth me, as well agreeing with Scripture, and the matter, (else I had not troubled myself so much to seek a right method, and propose what I found). And I think no common method more genuine, than theirs that expound the creed, Lord's prayer, and decalogue, and the sacraments, as the sum of all. 7. I mention none of my own writings, for it will seem vanity: but, as many as they are, I wrote none which I thought needless at the time of writing them. 8. Though none should have so great fitness for the holy education of children and government of families as ministers, yet so great is the work of overseeing the flock, requiring more time and parts than all that we have, and so great are the matters of our studies and labours, requiring our total and most serious thoughts that I earnestly advise all that can possibly, to live single and without a family, lest they mar their work by a divided mind: For ' nunquam bene fit, quod fit praeoocupato animo,' saith Hierom truly.

The whole man and whole time is all too little in ao great a work.



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