1632 By George Herbert

The Parsons Accessary Knowledges.

THe Countrey Parson hath read the Fathers also, and
the Schoolmen, and the later Writers, or a good pro-
ition of all, out of all which he hath compiled a book, and
body of Divinity, which is the storehouse of his Sermons,
and which he preacheth all his Life; but diversly clothed,
illustrated, and inlarged. For though the world is full of
such composures, yet every mans own is fittest, readyest, and
most savory to him. Besides, this being to be done in his
younger and preparatory times, it is an honest joy ever after
to looke upon his well spent houres. This Body he made by
way of expounding the Church Catechisme, to which all
divinity may easily be reduced. For it being indifferent in it
selfe to choose any Method, that is best to be chosen, of
which there is likelyest to be most use. Now Catechizing being
a work of singular, and admirable benefit to the Church of
God, and a thing required under Canonicall obedience, the
expounding of our Catechisme must needs be the most use-
full forme. Yet hath the Parson, besides this laborious work,
a slighter forme of Catechizing, fitter for country people;
according as his audience is, so he useth one, or other; or
somtimes both, if his audience be intermixed. He greatly
esteemes also of cases of conscience, wherein he is much
versed. And indeed, herein is the greatest ability of a
Parson to lead his people exactly in the wayes of Truth, so
that they neither decline to the right hand, nor to the left.
Neither let any think this a slight thing. For every one hath
not digested, when it is a sin to take something for mony lent,
or when not; when it is a fault to discover anothers fault, or
when not; when the affections of the soul in desiring and pro-
curing increase of means, or honour, be a sin of covetousnes or
ambition, and when not, when the appetites of the body in eating,
drinking, sleep, and the pleasure that comes with sleep, be sins of
gluttony, drunkenness, sloath, lust, and when not,
and so in many
circumstances of actions. Now if a shepherd know not
which grass will bane, or which not, how is he fit to be a
shepherd? Wherefore the Parson hath throughly canvassed
al the particulars of humane actions, at least all those which
he observeth are most incident to his Parish.

Editor's Note: For Scripture information and translations with appropriate study and sermon materials: World Wide Study Bible. For Sermon and worship resources. For Sermon Illustrations A-Z.

Next Chapter Table of Chapter Contents Bible Refenence Table George Herbert & The Temple Home Page