Baxter - Houston-Packer Collection BX5200 .B352 1835 v1

LIFE OF RICHARD BAXTER. Q my judgment; and by that means I prosecuted all my studies.with unweariedness and delight; and by that means all that I read did stick the better in my memory ; and also less of my timewas lost by lazy intermissions, but my bodily infirmities always caused me to lose (or spend) much of it in motion and corporeal exercises, which was sometimes by walking, and sometimes at the plow and such country labors. "But one lossI had by this method, which hathproved irrepara- ble ; I missed that part of learning which stood at the greatest dis- tance (in my thoughts) from my ultimate end, though no doubt but remotely it may be a valuable means and I couldnever since find time to get it. Besides the Latin tongue, and but a mediocrity in Greek, with an inconsiderable trial at the Hebrew long after, I had no great skill in languages ; though I saw that an accurateness and thorough insight in the Greek and Hebrew were very desirable. But I was so eagerly carried after the knowledge of things, that I too much neglected the study of words. And for themathematics, I was an utter stranger to them, and never could find in my heart to divert my studies that way, But in order to the knowledge of divinity, my inclination was most to logic and metaphysics, with that part of physics which teacheth of the soul, contenting myself at first with a slighter study of the rest. And thesehad my labor and delight; which occasioned me (perhaps too soon) to plunge myself very early into the study of controversies, and to read all the schoolmen I could get. For next to practical divinity, no books so suited with my disposition as Aquinas, Scotus, Durandus, Oc- kam,and their disciples ; because I thought they narrowly searched after truth, and brought things out of the darkness of confusion. For I could never from my first studies endure confusion. TILL. EQUIVOCALS WERE EXPLAINED, AND DEFINITIONAND DISTINCTION LED THE WAY, I HAD RATHER HOLD MY TONGUE THAN SPEAK; AND WAS NEVER MORE WEARY OF LEARNED MEN'S DISCOURSES, THAN WHEN I HEARD THEM WRANGLING ABOUT UNEXPOUNDED WORDS OR THINGS, AND EAGERLY DISPUTING BEFORE THEY UN- DERSTOOD EACH OTHER'S MINDS, and vehemently assertingmodes, and consequences, and adjuncts, before they considered of the Quod sit, the Quid sit, or the Quotuplex. I never thought I un- derstoodany thing till I could anatomize it, and see the parts dis- tinctly, and the conjunction of the parts as they make up the whole. Distinction and method seemed to me of that necessity, that without them I could not be said to know ; and the disputes that forsook them, or abused them, seemed but as incoherent dreams." Allusion has been made to the fears and difficulties which at- tended his religious views and feelings at this period of his life. These were, perhaps, in no respect peculiar. FewChristians can