CHARLES G. FINNEY'S
IV. PASTORAL HABITS OF STUDY.
1. Have regular hours, and let your people know it.
2. Systematically, i.e., topically, settle every question, for example, take up one doctrine and learn all about it:(1) Its history.
(2) Exact statement.
(4) Consistency with sound philosophy.
(5) With other doctrines.
(6) Whether above reason.
(7) By what method proven.
(8) When all settled, write and make a record of your conclusions, with your reasons, and all that you may need to refer to. This will save future time -- will make you a good theologian, a safe teacher.
3. Test your conclusions by syllogisms, if necessary.
4. Reading is not study.(1) Don't confound reading with study.
(2) Don't read to avoid study, i.e., to dispense with it.
5. Cultivate thinking.(1) Be original and independent in investigation, and not a mere retailer of other men's thoughts.
(2) Don't lean on commentators. Read, but judge for yourself.
(3) Think consecutively.
(6) So master your subject, as to feel that you are right and that what you say cannot be gainsaid.
6. Utility -- study what belongs to your calling. (George Candee, steam engine; Dr. Nott, stoves.)
7. Study law and government.(1) Law and governmental principles important.
(2) Philosophy in all its departments.
8. Study history, church and secular. Study and not merely read.
9. Bible study -- search and deeply ponder and digest the word of God.
10. General reading.(1) Impossible to read everything.
(2) Select more important.
(3) Read as a help in study -- to stimulate thought, to modify and correct thought, to strengthen conclusions.
(4) Examine the more generally read books, and periodicals.
11. Light reading.(1) These books excite the sensibility too much.
(2) Also render it irresponsive to facts in real life.
(3) They are to the feelings what powerful stimulants are to the organs of tastes -- render reality insipid.
(4) They are wearing upon the brain and nervous system.
(5) They are anything but light reading.
(6) They do not exhaust the logical power, but they do use up brain power rapidly.
(7) Not wholly to be avoided, but read sparingly.
12. Weariness in study.(1) Avoid studying to exhaustion, apoplexy or dyspepsia.
(2) Make it rather a recreation.
(3) If growing weary, get into the open air.
13. Suggestions.(1) Beware of ill ventilation.
(2) Or of extreme temperatures.
(3) Of too dry an atmosphere, catarrh and bronchitis.
(4) Of a full stomach, stupidity or indigestion.
(5) Of cold extremities.
(6) Of excitants of the brain.
(7) Be steady and punctual in study hours.
(8) When your hours are over, dismiss them and go out to walk or visit, divert your mind.
(9) Don't expect to gain, in the long run, by studying too many hours per day.
(10) You can study more hours eating lightly.
(11) Eat scientifically.
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