Studies of the Clergy
Studies Of The Clergy.
In the early Church, the clergy were obliged to lead studious lives, and no pleas were allowed as just apologies for the contrary. Their chief studies were to be the Holy Scriptures, to which special attention was demanded, and the approved writers and canons of the Church. Other books were to be sparingly and cautiously used. Heretical works were to be read only upon necessity to confute them or caution others against them. Beyond this, there was no obligation on them to read human learning, nor was there an absolute prohibition of it. Where such study could be made to minister to divinity, it was not only allowed, but encouraged, and the study of such learning rightly applied did very great service to religion in the primitive ages of the Church. See Bingham, Christ. Antiq. bk. 6, ch. 3, § 1 sq.