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may chance to spring up armed men.

And yet on

the other hand unlesse warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, GoD's image; but he who destroyes a good Booke, kills Reason itselfe, kills the Image of GOD as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a Life beyond life. 'Tis true, no age can restore a Life, whereof perhaps there is no great losse; and revolutions of ages doe not oft recover the losse of a rejected Truth, for the want of which whole Nations fare the worse. We should be wary therefore what persecution we raise against the living labours of publick men, how we spill that season'd Life of Man preserv'd and stor'd up in Books; since we see a kind of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdome; and if it extend to the whole impression, a kinde of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elementall Life, but strikes at that etheriall and fift essence, the breath of Reason itselfe, slaies an Immortality rather then a Life. (Areopagitica.)


What needs my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones
The labour of an age in piled stones,

Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid}

Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,

What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name? Thou in our wonder and astonishment

Hast built thyself a live-long monument.

For whilst to the shame of slow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.
(On Shakespeare, 1630.)



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[Born 1615. Educated at the Free School, Wroxeter. Saints' Everlasting Rest," published, 1653; Confession of Faith," 1655; "Reformed Pastor," 1656; "Reasons of the Christian Religion," 1667; "Life of Faith," 1670; "Christian Directory," 1675; "Catholick Theologie," 1675; “Poetical Fragments,” 1681; Died, 1691; "Reliquiæ Baxterianæ,” 1696.] *

BOOKS BETTER THAN PREACHERS.-Because God hath made the excellent, holy writings of his servants, the singular blessing of this land and age; and many an one may have a good book, even any day or hour of the week, that cannot at all have a good preacher; I advise all God's servants to be thankful for so great a mercy, and to make use of it, and be much in reading; for reading with most doth more conduce to knowledge than hearing doth, because you may choose what subjects and the most excellent treatises you please; and may be often at it, and may peruse again and again what you forget, and may take time as you go to fix it on your mind: and with very many it doth more than hearing also to move the heart, though hear

ing of itself, in this hath the advantage; because lively books may be more easily had, than lively preachers especially these sorts of men should be much in reading. 1. Masters of families, that have more souls to care for than their own. 2. People that live where there is no preaching, or as bad or worse than none. 3. Poor people, and servants, and children, that are forced on many Lord's days to stay at home, while others have the opportunity to hear. 4. And vacant persons that have more leisure than others have.

(Baxter's Works, v. iv., pp. 266-7).

GOOD TO READ AS MANY BOOKS AS POSSIBLE. The truth is, 1. It is not the reading of many books which is necessary to make a man wise or good; but the well reading of a few, could he be sure to have the best. 2. And it is not possible to read over very many on the same subjects, without a great deal of loss of precious time. 3. And yet the reading of as many as is possible tendeth much to the increase of knowledge, and were the best way, if greater matters were not that way unavoidably to be omitted: life therefore being short, and

work great, and knowledge being for love and practice, and no man having leisure to learn all things, a wise man must be sure to lay hold on that which is most useful and necessary. 4. But some considerable acquaintance with many books is now become by accident necessary to a divine. 1. Because unhappily a young student knoweth not which are the best, till he hath tried them; and when he should take another man's word, he knoweth not whose word it is that he should take : for among grave men, accounted great scholars, it is few that are truly judicious and wise, and he that is not wise himself cannot know who else are so indeed; and every man will commend the authors that are of his own opinion. And if I commend to you some authors above others, what do I but commend my own judgment to you, even as if I commended my own books, and persuaded you to read them; when another man of a different judgment will commend to you books of a different sort. And how knoweth a raw student which of us is in the right? 2. Because no man is so full and perfect as to say all that is said by all others; but though one man excel in one or many respects,


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