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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, l. 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. 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
3. And yet
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,
another may excel him in some particulars, and say that which he omitteth, or mistaketh in. 3. But especially because many errors and adversaries have made many books necessary to some, for to know what they say, and to know how to confute them, especially the Papists, whose way is upon pretence of antiquity and universality, to carry every controversy into a wood of church-history, and ancient writers, that there you may first be lost, and then they may have the finding of you: and if you cannot answer every corrupted or abused citation of their's out of councils and fathers, they triumph as if they had justified their church-tyranny. 4. And the very subjects that are to be understood are numerous, and few men write of all. 5. And on the same subject men have several modes of writing; as one excelleth in accurate method, and another in clear, convincing argumentation, and another in an affectionate, taking style : and the same book that doth one, cannot well do the other, because the same style will not do it.
(Ibid, v. V., pp. 584—5).
(Born, 1618. Educated first at Westminster School. Published “Poetical Blossoms," 1633. To Trinity College, Cambridge, 1636. Published the play, “Love's Riddle,” 1638. Ejected from Cambridge, 1643, and entered St. John's College, Oxford. Published his love-poems, “The Mistress," 1647. First edition of his Works, published, 1656. The degree of M.D. conferred at Oxford, 1657. Died, 1667.]
THE POWER OF VERSE.
Tis not a pyramid of marble stone,
Though high as our ambition,
Give life to th' ashes of a man;
Whilst there are men to read or hear.
And eat the pyramid away;
Their names, to what it keeps, from dust;
Then shall the Epitaph remain and be
New-graven in eternity.
(On the Praise of Poetry.)
BOOKS, THE BEST FRIENDS.
Come, my best friends, my books! and lead me
All I was born to know:
He conquer'd th' earth, the whole world you. Welcome, learn'd Cicero ! whose blest tongue and
wit Preserves Rome's greatness yet : Thou art the first of orators; only he
Who best can praise thee, next must be. Welcome the Mantuan swan, Virgil the wise !
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies; Who brought green Poesy to her perfect age,
And made that Art which was a Rage.