صور الصفحة
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Written about the Year 1650.

Mr. Hartlib,


Am long fince perfuaded, that to fay, or do ought worth Memory and Imitation, no purpofe or respect fhould fooner move us, than fimply the love of God, and of Mankind. Nevertheless to write now the reforming of Education, tho' it be one of the greatest and nobleit Designs that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this Nation perishes, I had not yet at this time been induced, but by your earnest Entreaties and serious Conjurements; as having my mind for the present half diverted in the pursuance of some other Affertions, the Knowledge and the Ufe of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of Truth, and honeft living, with much more Peace. Nor fhould the Laws of any private Friendship have prevail'd with me to di vide thus, or tranfpofe my former Thoughts, but that


that I fee thofe Aims, thofe Actions which have won you with me the Efteem of a Perfon fent hither by fome good Providence from a far Country, to be the occafion and the incitement of great good to this Ifland. And, as I hear, you have obtain'd the fame Repute with Men of moft approved Wisdom, and fome of higheft Authority among us. Not to mention the learned Correfpondence which you hold in foreign Parts, and the extraordinary Pains and Diligence which you have us'd in this Matter both here, and beyond the Seas; either by the definite Will of God fo ruling, or the peculiar fway of Nature, which also is God's working. Neither can I think that fo reputed, and fo valu'd as you are, you would to the forfeit of your own difcerning Ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous Argument, but that the Satisfaction which you profefs to have receiv'd from those incidental Discourses which we have wander'd into, hath preft and almost constrain'd you into a Perfuafion, that what you require from me in this Point, I neither ought, nor can in Confcience defer beyond this Time both of fo much need at once, and fo much Opportunity to try what God hath determin'd. I will not refift therefore, whatever it is either of Divine, or human Obligation that you lay upon me; but will forthwith fet down in Writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea, which hath long in filence prefented it felf to me, of a better Education, in Extent and Comprehenfion far more large, and yet of Time far fhorter, and of Attainment far more certain, than hath been yet in Practice. Brief I fhall endeavour to


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be; for that which I have to fay, affuredly this Nation hath extream need fhould be done fooner than spoken. To tell you therefore what I have benefited herein among old renowned Authors, I shall spare; and to search what many modern Janua's and Didactics, more than ever I fhall read, have projected, my Inclination leads me not. But if you can accept of these few Obfervations which have flower'd off, and are, as it were, the burmishing of many studious and contemplative Years, altogether spent in the fearch of religious and civil Knowledge, and fuch as pleas'd you fo well in the relating, I here give you them to dispose of.

The end then of Learning is to repair the Ruins of our first Parents, by regaining to know God aright, and out of that Knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the neareft by poffeffing our Souls of true Virtue, which being united to the heavenly Grace of Faith makes 1 up the highest Perfection. But because our Understanding cannot in this Body found it self but on fenfible things, nor arrive fo clearly to the Knowledge of God and things invifible, as by orderly conning over the vifible and inferior Creature, the fame Method is neceffarily to be follow'd in all difcreet teaching. And feeing every Nation affords not Experience and Tradition enough for all kind of Learning, therefore we are chiefly taught the Languages of thofe People who have at any time been most industrious after Wisdom; fo that Language is but the Inftrument conveying to us things ufeful to be known. And tho'a Linguist should pride himself to have all the


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