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MR. SAMUEL HARTLIB.

Written about the Year 1650. Mr. Hartlib, AM long fince persuaded, that to say, or do

ought worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner move us, than simly the love of God, and of mankind. Neverheless to write now the reforming of education, ho' it be one of the greatest and noblest designs bat can be thought on, and for the want whereIf this nation perishes, I had not yet at this time peen induc'd, but by your earnest intreaties and erious conjurements; as having my mind for he present half diverted in the pursuance of fome hther assertions, the knowledge and the use of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of truth, and honest living, with much more peace. Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevail'd with me to dipide thus, or transpose my former thoughts, but

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that I see those aims, those actions which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country, to be the occasion and the incitement of great

V good to this island. And, as I hear, you have obtain'd the same repute with men of most approv'd wisdom, and some of highest authority among us. Not to mention the learned correspondence 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 so ruling, or the peculiar fway of nature, which also is God's working. Neither can I think that, so reputed, and so valu'd as you are, you would, to the forfeit of your own discerning ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous argument, but that the satisfaction which you profess to have receiv'd from those incidental discourses which we have wander'd into, hath prest and is almost constrain'd you into a persuasion, that what you require from me in this point, I neither ought, por can in conscience defer beyond this time both of so much need at once, and so much opportunity to try what God hath deter

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min'd. I will not resist therefore, whatever it is, either of divine or human obligement, that you lay upon me; but will forthwith set down in writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea, which hath long in silence presented itself to me, of a better education, in extent and comprehension far more large, and yet of time far shorter, and of attainment far more certain, than hath been yet in practise. Brief I shall endeavour to be; for that which I have to say, affuredly this nation hath extreme need should be done sooner than spoken. To tell you therefore what I have benefited herein

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old renowned authors, I shall spare; and to search what many modern Janua's and didactics, more than ever I shall read, have projected, my inclination leads me not. But if you can accept of these few Observations which have flower'd off, and are, as it were, the burnishing of many

studious and contemplative years, altogether spent in the search of religious and civil knowledge, and such as pleas'd you so 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

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God aright, and out of that knowledge to lov him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we mayr the nearest by poffeffing our souls of true virtuemu which being united to the heavenly grace of faithe makes up the highest perfection. But because oue understanding cannot in this body found itseln but on sensible things, nor arrive so clearly tof the knowledge of God and things invisible, are by orderly conning over the visible and inferio creature, the same method is necessarily to be folch low'd in all discreet teaching, And feeing every na, tion affords not experience and tradition enouglf for all kinds of learning, therefore we are chieflin taught the languages of thofe people who havi, 1 at any time been most-industrious after wisdom bi

so that language is but the instrument conveyin{lto us things useful to be known. And tho'a Lin. guilt fhould pride himself to have all the tongue; that Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he hac not studied the solid things in them as well as the words and lexicons, he were nothing fo much, to be esteem'd a learned man, as any yeoman oi tradesman competently wise in his mother dia. Jedt only. Hence appear the many

mistakes which have made learning generally founpleasing and

e so unsuccessful; first we do amiss to spend seven y, :

or eight years meerly in scraping together fo =, much miserable Latin and Greek, as might be

learnt otherwife easily and delightfully in one year. And that which casts our proficiency therein so much behind, is our time lost partly in too oft idle vacancies given both to schools and universities, partly in a preposterous exaction, forcing the empty wits of children to compose themes, verses and orations, which are the acts of ripest judgment and the final work of a head fillid by long reading and observing, with elegant maxims, and copious invention. These are not matters to be wrung from poor striplings, like blood out of the nose, or the placking of untimely fruit? Besides the ill habit which they get of wretched barbarizing against the Latin and Greek idiom, with their untutor’d Anglicisms, odious

to be read, yet not to be avoided without a well Es continu'd and judicious conversing among pure

authors digested, which they scarce taste; whereas, if after some preparatory grounds of speech by their certain forms got into memory, they were led to the praxis thereofin some chosen short book lesson'd throughly to them, they might then

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