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by evill. As therefore the state of man'
trary. That vertue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evill, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and ro jects it, is but a blank vertue, not a pure; her whitenesse is but an excrementall whiteneffe ; Which was the reason why our sage and serious Poet Spencer, whoin I dare be known to think a better teacher then Scotus or Aquinas, describing true temperance under the person of Guion, brings him in with his palmer through the cave of Mammon, and the bowr of earthly bliffe that he might see and know, and yet abstain. Since therefore the knowledge and survay of vice is irr this world so necessary to the constituting of human vertue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with lesse danger scout into the regions of fin and falfity then by reading all manner of tractats, and hearing all manner of reafon? And this is the benefit which may be had of books promiscuously read. But of the harm that may result hence three kinds are usually reckn'd. First, is fear'd the infection that may spread; but then all human learning and controversie in. religious points must remove out of the world, yea the Bible itself; for that ofttimes relates blasphemy not nicely, it describes the carnall sense of wicked men not unelegantly, it brings in holiest men passionately murmuring against providence through all the arguments
of Epicurus: in other great disputes it an[wers dubiously and darkly to the common reader: And ask a Talmudist what ails the modesty of his marginall Keri, that Moses and all the Prophets cannot : perswade him to pronounce the textuall Chetiy. For these causes we all know the Bible it selfe put by the Papist into the first rank of prohibited books. The ancientest Fathers must be next remov’d, as Clement of Alexandria, and that Eusebian book of Evangelick preparation, transmitting our ears through a hoard of heathenish obscenities to receive the Gofpel. Who finds not that Irenæus, Epiphanius, Jerom, and others, discover, more herefies then they will confute, and that oft for heresie which is the truer
opinion. Nor boots it to say for these,