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He who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself.
A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.
Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making.
O loss of sight, of thee I most complain! Blind among enemies, O worse than chains, dungeon or beggary, or decrepit age! Light, the prime work of God, to me is extinct, and all her various objects of delight annulled, which might in part my grief have eased. Inferior to the vilest now become of man or worm; the vilest here excel me, they creep, yet see; I, dark in light, exposed to daily fraud, contempt, abuse and wrong, within doors, or without, still as a fool, in power of others, never in my own; scarce half I seem to live, dead more than half.
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, sober steadfast, and demure, all in a robe of darkest grain, flowing with majestic train.
... If weakness may excuse, What Murderer, what Traitor, Parricide, Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it All Wickedness is Weakness That plea therefore With God or Man will gain thee no Remission.
...A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
Accuse not nature, she hath done her partDo thou but thine, and be not diffidentOf wisdom, she deserts thee not, if thouDismiss not her, when most thou needest her nigh,By attributing overmuch to thingsLess excellent, as thou thyself perceivest.
Adam inquires concerning celestial motions, is doubtfully answered, and exhorted to search rather things more worthy of knowledge.
But wherefore thou alone Wherefore with theeCame not all hell broke loose Is pain to themLess pain, less to be fled, or thou than theyLess hardy to endure Courageous chief,The first in flight from pain, hadst thou allegedTo thy deserted host this cause of flight,Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
Here at lastWe shall be freethe Almighty hath not builtHere for his envy, will not drive us henceHere we may reign secure, and in my choiceTo reign is worth ambition though in HellBetter to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.
Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to be to restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
If we think we regulate printing, thereby to rectfy manners, we must regulate all regulations and pastimes, all that is delightful to man.
When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for.
When the waves are round me breaking,As I pace the deck alone,And my eye in vain is seekingSome green leaf to rest uponWhat would not I give to wanderWhere my old companions dwellAbsence makes the heart grow fonder,Isle of Beauty, fare thee well
Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinions in good men is but knowledge in the making.