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2- ^ 





An Edition of two hundred and fifty 
copies in this form and of twenty five 
copes on Large Paper was printed 
at The Merrytnount Press^ Boston^ in 
November^ 1906 







A. C. McCLURG & CO, 



Library Scleoca ' ^ 


?- tt ■ r^\ 



** \N Overture for Founding 
jlV and Maintaining Biblio- 
thecks in every Paroch through- 
out the Kingdom'' was published 
anonymously in 1699; the origi- 
nal is now a tradl of great ra- 
rity. In 1889 William Blades 
reprinted it in facsimile from a 
copy in the Wigan Public Li- 
brary. This first tradl or ^Cover- 
ture'' is traced to Kirkwood by 
means of a second tradl, entitled 
" A Copy of a Letter anent a Pro- 
jeSlfor Eredling a library inevery 
Presbytery, or at least County in 
the Highlands. From a Reverend 
Minister of the Scots Nation now 
in England." The author of these 

10 Note 

tra£lSj James Kirkzvood^ was bom 
about 1650 at Dunbar^ Scotland. 
He was graduated in 1670 at 
Edinburgh University ^ receiving 
the degree of M.A. He served 
John Campbell J Earl of Caithness j 
as dom£stic chaplain till May 1 2, 
1679, when he was presented by 
the earl to the parish of Minto. 
He refused to take the test, and 
was deprived of this benefice No- 
vember 1, 1681, and removed to 
England, where he was instituted 
to the redlory of Astwick, Bed- 
fordshire, March 1 , 1 685, through 
the favour of Bishop Burnet. 

During his life in the High- 
lands with the Earl of Caithness' 
family, Kirkwood had been much 
impressed by the great ignorance 

Note 1 1 

on the part of the Gaelic people of 
the scriptures and of all writings y 
and in 1690 he began a corre^ 
spondence with Hon . Robert Boyle 
on the subjeSl; he succeeded in 
distributing over three thousand 
copies of the Bible in Irish in the 
north of Scotland. Following this 
work he published the first tradl 
mentioned above. Under the plan 
therein the parish minister* s pri- 
vate books were to form the nu- 
cleus of each library y the parish 
schoolmaster was to be the libra- 
rian , and the classification of the 
work was to be uniform through- 
out the country. The General As- 
sembly approved the scheme , but 
did nothing toward carrying it in- 
to effedl. In Girwod's " Catalogue 

1 2 Note 

of Scottish Writers J ' Kirkwood is 
credited with having established 
a library for the clergy in the 
Highlands in 1699. 

On March 4, 1703, Kirkwood 
was eleSled a corresponding mem'' 
ber of the Society for Promot- 
ing Christian Knowledge y and on 
November nth following were 
read at one of their meetings: 
" Letters and papers from Mr. 
Kirkwood relating to the ere^ion 
of lending libraries in the High- 
lands.*' The only further referen- 
ces to Kirkwood that can be traced 
are that on January 7, 1702, he 
was ejeSledfrom the livingofAst- 
wick for ^^negledl in not abjuring 
according to the statute 1 3 dnd 14 
of William ////' and that at his 

Note 1 3 

deaths in 1708, he left his hooks 
and papers to the presbytery of 

The editor has made no at- 
tempt to alter the spelling of the 
two traSlSy but he has undertaken 
to set right the compositor's nu- 
merous blunders. 





IT is as essential to the nature 
of Mankind to be desirous 
of Knowledge, as it is for them 
to be rational Creatures, for we 
see no other end or use for our 
Reason, but to seek out and 
search for the Knowledge of all 
these things of which we are Ig- 
norant. For this sore travel hath 
God given to the sons of men ^ to 
he exercised therewith. That be- 
ing born Naked, Indigent and 
Ignorant, we should be forced 
to enquire by the help of Rea- 
son, into the Nature and Know- 

i8 Parochial Libraries 
ledge of all these things which 
are about us, and to Invent and 
Perfedl all such Arts and Manu- 
fa6lories, as are necessary for 
the support of our lives. All 
which things are so numerous, 
and the ways of attaining to the 
Knowledge of them so difficult, 
longsome and uncertain, that it 
would be but a very small De- 
gree, even of the meanest Art 
or Science, which any man could 
attain unto by his own particu- 
lar Study and Observation, if he 
were destitute of all these Helps 
we receive from others, by Word 
and Writing. 
Therefore to fadlitat this sore 
Travel, God hath endued Man- 
kind with a Faculty of Speech, 
whereby they may Teach and 

IN Scotland 19 

Communicat to one another, all 
such Knowledges and Observa- 
tions as shall be found out by any 
one of them; that so every one 
studying a part, and contribut- 
ing the small Mite of his Obser- 
vations into the publick Stock, 
they might at length advance 
Knowledge and Learning to that 
Degree, which Humane Nature 
in this lapsed Estate is capable 
of. And that there might be some 
considerable Progress made in 
this Work at first; God did be- 
stow upon the first Men long 
Lives, with vigorous Imagina- 
tions and solid Judgments, that 
thereby they might both Acquire 
great Stocks of Knowledge and 
Observations, and might con- 
voy them, or communicat them 

20 Parochial Libraries 
to many Degrees of their Pos- 

But Men abusing this Blessing 
of long Life, and exercising their 
Thoughts only upon Evil and 
that continually : God in his Jus- 
tice, was provoked to shorten 
their Lives, and to confound 
their Languages, whereby this 
way of conveying Knowledge 
by Word of Mouth, and Tradi- 
tion became very imperfe6t, and 
lyable to many Inconveniencies: 
and therefore that these Means 
of encreasing Knowledge, and 
of searching out all the Works 
of God might be still continued 
amongst Men; God in his In- 
finite Mercy, was graciously 
pleased to teach Men a new 
Way of communicating their 

IN Scotland 21 

Thoughts and Words, by Writ- 
ing; which he did when he did 
write the Law with his own 
Finger, upon the two Tables 
of Stone in Mount Sinaiy that 
thereby Men might more easi- 
ly and universally communicat 
their Observations to all the rest 
of Mankind, and might more 
certainly preserve them to all 

By this Art of Writing, Know- 
ledge and Learning were very 
much advanced; till Books be- 
came so numerous, and the way 
of writing with a Pen being both 
dear and slow. Students could 
acquire only a small number 
of them, whereby many Books 
were negle6led and lost, and 
Learning came to a stand, and 

22 Parochial Libraries 
then at length fell into a great 
Decay, for Men turned their 
Wits and Studies, rather to col- 
le6l and understand the Writ- 
ings and Opinions of the An- 
cients, than to enquire into the 
Nature of the things themselves, 
in so much that all Philosophy 
was turned into the Opinions of 
Aristotle yZnd Plato; and all The- 
ology was lodged in the Opinion 
of the Church, or in the Popes 
Infallibility. Yea, Ignorance pre- 
vailed to that Degree, that it was 
encouraged and preached up, as 
the Mother of Devotion. But at 
length Printing, which is a more 
easy , speedy and cheap way than 
Writing, was Invented; which 
remedied all these Inconvenien- 
cies of Writing, and so recov- 

IN Scotland 23 

ered Learning at its last Gasp, 
out of its long continued and al- 
most fatal Decay. Since which 
time, Learning hath taken on 
as it were a new growth, and 
though it be not as yet recov- 
ered in several Parts, yet many 
Arts and Sciences are advanced 
to a far greater Degree, than 
what they had attained unto 
amongst the Ancients. From all 
which Course of Providence, we 
may clearly perceive, that it is 
the Will and Design of our Lord 
and Maker, that by sore Travel, 
we should search out and know 
all his wonderful Works, that 
we may Admire and Adore his 
Infinite Wisdom, Goodness, and 
other Perfe6tions in them. As 
also, we may perceive that a full 

24 Parochial Libraries 
and universal communicating of 
our Thoughts and Observations 
to one another, is the necessary 
and ordinary Means appointed 
by God, whereby we may Attain 
unto this natural Knowledge ; so 
that whatsoever Inconvenien- 
cies do obstru6l this free and 
universal communicating our 
Thoughts and Instru6lions to 
one another, or do hinder Stu- 
dents from Attaining the Know- 
ledge of all that hath been Dis- 
covered before them, must of 
necessity much retard the Ad- 
vancement of Learning, and hin- 
der the Encrease of Knowledge 
amongst us; and therefore do 
deserve our serious Thoughts, 
and utmost Endeavours to re- 
move them. Some of these In- 

IN Scotland 25 

conveniencies are, 1. Books are 
so vastly multiplied, and do so 
encrease dayly, that most part 
of Students either want Money 
to buy any moderat Colle6lion 
of them ; or 2/y , they want Con- 
venience to keep them,for Books 
are very troublesome to Trans- 
port from place to place ; or slyy 
they have them not in due time, 
while they are young and free 
from Cares ; for after a Man is 
settled in the World, then the 
Cares of his Family, and the Af- 
fairs of his Calling, do so take 
up his Mind, that he can have no 
time nor heart to study. 4. The 
Money that is bestowed upon 
Books must be looked upon as 
lost; and this certainly is a great 
Discouragement. 5 . Many Books 

26 Parochial Libraries 
which a Student shall happen to 
buy, will after perusal, be found 
little worth, at least for his pur- 
pose, whereby he is lamentably 
disappointed, and loseth both his 
Money and time. 6. We live at 
much distance from these fa- 
mous Towns where most part 
of Books are Printed, that there 
are many useful new Books 
Printed which we never hear of, 
and these we hear of, cannot be 
brought home to us without 
great Expenses and Trouble. 
7. Although a Student had all 
the Advantages that can be rea- 
sonably expe6led in one man, 
yet he cannot Acquire all the 
Books in the World, that may 
relate to the Subje6l he studies ; 
and so he will still be uneasie 

IN Scotland 27 

and suspicious, that there may 
be something worth his Know- 
ledge in these Books he wants. 
And it is not to be expe6led,that 
any man can advance or improve 
any Art or Science to a full De- 
gree, till first he have a full 
and comprehensive Knowledge 
of all that hath been written and 
discovered of that Subje6l be- 
fore him : and therefore compleat 
and free Libraries are abso- 
lutely necessary for the Improv- 
ing of Arts and Sciences, and 
for Advancing of Learning a- 
mongst us. 

For efFe6luating of this, and for 
remeding all the fore-named In- 
con veniencies, it is modestly con- 
ceived with submission to bet- 
ter Judgments, that the Found- 

28 Parochial Libraries 
ing and Maintaining of Biblio- 
thecks in every Paroch within 
this Kingdom, will be a most ef- 
fe6lual means, for thereby a Stu- 
dent will have compleat Libra- 
ries within a few Miles of the 
place where he shall happen to 
reside, out of which he may eas- 
ily furnish himself from time to 
time, of all sorts of Books fit for 
his purpose without Money, and 
that in his youth, while he hath 
health and strength to Study, 
and is free from the cares of 
the World, neither can he be 
troubled with useless Books, se- 
ing he may presently return 
them to the Bibliotheck and take 
others; and Lastly, These Li- 
braries in a few years, will be 
full and compleat, being fur- 

IN Scotland 29 

nished, not only with all the va- 
luable and usefull Old Books in 
any Art or Science, but also with 
all the valuable New Books, so 
soon as ever they are heard of or 
seen in the World, as will clear- 
ly be demonstrat afterwards. 

The Method and particulars 
which I think necessary for this 
Founding and Maintaining of 
Bibliothecks in every Paroch 
throughout this Kingdom, are 

1 St. A convenient place in every 
Paroch must be set a part, and 
fitted for keeping of Books. 

s^ly. Every present Minister 
must give in all his Books, to the 
Bibliotheck of his own Paroch, 
at the sight of the Heretors of 
the Paroch, who shall cause rank 

so Parochial Libraries 
them conform to their volumns, 
and shall cause take exa6l Al- 
phabetical Catalogues of them, 
with the place where, and the 
time when they are Printed, of 
which Catalogues, there must 
be four principal Coppies sub- 
scribed by the Minister and 
Heretors of each Paroch ; where- 
of one Copy shal be kept by the 
Minister, as an obligation upon 
the Paroch till he be payed for 
his Books, another shall be kept 
by the Heretors in a litle Chist 
in the Bibliotheck, that it may be 
an obligation upon the Keeper 
of the Bibliotheck, to be an- 
swerable for all these Books ; the 
third must be kept in the Biblio- 
theck openly, that any Heretor 
of the Paroch, or Minister of the 

IN Scotland 31 

Presbyterie may get a double 
of it when they please; and the 
fourth Copy shall be sent to the 
principal Library at Edinburgh, 
to [he2 kept there for several 

sdly. For avoiding all debates 
and difficulties, that may arise 
between Heretors and Ministers 
in valuing these Books, it will 
be fit that some Ministers and 
Heretors be appointed to draw 
out a general Catalogue of all 
the Books in the Kingdom,outof 
those particular Catalogues that 
shall be sent in to Edinburgh 
from every Paroch, and to set a 
certain price upon each Book; 
which general Catalogues with 
the price affixed to each Book, 
shall be Printed and distributed 

32 Parochial Libraries 
through every Paroch of the 
Kingdom, conform to which 
Catalogue, the Books in every 
Paroch shall be valued: or there 
may be laid down some general 
rules for valuing of Books at so 
much per Sheet, and so much for 

4itly. When any Minister shall 
die, or be removed from one 
Kirk to an other, then he or his 
Heirs or Assigneys, shall have 
right to all the Stipends of that 
Paroch to which he gave in his 
Books, ay and while he be payed 
of their full value conform to the 
Catalogue: and the Ministers of 
the Presbytery shall supply that 
Kirk during that time, but if 
the Paroch cannot conveniently 
want a Minister so long,then the 

IN Scotland ss 

succeeding Minister shall want 
such a proportional part of the 
Stipend as shall be thought fit, 
which shall be payed yearly to 
the first Minister, his Heirs or 
assigneys, till the full value of 
his Books be payed. 

Sthly. Where the Kirks are va- 
cant, the Ministers of the Pres- 
by terie with the Heretors of the 
Paroch, shall have power to be- 
stow all the vacant Stipends of 
that Kirk, upon such Books as 
they shall think most fit and ne- 
cessary for the Bibleotheck of 
that Kirk. 

6thly. Each Presbyterie shall 
endeavour to be a compleat Li- 
brary within it self, that is, they 
shall endeavour to have one 
Copy at least, of every valuable 

34 Parochial Libraries 
Book extant in some one Biblio- 
theck or other within their 
bounds ; wherefore it will be ne- 
cessar that all the Ministers in 
one Presbyterie, compare their 
Catalogues , and consider of what 
Books they have more Coppies 
then are needful amongst them, 
and what Books they think use- 
ful; of which they have no Cop- 
pies at all, that they may ex- 
change the Books they have for 
these they want, conform to the 
value set on each Book by the 
general Catalogue. 

^thly. The keeper of the Bible- 
otheck, who may be the Reader 
or School-master of the Paroch, 
must find caution to the Minis- 
ter and Heretors, to be faithful 
in keeping the Books, and in 

IN Scotland 35 

preserving them from all incon- 
veniencies ; and he shall not lend 
out any Book but to an Heretor 
of the Paroch, or to a Minister 
of the Presbyterie, or to such 
persons residing within the Pa- 
roch as shall find sufficient cau- 
tion for all the Books they get out 
of the Dbrary, and he shall take 
obligations from them all, that 
they shall restore the Books in 
good condition, and within such 
a set time as may be sufficient 
for reading the Book, but within 
one Moneth at farthest; that so 
an Heretor may not defraud the 
rest of the use of any Book. And 
for preventing the imbazling the 
Books of thir Libraries, it is fit 
there be a note written upon the 
reverse of the Title page, and 

36 Parochial Libraries 
on the last leaf of each Book 
Subscribed by the Minister, de- 
claring that the Book belongeth 
to the Bibleotheck of such a Pa- 
roch, so that wherever any Book 
shall be found wanting the Title 
page and the last leaf, it may be 
suspe6led to be stoUen from the 
Libraries, and so may be confis- 
cat to their use. 

Sthly. It will be convenient that 
there be a Book binder in every 
Presbyterie, to bind all the 
Books that belong to that Pres- 
byterie, for which end he must 
be provided with a House, and 
all the Instruments fit for his 
Trade, and with some small Sti- 
pend yearly to maintain him; 
and then whatsoever Books he 
shall bind he shall be payed only 

IN Scotland 37 

for the materials, but nothing 
for his work; or the keepers 
of the Bibleotheck or Ministers 
Servants may be taught to bind 
Books, and may easiely bind all 
the new Books that shall be giv- 
en in to that Library in Sheets. 

9thly. It will be convenient that 
all the Bibliothicks in the King- 
dom observe the same method 
of ranking and placeing their 
Books: which method may be 
to rank the Books according to 
their name and number, in the 
general Catalogue, which name 
and number must be written 
upon a piece of paper, and bat- 
tered to the back of the Book, 
or to some leaf of it, that it may 
be easiely seen and read, by any 
person diat comes into the Bi- 

38 Parochial Libraries 
bliothick, that so Ministers or 
Students, when they shall hap- 
pen to remove from one Paroch 
or Bibliothick to another, they 
may not be at a loss where to 
find any Book, for by this me- 
thod they will presently know in 
what place every Book should 

These are all the particulars 
which I think necessary for the 
present for founding of Biblio- 
thicks in every Paroch, but for 
the maintaining and promoting 
these it will be necessary fur- 
ther, that 

lothly. One Moneths Cess to 
be payed yearly, to be settled 
as a Fond for buying and Print- 
ing, all such Books New or Old, 
as shall be judged valuable and 

IN Scotland s9 

useful! to be distributed through 
the Kingdom, and every Biblio- 
theck in the Kingdom shall get 
a Copy of every Book that shall 
be printed : the one half of this 
Moneths Cess must be payed by 
the Heretors conform to their 
Valuations, the other half by the 
Ministers conform to the pro- 
portions of their Stipends. 

iithly. This Money or Fond 
must be entrusted to some hon- 
est Person or Persons, who shall 
therewith Ere6l a Printing- 
House,and Paper Manufadlory, 
and shall settle and maintain 
a Correspondence with all the 
Printing presses abroad through- 
out Europe, and shall bring 
home some Coppies of all the 
Books that shall be Printed, as 

40 Parochial Libraries 
soon as possible, and shall Re- 
print all such Books whether 
New or Old, as shall be judged 
fitting, or worthy to be distrib- 
uted through the Kingdom, and 
they shall be oblidged to give 
up Accompts how the Money is 
bestowed, from time to time to 
such Ministers and others, as 
shall be appointed to receive, 
and examine the same. 

i9.thly. A Commission of the 
General Assembly must be ap- 
pointed, to Revise all the New 
Books that are brought home 
from time to time, and to give 
some short Account of them in 
Print, or to employ such persons 
as they shall judge most fit for 
that Work: and to Revise all 
the Old Books, and to determine 

IN Scotland 41 

what Books shall be Printed 
every Moneth,and to receive and 
examine the Printers Accompts. 

This is a Method which I think 
will be both easie and efFedlual 
for establishing, and promoting 
of Bibliothecks in every Paroch 
throughout this Kingdom, nei- 
ther do I foresee any material 
Obje6lion, that can be made a- 
gainst any particular Article of it. 

For it shall be Obje6led against 
the second Article, by some of 
the present Ministers, that if they 
shall happen hereafter to be re- 
moved from their paroch to an- 
other, they will be at a great 
loss for want of these Books, 
with which they have been ac- 
customed of a long time. 

This is easily answered, for 

42 Parochial Libraries 
when a Minister is removed from 
one paroch to another, he will 
immediatly have a right to all, 
or at least a part of the Stipends 
of that paroch, till he be payed 
for his Books, and then with that 
Money he may buy what Books 
he thinks most necessary for 
himself, and give in to the li- 
brary of that other paroch to 
which he shal be Transplanted, 
and be payed for them after his 

It may be further Obje6led by 
the Ministers,that when the pub- 
lick is Debitor, it is sometimes 
difficult to get payment ; but this 
Obje6lion is groundless here for 
in this case the publick is not De- 
bitor, but every privat man is 
Debitor for his proportion of the 

IN Scotland 43 

vacant Stipends, to the Minister 
himself, or his Heirs and Assign- 
eys, ay and while he be payed 
for all the Books he gave in to 
the Bibliotheck of that paroch. 

But that which should move 
the Ministers to comply willing 
with this Article is, that there- 
by they both retain the use of 
their Books, and also secure the 
value of them, to themselves or 
their Heirs, whereas otherwise 
they might be lost or Sold for 
very little. 

It maybe Objedled by others a- 
gainst the tenth Article, that one 
Moneths Cess, which amounts 
to 72000 pounds Scots by year, 
will be too great a Fond for 
buying and printing of Books 

44 Parochial Libraries 

To this I answer, that if it be 
too great it must be so, either in 
respedl of the Books it will buy 
and print, or in respedl of the 
Persons that may pay it; but it is 
not too great in respeft of the 
Books it will buy and print, but 
rather too little, for the printing 
of an large Book as the five vol- 
umns of Pools Criticks upon the 
Bible, will more than exhaust all, 
and then what shal bring home 
New Books and Re-print them, 
and what shall maintain the Cor- 
respondence with all the print- 
ing places in Europe. 

Neither is it too great in re- 
spe6l of the Persons that must 
pay it, for the half of it which is 
to be payed by the Heretors, is 
only the 1/20 part of their valued 

IN Scotland 45 

Rent, and their valued Rent is 
ordinarly but the third part of 
their real Rent, so that an He- 
retor of one thousand and two 
hundred pounds Scots of valued 
Rent which is commonly 3600 
pounds of real Rent, shall pay 
only ten pounds Scots yearly , for 
maintaining and promoting of 
these Bibliothecks. And certainly 
it would be very unworthy of 
any Gentleman of such a Rent, 
to grudge the paying of ten 
pound Scots yearly, when for it, 
he, his Children and Tennents 
may have the free use of a well 
furnished Library, and of all the 
new Books & Gazets so soon as 
ever they are Printed. And I 
believe most part of Gentlemen 
bestow more than this Propor- 

46 Parochial Libraries 
tion of their Rents upon Books 
yearly, & yet are but very in- 
sufficiently provided. Yea, many 
Noblemen and Gentlemen be- 
stow more upon News ; so that 
this half Months Cess will be 
no new Burden upon them, but 
a more efFeftual and profitable 
way of bestowing that Money 
upon Books and News, which 
now is Expended to little or no 

As for the other half Months 
Cess which is to be payed by 
the Ministers, certainly none of 
them will grudge at it, seing any 
Ministers Share of it ( even al- 
though it were divided amongst 
them by equal Parts) will a- 
mount only to 36 pounds Scots, 
which is not so much as the 

IN Scotland 47 

yearly Annualrent of that Sum, 
which now a Minister must ne^ 
cessarly be supposed to bestow 
upon Books, before he can be 
any way tolerably furnished for 
his Studies. For supposing there 
be looo Ministers in Scotland 
that shall have Libraries for their 
own use; then each Ministers 
Shareof this 36000 pounds aS^o^^, 
will be only 36 pound, which 
is only the Annualrent of 600 
pounds Scots: and I believe there 
are few present Ministers, but 
have bestowed more than this 
Sum upon Books, so that the half 
Months Cess upon them, is not 
to be looked upon as a Burthen, 
but as a way to preserve their 
Money, seing by this Method, 
the yearly Annualrent of a small 

48 Parochial Libraries 
Sum of Money , will furnish them 
with a compleat Library, and 
incomparably more Books, than 
both the Stock and Annualrent 
of a far greater Sum can do 

But further, there are several 
other Considerations which may 
make the Ministers willing con- 
descend to this Article ; for either 
they may prevail with the king 
& parliament to ordain this hatf 
Months Cess to be payed out of 
the Bishops Rents, or to lay it on 
upon theTeinds of the Kingdom, 
which do justly belong to the 
Maintainance of the Worship of 
God, or some honest hearted 
Patron Titular of the Teinds, 
may Gift or Mortifie as much as 
may free his Minister of his Pro- 

IN Scotland 49 

portion of it. But though none of 
these should succeed at present, 
yet the Tacks of the Teinds 
must run out at length, and then 
the Kirk will be sufficiently pro- 
vided, not only to pay this half 
Months Cess, but even to pay 
the Whole, and free the Here- 
tors of their Share of it. 

It may be objedled by others, 
that the Fond will be too little, 
and the Work will be but small 
and contemptible. But it is an- 
swered. That though it may be 
small at the beginning, yet it will 
not be despicable, for we know 
that Rome was not all built in one 
day, and it is demonstrable, that 
these Libraries will by this Fond 
in a few years become very great 
and considerable, so that the 

50 Parochial Libraries 
very meanest of them may com- 
pare with the most famous Li- 
braries in the World; for this 
Fond will Print nine or ten 
Sheets of Paper dayly, which is 
enough for any man to read ; and 
this lo Sheets dayly, will be 
3000 Sheets yearly, which will 
be ten large Volumns of 300 
Sheets to each Volumn ; so that 
in 100 years, this will be 1000 
large Volumns, consisting of 
three hundred thousand Sheets 
of Paper; which with the Books 
that will be given in to the li- 
braries from time to time, by the 
Ministers and Heretors,may do 
much to comprehend all the va- 
luable Books extant. 

But further , this Degree of Per- 
fe6lion in these Libraries, may 


IN Scotland 51 

be much scx)ner attained, if the 
King and Parliament shall think 
fit to Augment this Cess upon 
the Heretors for some years, 
or for Printing of some seleft 
Books; or if a more easie and 
speedy way of Printing can be 
Invented than what is now in 
use, which I am perswaded may 
be done, if men of Sense were 
encouraged to apply themselves 
unto it. 

Lastly, it may be objedled 
that the different Perswasions 
amongst Ministers may mar all 
this Work ; But it is answered. 
That though the different Per- 
swasions amongst Ministers, 
mayobstru6l the free borrowing 
and lending of Books amongst 
them, yet that needs be no bin- 

52 Parochial Libraries 
derance to the settling and in- 
creasing of the Bibliothecks in 
every Paroch, or to the paying 
of their Shares for maintaining 
of the Printing House, and for 
Printing such Books as shall be 
thought most necessary. 

What hath been said, I hope is 
sufficient to convince any man, 
that there is no difficulty in this 
Work, if we be willing to set 
about it. Therefore I shall in the 
next place, lay before you some 
Considerations taken, i. From 
the Advantagiousness of the 
Work. 2. From the Honourable- 
ness of it. And s. From the Duty 
that lies upon us to provide our 
Ministers in all things necessary 
for their Ministry, which may 
serve for Arguments to per- 

IN Scotland 53 

swade all persons willingly and 
cordially to set about this Work. 
1 . This Establishing of Biblio- 
thecks in every Paroch, will not 
only remedy the forementioned 
Inconveniencies and Difficulties 
of Students, but it will be several 
ways Advantageous to the Coun- 
trey, For i. It will be a consi- 
derable Manufadlory, and will 
Maintain many People at Work. 
2. It will keep all that Money in 
the Kingdom, which now goes 
out for buying of Books and Pa- 
per. 3. It will encourage young 
Men to follow their Studies in 
their own Countrey, and there- 
by prevent their spending their 
Fortunes Abroad, and many 
other considerable Inconvenien- 
cies that young Men are ex- 

54 Parochial Libraries 
posed unto in strange Coiin- 
treys. 4. It will allure and pro- 
voke Gentlemen to bestow their 
spare Hours in reading of new 
Books, which may prove a good 
Means to restrain them from 
Gaming and Drinking, by pre- 
venting that uneasie and weari- 
some Idleness of Mind, which is 
the Parent of these, and many 
other Enormities. 5. It will in a 
short time,carry away the whole 
Trade of Printing from all the 
rest of Europe. 

But 2. As this Establishing of 
Bibliothecksin every Paroch will 
be Advantageous, so it will be 
very Honourable to this Coun- 
trey . For 1 . We shall not only 
be the first and the only Nation 
for a while, that shal have this 

IN Scotland 55 

regular and useful plenty of 
Books. But 2. Hereby all sorts of 
Learning will mightily encrease 
and flourish amongst us, and 
though we be not a great or a 
rich People, yet we may be a 
wise and a learned People. Yea 
further, these Libraries in two 
or three hundred years will be 
so full and compleat, that the 
Most Famous and Magnificent 
Libraries in the World, shal not 
outdo the meanest Library in 
any Paroch of this Kingdom,for 
numbers of valuable and useful 
Books, as hath been already 

3. If it be our Duty to provide 
our Ministers with all things 
necessary for them as a compe- 
tent Stipend, Manse and Gleib, 

56 Parochial Libraries 
that they being free from 
worldly Cares, may have time to 
study and Instru6l their People. 
Then certainly it must much 
more be our Duty, to provide 
them with competent Libraries 
of the most useful Books, seing 
without these they cannot study, 
nor be fitted sufficiently for In- 
stru6ling their People in the 
Truths of their Religion. 

4fthly. Seing God hath made 
all men by nature desirous of 
Knowledge, undoubtedly the 
satisfying of this desire, must be 
a considerable part of our natu- 
ral felicity ; for the only delight 
of our Souls, which are our bet- 
ter part, in which the Body doth 
not partake, is the delight She 
taketh in Knowledge and Con- 

IN Scotland 57 

templation. And seing God hath 
so ordered it, that the most part 
of our Knowledge should be 
communicat to us from our Fore- 
fathers, and Contemporaries, es- 
pecially by their Books and 
Writings,It doth necessarly fol- 
low, that the establishing and 
promoting of Libraries in every 
Paroch, whereby the use of all 
sorts of Books may be rendered 
most free and universal,andmay 
be perfe6lly secured to all our 
posterity, will be a very effec- 
tual means of increasing Know- 
ledge and Learning amongst us, 
and of helping us, and our poste- 
rity to search out all the Works 
of our God, that we may admire 
and adore his Inlinit Wisdom 
and Goodness, in making them 

58 Parochial Libraries 
such, and in so wonderfully dis- 
posing of them for his own pur- 
poses and Glory, which seems to 
be one principal end, for which 
our Blessed Maker hath made us 
rational Creatures. 
These things being duely consi- 
dered, I hope what hath been said 
will be sufficient, to perswade 
all lovers, and encouragers of 
Learning, that this founding and 
promoting of Bibliothecks in 
every Paroch throughout this 
Kingdom, is both necessary and 
easie, advantagious and honour- 
able, our Interest and our Duty. 






YOU may remember. That 
I had some Discourse with 
you, when I was in Scotland; 
About Libraries for the High- 
lands, at which time also I 
shewed you a Schem, about or- 
dering the Libraries. Since that 
time, I have not been unmind- 
ful, of what then I only in gen- 
eral hinted at. My Bodily dis- 
tempers, together with the small 
hopes I had, of any great suc- 
cess, hindred me from setting 
on foot this design ; which now 
at last I have ventured upon. 

62 Parochial Libraries 
The great examples of Charity, 
which this Kingdom afFords,par- 
ticularly in what concerns li- 
braries for the Plantations, have 
animated and disposed me, to 
fall to work, and to try what 
may be done for those in our 
Native Country, who need such 
helps and encouragements as 
much as any. I need not say 
much about the Reasons for this 
Undertaking. The Printed Pa- 
per which I send you, will show 
how great and important they 
are, and it is likely, your own 
knowledge and observation, will 
furnish you with others. 

I thought fit to mention the 
kinds of Books which we intend 
to purchase ; That they who give 
Books, and not Money may 

IN Scotland 63 

know what sort of Treatises we 
aim at, and may not put us off 
with trash. As for Popish Books 
and perhaps some others like- 
ways, tho they be not fit for the 
weaker sort of People ; yet for 
the Library of a Divine they are 
convenient and necessary, that 
so they may be the more able to 
deal with the Adversary. I sup- 
pose no body of any discretion 
or Learning will question this. 
At the end of the Printed 
Paper, you find mention made 
of the Schem I hinted at; I 
thought it necessary, ere I make 
it publick to send it to you, to 
peruse it, and shew it to the As- 
sembly, or Commission of the 
Kirk, that such Additions or Al- 
terations, may be made as shall 

-5^ Pjliochl^z. LaajkJLZEs 
be 72C^»d 

•«rZ be ^£er. by rose wiio ; 
21 rbe Go^cmacnt bo 
and Dreserre traer dBricr, and 
to doe 2II tbey can to render 
the Books jsefdL 
Tho some of the Rides, wlndi 
are proposed to be observed, in 
ordenng die libraiies, mav at 
first ReacEng, seem hard, yet 
upon due Conskkradon, it will 
be found very necessary, to use 
a great deal of strichiess, and 
exacbiess in dns Affidr. They 
who know die World, but a lit- 
de, and have seen die fate c€ 
some libraries, wiQ Reckon die 
outnxist precaution, we can use 
litde enough to jNrevoit w*hat 

IX Scotland 65 

otherwayes, will be unavcxda- 
ble. It's a wortc of no small dif- 
ficulty, to piirdiase a parcel of 
good Books, for publidc advan- 
tage, nor is it less difficult to 
preserve and secure diem for 
posterity, when they are pur- 

It would be of scxne advantage 
to this design, if you and scxne 
others of the Ministry, would 
write to some Ministers of the 
Presbyterian way, at London to 
move them to concurr in this 
Affair: And if to all this were 
added some endeavours in ScoU 
land, to procure some Books, or 
Money to buy them, we might 
then hope to get libraries ere6t- 
ed in Elach Presby try-Seat of the 
Highlands , and perhaps for Ork- 

66 Parochial Libraries 
ney and Zetland, whose need of 
Books is likewayes apparent. 

I know your sence of these 
things, and your Zeal to promote 
solid Piety, and useful Learning, 
will prompt you to do your out- 
most in this undertaking: And 
no doubt, they who are inspu^ed 
with true Principles of Charity, 
and are concerned for the inter- 
est of common Christianity, will 
with all chearfulness, accept of 
this or any other the like oppor- 
tunity of doing good. 

For my own part, I am willing 
to doe what I can, in this design 
which I know to be very neces- 
sary. And if after all, the suc- 
cess do not answer my wishes, I 
will sit down satisfied, with my 
having done the best I could. 

IN Scotland 67 

which I know my good God 
will accept of. 

I am not insensible of the oppo- 
sition and discouragement which 
this or any other pious and use- 
ful Design is sure to meet with. 
Satan will not be wanting to doe 
what he can to hinder what tends 
to the weakening his Interest in 
the World, of this I have seen 
too many instances to be daunt- 
ed thereby. If the Love of God 
prevail in us it will make us de- 
spise all such Rubbs and Dis- 
couragements, and to goe on in 
the strength of the Lord, who 
will not fail us, or forsake us. He 
often by weak means and despi- 
cable Instruments brings mighty 
things to pass. 

They who know the low estate 

68 Parochial Libraries 
of Religion in the World, and 
how fast Popery and Deism, 
yea and Atheism, prevail every- 
where, will think themselves 
oblidged heartily and zealously 
to concurr, with all those who 
take any Rational and feasible 
course to propagate Christian 
Knowledge, and to hinder the 
restless and Wicked Endeav- 
ours, of those who labour to cor- 
rupt if not to root out our Holy 

Perhaps you have heard what 
excellent Designs are formed 
both by the Corporation, and 
by the society for propagating 
Christian Knowledge. They are 
settleing a Correspondence with 
some Learned and Pious Di- 
vines, of Forreign Churches and 

IN Scotland 69 

have sent them a great many 
Treatises, some of which have 
been translated into other Lan- 
guages, for the benefite of these 
who understand not English. 

And whereas the Plantations 
have been generally negle6led, 
there is now great care taken, 
to have Ministers sent amongst 
them and Schools Ere6led, and 
good Books provided for them. 

I send you the Printed Paper, 
together with the Projedl, about 
ordering the Libraries, that you 
may have time to prepare mat- 
ters relating to this designe be- 
fore the Assembly meets, that 
what is necessary to be done, 
may be dispatched with greater 
conveniencie, amidst the croud 
of other business. It is lit to let 

70 Parochial Libraries 
me know, as soon as you can, 
what the Assembly resolves, and 
agrees to, in this matter, that 
so they that wish well to this 
Undertaking, may be encour- 
aged to goe on with chearful- 
ness, when they see that their 
labour and charge will not be 

As to what issaid,in the Printed 
Paper about the poverty of our 
Nation, which is given as the 
reason, why we trouble Stran- 
gers with this affair. I hope none 
of my Countrie men will take 
offence at it; The Truth of this 
is too much felt at home, and 
too well known abroad, to be 
denyed. It were well if such suf- 
ferings did awaken those who 
are asleep in their Sin, and cure 

IN Scotland 71 

such as are apt to be so fond and 
proud of perishing things. But if 
any are so vain and foolish as too 
Censure this Paragraph, Their 
best way of confutation, is to 
take an effeftual and speedy 
course, to provide a competent 
number of Libraries, for such 
parts of our native Countrie, as 
need them most. There is none 
amongst us here, but will be 
glad, to see this work Under- 
taken and finished by these in 
Scotland whose concern and in- 
terest it is cheifly to have it 

May our good God dire6l and 
prosper, all those who sincerly 
set themselves, to do the best 
they can, for his Glory and the 
real happiness, and welfare of 

72 Parochial Libraries 
men. In which Prayer I know 
you will readily joyne with. 

Tour affeHionat Brother. 






THE Reasrais for setting 
on foot this Design, are, 

I. The great scarcity of Books 
amcmg the Ministers in those 
Parts, some c^th^n hardly hav- 
ing so many as are worth twen- 
ty shillings. 

II. The small Provision many 
of them have in the Highlands 
( tho in other parts of the King- 
dom, Ministers are for the most 
part, much better provided for) 
so that very few of them can 
spare anything out of their poor 

74 Parochial Libraries 
livings toward the purchasing of 

III. The great industry of the 
Romish Missionaries amongst 
them makes it necessary for 
them to be tolerably provided 
with such Books, as may enable 
them to encounter their Adver- 

IV. The gross ignorance of the 
People in those parts, together 
with some late endeavours to se- 
duce the Inhabitants of the Isle 
oiHirta into a state of Heathen- 
ism, make it very necessary that 
they should be provided with 
such Treatises as prove theTruth 
of the Christian Religion. 

V. The Excellent Parts and 
Capacities of the Ministers ge- 
nerally throughout the High- 

IN Scotland 75 

lands; as they invite generous 
and charitable Persons to afford 
them what assistance they can, 
in this kind ; so they give good 
ground to expedl much fruit 
from such a Charity. 

VI . As such Libraries will be 
of extraordinary Advantage to 
the Ministers, so they will be 
greatly useful to such young 
men as intend for the Sacred 
Office, who cannot acquire any 
tolerable measure of necessary 
and useful knowledge, unless 
they are fumish'd with a suffi- 
cient number of good Books. 

VII. To all which must be 
added their great distance from 
all such places where they might 
either buy or borrow such Books 
as are useful to them. 

76 Parochial Libraries 
To Answer in part the above- 
mention'd Design, it is intended, 
to have one Library in each 
County of the Highlands; ex- 
cept where there are but few 
Parishes, in which case, one Li- 
brary is at first to serve two or 
three Counties: Their Number 
may be afterwards increased as 
Encouragement is given. 
The Money or Books which 
shall be given, may be put into 
the hands of Mr Taylor a Book- 
seller at the Ship, or of M\ Ro- 
hinson at the Golden lion in 
St. Paul's Church-yard, who will 
give the Benefa6lors a note of 
what Money or Books shall be 
intrusted to them. 

If it be asked, Why we trouble 
strangers with this af&ir, and do 

IN Scotland 77 

not transadl it altogether among 
our own Country-men ? The An- 
swer in short is this ; The Na- 
tion's poverty , ( occasioned chief- 
ly by their great losses at Sea, 
the decay of Trade, the great 
Dearth of Com, and the Death 
of Cattle for some Years to- 
gether, to say nothing of seve- 
ral other things which might be 
named ) renders the People ge- 
nerally unable to do much by 
way of Charity; nevertheless 
there are not wanting those 
amongst them, who amidst their 
straights and wants, are fore- 
ward to promote this or any 
other good Design,even beyond 
their Power. 

As for those good People in 
both Kingdoms, who sometime 

78 Parochial Libraries 
ago, did freely and largely con- 
tribute towards the Printing of 
Bibles in Irish, for the use of the 
poorer sort of Highlanders , ( the 
success of which Charitable 
Workjthro' God's Blessing,hath 
been very great even beyond 
our hopes ) it is not doubted but 
they will give all encouragement 
to this undertaking, either by 
bestowing such useful Books as 
they can spare, or by giving 
money to buy them. And altho' 
we know that the Humble and 
Devout followers of our great 
Master Jesus, desire not to be 
seen of Men, nor to have their 
works published to the World; 
yet as a Motive to others and in 
Testimony of Gratitude towards 
those who encourage this good 

IN Scotland 79 

Design, we propose to set down 
in each Book, and in the Ca- 
talogues of each Library, the 
Names of the Benefa6lors. 
Rules about ordering some Li- 
beraries intended for the 

1 . Care is to be taken, the Books 
be deposited in such places as 
may best suit the exigences of 
the Country, especially at such 
Presbytry-seats as ly in the cen- 
ter of the bounds, which are to 
be supplyed. 

2. That they be intrusted to the 
care of the Minister and School- 
master of the place, unless there 
be two ministers Officiating 
there, in which case they must 
have the charge of the Books. 

3. That the Books be kept un- 

8o Parochial Libraries 
der Lock and Key in good and 
strong presses, to be placed in a 
pure and dry Air free from 

4. That each Press have two 
Locks and two Keys, whereof 
one Key is to be in the hands of 
the Minister, and the other of 
the School-master unless there 
be two Ministers serving at the 
place; and then each of them 
may have a Key. 

5. Some Books being of so 
general Use, that to lend them 
abroad, were the ready way to 
frustrate the Design. Therefore 
it may be specified by an A61 of 
the Synod or Presbytry of the 
bounds, what books in their list 
may not be lent abroad. 

6. That no Books be lent to 

IN Scotland 8i 

any, but Preachers or School- 
masterSjOr Students living with- 
in such Bounds, as shall be as- 
signed by the Presbytry, Synod 
or Assembly. 

7. That he who borrows any 
Book, Consign a fourth part 
more than the real Value of it ; 
thereby to prevent the turning 
the Libraries into book-sellers 

8. Besides, the Borrower of 
any Treatise, ought to enter his 
name into a Book of the Library 
to be provided for that purpose 
together with the time in which 
he is to restore it, upon pain of 
forfeiting the Money Consigned. 
This seems likeways needful to 
prevent the embezelling of the 

82 Parochial Libraries 

9. That they who live at pla- 
ces 15 or 20 Miles distant be 
obliged to restore the Book they 
borrow within a Fourtnight,if an 
8vo. within three weeks, if a 4 to. 
within a Month or 6 Weeks, if 
a Folio. They who live a great 
way further, may be allowed a 
week or fourtnight more, but 
a long time ought not to be 
granted, that so others who need 
the keep of such Books, may 
have the benefit of them. 

10. When it happens, that the 
Money which was consigned is 
forfeited, care should be taken, 
that it be not bestowed without 
the Advice of the Synod or Pres- 
bytry of the bounds, or of the 
Committee appointed for such 

IN Scotland 83 

1 1 . That each Presbytry and 
Synod, have a Catalogue of the 
Books appropriated to their 

12. That besides the above- 
mentioned Catalogue, there be 
likeways a List of the Books in 
each Library, fairly writen upon 
a large Sheet of Paper or Parch- 
ment, and placed conveniently 
in the Apartment where the Pres- 
bytry or Synod of the bounds 
does meet; that so both Minis- 
ters and Probationers may the 
more readily know what Books 
there are to be borrowed when 
they have occasion for them. 

13. That the Presbytry once 
every half Year, visit the Libra- 
ry or Libraries of their bounds; 
and that they make report to 

84 Parochial Libraries 
the Synod of their Diligence, 
and in what condition they find 
the Books &c. 

14. That the Synod likeways 
once in two or three Years, send 
some of their Number to inspedl 
the publick Library or Libraries 
in their bounds, and to report in 
what case they are, and how 
these and other necessary Rules, 
which shall be thought upon are 

15. That the Library-Keepers 
do not presume to exchange the 

16. If any Book which is lent, 
be spoilt, tome, or in any sort 
abused. In this case, they who 
have the charge of the Books, 
shall not restore the Money 
Consigned, till first they have ac- 

IN Scotland 85 

quainted the Presbytry or Synod 
of the bounds, where it may be 
determined what shall be done. 

17. That care be taken, the 
persons who shall be appointed 
Depositaries of the Books beRe- 
sponsable Men and of blameless 

18. That they who are in- 
trusted with the Charge of the 
Books, give good Security to 
leave them in as good case is 
they were in, when they were 
first intrusted with them. 

19. That in case of the re- 
moveal of the persons who have 
this Trust, they be obliged to 
make good what Books are 
wanting, or spoilt and abused, 
or in case of their decease their 
Heirs do it. 

86 Parochial Libraries 

20. That they who have 
charge of the Books, may know 
what Money to require to be 
Consigned by those who borrow 
any of them, it will be conven- 
ient either for the Synod of the 
bounds or some other Ecclesias- 
tical Judicature, by some of their 
Number best skilled in Books, 
to assign the prices of each book 
in their publick Library as they 
maybe bought in ScotlandyWithr- 
al reckoning for the charge of 
Transporting them. The prices 
of the Books may be inserted in 
the Catalogues. 

21. If it happen that any one, 
or both the persons who have 
charge of the Books, have oc- 
casion to go a great way from 
home. It will be necessary the 

IN Scotland 87 

Keyes be left behind them, in 
the hands of persons of Integ- 
rity and Discretion, who may 
either lend out or receive in the 
Books, always observing the 
Condition abovementioned. 

22. If the Minister or School- 
masters place become Void by 
Removeal,Death,oi* otherways ; 
The Presbytry of the bounds, 
shall nominate others in their 
stead, for the charge and trust 
of the Books. 

23. That upon the delivering 
of the Books at first to those, 
who shall be intrusted wdth the 
Keeping of them, the condition 
of every Book be, as to Binding 
and otherways, expressed in 
writing, by the inspedlion of two 
or more, who shall be deputed