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Vicesimus Knox

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Spirit Of Despotism


By Vicesimus Knox
Political Science

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Vicesimus Knox

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Vicesimus Knox (1752 - 1821) was an English essayist and minister. He was born December 8, 1752, at Newington Green, Middlesex. Knox was educated at St John's College, Oxford, took orders, and became Head Master of Tonbridge School. He published Essays Moral and Literary (1778), and compiled the formerly well-known Elegant Extracts, often reprinted. As an essayist he wrote extensively on morals and literature, and as a minister he preached often on behalf of philanthropic causes and against war, arguing that "If the Christian religion in all its purity, and in its full force, were suffered to prevail universally, the sword of offensive war must be sheathed for ever, and the din of arms would at last be silenced in perpetual peace" [1] and that "The total abolition of war, and the establishment of perpetual and universal peace, appear to me to be of more consequence than any thing ever achieved, or even attempted, by mere mortal man, since the creation" [2].

Further reading

  • Vicesimus Knox (1781): Winter Evenings: or, Lucubrations on Life and Letters (serialized in weblog format)
  • Vicesimus Knox: Works online at the Online Library of Liberty
  • James Ferguson (1823): The Life of the Rev. Vicesimus Knox, D. D.
  • Laurence M. Vance (2005-10-24): Vicesimus Knox: Minister of Peace

This article incorporates public domain text from: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature London, J.M. Dent & sons; New York, E.P. Dutton.



This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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