City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Vicesimus Knox (1752-1821)
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"  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" .