poets, or all Aristotle's philosophy, so he need not be dangerously superficial, if he has but a parallel knowledge of Religion.
However, it may be said that the risk of theological error is so serious, and the effects of theological conceit are so mischievous, that it is better for a youth to know nothing of the sacred subject, than to have a slender knowledge which he can use freely and recklessly, for the very reason that it is slender. And here we have the maxim in corroboration: “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”
This objection is of too anxious a character to be disregarded. I should answer it thus:—In the first place it is obvious to remark, that one great portion of the knowledge here advocated is, as I have just said, historical knowledge, which has little or nothing to do