The religious impulse in early modern Ireland generated a wide range of responses. For contemporaries, to read for salvation was not necessarily to approach works of religion uncritically or with the same view that clergy held. Rather they used books and printed religious ephemera as tools to understand, and in some cases harness, the power of God at work in the world. Of all the books with which early modern Irishmen and women came into contact, the most widespread and potentially the most important for all confessional groups was the Bible. In the early seventeenth century James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh, offered advice on how, when, and to what effect the Bible was to be read. If Protestantism in all its forms used printed books as a way of giving shape to the religious impulse, Catholicism used a wider range of devotional aids.