A Little Milton on a Monday Afternoon

My new friend Kelly Foster just emailed this to me.

It’s a quote from John Milton’s Areopagitica, which I haven’t read since 1991, so it’s time to revisit it:

He that can apprehend and consider vice with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the true wayfaring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat… We boast our light; but if we look not wisely on the sun itself, it smites us into darkness.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • http://www.campbell.edu/coas/english/index.html elrambo

    Milton’s talking specifically about theological discussion, but he still has a points worth considering in wider contexts.

  • http://withashout.net ajamison

    That is killer, I need to read this.

  • azhiashalott

    Excellent and appropriate quote. It makes me want to re-read Areopagitica.


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