Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From the Areopagitica

John Milton (1608–1674)
 
Milton is advocating the liberty of the press. 1

.. THEY are not skilful considerers of human things, who imagin to remove sin by removing the matter of sin; for besides that it is a huge heap increasing under the very act of diminishing, though some part of it may for a time be withdrawn from some persons, it cannot from all, in such a universal thing as books are; and when this is done yet the sin remains entire. Though ye take from a covetous man all his treasure, he has yet one jewel left, ye cannot bereave him of his covetousness. Banish all objects of lust, shut up all youth into the severest discipline that can be exercis’d in any hermitage, ye cannot make them chaste, that came not thither so; such great care and wisdom is requir’d to the right managing of this point. Suppose we could expell sin by this means; look how much we thus expell of sin, so much we expell of vertue: for the matter of them both is the same; remove that, and ye remove them both alike. This justifies the high providence of God, who though he command us temperance, justice, continence, yet pours out before us ev’n to a profuseness all desirable things, and gives us minds that can wander beyond all limit and satiety …
  1
 
Note 1. Milton. From the ‘Areopagitica’. Spelling modified. [back]
 
 
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