Sunday, August 24, 2008

Truth and Liberty

"Truth is compared in scripture to a streaming fountain: if her waters flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.
We boast our light; but if we look not wisely on the sun itself, it smites us into darkness. The light which we have gained was given us, not to be ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge.
To be still searching what we know not, by what we know, still closing up truth as we find it, this is the golden rule in theology as well as in arithmetic, and makes up the best harmony in church; not the forced and outward union of cold and natural and inwardly divided minds.
Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
The Temple of Janus with his two controversial faces might now not unsignificantly be set open. Let truth and falsehood grapple: who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing."

John Milton, English Puritan Poet, author of Paradise Lost, 1608-1674 - Photo from the Vatican

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