By John Milton
One of many unique, and maximum defenses of loose speech, initially released as a written 'speech.' Please visiti www.ArcManor.com for extra works through this and different nice authors.
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Extra info for Areopagitica: A Defense of Free Speech - Includes Reproduction of the First Page of the Original 1644 Edition
When God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing; he had been else a mere artificial Adam, such an Adam as he is in the motions. We ourselves esteem not of that obedience, or love, or gift, which is of force: God therefore left him free, set before him a provoking ob30 AR EOPAGITICA ject, ever al most in his eyes; herein consisted his merit, herein the right of his reward, the praise of his abstinence. Wherefare did he create passions within us, pleasures round alıout us, but that these rightly ternpered are the very ingredients of virtue?
I lastly proceed from the no good it can do, to the manifest huıt it causes, in being first the greatest discouragement and affront that can be offered to learning, a nd to learned men. It was t he complaint and lamentation of prelates, upon every least breatlı of a motion to remove pluralities, and distribute more equally Church revenues, that then all learning would be for ever dasbed and discouraged. But as for that opinion, I never found cause to thin k that the tenth part of learning stood or fell with the clergy: nor could I ever but hold it for a sordid and unworthy speech of any churchman who had a competency left him.
To startle thus betimes at a mere unlicensed pamphlet will after a while be afraid of every conventicle, and a while after will make a conventicle of every Christian meeting. But I am certain that a State governed by the rules of justice and fortitude, or a Church built and founded up on the rock of fa ith and true knowledge, cannot be so pusillanimous. While things are yet not constituted in religion, that freedem ofwriting should be restrained by a discipline imitated from the prelates and learnt by them from the Inquisition, to shut us up all again into the breast of a licenser, must needs give cause of doubt and discouragement to all learned and religious men.
Areopagitica: A Defense of Free Speech - Includes Reproduction of the First Page of the Original 1644 Edition by John Milton