By C S Lewis; Clyde S Kilby
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Additional info for A mind awake; an anthology of C.S. Lewis
The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys. . The Moral Law is not any one instinct or any set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts. , bk 1, ch. 2 One man said to me, 'Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. ' But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did—if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather, surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did.
On the contrary, it is just when there seems to be most of Heaven already here that I come nearest to longing for a patria. It is the bright frontispiece which whets one to read the story itself. All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasises our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings. Letters (5 November 1959) There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else; ...
The Problem of Pain, ch. 1 Even among ancient authors the same paradox [of good sense and religious conviction] was to be found. The most religious (Plato, Aeschylus, Virgil) were clearly those on whom I could really feed. On the other hand, those writers who did not suffer from religion and with whom in theory my sympathy ought to have been complete—Shaw and Wells and Mill and Gibbon and Voltaire—all seemed a little thin; what as boys we called 'tinny'. It wasn't that I didn't like them. They were all (especially Gibbon) entertaining; but hardly more.