stream of the Spirit

In the days when I still hated Christianity, I learned to recognize, like some all too familiar smell, that almost unvarying something which met me, now in Puritan Bunyan, now in Anglican Hooker, now in Thomist Dante. It was there (honeyed and florid) in François de Sales; it was there (grave and homely) in Spenser and Walton; it was there (grim but manful) in Pascal and Johnson; there again, with a mild frightening, Paradisial flavor, in Vaughan and Boehme and Traherne. In the urban sobriety of the eighteenth century one was not safe—Law and Butler were two lions in the path. The supposed ‘Paganism’ of the Elizabethans could not keep it out; it lay in wait where a man might have supposed himself safest, in the very centre of The Faerie Queene and the Arcadia. It was, of course, varied; and yet—after all—so unmistakably the same; recognizable, not to be evaded, the odour which is death to us until we allow it to become life:

an air that kills
From yon far country blows.

(C.S. Lewis, “On the Reading of Old Books” in God in the Dock)

This entry was posted in history, quotes, spirituality, theology. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to stream of the Spirit

  1. Pingback: Posts about bloggers I like issue #26 | Mistakes, Near Misses, Strange Thoughts and Useless Flashes of Brilliance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *