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 resources for Areopagitica: A Defense of Free Speech - Includes Reproduction of the First Page of the Original 1644 Edition
There be - who knows not that there be? - of Protestants and professors who live and die in as arrant an implicit faith as any lay Papist of Loretto. A wealthy man, addicted to his pleasure and to his pro:fits, finds religion to be a traffic so entangled, and of so many piddling accounts, that of all mysteries he cannot skill to keep a stock going upon that trade. What should he do? fain he would have the name to be religious, fain he would bear up with his neighbours in that. What does he therefore, but resolves to give over toiling, and to find himself out so me factor, to whose care and credit he may commit the whole managing of his religious affairs; some divine of note and estimation that must be.
This doubtless is more wholesome, more prudent, and mo re Christian, that many be tolerated, rather than all compelled. I mean not tolerated popery, and open superstition, which, as it extirpates all religions and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpate, provided first that all charitable and compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak and the misled: that al so which is impious or evil absolutely either against faith or manners no law can possibly permit, that intends not to unlaw itself: but those neighbouring differences, or rather indifferences, are what I speak of, whether in some point of doctrine or of discipline, which, though they may be many, yet need not interrupt the unity of spiritJ if we could but find among us the bond ofpeace.
And that we are to hop e better of all these supposed sects and schisms, and that we shall not need that solicitude, honest perhaps, though over-timorous, of them that vex in this behalf, but shall Jaugh in the end at those malicious applauders of our differences, I have these reasons to persuade me. First, when a city shall be as it were besieged and blocked about, her navigable ri ver infested, inroads and incursions ro und, defiance and battle oft rumoured to be marching up even to her walls and suburb trenches, that then the people, or the greater part, more than at other times, wholly taken up with the study of highest and most im portant matters to be reform ed, should be disputing, reasoning, reading, inventing, discoursing, even to a rarity and admiration, things not before discoursed or written of, argues first a singular goodwill, contentedness and canfidence in your prudent foresight and safe government, Lords and Commons; and from thence derives itself to a gallant bravery and well-grounded contempt of their enemies, as if there were no smail number of as great spirits among us, as his was, who when Rome was nigh besieged by Hannibal, being in the city, bought that piece of ground at no cheap rate, whereon Hannibal himself encamped his own regiment.
Areopagitica: A Defense of Free Speech - Includes Reproduction of the First Page of the Original 1644 Edition by John Milton