September 30, 2019

The Clean Sea Breeze of the Centuries

Perhaps my favorite Preface of all time is that by C.S. Lewis for On the Incarnation by Athanasius. Here’s an example, on why we should read old books:

Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them.”


Lewis quote


Previous post
A Bellyaching Bucket I’ve mentioned it a few times recently, but I keep thinking about it, I keep having opportunities to try it, and I keep thinking that it could
Next post
Keeping the Adjective There are only two uses of the adjective form of “Lord” (κυριακῇ) in the New Testament. One is in Revelation 1:10 regarding the “Lord’s day.” The