16 July 2020

Luther and Lewis

Therefore you must believe and confess that you are holy through this blood and not through your own devotion. Thus you leave your life and possessions above with Christ and await and accept whatever may happen to you.—Martin Luther, Exposition of 1 Peter, 1523

Until quite modern times—I think, until the time of the Romantics—nobody ever suggested that literature and the arts were an end in themselves. They 'belonged to the ornamental part of life', they provided 'innocent diversion', or else they 'refined our manners' or 'incited us to virtue' or glorified the gods. The great music has been written for Masses, the great pictures painted to fill up space on the wall of a noble patron's dining-room or to kindle devotion in a church; the great tragedies were produced either by religious poets in honour of Dionysius or by commercial poets to entertain Londeners on half-holidays.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 182.

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