Illuminations

Like a Thief in the Night

by Anthony Esolen

Aslan the Lion has breathed the breath of life, calling, "Narnia, Narnia, Narnia! Awake!" It is the beginning of a world. The animals awake to reason and the spirit, and they begin to speak, each in his distinctive way—even to make jokes! Yet the cowardly and wicked magician, Uncle Andrew, hears nothing but the jabbering of wild animals. He is terrified, and Aslan gives him the mercy of unconsciousness, the only mercy that such as he can know.

C. S. Lewis suggests that the flames of hell are how the wicked experience the glory of Paradise, for God is the Selfsame, and should we descend into the pit, yet is he there. . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalene College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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