The Screwtape Letters

Lewis, C. S.

Macmillan, 1961

pp. 64-65

Screwtape [senior devil] to Wormwood [junior devil and Screwtape’s nephew]: “’You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy [God]. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their accumulative effect is to edge the man away from the light and toward the Nothing. Murder is not better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”