« PreviousContinue »
Mammon will ope his glittering shrine,
Four men stand gazing at a statue : one is before it, another behind it, the other two occupy opposite sides. The first observes two eyes, a nose and a mouth. The second sees neither eyes nor nose, nor mouth, but the back parts. The other two see each a different eye and ear and half a mouth. If we collect the observations of all four men, we obtain a pretty complete idea of the whole statue ; but the view of each, by himself, is partial, true in itself but false if that which is partial be assumed to be the entire truth. So is it with absolute verity. Every one of us contemplates it from a different standpoint and with different perspective. No man is able to embrace at once and in all its aspects that truth or perfection which is infinite, because he himself is a finite being, and he sees only a corner, an angle corresponding to his moral, intellectual or aesthetical pre-dispositions. For him, that is truth, and that alone; and as every man differs from every one else in his predispositions, whether native or acquired, every one beholds a different phase, and pretends that his own visual angle is the entire plan, and that one detail is the totality of the statue.*
Time and nature will bolt out the truth of things.
--SIR R. L'ESTRANGE.
'Twixt truth and error there's this difference known, Error is fruitful, truth is only one.
* From The Origin and Development of Religious Belief.
Truth, it is said, lies deep and requires time and labour to gain, but falsehood swims on the surface, and is always at hand.
Truth being founded upon a rock, you may boldly seek to see its foundation, without fear of destroying the evidence, but falsehood being laid on the sand, if you examine its foundations, you cause it to fall.
If you want truth to go round the world, you must hire an express train to pull it, but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly. It is light as a feather, and a breath will carry it.
Truth crushed to earth shall rise again :
--W. C. BRYANT.
A thousand probabilities cannot make one truth.
-OLD ITALIAN PROVERB.
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth ; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
-JOHN STUART MILL.
Let him that would live well, attain to trutb, and then, and not before, he will cease from sorrow.
Truth is honour, truth is might ;
Believe it, my good friends, to love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world and the seed-plot of all other virtues.
Seize upon Truth where'er 'tis found
Among your friends, among your foes,
The flower's divine, where'er it grows.
Union is strength.
Distress and ruin on divisions wait,
Two are better than one.
Unity of interests will reconcile many of the most opposite sentiments.
Concession is no humiliation, nor admission of error any disgrace.
Two things, well considered, would prevent many quarrels; first, to have it well ascertained whether we are not disputing about terms, rather than things; and, secondly, to examine whether that on which we differ, is worth contending about.
How often is a loose, cross word
* From Bewick's Select Fables.
Will oft supply the healing balm,
Every schoolboy can have recourse to the fable of the rods, which, when united in a bundle, no strength could bend.
Party faction is the bane of society.
It takes two to quarrel ; but some folks don't seem to have much trouble in finding the other one.
Behold how good a thing it is,
And how becoming well,
In unity to dwell.
THE OLD MAN AND HIS THREE SONS.
Of a father, three sons, and a bundle of sticks;
And still of more use to Toms, Harrys, and Dicks,
With your leave, I'll relate it--An old man had
weather'd The last gale of Life, and he wished to bequeath. His most precious advice to his sons, who had gathered
To hear what a father's last whisper would breathe. “See that fagot of sticks,” said the sire, “in yon
corner, With a withe twined about it to keep it together; Now each of you take it, and see who can break it,
But mind that not one of you take off the tether."