The Young Lady's Mentor eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 222 pages of information about The Young Lady's Mentor.

[28] Jer. xliv. 4.

[29] Isa. viii. 20.

[30] Col. i. 12.

[31] Archdeacon Manning.

[32] Matt. xxv. 24.

[33] Ps. cxli. 3.

[34] Gal. vi. 7.

[35] Luke xv.

LETTER III.

Falsehood and truthfulness.

I do not accuse you of being a liar—­far from it; on the contrary, I believe that if truth and falsehood were distinctly placed before you, and the opportunity of a deliberate choice afforded you, you would rather expose yourself to serious injury than submit to the guilt of falsehood.  It is, therefore, with the more regret that your conscientious friends observe a daily-growing disregard of absolute truth in your statement of indifferent things, and, a plus forte raison, in your statement of your own side of the question as opposed to that of another.  There are, unfortunately, a thousand opportunities and temptations to the exaggerated mode of expression for which I blame you; and these temptations are generally of so trifling a nature, that the whole energies of the conscience are never awakened to resist them, as might be the case were the evil to others and the disgrace to yourself more strikingly manifest.  Few people seem to be at all aware of the difficulties that really attend speaking the exact truth, or they would shrink from indulging in any habits that immeasurably increase these difficulties,—­increase it, indeed, to such a degree, that some minds appear to have lost the very power of perceiving truth; so that, even when they are extremely anxious to be correct in their statement, there is a total incapacity of transmitting a story to another in the way that they themselves received it.  This is one of the most striking temporal punishments of sin,—­one of those that are the inevitable consequences of the sin itself, and quite independent of the other punishments which the revealed will of God attaches to it.  The persons of whom I speak must sooner or later perceive that no dependence is placed on their statements, that even when respect and affection for their other good qualities may prevent a clear recognition of the falsehood of their character, yet that they are now never applied to for information on any matters of importance.  Perhaps, to those who have any sensitiveness of observation, such doubts are even the more painful the more vaguely they are implied.  For myself, I have long acquired the habit of translating the assertions and the stories of the persons of whom I speak into the language in which I judge they originally existed.  By the aid of a small degree of ingenuity, it is not very difficult to ascertain, from the nature of the refracting medium, the degree and the direction of the change that has taken place in the pure ray of truth.

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The Young Lady's Mentor from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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