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Growing in Truth

By Phillips Brooks


      "For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds"
      (Ps. 108:4).

      For I think that the first condition of any permanent hold on any truth is this, that the truth itself should be live enough and large enough to open constantly and bring to every new condition through which we pass some new experience of itself. The truth that is narrow and partial we outgrow; only the truth that is broad and complete grows up with us and can be kept. The one is like the clothes of childhood that are cast aside; the other is like the live body that grows up with the growing soul, and at each stage offers it a fit instrument for its work and a fit medium through which to receive its education.

      The true faith which a man has kept up to the end of his life must be one that has opened with his growth and constantly won new reality and colour from his changing experience. The old man does believe what the child believed; but how different it is, though still the same. It is the field that once held the seed, now waving and rustling under the autumn wind with the harvest that it holds, yet all the time it has kept the corn. The joy of his life has richened his belief. His sorrow has deepened it. His doubts have sobered it. His enthusiasms have fired it. His labour has purified it.

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