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Shaping of Character by Truth

By Phillips Brooks

      "Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts"
      (Ps. 51:6).

      The great purpose of life--the shaping of character by truth--is to be sought in all the life. There are no wasted hours. It must begin in the life's morning and run on till the nightfall comes. With the first opening of conscious existence--nay, who can say how long before existence becomes conscious--this process, the shaping of character by truth, begins. In each period of the changing life it may change its methods and yet be the same process still. In the early life the channel through which truth enters for its work is obedient trust. Later it is individual conviction; but he mangles the life, and loses its symmetry and unity, who breaks off either half or dishonours either channel; who either thinks there can be no religion till the mind can understand its grounds, or tries to keep the mature mind under the power of traditional ideas of which it has received no personal conviction.

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