Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Holier a Man Is

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I have been trying to make the reader believe that we actually are, at present, creatures whose character must be, in come respects, a horror to God, as it is, when we really see it, a horror to ourselves. This I believe to be a fact: and I notice that the holier a man is, the more fully he is aware of that fact. Perhaps you have imagined that this humility in the saints is a pious illusion at which God smiles. That is a most dangerous error. It is theoretically dangerous, because it makes you identify a virtue (i.e., a perfection) with an illusion (i.e., an imperfection), which must be nonsense. It is practically dangerous because it encourages a man to mistake his first insights into his own corruption for the first beginnings of a halo around his own silly head. No, depend on it, when the saints say that they–even they–are vile, they are recording truth with scientific accuracy.

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