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Friday, 28 October 2011

Mark Twain describes Bill Muehlenberg

No, really! I came across this passage in Mark Twain's book What is Man? recently.

He perfectly describes our dear friend Bill and others of his ilk who claim to know the truth...

We are always hearing of people who are around seeking after Truth. I have never seen a (permanent) specimen. I think he has never lived. But I have seen several entirely sincere people who thought they were (permanent) Seekers after Truth. They sought diligently, persistently, carefully, cautiously, profoundly, with perfect honesty and nicely adjusted judgement – until they believed that without doubt or question they had found the Truth. That was the end of the search. The man spent the rest of his life hunting up shingles wherewith to protect his Truth from the weather. If he was seeking after political Truth he found it in one or another of the hundred political gospels which govern men in the earth; if he was seeking after the Only True Religion he found it in one or another of the three thousand that are on the market. In any case, when he found the Truth he sought no further; but from that day forth, with his soldering iron in one hand and his bludgeon in the other, he tinkered its leaks and reasoned with objectors.

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