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Archive for April, 2008

Contributions to Evil

THERE is a general stock of evil in the world to which we all contribute, or which, by God’s grace, some may diminish; a vast and fertile tract of ungodliness, of low motives, of low aims, of low desires, of low sense of duty or no sense at all. it is the creation of ages, that tradition; but each age does something for it, and each individual in each age does, if he does not advisedly refuse to do, his share in augmenting it, just as the chimney of every small house does something to thicken and darken the air of London. And this general fund or stock of evil touches us all like the common atmosphere which we breathe. And thus it is that when you or I, even in lesser matters, do or say what our conscience condemns, we do really make a contribution to that general fund of wickedness which, in other circumstances and social conditions than ours, produces flagrant crime. Especially if it should happen that we defend what we do, or make light of it, or make a joke of the misdeeds of others, we do most actively and seriously augment this common fund or tradition of wickedness.


HENRY PARRY LIDDON (1829-1890)

 

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