Our understandings are always liable to error.—Nature and certainty are very hard to come at, and infallibility is mere vanity and pretence.
Whatever is only almost true is quite false, and among the most dangerous of errors, because being so near truth, it is the more likely to lead astray.— Precise knowledge is the only true knowledge, and he who does not teach exactly, does not teach at all.
All errors spring up in in the neighborhood of some truth: They grow round about it, and, for the most part derive their strength from such contiguity.
It is only an error of judgment to make a mistake, but it argues an infirmity of character to adhere to it when discovered. The Chinese say, "The glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall."
The copy-books tell us that "to err is human." That is wrong. To err is inhuman, to be holy is to live in the straight line of duty and of truth to God's life in every intrinsic existence.
There will be mistakes in divinity while men preach, and errors in governments while men govern.
The consistency of great error with great virtue, is one of the lessons of universal history.—But error is not made harmless by such associations.—False theories, though held by the greatest and best of men, and though not thoroughly believed, have wrought much evil.
Honest error is to be pitied, not ridiculed.
Error is sometimes so nearly allied to truth that it blends with it as imperceptibly as the colors of the rainbow fade into each other.
There are errors which no wise man will treat with rudeness, while there is a probability that they may be the refraction of some great truth still below the horizon.
False doctrine does not necessarily make the man a heretic, but an evil heart can make any doctrine heretical.
It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Malinformation is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, from which we must first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the wrong direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her steps, has farther to go before she can arrive at truth, than ignorance.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Errors of theory or doctrine are not so much false statements, as partial statements.—Half a truth received, while the corresponding half is unknown or rejected, is a practical falsehood.
In its influence on the soul, error has been compared to a magnet concealed near the ship's compass.—As in the latter case, the more favorable the winds, and the greater the diligence and skill in working the ship, the more rapidly will it be speeded on in a wrong course; and so in the former, the greater the struggle for safety, the more speedy the progress to ruin.
Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
No tempting form of error is without some latent charm derived from truth.
Wrrong conduct is far more powerful to produce erroneous thinking, than erroneous thinking to produce wrong conduct.
Find earth where grows no weed, and you may find a heart wherein no error grows.
Error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment giving assent to that which is not true.
Sometimes we may learn more from a man's errors, than from his virtues.
The little I have seen of the world teaches me to look upon the errors of others in sorrow, not in anger. When I take the history of one poor heart that has sinned and suffered, and think of the struggles and temptations it has passed through, the brief pulsations of joy, the feverish inquietude of hope and fear, the pressure of want, the desertion of friends, I would fain leave the erring soul of my fellowman with Him from whose hands it came.
My principal method for defeating error and heresy, is, by establishing the truth. One purposes to fill a bushel with tares; but if I can fill it first with wheat, I may defy his attempts.
Error commonly has some truth in what it affirms, is wrong generally in what it denies.
To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.
A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
The least error should humble, but we should never permit even the greatest to discourage us.
Errors to be dangerous must have a great deal of truth mingled with them.—It is only from this alliance that they can ever obtain an extensive circulation.—From pure extravagance, and genuine, unmingled falsehood, the world never has, and never can sustain any mischief.
Few practical errors in the world are embraced on conviction, but on inclination; for though the judgment may err on account of weakness, yet, where one error enters at this door, ten are let into it through the will; that, for the most part, being set upon those things which truth is a direct obstacle to the enjoyment of; and where both cannot be had, a man will be sure to buy his enjoyment, though he pays down truth for the purchase.
Men err from selfishness; women because they are weak.
From the errors of others a wise man corrects his own.
Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error to an afflicted truth.
There is nothing so true that the damps of error have not warped it.
There is no error so crooked but it hath in it some lines of truth, nor is any poison so deadly that it serveth not some wholesome use.—Spurn not a seeming error, but dig below its surface for the truth.
In all science error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last.
If any one sincerely, candidly, unselfishly tries to understand and to obey the voice of divine wisdom, he will not go fatally astray.
Half the truth will very often amount to absolute falsehood.