Truth and Duty are Always Wedded


By Phillips Brooks


“My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”

      (John 4:34).

      And the world of God includes two notions, one of revelation and one of commandment. Whenever God speaks by any of His voices, it is first to tell us some truth which we did not know before, and second to bid us do something which we have not been doing. Every word of God includes these two. Truth and duty are always wedded. There is no truth which has not its corresponding duty. And there is no duty which has not its corresponding truth. We are always separating them. We are always trying to learn truths, as if there were no duties belonging to them, as if the knowing of them would make no difference in the way we lived. That is the reason why our hold on the truths we learn is so weak.

      He who takes any new word of God completely gets both a new truth and a new duty He, then, who lives by every word of God, is a man who is continually seeing new truth and accepting the duties that arise out of it. And it is for this, for the pleasure of seeing truth and doing its attendant duty, that he is willing to give up the pleasures of sense, and even, if need be, to give up the bodily life to which the pleasures of sense belong.

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