Now, this is the worst species of lying that I am acquainted with. Whoever appears to the public what he is not to himself, and in himself, is a liar of the worst description. To tell the truth, to act in accordance with one’s honest, intimate convictions of right, is the most imperative duty.

A man may tell me an oidinary falsehood, and I can pass it over. But when a man will … give his indulgence to what he does not believe, and withhold it from what he does believe, I know no excuse for him. He is a traitor to himself, a traitor to God, a traitor to man, and he ought to loathe himself.

If we would be men, be what our forms and lineaments promise, we must be heroes. We must dare always to utter the truth, whether its utterance be in words or in deeds. We must be always true to our inward convictions, and if the world be opposed to them, no matter; we must take our stand on them, and trust that in due time the world will come round to us. We must shun falsehood as the most deadly poison, and be true to the God within us, let it cost us what it may.

from “A Discourse on Lying”

Orestes Brownson

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