The Truth

I am the truth.
— John 14:6

The man who recognizes the truth of any human relation, and neglects the duty involved, is not a true man. The man who takes good care of himself, and none of his brother and sister, is false. A man may be a poet, aware of the highest truth of a thing, he may be a man who would not tell a lie, or steal, or slander—and yet he may not be a true man, inasmuch as the essentials of manhood are not his aim: having nowise come to the flower of his own being, nowise attained the truth of that for which he exists—neither is he striving after the same. Man is man only in the doing of the truth, perfect man only in the doing of the highest truth, which is the fulfilling of his relations to his origin. But he has relations with his fellow man, to many a man far plainer than his relations with God. Now the nearer is plainer that he may step on it, and rise to the higher, to the less plain. The very nature of a man depends upon these relations. They are truths, and the man is a true man as he fulfills them. Fulfilling them perfectly, he is himself a living truth. The fulfillments of these truths are duties. Man is so constituted as to understand them at first more than he can love them, with the resulting advantage of having thereby the opportunity of choosing them purely because they are true; so doing he chooses to love them, and is enabled to love them in the doing, which alone can truly reveal them to him, and make the loving of them possible.  Then they cease to show themselves in the form of duties, and appear as they more truly are, absolute truths, essential realities, eternal delights.