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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20

Wisdom

Wisdom.

Many fall into the error of confounding intelligence and under standing with wisdom; they are not to be so confounded.

I define wisdom as the apprehension and practice of truths relating to man's happiness and progress by the fullest and best page 22 development of the totality of his powers. Knowledge and under-standing are not good in themselves; to sanctify them to our good, we must possess wisdom to discriminate and practice what we know and understand. Ignorance is the fruitful cause of all our vices. These vices once established in our habits, knowledge and understanding cannot uproot them. We require the superior power of wisdom acting through our knowledge and understanding to enable us to conquer. Selfishness bars the path of true wisdom as effectually as ignorance. Intelligence without wisdom only renders us more powerful for evil. Unless wisdom governs all our actions, our moral nature will reap naught but barren and unfruitful results.