Henry Parry Liddon (1829–1890), was an English theologian. From 1870 to 1882, he was also a professor at Oxford University. This quote was in my daily devotional, and it reminded me of a previous post I had written about evil (What is Evil?). I like the image of our evil actions polluting the air that we and others then breathe in.
“There is a general stock of evil in the world to which we all contribute, or which, by God’s grace some may diminish; a vast and fertile tract of ungodliness, of low motives, of low aims, of low desires, of low sense of duty or no sense at all. It is the creation of ages, that tradition; but each age does something for in, and each individual in each age does, if he does not advisedly refuse to do, his share in augmenting it, just as the chimney of every small house does something to thicken and darken the air in London. And this general fund or stock of evil touches us all like the common atmosphere which we breathe. And thus it is that when you or I, even in lesser matters, do or say what our conscience condemns, we do really make a contribution to that general fund of wickedness which, in other circumstances and social conditions than ours, produces flagrant crime. Especially if it should happen that we defend what we do, or make light of it, or make a joke of the misdeeds of others, we do most actively and seriously augment this common fund or tradition of wickedness.”
H. P. Liddon
“Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10
For another quote by H. P. Liddon see:
Two Quotes on the Sacrificial Life