On the Study of Words

On the Study of Words

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On the Study of Words  by Richard Chevenix Trench

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1859

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On the Study of Words

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Book Excerpt

nation into a word which will endure as long as the everlasting hills which he named.

But it was said just now that words often contain a witness for great moral truths--God having pressed such a seal of truth upon language, that men are continually uttering deeper things than they know, asserting mighty principles, it may be asserting them against themselves, in words that to them may seem nothing more than the current coin of society. Thus to what grand moral purposes Bishop Butler turns the word 'pastime'; how solemn the testimony which he compels the world, out of its own use of this word, to render against itself--obliging it to own that its amusements and pleasures do not really satisfy the mind and fill it with the sense of an abiding and satisfying joy: [Footnote: Sermon xiv. Upon the Love of God. Curiously enough, Montaigne has, in his Essays, drawn the same testimony out of the word: 'This ordinary phrase of Pass-time, and passing away the time, represents the custom of those wi

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