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flftontbl^ tfteaaur^ JSr0. 25.—JANUARY, 1896. TRUTH IN PARABLE. BY MR. EDMUND J, BAILLIE, F.L.S., PRESIDENT OF ENGLISH CONFERENCE Tfie title at the head of this brief record of a few phases of thought on such a subject suggests, perhaps, a reversion of the order in which the matter is here to be put before us. Truth itself is in its very nature entitled to the place of precedence naturally, and, coming first in written word, it might be inferred that, in the printed title it should receive due priority of attention. It is, however, not my purpose here to attempt to analyse Truth as a principle. With the Eternal verity itself—for Truth is Eternal—we are not now immediately concerned, but with methods adapted to its dissemination : with a fuller, yet brief, survey of one of the channels opened out from the fountain for its outflow, for its distribution— Truth in Parable. There are many methods available for the manifestation and for the teaching of Truth. Truth itself is so vast, it has so many facets, and the mind of man is, relatively, so small, and the period of his Earth- life is of such short duration that, usually, one mind, one individual, is chiefly concerned, it not wholly contented with but few phases of the many available sources and resources connected with the revelation of Truth. The specialist is absorbed in his special "ism." or "ology," and versatility, once so charming, is first shunned, then neglected and eventually abandoned. The exact and mathematical mind of Euclid, beginning with definitions, at first elementary, but glowing in force and complexity, proceeds to demonstration with a precision and exact¬ ness that is wearying, almost, to an ordinary faculty of perception accustomed to settle points of comparison with a glance, and not by this wading over paths, counting footsteps, and with every footprint measured, lettered and numbered. That is one phase for the teaching of Truth. Everything laid down by line, with square and compass, as it were —the logic of fact with no apparent loop-hole of escape, by some trap-door in the architecture of the argument, for an ever so little "if" or " perhaps." The habit of exactitude grows, and it seems to be something that is so near akin to Truth, that it is after all seem¬ ingly the straight way, the Royal Road to the Region of Fact—the Territory of Truth. We watch the raising of the Superstructure upon the Foundation of Fact with the bricks of axioms, with a severity of style that seeks no aid from decorative detail. The Bridges of triangles and dries and the stately square—these come up before .the