Bigotry consists in being obstinately and perversely attached to our own opinions, or, as some have defined it, "a tenacious adherence to a system adopted without investigation and defended without argument; accompanied with a malignant, intolerant spirit towards all who differ." It must be distinguished from love to truth, which influences a man to embrace it wherever he finds it, and from true zeal, which is an ardor of mind exciting its possessor to defend and propagate the principles he maintains. Bigotry is a kind of prejudice combined with a certain degree of malignity. Bigotry is mostly prevalent with those who are ignorant, who, have taken up principles without due examination, and who are naturally of a morose and contracted disposition. It is often manifested more in unimportant sentiments or the circumstantials of religion than in the essentials of it. Simple bigotry is the spirit of persecution without the power; persecution is bigotry — armed with power, and carrying its will into act. As bigotry is the effect of ignorance, so it is the nurse of it, because it precludes free inquiry, and is an, enemy to truth; it cuts also the very sinews of charity, and destroys moderation and mutual good-will. If we consider the different constitution of men's minds, our own ignorance, the liberty that all men have to think for themselves, the admirable example our Lord has set us of a contrary spirit, and the baneful effects of this disposition, we must at o-ce be convinced of its impropriety. How contradictory is it to sound reason, and how inimical to. the peaceful religion we profess to maintain as Christians! SEE CATHOLICISM; SEE PERSECUTION; SEE TOLERATION.

Bible concordance for BIGOTRY.

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