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Infallibility   Listen
noun
Infallibility  n.  The quality or state of being infallible, or exempt from error; inerrability. "Infallibility is the highest perfection of the knowing faculty."
Papal infallibility (R. C. Ch.), the dogma that the pope can not, when acting in his official character of supreme pontiff, err in defining a doctrine of Christian faith or rule of morals, to be held by the church. This was decreed by the Ecumenical Council at the Vatican, July 18, 1870.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Infallibility" Quotes from Famous Books



... Bavaria, professor of Church History in the University of Muenich; head of the old Catholic party in Germany; was at first a zealous Ultramontanist, but changed his opinions and became quite as zealous in opposing, first, the temporal sovereignty, and then the infallibility of the Pope, to his excommunication from the Church; he was a polemic, and as such wrote extensively on theological and ecclesiastical topics; lived to a great age, and was much honoured to ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... bold, we do not see all the difficulties that stand in the way of our speculations, we are too apt to forget that, in addition to its general Aryan character, every language has its peculiar genius. Let us all be on our guard against omniscience and infallibility. Only through a frank, honest, and truly brotherly coperation can we hope for a true advancement of knowledge. We all want the same thing; we all are etymologists—that is, lovers of truth. For this, before all things, the spirit of truth, which is the living spirit of all science, must dwell ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... it may be said, that the Franco-German war changed all this. The Turkish government then no longer feared the French, and hence no longer lent itself to Papal intrigues. The dogma of the Papal Infallibility has been also a severe blow to ...
— History Of The Missions Of The American Board Of Commissioners For Foreign Missions To The Oriental Churches, Volume II. • Rufus Anderson

... quite see why I'm bound to believe in your infallibility because I happen to be a Conservative. All I suggested was that you might ...
— The Simpkins Plot • George A. Birmingham

... and prerogatives which belong to God alone. This the pope has done for ages. Among the blasphemous titles which he has assumed are these: "Lord God the Pope," "King of the World," "Holy Father," "King of kings and Lord of lords," "Vicegerent of the Son of God." For ages he has claimed infallibility, and this claim became a dogma of the church when adopted by the General Council of 1870. Further, he claims power to dispense with God's laws, to forgive sins, to release from purgatory, to damn and to save. To call the Roman Catholic Church the holy church of the Bible ...
— The Last Reformation • F. G. [Frederick George] Smith

... that his nature rendered to its Creator, and instead of flowering into a morbid and maudlin sentimentality which craves low-browed, long straight-nosed, undraped statuettes in every nook and corner,—or dwarfs the soul and pins it to the surplice of some theologic dogmata claiming infallibility—or coffins the intellect in cramped, shallow, psychological categories,—it bore fruit in a wide-eyed, large-hearted, liberal-minded eclecticism, which, waging no crusade against the various Saladins of modern systems, quietly possessed itself ...
— Vashti - or, Until Death Us Do Part • Augusta J. Evans Wilson

... appear to have imbibed the principles of freedom; and if upon this occasion Bonaparte was placed on the throne by the force of opinion, he could not have restored the ancient despotism without exciting universal dissatisfaction. Men seem formerly to have been awed by a conviction of his infallibility, and did not suffer themselves to reason upon the principles of action of a man who dazzled their imaginations by the magnificence of his exploits and the grandeur of ...
— The Greville Memoirs - A Journal of the Reigns of King George IV and King William - IV, Volume 1 (of 3) • Charles C. F. Greville

... opinions, either sacred or profane, that he was ranked as an atheist, as an impious blasphemer, to hold communion with whom, would secure to the communers a place in the regions of everlasting torment; in short, it was held an heresy of such an indelible dye, that notwithstanding the infallibility of his sacred function, Pope Gregory, who then filled the papal chair, excommunicated all those who had the temerity to ...
— The System of Nature, Vol. 2 • Baron D'Holbach

... security, mystery, and general respect therein. On the contrary, in the debasement of a common or humble attachment, he would encounter, even among his meanest subjects, carping and sarcastic remarks; he would forfeit his character of infallibility and inviolability. Having descended to the region of petty human miseries, he would be subjected to paltry contentions. In one word, to convert the royal divinity into a mere mortal by striking at his heart, or rather even at his face, like the meanest of his subjects, was to inflict a terrible ...
— Ten Years Later • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... in the Sophomore class at Yale, was of the age when one is constitutionally "from Missouri." Probably King Solomon, at sixty, had doubts concerning the scope and depth of his wisdom; at eighteen he would have admitted its all-embracing infallibility without a blush. ...
— Cap'n Warren's Wards • Joseph C. Lincoln

... accused of slowness; but it is this very slowness that constitutes its strength and surety, its almost infallibility. One scarcely knows what a time evidence takes to produce itself. There is no knowing what important testimony ...
— The Widow Lerouge - The Lerouge Case • Emile Gaboriau

... his little circle of the "great unwashed," is very oracular, and his infallibility a dogma with his followers and readers. How much he himself and his vulgar trash of prose run mad, stand in need of that wholesome reform which some of his English brother-firebrands have been taught in Coldbathfields and Newgate, let my reader judge from the following extract. The ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 54, No. 338, December 1843 • Various

... understanding of the mind of Christ than the apostles had. For my own part, whenever I come across any writer who tries to correct Paul by Jesus, I find it safest to assume that he has misread Paul, or Jesus, or both. Moreover, though we need make no claim of infallibility for the Church, yet, if we believe in a Holy Spirit given to guide the disciples of Christ into all the truth of Christ, we shall find it difficult to believe at the same time that the whole Church has ...
— The Teaching of Jesus • George Jackson

... save the outside, in common with those undesirable coxcombs, who have not been bred by the High Church movement, but have taken refuge in its cracks, as they would have done forty years ago in those of the Evangelical,—youths who hide their crass ignorance and dulness under the cloak of Church infallibility, and having neither wit, manners, learning, humanity, or any other dignity whereon to stand, talk loud, pour pis aller, about the dignity of the priesthood. Such men Frank had met at neighbouring clerical meetings, overbearing and out-talking the ...
— Two Years Ago, Volume I • Charles Kingsley

... distrust of the system or doctrine which is assumed to be held and professedly defended. These petulant and much disturbed editors and divines must be really afraid that the ground is being undermined beneath their feet. If a man really believes the inspiration and infallibility of the Scriptures, he may feel perfectly at ease as to any facts present or past in the wide universe. But if he is not so sure of them, and wishes, for some personal or interested motive, to believe them, he will be easily disturbed by anything which seems to militate against them. If ...
— Continental Monthly, Volume 5, Issue 4 • Various

... race had abstracted from the laboratory of Nature. I may venture to prophecy that no future Beddoes will make it the corival of the mathematical sciences in demonstrative evidence. I think it a matter of doubt whether, during the period of its supposed infallibility, physiology derived more benefit from the extension, or injury from the misdirection, of its views. Enough of the latter is fresh in recollection to make it but an equivocal compliment to a physiological ...
— Hints towards the formation of a more comprehensive theory of life. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... no interest in this question, except the interest of a citizen. I have no special interest in it. I ask nothing of politics, but I do feel for my country. I may be wrong. I do not claim infallibility; but I cannot bring my mind to the conclusion that we ought not to adopt these proposals. I cannot see any practical injury to the North in them, and I can see much ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... forbodes good or ill to them I shall not now determine; only advise them to prepare for the worst!" Pretty good advice in all times of eclipse; and in these days even when there is no eclipse. Mark his modesty: "I do not pretend to Infallibility in my Conjectures, yet (as I said last year) they many times come out too True to make a jest of." Then he goes on: "I have read of a story which Thaurus is said to relate of Andreas Vesalius, a great Astrologer who lived in the reign of Henry the VIII.; ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... are as honest as Huxley who announces this purpose in the introduction of his "Science and Hebrew Tradition:" "These essays are for the most part intended to contribute to the process of destroying the infallibility of Scripture." ...
— Evolution - An Investigation and a Critique • Theodore Graebner

... simmering for a century. It has not yet appeared in Germany because of the forty years of successful work in drilling the mind of the German people to march in goose-step; yet the increasing signs of questioning the infallibility of the existing regime and system in Germany give evidence that there, too, the conflict is ...
— The Soul of Democracy - The Philosophy Of The World War In Relation To Human Liberty • Edward Howard Griggs

... omens; unsympathetic and reserved where he did not love; intolerant of opposition to his will. But he was a good husband, a good father, a good churchman—no man so good was ever so bad a king; no man so fallible believed so honestly in his infallibility. For Charles was honest to his own convictions. His very duplicity was due sometimes to schooling in "kingcraft," but oftener to inability to see two sides of a question. Now he saw one, and now the other, but never both sides at once; and, just as he saw, so he spoke. ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 • Various

... Dark shades remained. This particularly appeared in the dogmatism and bigotry of these same reformers, who often prohibited further inquiries, or emendations! They had differed from Rome, but no body must differ from them! As though the infallibility which they denied to another, ...
— Sermons on Various Important Subjects • Andrew Lee

... which could be applied to few men less suitably than to Paine. From first to last, he preached the goodness of God, the power of God, the justice and mercy and infallibility of God; and he lived in a profound trust in and love for God, and a hopeful and courageous effort to carry out such principles of moral and national right-doing as he believed to be the will of ...
— Greenwich Village • Anna Alice Chapin

... had a respect for the constitution and the statutes that amounted to a creed of infallibility. He was the most superbly rigid pontiff of legal justice that I ever knew. A man of unspotted character, a Puritan, of a sincerity that was afterwards accepted and admired from end to end of Utah, he was determined to vindicate the essential supremacy of the civil law ...
— Under the Prophet in Utah - The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft • Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O'Higgins

... difficulty of getting rid of these distorting influences and facing such questions in a perfectly dry light, nobody suggests that objective truth on such matters is non-existent or for ever unattainable. A claim for objective validity for the moral judgement does not mean a claim for infallibility on behalf of any individual Conscience. We may make mistakes in Morals just as we may make mistakes in Science, or even in pure Mathematics. If a class of forty small boys are asked to do a sum, they will probably not all bring out the same answer: but nobody ...
— Philosophy and Religion - Six Lectures Delivered at Cambridge • Hastings Rashdall

... conditions. The Tenth of August produced a considerable change in Robespierre's point of view. It awoke him to the precipitous steepness of the slope down which the revolutionary car was rushing headlong. His faith in the infallibility of the people suffered no shock, but he was in a moment alive to the need of walking warily, and his whole march from now until the end, twenty-three months later, became timorous, cunning, and oblique. His intelligence seemed to move in subterranean tunnels, with the ...
— Critical Miscellanies (Vol. 1 of 3) - Essay 1: Robespierre • John Morley

... all the cardinals and bishops and archbishops from all the ends of the earth and these two fighting dog and devil until at last the Pope himself stood up and declared infallibility a dogma of the Church ex cathedra. On the very moment John MacHale, who had been arguing and arguing against it, stood up and shouted out with the voice ...
— Dubliners • James Joyce

... the famous Sentences of Peter Lombard (p. 171), it formed a splendid textbook of the new faith. Calvin based his work on the infallibility of the Bible, as against that of the Church and Pope, and presented, in a remarkably clear and logical manner, the principles of Calvinistic doctrine. Before 1630, as many as seventy-four full editions and fourteen partial editions of the ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... wild orbits of new "weirdmoons" of romance. Before we can make up our minds on Scott, we have to remember, or forget, the scornful patronage of one critic, the over-subtlety and exaggerations of another, the more than papal infallibility of a third. Perhaps the best critic would be an intelligent school-boy, with a generous heart and an unspoiled imagination. As his remarks are not accessible, as we must try to judge "Waverley" like readers inured to much fiction ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... knowing by heart a grammar or a compendium, repeating well and imitating well—that," writes a former Minister of Public Instruction, M. Jules Simon, "is a ludicrous form of education whose every effort is an act of faith tacitly admitting the infallibility of the master, and whose only results are a belittling of ourselves and a ...
— The Crowd • Gustave le Bon

... every serious man was surrounded by a "nimbus" of infallibility; no one had ever enlightened me on the fact that serious-minded men had themselves once been young, and had learned the student jargon of Heidelberg; that this director himself, after a noisy youth, had arrived at the idea that every young man has malicious ...
— Debts of Honor • Maurus Jokai

... instant, beginning with an heretical doubt as to the sanctity of the established order of things—that fetish which has ruled Pan-Americans for two centuries, and which is based upon a blind faith in the infallibility of the prescience of the long-dead framers of the articles of Pan-American federation—and ending in an adamantine determination to defend my honor and my life to the last ditch against the blind and senseless regulation which assumed the synonymity ...
— The Lost Continent • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... which are decorated with native pictures on cloth. At the east end is a recess in which are some well-executed Chinese statues, the chief figure is of large dimensions, and is intended to represent the Durmah Rajah, whose statue is supposed to give infallibility. Two bells were suspended, one from the centre, the other from the balcony, the tongues of which were long, of ivory, and moved by a string. The Rajah received us in state, amidst discordant sounds of horns, pipes, and drums; his followers for the most part were badly ...
— Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and The - Neighbouring Countries • William Griffith

... befell the Girondins, a party of phrase-makers who have enjoyed a posthumous sentimental reputation, but who, when living, had not the energy and active courage to back their fine speeches. The reductio ad horribile of all the fine arguments in favor of popular infallibility and virtue had come; neither was the reductio ad absurdum wanting. The old names of the days and months and years were changed. The statues of the Virgin were torn from the little niches in street-walls, and the busts of Marat and Lepelletier ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. IV, No. 26, December, 1859 • Various

... more books for review. I doubt, however, if Mr. Howells will ever reap the benefit of my criticisms, for not long since I read a note from him saying that he never looked into The Gazette. You must already have given offence by doubting his literary infallibility. ...
— The Jessica Letters: An Editor's Romance • Paul Elmer More

... factitious virtue of inferior minds: he thought that the feelings of a man of honour were to be his guide in the first and last appeal; and for his conduct through life, as a man and as a gentleman, he proudly professed to trust to the sublime instinct of a good heart. His guardian's doubts of the infallibility and even of the existence of this moral instinct wounded Mr. Vincent's pride instead of alarming his understanding; and he was rather eager than averse to expose himself to the danger, that he might prove his superiority to the temptation. How different ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. III - Belinda • Maria Edgeworth

... purveyor.[458] His very Christianity may be questioned.[459] He ought to expect more severity than other men, as he is most unmerciful in his own reflections on others.[460] With as good a right as his holiness, he sets up for poetical infallibility.[461] ...
— Poetical Works of Pope, Vol. II • Alexander Pope

... something in connection with Ray, or why this strange appeal to his wife to let nothing come in the way of her returning to her place beside her husband, no matter what the difficulties? "'It is not good,' we are told, 'for a man to live alone,' and please remember that there is no such thing as infallibility in human nature. Sometimes temptations are so strong that one needs to be superhuman to withstand them. Why expect too much of Life?" stared up at Joyce ...
— Banked Fires • E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi

... produce a state of things without a parallel in human affairs, unless indeed its like might be found in the history of the Popes. In one instance, we are told, there were three at one time roaming over the Christian world, all claiming infallibility, and denouncing their anathemas against all who failed to yield implicit obedience to their respective mandates, when to comply with the one was to disobey the other. A result like this, so monstrous ...
— The World's Best Orations, Vol. 1 (of 10) • Various

... divine faith must be drawn from the Apostolic deposit of doctrine, in order that it may be considered an exercise of infallibility, whether in Pope or Council. Similarly, a precept of morals, if it is to be accepted as from an infallible voice, must be drawn from the moral law, that primary revelation to us from God. The Pope has no power over the Moral ...
— The Purpose of the Papacy • John S. Vaughan

... and for the same reason, namely, that I can not help myself; but to admit that I was wrong in my belief and flatter the power that subdues me—no, that I will not do. And if nobody would do so the average man would not be so very cock-sure of his infallibility and might sometimes consent to be ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... now see this victim to her own indiscretion breathe her last sad sigh, and expire in all the extremity of penury and wretchedness. The two quacks, whose injudicious treatment, has probably accelerated her death, are vociferously supporting the infallibility of their respective medicines, and each charging the other with having poisoned her. The meagre figure is a portrait of Dr. Misaubin, a foreigner, at that ...
— The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings - With Descriptions, and a Comment on Their Moral Tendency • John Trusler

... pronouncements of this or that provincial council, and asked to say whether, after that, the Church may pretend not to be opposed to the natural aspirations of man? These objectors do not, or will not, see that the Church, by enlarging the domain of her teaching to cover all things with the mantle of infallibility, would most effectually crush the action of the human intellect, which was meant for use, not rust, which must be allowed something to act upon, and which in independent action is bound to rush into a variety of differences according to ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 • Various

... Christian Science Journal:—At the prison, once a week, there are Christian papers given to the inmates. But none of those papers point out so clearly the fallibility of the mortal or carnal mind, and the infallibility of the divine Mind, as does the teaching of ...
— Miscellaneous Writings, 1883-1896 • Mary Baker Eddy

... bishops and clergy of the protestant religion, or to the churches committed to their charge". They further volunteered an expression of their belief that no evil act could be justified by the good of the Church, and that papal infallibility was no article of the catholic faith. Thenceforward, frequent motions in support of the "catholic claims" were made in both houses of parliament. In 1810 such a motion was proposed in a very eloquent speech by Grattan, but Castlereagh, ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... any business to use the word "progress" unless he has a definite creed and a cast-iron code of morals. Nobody can be progressive without being doctrinal; I might almost say that nobody can be progressive without being infallible—at any rate, without believing in some infallibility. For progress by its very name indicates a direction; and the moment we are in the least doubtful about the direction, we become in the same degree doubtful about the progress. Never perhaps since the beginning of ...
— Heretics • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... man has been ruined by a high, unbroken level of success. Intellectually it makes for despotism and a conviction of infallibility. In the world of muscle, it creates ...
— The Preacher of Cedar Mountain - A Tale of the Open Country • Ernest Thompson Seton

... about our agent's course at the Vatican, I have come over to Rome to see about it. He is an Irishman, with a little of Father TOM in him, and has got into a "controversy" with his Holiness about infallibility. Our African bishop (otherwise PHELIM BURKE) insists that PUNCHINELLO is infallible! The Pope says this is ridiculous! Father PHELIM replies that "there are two that can play that same game." I found them in the midst of this when ANTONELLI ushered me into the Papal presence. ...
— Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 9, May 28, 1870 • Various

... lightning-flash at night, a whole vision: but only for a moment's space. The reader may find also details of interpretation which are open to doubt; if so, he will remember that no man would have shrunk with more horror than Mr. Maurice from the assumption of infallibility. Meanwhile, that the author's manly confidence in the reasonableness of his method will be justified hereafter, I must hope, if the Book of Revelation is to remain, as God grant it may, the political text-book of ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... of introducing descriptions of scenery, literary digressions, and quaint illustrations from his vast stores of reading to the confusion of all definite arrangement. Southey is in the awkward position of a dogmatist defending a compromise. An Anglican claiming infallibility is necessarily inconsistent. His view of toleration, for example, is oddly obscure. He would apparently like to persecute infidels;[152] and yet he wishes to denounce the Catholic church for its persecuting principles. ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... secondary, I cannot make the former yield to it, unless some criterion more infallible than partial (if they are not party) meetings can be discovered as the touchstone of public sentiment. If any person on earth could, or the great Power above would, erect the standard of infallibility in political opinions, no being that inhabits this terrestrial globe would resort to it with more eagerness than myself, so long as I remain a servant of the public. But as I have hitherto found no better guide than upright intentions and close investigations, I shall ...
— Life And Times Of Washington, Volume 2 • John Frederick Schroeder and Benson John Lossing

... these two angles have a mysterious and awful equality to one another." The dislike of schoolboys for Euclid is unreasonable in many ways; but fundamentally it is entirely reasonable. Fundamentally it is the revolt from a man who was either fallible and therefore (in pretending to infallibility) an impostor, or infallible and ...
— A Christmas Garland • Max Beerbohm

... the methods of the Naval Academy were open to criticism would be to claim for them infallibility. Upon the whole, however, in my time they erred rather on the side of being over-conservative than unduly progressive. Twenty years later, recalling some of our Academy experiences to one of my contemporaries, himself more ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... faded amidst which mankind had so long cowered in the abject terrors of superstition. Already in the beginning of the fifteenth century many of the ancient dogmas had begun to awaken incredulity, and sceptics learned to mock at that claim to infallibility upon which the priesthood based their right to command the blind obedience of the Christian world. Between such adversaries compromise was impossible; and those who afterward revolted against the authority of the traditions of Rome sought refuge under the shelter of the Bible, which ...
— The Emancipation of Massachusetts • Brooks Adams

... become great enemies to all manner of fatigues. But, to make amends, the sciences flourish among them. The effendis (that is to say, the learned) do very well deserve this name: They have no more faith in the in inspiration of Mahomet, than in the infallibility of the Pope. They make a frank profession of Deism among themselves, or to those they can trust; and never speak of their law but as of a politic institution, fit now to be observed by wise men, however at first introduced by ...
— Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M—y W—y M—e • Lady Mary Wortley Montague

... Hester Jennings, with inflexible calmness, "and I am not surprised that you do not like it when you have got it—few people do. The truth is not generally palatable. Not that I go in for infallibility of judgment. Wait and see what Mr. St. ...
— A Houseful of Girls • Sarah Tytler

... As the throne of God is above every earthly throne, so are his laws and statutes above all the laws and statutes of man. To question these, is to question God himself. But to assume that human laws are above question, is to claim for their fallible authors infallibility. To assume that they are always in conformity with those of God, is presumptuously and impiously to exalt man to an equality with God. Clearly, human laws are not always in such conformity; nor can they ever be beyond question from each individual. Where ...
— The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act - Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9, An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts • Lydia Maria Child

... and the corruption of the clergy, had been for some time since looked upon in Bohemia with private disgust and open disapprobation; and when the professors Huss, Jerome, and Jacobellus, began to declaim against monks, auricular confession, and the infallibility of the pope, they found a responding echo in the breasts of their hearers; and all that was novel in their doctrines, was the boldness with which they were pronounced, and the logical consistency ...
— Historical View of the Languages and Literature of the Slavic - Nations • Therese Albertine Louise von Jacob Robinson

... became high time to remember the first clause of that great discovery made by the ancient philosopher, for securing health, riches, and wisdom; the infallibility of which has been for generations verified by the enormous fortunes constantly amassed by chimney-sweepers and other persons who get up early and go to bed betimes. The young ladies accordingly rose, and having taken leave of Mr ...
— Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit • Charles Dickens

... Morgan; "do you defend a church that has ever been a determined enemy to liberty, an ally to tyrants; a church that has vindicated forced loans and ship-money, and asserted those popish doctrines, passive obedience in the subject, and infallibility in the sovereign, dividing mankind into despots and slaves? All men are born free and equal; and he, who taxes my fortune, restrains my conscience, or confines my person without my leave, or, which is the ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... hand, in close alliance with the civil power, became almost irresistible in her own sphere. The Catholic Church throughout Europe had been the great schoolmaster of civilization. It had fallen into the common fault of schoolmasters, the assumption of infallibility. It was, moreover, a state within all states. Its sovereign, the Pope, the most powerful monarch in Christendom, is chosen in accordance with a curious and elaborate set of regulations, by electors appointed by his predecessors. ...
— The Eve of the French Revolution • Edward J. Lowell

... beginning. If it were true that we who work for wages had more of the wisdom and virtue necessary to the right use of power than has been shown by the aristocratic and mercantile classes, we should not glory much in that fact, or consider that it carried with it any near approach to infallibility. ...
— The Essays of "George Eliot" - Complete • George Eliot

... of weighty prose which the world has since accorded him. In our senior year the higher classes competed for the Boylston prizes for English composition. Emerson and I sent in our essays with the rest and were fortunate enough to take the two prizes; but—Alas for the infallibility of academic decisions! Emerson received the second prize. I was of course much pleased with the award of this intelligent committee, and should have been still more gratified had they mentioned that the man who was to be the most original and influential writer born in ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... strength of individual recollection, but begins to recognize the instability of his position: "I either witnessed the occurrence or dreamt it." This is sufficient to prove that, with all people's boasting about the infallibility of memory, there are many who have a shrewd suspicion that some of its asseverations will not bear a ...
— Illusions - A Psychological Study • James Sully

... take the rank of "Scripture"; and to determine the sense of any passage in such books. But this sense, once ascertained to the mind of the sectary, was to be taken for pure truth—for the very word of God. The controversial efficiency of the principle of biblical infallibility lay in the fact that the conservative adversaries of the Reformers were not in a position to contravene it without entangling themselves in serious difficulties; while, since both Papists and Protestants agreed in taking efficient measures to stop the mouths of any more radical critics, ...
— Lectures and Essays • Thomas Henry Huxley

... belief, for Lothair had never concealed from her a single thought or act of his life in this respect. She knew all and had weighed every thing, and flattered herself that their frequent and unreserved conversations had not confirmed his belief in the infallibility of the Church of Rome, and ...
— Lothair • Benjamin Disraeli

... university of Wurtzburg. One of the professors there at that time was Dollinger, an eminent biologist, and father of the famous Catholic historian who later distinguished himself by his opposition to the new dogma of papal infallibility. Dollinger was both a profound thinker and an accurate observer. He took the keenest interest in embryology, and worked at it a good deal. However, he is not himself responsible for any important result in this field. In 1816 a young medical doctor, whom ...
— The Evolution of Man, V.1. • Ernst Haeckel

... broad and the country open except in crossing the Rio Frio mountain. General Taylor pursued the same course in marching toward an enemy. He moved even in smaller bodies. I never thought at the time to doubt the infallibility of these two generals in all matters pertaining to their profession. I supposed they moved in small bodies because more men could not be passed over a single road on the same day with their artillery and necessary trains. Later I found the fallacy of this ...
— Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Complete • Ulysses S. Grant

... spirit of belief (which has been wrongly disputed by Lange, Zeller, and Puenjer) a demoniacal pleasure in bringing to light absurdities in the doctrines of faith, with absolute confidence in the infallibility of conscience an entirely pessimistic view of human morality. His strength lies in criticism and polemics, his work in the latter (aside from his hostility to fanaticism and the persecution of those differing in faith) being directed chiefly against optimism and ...
— History Of Modern Philosophy - From Nicolas of Cusa to the Present Time • Richard Falckenberg

... and its results are ever subject to the limitations imposed by imperfect observation. However grand, however widely accepted, however useful its conclusions, none is so sure that it cannot be called into question by a newly discovered fact. In the domain of the world's knowledge there is no infallibility." ...
— Arizona Sketches • Joseph A. Munk

... have set him down as a little-minded man; a small tyrant in his own way over those dependent on him; a pompous parasite to those above him—a great stickler for the conventional respectabilities of life, and a great believer in his own infallibility. But he was Margaret's father; and I was determined to ...
— Basil • Wilkie Collins

... Napoleon the great democratic champion and mainly in the right as far as Austerlitz. Then swollen ambition had ruined everything and, in his opinion, another swollen ambition, though for far less cause, was now bringing equal disaster upon Europe. A belief in one's infallibility might come from achievement or birth, but only the former could win any respect ...
— The Forest of Swords - A Story of Paris and the Marne • Joseph A. Altsheler

... Temporal Power of the Pope ended, and Bismarck, though appealed to by Catholics, took no interest in the defence of the Papacy. The conflict between the Roman Catholics and the Government in Germany was precipitated by the promulgation by the Vatican Council, in 1870, of the Dogma of the Infallibility ...
— My Four Years in Germany • James W. Gerard

... cause of the struggle was the proclamation of the infallibility of the Pope. It might be thought that this change or development in the Constitution of the Roman Church was one which concerned chiefly Roman Catholics. This is the view which Bismarck seems to have taken during the ...
— Bismarck and the Foundation of the German Empire • James Wycliffe Headlam

... a possession in a rare degree of this wonderful open-air quality as a writer that constrains us in our generation to condone any offences against the mint and anise and cummin decrees of literary infallibility that Borrow may have from time to time committed. And when it is realised, in addition, what a unique knowledge he possessed of the daily life, the traditions, the folk-lore, and the dialects of the strange ...
— Isopel Berners - The History of certain doings in a Staffordshire Dingle, July, 1825 • George Borrow

... the sage MacGrawler had endeavoured to obey; consequently the result of his obedience was that even by himself he was better known than trusted. Whatever he might appear to others, he had in reality no vain faith in the infallibility of his own talents and resources; as well might a butcher deem himself a perfect anatomist from the frequent amputation of legs of mutton, as the critic of "The Asinaeum" have laid "the flattering ...
— Paul Clifford, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... solve the riddle of their prophecies, it was certain that no one could disprove his solutions. Yet these came so often to their own disproof by lapse of time, that I can only think that the good doctor hoped to die before his critical periods came, or was so clever as to trust the infallibility of human weakness. ...
— Ginx's Baby • Edward Jenkins

... Frenchman, "it's for the benefit of the Emperor. Two of the Parisian theologians are disputing De Ecclesia. The thesis of the adversary, who opens, is that the Church is merely the representative of God on earth—a Society that must, of course, be obeyed; but that Infallibility is ...
— Dawn of All • Robert Hugh Benson

... prevented from publishing his work by Pope Gregory XVI., on account of its variations from the Vulgate, which had been solemnly sanctioned by the decrees of the Council of Trent and the Church's claims to infallibility. It was further asserted that he finally obtained permission to publish his edition on condition that he inserted within brackets the celebrated text 1 John v. 7, which was wanting in the manuscript. Whether this was true or not, it is certain that what the learned cardinal ...
— Roman Mosaics - Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood • Hugh Macmillan

... customs—singular to us—I noted that a popular remedy for illness is to play music and to recite prayers to scare away the devil. An enlightened Moor might think the practices of the Peculiar People quite as strange, and question the infallibility of cure-all pills at thirteen-pence-halfpenny the box. The dead in Morocco are hurried to their graves at a hand-gallop. That, I submit, is no more unreasonable than many English funeral usages, such as incurring ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... confiscated it in class that day). But I need not have troubled, she paid no attention whatever to me, continuing to hold my grandmother's hand and look into the wise, stormy, tender, emphatic, much-enduring old face. And I wondered at my relative, and saw in this marvel one more proof of her own infallibility. ...
— The Dew of Their Youth • S. R. Crockett

... wore his own handsome head well powdered; at others, curled without powder; at others, straight, without powder or curls. He was churchwarden; and then, when his head was full of his office, it was also full of flour, and full of ideas of his own consequence and infallibility. On a concert night, and in the ball-room, it was curled, and then it was full of amatory conquests; and, as he was captain in the Cavalry Volunteers, on field days his hair was straight and lank—martial ardour gave him no time to attend to the fripperies ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... contradictions which elude a reasonable solution. For instance, in one discourse Benedetto says: "The Catholic Church, which proclaims itself the fountain of truth, opposes to-day the search for Truth when it is carried on on its own foundations, on the holy books, on the dogmas, on its asserted infallibility. For us this means that it has no longer faith in itself. The Catholic Church which proclaims itself the minister of Life, to-day shackles and stifles whatever lives youthfully within it, and to-day it props itself on all its decadent and antiquated usages." Yet a little farther ...
— The Saint • Antonio Fogazzaro

... hitherto has been commented upon too often to need attention here. Nor does the weakness of the evidence for miracles depend solely on the fact that it rests, in the first instance, on the senses, which may be deceived; or upon inference, which may be erroneous. It is not merely that the infallibility of human testimony discredits the miracles of the past. The impossibility that human knowledge, that science, can ever exhaust the possibilities of Nature, precludes the immediate reference to the Supernatural for all time. It is pure sophistry to argue, ...
— Tracks of a Rolling Stone • Henry J. Coke

... was followed by a cry from the votaries that I was a trickster and that what had been in reality the most notable demonstration of "the people's strength" ever given was only another evidence of the "System's" infallibility. If this deceit had prevailed, the task I have undertaken of enlightening the public would have had a setback. Relying on my previous work, I put forth the following announcement Monday morning, December ...
— Frenzied Finance - Vol. 1: The Crime of Amalgamated • Thomas W. Lawson

... falling into the hands of one Lyons, a surgeon, author of a book entitled "The Infallibility of Human Judgment," it occasioned an acquaintance between us. He took great notice of me, called on me often to converse on those subjects, carried me to the Horns, a pale alehouse in —— Lane, Cheapside, and introduced me to Dr. Mandeville, author of the "Fable of the ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... all which concerns myself will be reflected in its consequences upon him. When we feel that another is to share the self-same fortune with ourselves we judge more severely of our prospects, and withhold our confidence from that delusive magic which appears to shed an infallibility of happiness over our own pathway. Of late years, indeed, there has been much to sadden my intercourse with Monsieur de Miroir. Had not our union been a necessary condition of our life, we must have been estranged ere now. In ...
— Monsieur du Miroir (From "Mosses From An Old Manse") • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... Even the highest were not accompanied with spiritual faultlessness. Inspiration was one thing, infallibility another. The gifts of the Spirit were, like the gifts of Nature, subordinated to the will—capable of being used for good or evil, sometimes pure, sometimes mixed with human infirmity. The supernaturally gifted man was no mere machine, no automaton ruled in spite of himself by a ...
— Sermons Preached at Brighton - Third Series • Frederick W. Robertson

... guttural rejoicings of the squaws that the expedition had been successful and the captive was in their hands. At any other time he might have thought it an evidence of some growing scepticism of his infallibility of judgment and a diminution of respect that they did not confront him with their prisoner. But he was too glad to escape from the danger of exposure and possible arraignment of his past life by the desperate captive, even though it ...
— A Drift from Redwood Camp • Bret Harte

... also. From the result of his whole performance I was confirmed in this opinion; that we must acknowledge the work of both grace and free will in the conversion of a sinner; and so likewise in all other events, the consistency of the infallibility of God's foreknowledge at least (though not with any absolute, but conditional predestination) with the liberty of man's will, and the contingency of inferior causes and effects. These, I say, we must acknowledge for the [Greek: hoti] but for ...
— Lives of John Donne, Henry Wotton, Rich'd Hooker, George Herbert, - &C, Volume Two • Izaak Walton

... churches should prove his mission. I hope, that Raunicher's disciples, Bishop Baraga and Bishops and Priests in Illyria and elsewhere will learn at length that we have superabundance of signs according to prophecies testifying our mission against the infallibility of the Church, and for the great truth, that many of the Dogmas of the church are the most shocking absurdities, of they are taken as they have been delivered by the Papal Imperial Royal Hierarchy, but that we show a deeper sense, in which sound reason and science ...
— Secret Enemies of True Republicanism • Andrew B. Smolnikar

... the common practice of teachers in this country to affect a dignity of deportment in the presence of their pupils which in other cases is laid aside, and to pretend to superiority in knowledge and an infallibility of judgment which no sensible man would claim before other sensible men, but which an absurd fashion seems to require of the teacher. It can, however, scarcely be said to be a fashion, for the temptation is almost exclusively confined to the young and the ignorant, who think they must ...
— The Teacher • Jacob Abbott

... deferred decision temporarily while waiting for a change in tide or circumstance to help them make up their minds. This is normal in the rational individual; it is not a sign of weakness. Rather than to cultivate a belief in one's own infallibility, the mature outlook for the military man is best expressed in the injunction of the Apostle Paul: "Let all things be done decently and in order." Grant, wrote of the early stage of his advance on ...
— The Armed Forces Officer - Department of the Army Pamphlet 600-2 • U. S. Department of Defense

... impressively suggested the metropolitan atmosphere of high pressure and sophistication from which he had emerged. He had a machine to sell; an amazing machine, endowed with human intelligence and more than human infallibility; for when it made a mistake it stopped. It was designed for the express purpose of eliminating from the payroll the skilled and sharp-eyed women who are known as "drawers-in," who sit all day long under a north light patiently threading the ends of the warp through the heddles of the ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... pseudo-poetic and pseudo-religious phraseology, and the Anglican Church is asked to alter her teaching. Birth controllers realise that it is useless to ask this of the Catholic Church, a Rock in their path, but "as regards the Church of England, which makes no claim to infallibility, the case is different, and discussion is ...
— Birth Control • Halliday G. Sutherland

... course, a class of indulgent critics who are pernicious enough in their way; but the savage and destructive criticism of which I speak is quite as ignorant and far more harmful. It assumes an air of authority based on a superficial knowledge of art, and beguiles the public into a belief in its infallibility by means of a smooth style and an occasional epigram the smartness of which may and often does conceal a rank injustice. The expression of a hope that the result of Mr. Bartholdi's labors "will be something better than another gigantic asparagus stalk added to those that already ...
— The Bay State Monthly - Volume 2, Issue 3, December, 1884 • Various

... issues alone are involved, we may perhaps accept the view that the well considered opinion of the majority is as near as may be to infallibility. But it is very rarely the case that the question of the legitimacy of a property interest can be reduced to a purely moral issue. Usually there are also at stake, technical and broad economic issues in ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... precepts and demands of the scarcely heard working class of his day with its altruistic aspirations, nor of more advanced present ideas, but by the standards of his own class, that commercial aristocracy which arrogated to itself superiority of aims and infallibility of methods. ...
— History of the Great American Fortunes, Vol. I - Conditions in Settlement and Colonial Times • Myers Gustavus

... so to speak, a unanimous vote." There was a strong hint of approval in the President's voice. He was a good man; but he belonged to that sect which holds as one of the main articles of its faith, "I believe in the infallibility of the rich." ...
— The Primrose Ring • Ruth Sawyer

... conform to the dictate and verdict of the verse, have by that manner of lot-casting encounter befallen to the curious researchers of them. Do not you nevertheless imagine, lest you should be deluded, that I would upon this kind of fortune-flinging proof infer an uncontrollable and not to be gainsaid infallibility ...
— Gargantua and Pantagruel, Complete. • Francois Rabelais

... recollections. Then, as he has since done, he felt the need of forming illusions about the alleged weakness of his rival. As he made ready for this great invasion, he hesitated to regard the result as certain; for he no longer was conscious of his infallibility, nor had that military assurance which the force and fire of youth give, nor had he that conviction of success which makes it sure." There had been no lack of warnings. Those of his advisers who ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... dissenters from the Romish Church, the massacre of St. Bartholomew's day, the horrors of the Inquisition, the crusades against the Albigenses and the simple dwellers of the Vaudois valleys, have been regarded as atrocities peculiar to the believers in papal infallibility, and the necessary consequences of their doctrines; and hence they have looked upon the constitutional agitation of the Irish Catholics for relief from grieveous disabilities and unjust distinctions as a struggle merely ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. 13. He was a squeezing, grasping, ...
— Higher Lessons in English • Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg

... authoritative their chronological and ethnological reveries, why should the Eastern student, who has access to quite different—and we make bold to say, more trustworthy— materials, be expected to join in the blind belief of those who defend Western historical infallibility? He believes—on the strength of the documentary evidence, left by Yavanacharya (Pythagoras) 607 "B.C." in India, and that of his own national "temple records," that instead of giving hundreds we may safely ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various



Words linked to "Infallibility" :   papal infallibility, fallibility, reliableness, infallible, dependableness, dependability, reliability, inerrancy



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