"It is one thing to wish to have truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of truth."
It's from an essay titled "On the love of Truth" in Essays on some of the difficulties in the writings of the Apostle Paul and other parts of the New Testament by Whately, Richard, 1787-1863. The book was published in 1830.
[I like books published in 1830.]
As everyone who reads this blog knows, in my opinion the Interpreter is a peer-approved publication that seeks to confirm the biases of the citation cartel that control it. As such, it's the opposite of a peer-reviewed journal in the traditional sense of a search for truth. The Interpreter does publish some good material, but also publishes some deplorable material; the only criteria for publication seems to be whether the citation cartel agrees with the content (or agrees enough to allow some slight variations at the edges).
Whately explains the Interpreter's citation cartel here: "The minds of most men are pre-occupied by some feeling or other which influences their judgment, either on the side of truth or of error, as it may happen, and enlists their learning and ability on the side, whatever it may be, which they are predisposed to adopt."
Here's the context of these quotations from Whately:
4. When, however, we have made up our minds as to the importance of seeking in every case for truth, with an unprejudiced mind, the greatest difficulty still remains; which arises
from the confidence we are apt to feel that we have already done this, and have sought for
truth with success.
For every one must of course be convinced of the truth of his own opinion, if it be properly called his opinion ; and yet the variety of men's opinions furnishes a proof how many must be mistaken. If any one then would guard against mistake as far as his intellectual faculties will allow, he must make it, not the second, but the first question in each case, " Is this true ? "
It is not enough to believe what you maintain ; you must maintain what you believe ; and maintain it because you believe it, and that, on the most careful and impartial review of the evidence on both sides. For any one may bring himself to believe almost any thing that he is inclined to believe, and thinks it becoming or expedient to maintain. It makes all the difference, therefore, whether we begin or end with the enquiry as to the truth of our doctrines.
To express the same maxim in other words, it is one thing to wish to have Truth on our side, and another thing to wish sincerely to be on the side of Truth. There is no genuine love of truth implied in the former. Truth is a powerful auxiliary, such as every one wishes to have on his side ; every one is rejoiced to find, and therefore often succeeds in convincing himself, that the principles he is already disposed to adopt, the notions he is inclined to defend, may be maintained as true.
A determination to "obey the Truth," and to follow wherever she may lead, is not so common. In this consists the genuine love of truth ; and this can be realized in practice only by postponing all other questions to that which ought ever to come foremost, "What is the Truth ?" The minds of most men are pre-occupied by some feeling or other which influences their judgment, either on the side of truth or of error, as it may happen, and enlists their learning and ability on the side, whatever it may be, which they are predisposed to adopt.