Give instruction to a wise man, and he will yet be wiser

The members of our holy order have just
gone through a trying time. But those of us who have remained with our original
order have shown great wisdom. We have been instructed to cut ties
with those who would lead us into confusion. It is wise that we have done so. Sometimes used as ‘give wisdom,’ this proverb actually comes
from the biblical book of Proverbs,
attributed to King Solomon, often hailed as ‘the wisest man who ever lived’.

A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is putting on its shoes or boots

Now more than ever we in our Holy Order must be concerned about
what is the truth. Untruth is quickly believed and it is up to us to make sure
we are on the right path. Versions of this proverb have been attributed to Alexander Pope,
Mark Twain, Charles Spurgeon, Fisher Ames, Thomas Jefferson and Winston
Churchill. Then of course, someone called it a Chinese Proverb. But let’s take
a look at the truth.

Garbage in, garbage out

Strangely enough this
cliché proverb, so often quoted, was never actually around in its present form
until the early days of the computer. But the basic principle is one spoken two
thousand years ago by Jesus, recorded in Matthew

      “From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (KJV)                                                                                                                                

Early in the computer
age garbage in garbage out, often abbreviated GIGO, became a catchphrase
stating the obvious; that when the data we put into a computer is all
‘garbage’, what we get out will be more ‘garbage’. It came to also apply to the
fact that if arguments for a belief or principle are flawed, then the principle
is flawed, and more generally, that when one puts bad thoughts or ideas into
his or her mind, the result will be flawed reasoning. The earliest known
use of the term was on November 10, 1956, in a syndicated newspaper article
titled Work with New Electronic ‘Brains’
Opens Field for Army Math Experts’ in which Army specialist William D.
Mellin explained that computers can’t think for themselves, and that ‘sloppily
programmed’ info leads to incorrect outputs. The inventor of the first
programmable computing devise, Charles Babbage, stated the principle as far
back as 1864 in Passages from the Life of
a Philosopher on page 67:

two occasions I have been asked, ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the
machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ …

Clear as crystal

simile means totally transparent, and can apply in both a literal and
figurative sense. Metaphorically it means either a clear sound of very easy to
understand. The literal version was used in the biblical test of Revelation 21:11, even in the Tyndale Version, first published in
1526, and seems to be the origin of the thought:

“Havyng the brightness of God. And her shynynge was lyke vnto a stone moste precious even a lasper cleare as cristall.”

The use of this comparison to sound came as early as 1740 in Memoirs: Being a New Abridgment of the Philosophical Transactions, by Benjamin Baddam, published by the Royal Society of Great Britain in London, on page 259:

“…but he sound
that those which had been as clear as crystal before,
had now lost a great deal of their transparency…”

is used to describe understanding by December, 1854, in an article titled ‘As
Clear as Crystal!’ which appeared in Punch,
or The London Charivari on page 44:

delivers his Crystal-clear account of the directors’

has made the way of salvation crystal clear. All we have to do is believe and
ask him into our hearts to be our Lord and Savior.

Egotism is an alphabet of one letter

This old proverb, now labeled as Scottish, obviously
is referring to the letter ‘I’, for an egotist only thinks of himself or
herself. Though not specifically listed in a book which is now available before
the late 19th century, the thought predates this. In Plain Matters of Fact, Undenied and Undeniable,
‘Containing Constructive Journies from the Richmond (VA) Inquirer of 1828’; on
page 40, in an article titled ‘Henry Clay and the Bargain’:                                                         

“Mr. Clay, it is
thought, presents himself the most devoted egotist upon earth? The letter ‘I’
is the most favorite one in the
whole alphabet,
with Mr. Clay.”

The earliest available mention of this exact
proverb in print is actually in a series of proverbs in The Insurance Journal, Hartford Connecticut, January, 1885, in an
article ‘Siftings from Chaff’. In
1893 it was listed in a book titled Proverbs,
Maxims and Phrases of All Ages: Classified Subjectively and Arranged Alphabetically, Volume 1,
Compiled by Robert Christy, published in London and New York, on page 293.

Diamond in the rough

When diamonds are
mined they are dark and unshapely. Only with precision cutting and polishing by
highly skilled artisans do they become the desirable gemstones that have
hypnotized humanity. Even then, there are some stones which do not have good
enough color and clarity to capture a top price. This metaphoric
expression refers to a person who has great innate abilities but lacks the
social graces and skills to fulfill his or her potential. A variation of the
metaphor was first expressed as ‘rough diamond’ in 1624 by John Fletcher in A Wife for a Month.

Chapter and verse! Chapter and verse!

idiom infers that the person being addressed has not given enough specific, provable
information about his or her assessment of a particular matter in the statements
made and much more specific proof is needed to be convincing. It is derived by
quotations from the Bible made by priests, ministers or teachers to support
a sermon, written statement or lecture. The Bible has long been regarded
in Christian circles as the absolute authority, thus, this analogy. By
the mid-to-late 19th century it was becoming customary to demand chapter and
verse for proof in biblical arguments. The Evangelical Repository and United
Presbyterian Review, February, 1868, gives us a good example of this in the
first article, titled ‘Church Union’ by the Rev. D.F. Bonner:

“And no man has a right to say I shall sing any thing without giving a ‘Thus saith the Lord.’ If he cannot give the chapter and verse for the exclusive use

of the Psalms, I tell him I am a Protestant.” Show me “the chapter and verse” directing women to eat of the Lord’s supper?

A new lease on life

At the beginning of a new year, a lot of people make
resolutions that are easily broken. They are looking for a new beginning. Let’s
take a look at where this old adage came from, and then at how we can really
have a new lease on life. This is an idiomatic phrase meaning a fresh start at a
happy, healthy or prosperous lifestyle after a period of upset, sickness or
adversity. It originally had reference to rental agreements from the early 19th

Out with the old, in with the new!

This is certainly an old saying that we have all heard
pretty much all our lives. We hear it a lot at New Years because of the picture
in our minds of the Old Year as a white bearded man and the New Year as a baby
in a diaper. But it always seems only a short while since we were going
through this before, so that analogy seems somewhat off to me. It is difficult to trace the absolute origin of this
cliché, but a similar phrase   first appeared in print in 1835 in a
traditional folk song:

It is good to be merry and wise, It is good to be honest and true,     It is best to be off with the old love Before you are on with the new.                                             

Robert Watson, in his 1919 novel, The Girl of O.K. Valley
used the lines together as the title of Chapter 11: Out with the Old, On with the New.

Silent Night

In 1816 a young Austrian priest named Joseph Mohr had
just gone for a walk. The Napoleonic Wars had recently taken a great toll in
his country. Mohr looked out over a quiet town on a winter evening
and was inspired with the peace he felt, and penned the words to this most
popular and dear Christmas carol. On Christmas Eve, 1818, Silent Night was first performed
as Stille
Nacht Heilige Nacht. Mohr
played the guitar and sang along with Franz Gruber, the choir director who had
written the melody.