I am persuaded some men take more pains to furnish themselves with arguments to defend some one error they have taken up, than they do for the most saving truths in the Bible; yea, they could sooner die at a stake to defend one error they hold, than all the truths they profess.
Austin [Augustine] saith of himself when he was a Manichæan, Non tu eras, sed error meus erat Deus meus: ‘Thou, O Lord, were not, but my error was my god.’
O, it is hard to reduce a person deeply engaged in the defence of an error; how oft had the Pharisees their mouths stopped by our Saviour, yet few or none reclaimed! Their spirits were too proud to recant. What, they lay down the bucklers, come down from Moses’ chair, and confess what they might have taught the people for an oracle is now false! They will rather go on, and brave it out as well as they can, than come back with shame, though the shame was not to be ashamed of their error, but ashamed to confess it.
The cynic answered smartly, who, coming out of a brothel house, was asked whether he was not ashamed to be seen coming out of such a naughty house, said, No, the shame was to go in, but honesty to come out. O, sirs, it is bad enough to fall into an error, but worse to persist. The first shews thee a weak man, humanum est errare; but the other makes thee too like the devil, who is to this day of the same mind he was at his first fall.
[William Gurnall and John Campbell, The Christian in Complete Armour (London: Thomas Tegg, 1845), 212. Broken into paragraphs]