— Henry Ward Beecher American clergyman and activist 1813 - 1887
Context: Now, evidence to a man is that which convinces his mind. It varies with different men. An argument to a man who cannot reason is no evidence. Facts are no evidence to a man who cannot perceive them. A sentimental appeal is evidence to a man whose very nature moves by emotion, though it may not be to his neighbor.
So then, when men come to the investigation of truth, they are responsible, first, for research, for honesty therein, for being diligent, and for attempting to cleanse their minds from all bias of selfishness and pride. They are responsible for sincerity and faithfulness in the investigation of truth. And when they go beyond that to the use of their faculties, the combination of those faculties will determine very largely, not, perhaps, the generic nature of truth, but specific developments of it. And as long as the world stands there will be men who will hold that God is a God of infinite love and sympathy and. goodness with a residunm of justice; and there will be men who will believe that God is a God of justice with a residunm of love and sympathy and goodness; and each will follow the law of his own mind. As a magnet, drawn through a vessel containing sand and particles of iron, attracts the particles of iron but does not attract the sand; so the faculties of a man's mind appropriate certain facts and reject others. What is evidence to a man will depend upon those of his faculties whk at work upon the things which are presented as evidence.