One person will grasp with avidity any new philosophical effort in an endeavor to ascertain how far it supports his own ideas. To such a one the philosophy itself is of minor importance. Its prime value will be its vindication of his ideas. If the work comes up to expectation in that respect, he will enthusiastically adopt it and cling to it with a most unreasoning partisanship; if not, he will probably lay the book down in disgust and disappointment, feeling as if the author had done him an injury.
Another adopts an attitude of skepticism as soon as he discovers that it contains something which he has not previously read, heard, or originated in his own thought. He would probably resent as extremely unjustified the accusation that his mental attitude is the acme of self-satisfaction and intolerance; such is nevertheless the case; and thus he shuts his mind to any truth which may possibly be hidden in that which he off-hand rejects.
Both these classes stand in their own light. 'Set' ideas render them impervious to rays of truth.
'A little child' is the very opposite of its elders in that respect. It is not imbued with an overwhelming
sense of superior knowledge, nor does it feel compelled to look wise or to hide its nescience of any subject
by a smile or a sneer. It is frankly ignorant, unfettered by preconceived opinions and therefore eminently
teachable. It takes everything with that beautiful attitude of trust which we have designated 'child-like
faith,' wherein there is not the shadow of a doubt.