The Following of Christ, Book I, Chapter X

cover of the ebook 'The Following of Christ'Of avoiding superfluity of words

1. Fly the tumult of men as much as thou canst: for treating of worldly affairs hinders very much, although they be discoursed of with a simple intention.

For we are quickly denied and ensnared with vanity.

I could wish I had often been silent, and that I had not been in company.

But why are we so willing to talk and discourse with one another: since we seldom return to silence without prejudice to our conscience?

The reason why we are so willing to talk, is, because by discoursing together we seek comfort from one another; and would gladly ease the heart, wearied by various thoughts.

And we very willingly talk and think of such things as we most love and desire, or which we imagine contrary to us.

2. But, alas! it is often in vain and to no purpose: for this outward consolation is no small hindrance of interior and divine comfort.

Therefore we must watch and pray, that our time may not pass away without fruit.

If it be lawful and expedient to speak, speak those things which may edify.

A bad custom and the neglect of our spiritual advancement, is a great cause of our keeping so little guard upon our mouth.

But devout conferences concerning spiritual things, help very much to spiritual progress: especially where persons of the same mind and spirit are associated together in God.