worldly things, though it be innocently undertaken, is a
hindrance, so quickly are we led captive and defiled by vanity.
Many a time I wish that I had held my peace, and had not gone
amongst men. But why do we talk and gossip so continually,
seeing that we so rarely resume our silence without some hurt
done to our conscience? We like talking so much because we hope
by our conversations to gain some mutual comfort, and because we
seek to refresh our wearied spirits by variety of thoughts. And
we very willingly talk and think of those things which we love or
desire, or else of those which we most dislike.
outward consolation is no small hindrance to the inner comfort
which cometh from God. Therefore must we watch and pray that
time pass not idly away. If it be right and desirable for thee
to speak, speak things which are to edification. Evil custom and
neglect of our real profit tend much to make us heedless of
watching over our lips. Nevertheless, devout conversation on
spiritual things helpeth not a little to spiritual progress, most
of all where those of kindred mind and spirit find their ground
of fellowship in God.