00309 f W- (ft 2 : f - : CHAPTER X. Of avoiding many words. Fly the tumult of the world as much as thous canst; for the treating of worldly affairs is a great hindrance, although it ba done with sincere intention. inten-tion. , , For we are quickly refiled, and en-tralled en-tralled by vanity. Oftentimes I could wish that I had held my peace when I have spoken; and that I had not been, lr company. Why do we so willingly speak and talk one with another, when notwithstanding notwith-standing we seldom cease our converse before we have hurt our conscience? The cause-why we so willingly talk, is for that by discoursing one with an other, we seek to receive comfort one of another, and desire to ease our mind wearied with many thoughts. And we very willingly talk and think of those things which we most love or desire; or of those things which we feel to be against us. But alas, oftentimes in vain, and to no end; for this outward out-ward and divine consolation. Therefore There-fore we must watch and pray, lest our time pass away idly. If it be lawful and expedient for thee to speak, speak those things that may edifv. Evil habit and neglect of our own growth In grace do give too much liberty lib-erty to inconsiderate speech. Yet discourse of spiritual growth, especially when persons of one mind and spirit associate together in God. ' ; CHAPTER XL " Of the obtaining of peace We might enjoy much peace, if we would not busy ourselves with, the words and deeds of other man, and with things which appertain nothing to our charge. How can he abide long in peace, who trusteth himself to the cares of others, who seeketh occasions abroad, who lit tle or selldom cometh to himself? Blessed are the sinsle hearted; for they shall enjov much peace. Why were some of the Saints so perfect per-fect and contemplative? Because they labored to mortify themselves wholly to all earthly desires; and therefore they could with their whole heart fix themselves upon God, and be free for holy retirement. We are too much led by our passions, and too solicitous for the transitory things. ' -.-.-- i We also seldom overcome any one vice perfectly, and are not inflamed! with a fervent deelre to grow better every day; and therefore we remain cold and lukewarm. If we were perfectly per-fectly intent upon our own hearts, and not entangled with outward things, then should we be able to relish divin things, and to have some experience of heavenlv contemplation. The greatest, and Indeed the whole Impediment is that we ara not free from passions and lusts, neither do we endeavor to walk in the perfect way to the Saints; and when but a small adversity ad-versity befalleth us, we are too quickly dejected, and turn to human consolations. consola-tions. If we would endeavor like brave men to stand in the battle, surely we should feel the assistance of God from heaven. For He who giveth us occ-asslon to fight to the end we, may get the victory, vic-tory, is ready to succor those that fight and that trust in His grace. If we esteem our progress in religious life to consist only in some outward observances, our devotion will quickly be at an end. But let us lav the ax to the root, that being freed from passions, we may find rest to our souls. If every year we would root out one vice, we should sooner become perfect men; But now oftentimes we perceive, on the contrary, that we are better and purer at the beginning of our conversion than after many years of our profession. profes-sion. Our fervor and profiting should increase in-crease daily; but now it is accounted a great matter if a man can retain but some part of his first zeal. If we would do but a little violence to ourselves at the beginning, then should we be able. to perform all things afterwards after-wards with ease and delight. It is a hard matter to forego that to which we are accustomed, but it is , ; harder to go against our, own will. But if thou doest not overcome small and easy things, when wilt thou overcome over-come harder things? Resist thy inclination in the very beginning, be-ginning, and unlearn evil habits. lest perhaps by little and little they draw thee to greater difficulties. If thou didst but consider how much i inward peace unto thyself, and joy to -. others, thou wouldest procure by demeaning de-meaning thyself we:l, I think that thou wouldst be. more careful of thy spiritl ual progress.