Do not yield to every impulse and suggestion but
consider things carefully and patiently in the light
of God's will. For very often, sad to say, we are so
weak that we believe and speak evil of others rather
than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily
believe every talebearer, because they know that
human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to
appear in speech.
Not to act rashly or to cling
obstinately to one's opinion, not to believe
everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip
one has heard, is great wisdom.
Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man.
Seek the advice of your betters in preference to
following your own inclinations.
A good life makes a man wise according to God and
gives him experience in many things, for the more
humble he is and the more subject to God, the wiser
and the more at peace he will be in all things.
Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought in reading the Holy
Scriptures; and every part must be read in the spirit in which it
was written. For in the Scriptures we ought to seek profit rather
than polished diction.
Likewise we ought to read simple and devout books as willingly as
learned and profound ones. We ought not to be swayed by the
authority of the writer, whether he be a great literary light or
an insignificant person, but by the love of simple truth. We ought
not to ask who is speaking, but mark what is said. Men pass away,
but the truth of the Lord remains forever. God speaks to us in
many ways without regard for persons.
Our curiosity often
impedes our reading of the Scriptures, when we wish to understand
and mull over what we ought simply to read and pass by.
If you would profit from it, therefore, read with humility,
simplicity, and faith, and never seek a reputation for being
learned. Seek willingly and listen attentively to the words of the
saints; do not be displeased with the sayings of the ancients, for
they were not made without purpose.