1 My brethren, don't affect many of you to be doctors, considering, that those of us who are such, shall be tried with the greater severity. 2 for we are all liable to frequent mistakes. he that does not give too great a loose to his tongue, is an accomplish'd person and fit to moderate the whole church.
3 you see how manageable horses are made by the application of a bit, which makes them take what motion we please. 4 a ship too of the greatest burthen, tho' the wind bears hard, by means of an inconsiderable helm, veers about as the hand of the pilot directs her. 5 so the tongue is but a small part of the body, yet how grand are its pretensions. a spark of fire! what quantities of timber will it blow into a flame? 6 the tongue is a brand that sets the world in a combustion: it is but one of the numerous organs of the body, yet it can blast whole assemblies: tipp'd with infernal sulphur it sets the whole train of life in a blaze.
7 creatures of every kind, beasts, birds, reptiles, and sea-monsters, are frequently tamed by human industry. 8 but who could ever tame the tongue? arm'd with deadly poison, the mischief scorns restraint. 9 By that we give praises to God the father: and that pronounces curses even against men, who are form'd after the divine resemblance. 10 from the same mouth shall blessing and cursing proceed? this ought not to be practis'd, my brethren; 11 does a fountain throw up salt water and fresh, by the same conveyance? 12 can a fig-tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine figs? no more can the sea yield water that is fresh.
13 Whoever is a skilful moralist, let him show by his virtuous conduct, that he practises the humble precepts of wisdom. 14 but if envy and contention imbitter your minds, don't think your false pretences can stand against the truth: 15 such wisdom is not derived from heaven; but is terrestrial, sensual, demoniacal. 16 where false zeal, and a spirit of contention reign, there confusion and every vice prevail. 17 but wisdom deriv'd from heaven is first dispassionate, then pacific, equitable, and obsequious: full of beneficence, and all social virtue, free from partiality, and hypocrisy. 18 they who cultivate peace, enjoy the reward of their virtue.