Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.—PS. cxxxix. 23, 24.
Save us from the evil tongue,
From the heart that thinketh wrong,
From the sins, whate’er they be,
That divide the soul from Thee.
Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: for instance, that where a man can live, there he can also live well. But he must live in a palace: well, then, he can also live well in a palace.
Who is there that sets himself to the task of steadily watching his thoughts for the space of one hour, with the view of preserving his mind in a simple, humble, healthful condition, but will speedily discern in the multiform, self-reflecting, self-admiring emotions, which, like locusts, are ready to “eat up every green thing in his land,” a state as much opposed to simplicity and humility as night is to day?