Chapter 4

On Prudence in Action

We should not believe every word (Ecclus 19:16) and suggestion, but should carefully and unhurriedly consider all things in accordance with the will of God. For such is the weakness of human nature, alas, that evil is often more readily believed and spoken of another than good. But perfect men do not easily believe every tale that is told them, for they know that man's nature is prone to evi1, (Gen. 8:21) and his words to deceptions (Ecclus 14:1).

It is wise not to be over hasty in action, nor to cling stubbornly to our own opinions. It is wise also not to believe all that we hear, nor to hasten to report to others what we hear or believe. Take counsel of a wise and conscientious man, and seek (Tobit 4:19) to be guided by one who is better than yourself, rather than to follow your own opinions. A good life makes a man wise towards God, and gives him experience in many things (Ecclus 34:9). The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all that he does.

Chapter 3Table of ContentsChapter 5