For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
1. A good governance of speech is a strong evidence of a good mind; of a mind pure from vicious desires, calm from disorderly passions, void of dishonest intentions."
2. From hence, that the use of speech is itself a great ingredient into our practice, and hath a very general influence on whatever we do, may be inferred, that whoever governeth it well cannot also but well order his whole life.
3. To govern the tongue well is a matter of exceeding difficulty, requiring not only hearty goodness, but great judgment and art, together with much vigilance and circumspection; whence the doing it argues a high pitch of virtue.
4. Irregular speech hath commonly more advantages for it, and fewer checks on it, than other bad practices have: that is, a man is apt to speak ill with less dissatisfaction and regret from within; he may do it with less control and hazard from without, than he can act ill.
5. Whereas most of the enormities and troubles whereby the souls of men are defiled and their lives disquieted are the fruits of ill-governed speech, he that by well governing it preserves himself from guilt and inconvenience, must necessarily be, not only a wise and happy, but a good and worthy person.
6. His tongue also so ruled cannot but produce very good fruits of honour to God, of benefit to his neighbour, and of comfort to himself.
7. The observation how unusual this practice is, in any good degree, may strongly assure us of its excellency: for the rarer, especially in morals, any good thing is, the more noble and worthy it is; that rarity arguing somewhat of peculiar difficulty in the attainment of it.
(I. Barrow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.