Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure…
How many persons are made and kept frivolous by an inability to prescribe the subjects on which their mind shall run! They would give, or fancy they would give, all that they possess for the power to say decisively but for one short hour, "This and but this shall be the subject of my thoughts." But they find that when they open their Bible the mind has flown away to some meditation of things present and transitory; when they kneel down to pray, even attention is absent, they cannot remember God's presence, much less can they wish the thing they profess to pray for. Such persons are good judges of Paul's precept, however little they may believe in the possibility of obeying it. For indeed it is a very dreadful thing, when we reflect upon it — a strong proof, were there no other, of our fallen and ruined state — that a man should thus sit at a helm of which he has lost the rudder, should thus be responsible for the conduct of a mind over which practically he has no control. And if that responsibility cannot be desired; if "out of the heart the mouth speaketh," if by the heart the path of life is chosen and the course of life shaped; in short, if, in every sense of the words, "out of the heart are the issues of life," and according to the life must be the eternal judgment of each one of us; how terrible must it be to be unable from a moral impotency to obey the charge "keep that heart with all diligence"; to be compelled to let thought drift whither it will, and yet to know that thought guides action, and action may destroy the soul.
Parallel VersesKJV: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
WEB: Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.