Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!…
Some time ago I saw a terrible fire, or rather the reflection of it in the sky; the heavens were crimsoned with it. It burned a large manufactory to the ground, and the firemen had hard work to save the buildings which surrounded it. They poured streams of water on it from fifteen engines, but it licked it up, and would have its course till the walls gave way. That terrible fire was kindled by farthing rushlight! Some years ago I saw the black ashes of what the night before was a cheerful farmyard, with its hay-ricks, corn.stacks, stables, and cow-sheds; and lying about upon them were the carcases of a number of miserable horses and bullocks which had perished in the flames. All that was done by a lucifer-match! In America the Indians strike a spark from a flint and steel, and set fire to the dry grass, and the flames spread and spread until they sweep like a roaring torrent over prairies as large as England, and men and cattle have to flee for their lives. "And the tongue is a fire." A few rash words will set a family, a neighbourhood, a nation, by the ears; they have often done so. Half the law-suits and half the wars have been brought about by the tongue.
Parallel VersesKJV: Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!