Then said James: 'O master, how is the examination of a thought like unto [that of] a coin?'
Jesus answered: 'The good silver in the thought is piety, because every impious thought cometh of the devil. The right image is the example of the holy ones and prophets, which we ought to follow; and the weight of the thought is the love of God by which all ought to be done. Whereupon the enemy will bring there impious thoughts against your neighbour, [thoughts] conformed to the world, to corrupt the flesh; [thoughts] of earthly love to corrupt the love of God.'
Bartholomew answered: 'O master, what ought we to do to think little, in order that we may not fall into temptation?'
Jesus answered: 'Two things are necessary for you. The first is to exercise yourselves much, and the second is to talk little; for idleness is a sink wherein is gathered every unclean thought, and too much talking is a sponge which picketh up iniquities. It is, therefore, necessary not only your working should hold the body occupied, but also that the soul be occupied with prayer. For it needeth never to cease from prayer.
'I tell you for an example: There was a man who paid ill, wherefore none that knew him would go to till his fields. Whereupon he, like a wicked man, said: "I will go to the market-place to find idle ones who are doing nothing, and will therefore come to till my vines." This man went forth from his house, and found many strangers who were standing in idleness, and had no money. To them he spoke, and led them to his vineyard. But verily none that knew him and had work for his hands went thither.
'He is Satan, that one who payeth ill; for he giveth labour, and man receiveth for it the eternal fires in his service. Wherefore he hath gone forth from paradise, and goeth in search of labourers. Assuredly he setteth to his labours those who stand in idleness whosoever they be, but much more those who know him not. It is not in any wise enough for any one to know evil in order to escape it, but it behoveth to work at good in order to overcome it.'