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insult a clergyman, because his profession prevents him from taking what the world calls the satisfaction of a gentleman, it is equally so to propagate reports against one whose promi. nent situation in society exposes him to particular remark, and who is prevented by his elevated station from gaining redress for the injurious defamation to which his rank makes him peculiarly liable. There is one consideration, however, which may reconcile us to these highly aimed shafts of detraction and defamation;-namely, the belief, that as kings, princes, and nobles, are made of the same corrupt nature as ourselves, there is little doubt but that they in their turn believe, and propagate, evil reports of each other, and even of those below them, and that therefore, when they are hardly judged and ungenerously defamed, it

may often be deserved retribution.

There is one question which I feel it imperative upon me to put to my readers of every description, who believe the commandments to be of divine authority, whether they be in the world or separated from it, whether they be members of the church of England, or sectarians, jew or gentile; namely:

How is it that you, who would shrink with virtuous horror from being even supposed capable of violating the 6th, 7th, or 8th commandments, should have no scruple against violating the 9th?—

“ Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' Yet, taking up and propagating reports, the

truth of which we can not prove, is a positive violation of the ninth commandment, and he who gave them requires the same obedience to them all. Therefore, though it is certainly more difficult for many of us to keep the 9th, than the 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments, no one who has any real religious belief can deny that it is equally imperative on us; and I doubt not, but at the day of final and righteous retribution, the cold blooded malignity of the murderers of reputations will be as awfully dealt with, as the more violent passions of the ruffian and the assassin, by the DIVINE JUSTICE.

I shall conclude this chapter with some admirable extracts on " Lying Defamation,” from the Government of the Tongue.

“ As in the case of stealing it is proverbially said, that if there were no receivers there would be no thieves; so in this of slander, if there were fewer spreaders, there would be fewer forgers of libels; the manufacture would be discouraged, if it had not these retailers to put

off the wares. Now to apply these practices to our rule of duty, there will need no very close inspection to discern the obliquity. The most superficial glance will evidence these several degrees of slanderers to do what they would not be willing to suffer.

" And indeed, it is observable, that those who make the greatest havoc of other men's reputation, are the most nicely tender of their own; which sets this sin of calumny in a most diametrical opposition to the evangelical precept of loving our neighbours as ourselves

“ He that shoots an arrow in jest, may kill a man in earnest; and he that gives himself liberty to play with his neighbour's fame, may soon play it away. Most men have such an aptness to entertain sinister opinions of others, that they greedily draw in any suggestion of that kind; and one may as easily persuade the thirsty earth to refund the water she has sucked into her veins, as them to deposit a prejudice they have once taken up. Therefore such experiments upon fame are as dangerous as that which Alexander is said to have made of the force of Naphtha upon his page, from which he scarce escaped with life.

“ Since slander is a plant that can grow in all soils, since the frolic humours as well as the morose betray to the guilt, who can hope to escape this scourge of the tongue, as the wise man calls it, Eccl. 26, 6, which communicates with all? Persons of all ranks do mutually asperse, and are aspersed; so that he who would not have his credulity abused has scarce a securer way, than (like that Astrologer, who made his almanack give a tolerable account of the weather by a direct inversion of the common prognosticators,) to let his belief run quite counter to reports.

I shall here say in recapitulation,

That temper is a great provocative to defamation, and bad feelings are often vented in bitter sayings.

That defamers and murderers have feelings in common; and that anonymous and secret slanderers would probably, is they dared, as

sail the subjects of their calumnies with the knife of the assassin.

That party spirit is one never-failing source of positive defamation.

That though competition is the chief source of detraction, and often of defamation, these sometimes exist where there is no competition; as persons in the middle classes of life are apt to believe and propagate scandalous stories of kings and princes, and all public characters.

That kings are worse off in this respect than their subjects, as they are prevented by their high rank from obtaining redress for the calumnious judgments to which it exposes them, but

That, as they and other persons of high rank are probably guilty of evil speaking themselves, these their injuries may be only retributive justice.

That those who are incapable of violating the 6th, 7th, and 8th commandments, make no scruple to violate the 9th, yet that obedience to them all is imperative on us: and I conclude this chapter with extracts from “ Lying Defamation.""



I HAVE now to the best of my ability illustrated the name of my work, and proved its right to the title of “ Detraction Displayed."

Now, therefore, as the medical writer, after giving a detail of different diseases, gives also such prescriptions as he deems cures or preventives, I venture, though with much humility, to mention some preventives at least for the diseases of detraction and defamation.

On those who are denominated MEN AND WOMEN OF THE WORLD, their religious belief, however sincere, is not sufficiently operative, surrounded as they are by snares of all sorts, to teach them “the Government of the Tongue, nor to convince them that it is a sin not to govern it; and they must be candid and indulgent indeed, not to despise as righteous overmuch the presumptuous monitor who urges upon

them the necessity, as responsible beings, of “bridling the tongue.

Still there are motives of a worldly nature, which as reasonable beings they can not despise. As reasonable beings they must admit, that if they could be contented to resign their

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