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-more loudly for detection. It would not be difficult to exa emplify the pernicious consequences of this practice both to the interests of society and individuals.
I mean not to insinuate that every corner of the land is equally infected with this evil; but i cannot avoid saying, some places labour so much under it that scarce two persons can converse together without loosing their tongues upon their brethren, by either censoriously expatiating upon what they pretend is wrong, or which as often bappens, running down their reputation with falsehoods.
The character of a liar is one of the niust detestable that can well be imagined. The habitual practice of lying is a thing so much to be abhorred, that the person who indulges in it is quite unfit for a member of society. It makes a man as like the Devil as he can well be ; for a Jiar is, in a peculiar sense, one of his children, and if mercy interpose not, he shall with that Father of Lies, have his “
part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone."
There are many who, perlraps, although not strictly looked upon as liars, yet are little less criminal, on account of their giving so much way to reviling, or eagerly enibrącing every opportunity of injuring the character of others. This indeed can scarcely be done without lying; but people who in this way, from a spirit of envy or malice, have an inclination to abuse their brethren, often take for the groundwork of their aspersions, some small or pretended error or mistake in those they wish to vilify, and dwell upon it; holding it up in all the horrid formas imaginable, and thus magnifying it to a matter of the greatest criminality. Perhaps it is a notorious lie, or at most comparatively but trifling; yet it must reverberate from city to city, from village to village ; and from tongue to tongue; and at every turn assuming some new appear
ance of aggravation, till every corner of the land is made to resound with exclamations of wonder and astonishment. Thus, while in the words of inspiration it may be asked, "Who can stand before envy," we may also exclaim, with
And jaundic'd Malice points his poison'd sting.” But by wbatever principle or motive those persons are actuated, who are disposed to use such freedom with the characters of their fellow-creatures, their conduct is highly criminal in the sight of God. Backbiters, whisperers and revilers, are, in scripture, ranked among the worst of characters. Many will vindicate themselves by saying, they are not the authors of such calumnies ; they only say what they hear, &c.; but such should recollect that they are not at liberty to repeat all that they lear, even although they had good reason to believe it for truth; and if so, they are much less at liberty to repeat all that they hear, without knowing whether it be true or not. Let us put ourselves in the place of the person
wbose character and reputation we hear suffering by the tongues of others, and consider how we would take with it; and if we act a consistent part, we will not only forbear taking part with the scornful, but use all our influence in the vindication of our fellow-creatures, and for the suppressing that which is calculated to injure their interest or reputation.
“ All things whatsoever ye would that men susuld do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Those who have no mercy upon the characters of others, with what Teason can they hope for better treatment themselves ? for ** with what ineası!re ye ncte, it shall be measured to you again," and they " shall have judgment without mercy,
that shewed no riercy.”
A Scene in a Church-yard.
TO THE PUBLISHERS OF THE CHEAP MAGAZINE. Gentlemen,- IF you think the following lines calculated to arouse the careless, you may insert them in your welldesigned and useful Miscellany. I am, &c. A. D.
STEPPING into the church-yard one day, I beheld the sexton busily employed in making that little house appointed for all living. I was strongly tempted to sinile at the apathy of the mortal, had not the solemnity of the place prevented me from doing so : He digged up the remains of the dead with as little seeming concern, as the husbandman who labours to bring forward the fruit of the vine :is lamentable that these trusty brethren of the trade remain as hardened, if not more so, than any other part of mankind. In
shovelful that lie cast up, I could discern the broken fragments of sculls and bones which once had their place assigned them in the structure of the human body. In surveying the whole that was cast up, my attention was directed to a scull which was pretty entire, it rested on its base, and presented to my view, in awful demonstration, the frailty and mortality of man ; surely, said I, man at his best is wholly vanity; frail man! his days are as the grass, he groweth as a flower in the field. Instead of the glossy hair which adorns the brow, and waves round the temples in loose and flowing ringlets, I could discerp nothing but the bare bone half consumed, and moulderin down to original dust ; the piercing eyes, these monitors of the heart, and organs of the soul, which once smiled with affability and complacency, or flushed with anger and indig nation, were no more to be seen; they had totally disappeared, and left nothing behind them but the hollow sockets, dismal and ghastly !--The sweet and balmly lips, ruddy
and coral, on which ten thousand smiles were wont to play, were entirely consumed, not one vestage of all their rosy bue remained, nothing but the rugged jaws, ficrce and terrific. I began to consider with myself, what puny and despicable mortals men are, doomed to drag out a miserable existence here on earth, then to descend to the grave,
and become food for worms; such a consideration as this, is eminently calculated to make men think and consider their latter end.
It would be of great advantage to us all, especially to those who are young and thoughtless, to retire to the gloomy mansions of the tomb, and muse on the sentence-Dust thou art, and shalt to dust return ;-yes, 'tis appointed far all men once to die, and after death the judgment;—though titles and honours, birth and education, make a distinction among men, death makes none.- When the gloomy monarch receives his commission, he puts it in execution, with. out any regard to name or distinction,--the prince shares the same fate with the meanest of bis subjects; he must resign his crown to the King of Terrors, and descend to the grave: all his wealth and power are insufficient to bribe Death for a moment. Philosophers, who have pushed their discoveries almost to the boundaries of the universe; who bave explained and laid open the phenomena of nature, and showed the wisdom of the Deity in his handyworks ; who have inculcated virtue in the strongest terms, and induced mortals to tread her flowery paths as the only means by which they may attain pleasure here, and happiness bereafter, have been laid low by the hand of Death; poets, who have delineated the beauties of nature in the liveliest colours, and rendered more delightful the verdant lapdscape, the blossomed thorn, and all the diversi15 of flowers ; who have made seas and lakes, rivulets and Sountains, all to flow in the sweetness of numbers, have become its lawful captive.
To be continued.
SIGNS WHICH SHALL PRECEDE
THE LAST DAY.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE CHEAP MAGAZINE.
Gentlemen,-Be pleased to insert the following in your vala uable Magazine, and you will oblige A CONSTANT READER.
WHEN this great and terrible day of the Lord is nigh, we are told there shall be signs in the heavens to de. note its nearness, and that all nature shall give symptoms of her approaching dissolution. The sun, that had bitherto come forth like a bridegroom from bis chambers, rejoicing to run bis course, and to publish from east to west his maker's praise, now grows weary of shining upon creatures that disobey and dishonour his Creator, he draws-a veil, black as sackcloth, over his mournful countenance, unable any longer to behold the impiety of mankind; the moon, likewise, blushing for the same cause, shall assume the colour of blood; and all the lesser lamps of light shall grow dim, and the face of heaven be overspread with a mournful darkness : And as the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; so also the stars not bearing any longer to adorn the canopy of guilty men, shall fall from their places, and like tlie untimely fruit of a fig-tree when shaken by a mighty wind, lie scattered around. But mark a greater wonder, and a stranger sign than any of these! A profligate and unbelieving race, like their brethren before the flood, go on to fill the measure of their iniquity, without paying the least regard to warnings; they buy, they sell, they marry, and give in marriage, planing for a long and happy life, and still sinning on, till the awful liarbinger, the Son of Man, appears in the heavens. How solemn the archangel's declaration! How striking his appearance! He is clothed with a cloud; a rainbow is upon