Page 18 - Montana Freemason - September
P. 18


                        VOULME 85 NUMBER 3 SEPTEMBER 2012

Continued from Page 17

"The following directions, if duly observed, will greatly contribute to the prevention and cure of this great evil.
Never say any evil of another but what you certainly know. Whenever you positively accuse a man of any crime,
though it be in private and among friends, speak as if you were upon your oath, because God sees and hears you.
This, not only charity, but justice demands of us. He that easily credits a false report is almost as culpable as the
first inventor of it. Therefore never speak evil of any upon common fame, which, for the most part, is false, but
almost always uncertain."

"Before you speak evil of another, consider whether he has not obliged you by some real kindness, and then
it is a bad turn to speak ill of him that has done you good. Consider also whether you may not come
hereafter to be acquainted with him, related to him, or in want of his favor, whom you have thus injured,
and whether it may not be in his power to revenge a spiteful and needless word by a shrewd turn. So that if
a man made no conscience of hurting others, yet he should, in prudence, have some consideration of

“Let us accustom ourselves to be truly sorry for the faults of men, and then we shall take no pleasure in
publishing them. Common humanity requires this of us, considering the great infirmities of our nature, and
that we are also liable to be tempted; considering likewise how severe a punishment every crime is to itself,
how terribly it exposes a man to the wrath of God, both here and hereafter.”

"Whenever we hear any man evil spoken of, if we have heard any good of him, let us say that. It is always
more humane and more honorable to vindicate others than to accuse them. Were it necessary that a man
should be evil spoken of his good and bad qualities should be represented together, otherwise he may be
strangely misrepresented, and an indifferent man may be made a monster.”

"They that will observe nothing in a wise man but his oversights and follies; nothing in a good man but his
failings and infirmities, may render both despicable. Should we heap together all the passionate speeches,
all the imprudent actions of the best man, and present them all at one view, - concealing his virtues, - he, in
this disguise, would look like a madman or fury; and yet, if his life were fairly represented in the manner it
was led, he would appear to all the world to be an amiable and excellent person. But how numerous soever
any man's ill qualities are, it is but just that he should have due praise for his few real virtues."

"That you may not speak ill, do not delight in hearing it of any. Give no countenance to busybodies: if you
cannot decently reprove them because of their quality, divert the discourse some other way, or, by seeming
not to mind it, signify that you do not like it. Let every man mind his own duty and concern. Do but in good
earnest endeavor to mend yourself, and it will be work enough, and leave you little time to talk of others."

         In the foregoing sentiments, the backbiter and slanderer may see himself fully represented, as in a
true mirror; and, detestable as the spectacle naturally appears, much more so does it seem when masonically
examined. May all such, therefore, contemplate the nature and consequences of this abominable vice; and
that they may still become worthy men and Masons, let them constantly pray with the royal Psalmist, "Set a
watch, O Lord! before my mouth, keep thou the door of my lips;" being assured, for their encouragement,
that "He who backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against
his neighbor, shall abide in the tabernacle of the Lord, and shall dwell in his holy hill."

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