Wherever there is Christian community there is bound to be scolds and critics. This is true today and this was true in days past. Here’s a great little excerpt from one of De Witt Talmage’s sermons from the late 1800s in which he expresses his concern about such individuals.
There are in every community and in every church watch-dogs who feel called upon to keep their eyes on others and growl.
They are full of suspicions. They wonder if this man is not dishonest, if that man is not unclean, if there is not something wrong about the other man. They are always the first to hear of anything wrong.
Vultures are always the first to smell carrion. They are self-appointed detectives.
I lay this down as a rule without any exception, that those people who have the most faults themselves are most merciless in their watching of others. From scalp of head to sole of foot they are full of jealousies and hypercriticisms.
They spend their life in hunting for muskrats and mud-turtles instead of hunting for Rocky Mountain eagles, always for something mean instead of something grand.
They look at their neighbors’ imperfections through a microscope, and look at their own imperfections through a telescope upside down.
Twenty faults of their own do not hurt them so much as one fault of somebody else.
Their neighbors’ imperfections are like gnats and they strain them out; their own imperfections are like camels and they swallow them.