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firebrands, arrows, and death. True Chriftians are honeft themselves in their profeffions of piety, and unfufpecting of others; they do not mistrust. This exposes them to the schemes of hypocrites. Sometimes, also, the true teacher is abfent from his charge. Of this circumftance the false teacher will avail himself. Satan is never asleep or absent. It is his business to sow tares; he felects his time, "when men fleep;" he felects his agents, his own children; he affifts them in difguifing themselves, and fends them forth to their hellish work.

Armed with the whole armour of Satan, the falfe teacher approaches the children of God. He begins by cant; he talks gospel truth fometimes; he infinuates, wheedles, and flatters, until he has gained confidence; then he addreffes himself to his task in good earnest. Young converts are beguiled from the fimplicity of the gofpel; the weak in the faith are perplexed and turned out of the way; the rest have their confidence weakened, their peace deftroyed, and their fouls put in danger. His object is to fcatter, tear, and kill, and fecure the fleece for a prey. Some are fatiffied with the fleece, and fuffer the fheep to live; but this son of Satan comes alfo to tear and destroy. Wolves are now abroad in fheep's clothing. Let the flock of Chrift beware. Let the falfe teachers also beware, because the Chief Shepherd will appear, and cut them in funder, and appoint them their portion with the hypocrites.

By their fruits fhall know them."

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Fruits

are the conduct of a man; his actions are the language of his heart. If the flock would wait awhile before they suffer themselves to act, they would know that an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit."

Let the following marks be attended to in paffing judgment:

1. The falfe teacher goes to the fold of true Christians, and labours not to convert finners from their evil ways.

2. The falfe teacher perfuades Chriftians to leave the fold, instead of helping them to grow in grace and in knowledge, and rejoicing in their profperity, as did Barnabas.

3. The falfe teacher fpeaks evil against the true teachers of the Gospel, instead of regarding them as co-workers with the Lord.

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"For the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the ftring, that they may privily fhoot at the upright in heart."-Ps. xi. 2. their tongue a sharp fword."

-Ps. lvii. 4.

SLANDER AND BACKBITING.
Mark! where the good man unfufpecting treads,
No evil meditates, nor evil dreads;

The bafe affaffins from their covert start,
And sheath the dagger in his bleeding heart;
Or fhoot their arrows, ftrung by hate, unflack,
With deadly aim at the defenceless back.
So fmites the flanderer, with poifon'd tongue,
The man-his neighbour-who has done no wrong;
Thief-like, he steals what gold cannot replace,
And, like a coward, dares not show his face :
A brutish cur, that fneaks along the track,
Awaits his time, then fprings upon the back.

BEHOLD the good man! He walks leisurely along towards his home; very likely he has been vifiting the house of mourning-drying the poor widow's tears, or feeding and clothing the for

faken orphan. He is probably anticipating much pleasure from the recital of what he has feen and heard, to his beloved family. He may be revolving in his mind schemes of future benevolence, or meditating on the goodness of his heavenly Father; perhaps contemplating the vast concerns of the eternal state. He fees no foe, he hears no hoftile step; he feels himself suddenly wounded, his head fwims, he reels, and falls to the ground.

The base poltroons had carefully watched their time, and, with the sharp dagger and empoisoned arrow, had cruelly murdered the innocent. The deed is done in fecret; yet all the heavenly world beheld it; and under cover of darkness they escape, but not for ever. The earth refuses to cover the blood of the murdered.

This emblem fets forth the fin of flander or backbiting, which is, of all things whatsoever, the most abominable, and to be detefted. The flanderer contains within himself almost all the vices of other tranfgreffors. He is for the most part a liar of the very worst class. Whether he forges the calumny himself, or retails that of others, it matters not; he is still a liar in the fight of God and man. Not only fo, the flanderer is also a thief-a robber of the first magnitude, for

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But he who filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed."

Look again at the brow of the flanderer, and you will fee another title of infamy-that of coward. He dares not say to the face what he fo freely utters behind the back. Thus he bites

the back. He resembles a snappish dog often seen in the streets, running after passengers, and biting their heels. Furthermore, the flanderer is in the fight of God a murderer. He must necessarily hate the perfon flandered; but "he who hateth his brother is a murderer." Injury is added to hatred, which renders the cafe worse. Reputation is more precious than life. Thus the man or woman who makes or vends a flander, must be known and read of all men as a liar, coward, thief, and murderer.

The flanderer's tongue is a four-edged fword. It wounds the hand of him who uses it; it wounds the ears of those who listen to it; it wounds the heart of him who is the object of the thruft; it ftrikes at the throne of God, and breaks his law. Slander excludes the miserable perpetrator from the kingdom of heaven. "Who fhall dwell in thy holy hill, O Lord?" "He that backbiteth not with his tongue." Death and life are in the power of the tongue. A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; a polluted tongue is a upas of death. It may be warmed with a feraph's flame, or fet on fire of hell; a world of iniquity, or a univerfe of good; an unruly evil full of deadly poifon, or a wellordered fyftem, tranfmitting the bleffings of an endless life. Therewith blefs we God even the

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