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cious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.”

By this comparison, the Apostle signified the art and cunning which characterise the false teachers in the Christian dispensation, as well as the false prophets under the former. He says, “they shall privily bring in damnable heresies.” That is, they will do this with great art and calculation. This naturally brings the figure used in our text, to mind: O Israel, thy prophets are like the fores in the desert." The fox is noted for his cunning; 11 and with this quality he combines cruelty, being an animal which lives on prey.

The first effort of false prophets and of false teachers, is to make the people, who are to be the subjects of their erroneous ministry, believe that had they are sent of God. Until this point is gained, the false teacher can entertain no favourable hopes of success; but he well knows that the more ment he can make the people believe that God has sent him, he has little or nothing to fear, and that his advancement is secured. With those views, the false prophets and teachers.came to the people, with a most solemn account of being sent of God; they speak in God's name, and say, "Hear ye the word of the Lord, thus saith the Lord.”

It may be well for us to notice what Ezekiel says of the prophets in the chapter where our text is recorded. “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israet that prophesy, and say unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, hear ' ye the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord God, woe unto the foolish prophets that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, the Lord saith ; and the Lord hath not sent them ;, and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, the Lord saith it : albeit I have not spoken ?"

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By this representation, we learn that the false dr. prophets followed their own spirit, and not the

spirit of God; they saw.visions of lies, and not of ed th: truth'; they pretended to come to the people in

the name of the Lord, when he had not sent them, the

and when his word was not in their mouth. In all theys this, the artful cunning of the fox is evidently

seen. Jf these prophets had told the people that I 비

God had not sent them, but that they would proph-, tert

esy as well as they could, out of their own heart, the 12

the people would have paid but little attention to cutie them, and perhaps none to their testimony. Thereto , ka fore, in order to gain the confidence of the people,

it was necessary to make them believe that they

came in the name of the Lord, with his word and to beli spirit.

Now this is the method by which false teachers introduce themselves into their ministry, and impose themselves on the Christian church as the ministers of Christ. Their first attempt is to make the people believe that God has sent them. To this end, they bear testimony of themselves, and say that they are sent of God. It is remarkable how-such means succeed with the people. The

false teacher tells his own story; he informs the Hx people that he is solely devoted to their good,

that his own interest is entirely out of the question, that he would not have come to them if the command of the Lord were not on him so to do. Should a man of business be told by a stranger, that he had come a great distance to trade with him, but had not the least.desire to gain any thing to himself by the traffic, that his only motive was

to advance his interest, and to make him rich and They

opulent, there is not one in a thousand, perhaps, who would be deceived in this way. Every discerning man, with a slight acquaintance with human nature, would at once be put on his guard by this manner of communication. But false teachers of religion spend a long time to learn the art Af making the people believe that God has sent

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them; and if we may indulge in the figure of speech used in our text, the young foxes have old ones to train them to their arts. These false teachers, like the old Jewish pharisees, will so disfigure their faces, put on such a solemn visage, speak in such a lamenting, mournful tone of voice, use a set of solemn words, stand and speak in such a peculiar attitude, that the ear of the hearer is strangely devoted to sounds, and his eyes set wide open at something which appears. more like an imaginary spectre, than like a fellow mortal. In all this awful solemnity the people are told that they are every moment exposed to fall into hell, and under the burning wrath of an highly offended God; that their children are naturally heirs of endless vena geance, and that there is but one way for any escape, which is to; adhere strictly to their testimony, and receive it as the word of God. A fearful trembling now seizes weak and delicate nerves, and the power of sympathy conveys the action to the more strong and stable, and the conclusion becomes general, that the man is sent of God, and that to reject his doctrine will expose the people to all the threatenings which are so positively de-. nounced.

This method of deceiving the people was not introduced of a sudden ; it was brought on by de.. grees, and established by custom and tradition ; so that now the business goes on as regularly as other employments in society. The old foxes know exactly when the young are fitted for their labours, and the people are already prepared, wasting and longing for the deception.

As has been remarked, the fox unites in his nature both cunning and cruelty. For this reason, Jesus called Herod a fox: ' He was told to depart, because Herod would kill him. To this he replied, “Go tell that fox, behold I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” This cunning and cruelty are plainly discernible in the false teachers of re

peteri ligion. They are cunning to deceive, and cruel to jes o torment the deceived. In the chapter where our shery text is recorded, the Lord accuses the false prophthiets of crying peace; "and there was no peace." Boleh So false teachers now inform the people, that if Det er they will receive their doctrine they will have Colin peace; but the fact is, there is no peace in believning their testimony; fór they prophesy out of their ved town corrupt and partial hearts, and the doctrine

they preach is like the hearts which invent it, full awei' of craft and cruelty. It affects a great deal of erer compassion and love for the people who are exp thi. posed to the eternal unmerciful vengeance of God, ; thell and the people think that these teachers must be * ve remarkably kind to use such constant endeavours r aos to deliver therr rom the hands of such an enemy testi as God is! Being deceived, they cannot reason. fent If they could reflect, and calmly reason on the subpre ject, they would see at once, that if these teachers on w were in reality so much better than God, as their bolt preaching represents, God would not have sent

them. If God were an enemy to his creatures, in 2012the room, of sending such.loving creatures as these

foxes pretend to be, he would send his messengers of vengeance, and cut them off at once."

When the deceit has succeeded, and the people believe de in the false doctrines which are inculcated, have d; they any peace? Have they any rest ? Do they and enjoy quietude ? No, they have no peace, no rest 7 day nor night. What is the matter? The fact is,

the creed in which they are taught to believe, is full of cruelty, and teaches them that they are every moment in danger of worse consequences than can be represented by any similitude in natúre.

We are informed that the fox will cunningly feign himself to be dead, will stretch himself out in a lifeless: posture, by which deceit he induces the fowls to alight on, or near him, when, in a sudden and nimble manner, he snatches and devours. them. Só false teachers cunningly feign thema


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partial election, and

selves to be dead to the world, to have no desire
for earthly riches, honour or power, by which de-
ceit they drag the people into their very jaws, and
between their sharp cutting teeth. Of all classes 21
of the community, none have a greater thirst for **
riches, honour and power, than these false teach-
ers. They are continually laying plans and con- *
triving schemes to get power into their hands, and
at the same time pretend to be dead to the world:
This is acting the fox faithfully.
:: In delineating, illustrating and defending their
creeds, false teachers resemble the cunning of the
fox of the wilderness in several respects.

Where this artful animal burrows in the ground, he takes care to have several outlets, so that if he be attacked at one of them, while his adversary is looking out for him at that place, he makes his escape at another, and is gone long before his adversary knows it. Thus do false teachers; they endeavour to hide themselves in as great obscurity as possible, but if inquiry and argument pursue and find them out, they have taken care that they have more ways than one for an escape. If they are attacked on the principle of the works of the creature, as matter of justification to eternal life, and if the argument is like to bring them out to the light, they make their escape through the wellstudied avenue of partial sovereign grace and particular election. If, on the other hand, they are questioned in a skilful manner on the doctrine of grace, and if they find no way to defend this scheme, all at once they tack short about and are pleading, in a most tender and affectionate manner for the free offers of salvation to all, and laying it down in the most solemn manner, that all'are invited to come in welcome to the gospel feast. Thus the fox is gone.

The art practised by the fox to elude his pursuer in the chase, is a very fit emblem of the cunning craftiness of false teachers, "whereby they lie in

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