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Proverb faith os Zfiqi, is much truer of a S/ot* <feri»g Tongue, that, Ttare u wo Fenc* <rg<tny? if. If any thing be a sure Protection from it, one would think the most Spotless Innocence, and the most Exemplary Virrue needs must, but the Example of our Blessed Saviour assures us of the Contrary. No Man ever arrived to His Innocence or Vertue • but for all that, never was any one so strangely Wronged in his (/ood* Name as He. Though no Man more Practised or Taught Loyalty, yet was He Represented as an Enemy to Cæsar. Though never had the Devil such an Enemy, yet was he Calumniated as a Great Wizard, in league w7ith Beck Zgbub the Prince os the Devils. Though never was the Breast of any one so possessed with Divine LoVe, nor any man's Mind with so great a Reverence. and Veneration of the Divine JMajrfty, yet was He Stigmatized with the Blackest of all Marks and Characters, vi^. That of a Blasphemer. And as the most horrid Slatu ckrs were invented and published to the World of Him, so were they generally believed too. There is Nothing we are Owners of that's so Exposed to the Mercy of others, as are our Good'Names. Whosoever hath a Tongue in his

C i Head, Universally hiwn to be a Wicked Man, can, when he pleafeth, do our Names a mischief. The Wise man faith, (Prov. 25. iS. that^Mw that bearetb false Witness againU his Neighbour, is a Maul, and a Sword, and a Sharp Arrow. That is, He is made up and Compounded of all fatal Mischiefs. A Maul cannot give greater Bruises, nor more effectually Fell to the ground, than this sort of Weapon: Nor a Sword pierce deeper, or Cut and Slash more Cruelly: Nor a sharp Arrow wound at a greater distance, no nor at nothing so great a distance; for there is no get" ting out of the Reach of a Slandering Tongue j nor is there any where to be found Security against it: I mean, besides the Special and fix* traordinary Providence of God. St. James tells us in the fore-mentioned Chapter, Ver. 7. &c. that Every kind of Beasts, and of Birds, and of Serpents, and things in the Sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of Wan--kind; But the Tongue {Vt%. The Tongue of a Slanderer, as is plain by Ver. 9.) can no Man tame, it is an unruly Evil, (such an Evil as there is no dealing with it) full of deadly Toifon: Such as is too strong for the most Sovereign Antidote. ■

Maty

Man)) (faith the Sow of Syrack) baVe fallen bythe Edge of the S~word, but not so many as have fallen by the tongue: Well is be that is defended from it, and hath not passed through the Venome there* of. Who hath not draipn the Joh thereof nor hath lem bound in its bands? For the Yoke thereof is as aTokeof Iron, and the bands thereof as bands of Brass. The death thereof is an evil death, the Grave were letter than it. So that the Slanderer being an Enemy, against whose Assaults the greatest Human Power, Policy or Wisdom, cannot whol» ly defend us; well might King David conceive so high a displeasure against him, as he here exprcsseth. And the like displeasure doth he declare against him, Psalm, 120.2, 3,4. T>e<> liver my Soul, 0 Lord, from lying Lips, and from a deceitful Tongue. What shall be given unto thee, or what shall be done unto thee thou false Tongue? Sharp Arrows of the "Mighty, with Coals of Jumper. Or, with hot burning Coles, according to the other Translation.

I proceed now to make some Application of what hath been said; And it shall be This.

First, This little we have discoursed on this Argument, is abundantly enough to render the

Sin . i

r Sin of Slandering our Neighbour most abominable in our Eyes. I mean,

i. The Sin of Devising and Indenting Defamations and Slanders, This indeed is such a wickedness as one would think it should be needless to caution those against it, I will not say, -who profess Christianity, but who have not "bid adieu to all Humanity. It is such a Black, such a Hellist? Sin, as that the Devil hath both his chief Names and Charatlers from it. O AistjSoA©', i. e. This Name Devil, signifies the Slanderer. Satan signifies the Spiteful Enemy. The chief Characters we meet with in Scripture of the Devil, are these two, The Father of Lies, and 7he Accuser of the brethren. And therefore nothing can denominate us more perfectly like the Devil, than this forging of Lies and Calumnies against our Brethren. And we see, Tfilm. 50. 19, <?c. with what severity the Great God expresseth himself against those that dare to commit 'This Sin. Saith He, T/you givest thy Mouth to Evil, and thy Tongue frameth Deceit. Thou fittest andfpeakest against thy Brother, thoustanderest thine own Mothers Son. These things hast thou done, and J kept stlence; thou thoughteft that I was altogSnr such an one as thy self: /But

7 will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine Eyes. And V. i 6. He asks such as These, What they hid to do to declare his Statutes, or that they stould take his Qovenant into their Mouths: Or to make profession of his Religion^ or indeed of any Religion. And u. 11. He threatens them that He would tear them in Pieces, and there should be none to deliver, if they would not consider what he now had laid, and lay it to? heart.

King Solomon putteth this Practice of Slanfairg, in the number of thole Sins, which God. Abominates in a more Especial manner. Troy, 6.\6. <src. Tlxse six things doth the Lord hate, yea seven are an abomination to him. A Troud Look,. <J Lying Tongue, and Hands that shed Innocent 'Blood-. An Heart that devise tfy Wicked Imaginati* ons: Feet that be. swift in fuming to Mischief:. A False Witness that steaketh Lies: Aid he that sweth Discord among Brethren* And indeed alL these Seven things, except the first, are such as make the proper Character of This fort of Slan-, derers I am now exposing. And ^ev. 22. 15.. Whosoever loVeth and maketh a Lie, is reckoned, with Dogs and Sorcerers, and Whoremongers, and. Uurtherers, and Idolaters; who are to have their*

Tortion.

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