Men are guilty of soul-murder by all these ways.
1. By preaching false soul-murdering doctrine. Such as denieth any necessary point of faith, or holy living; such as is opposite to a holy life, or to any particular necessary duty: such as maketh sin to be no sin: which calls good evil, and evil good; which putteth darkness for light, and light for darkness.
2. By false application of true doctrine, indirectly reflecting upon, and disgracing that holiness of life, which in terms they preach for; by prevarication undermining that cause which their office is appointed to promote; as they do, who purposely so describe any vice, that the hearers may be drawn to think that strict and godly practices, are either that sin itself, for but a cloak to hide it.
3. By bringing the persons of the most religious into hatred, by such false applications, reflections, or secret insinuations, or open calumnies; making men believe that they are all but hypocrites or schismatics, or seditious, or fanatical, self-conceited persons!
4. The disgrace of the persons of the preachers of the Gospel, doth greatly further men’s damnation. For when the people think their teachers to be hypocrites, covetous, proud, and secretly as bad as others, they are very like to think accordingly of their doctrine, and that all strict religion is but hypocrisy, or at least to refuse their help and counsels.
Richard Baxter, William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 6 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 234–235.
Das Attentat. Öl auf Leinwand. By Circle of Charles Landseer - http://www.van-ham.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12251354