(From “The Crown and Glory of Christianity,or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness”, 1662)
“Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make
long prayers; therefore you shall receive the greater
damnation.” Matthew 23:14
Who had a greater name for holiness, and who made a
greater show of holiness, and who did more despise and
insult other men for the lack of holiness—than the Scribes
and Pharisees? And who so miserable now—as they?
Pretended holiness will double-damn souls at last!
None have so large a portion in hell as hypocrites have.
No man at last will be found so miserable, as he who has
the name of a saint upon him—but not the divine nature
in him; who has a profession of holiness upon him—but no
principles of holiness in him; who has a form of godliness
—but not the power; who can cry up godliness—but in
practice denies it; who is a professor outwardly—but
an atheist, a pagan, a devil inwardly.
Artificial sanctity is double iniquity. He who professes
piety without being pious, and godliness without being
godly; he who makes counterfeit holiness a cloak to
impiety, and a midwife to iniquity; he who is . . .
a Jacob without—and an Esau within,
a David without—and a Saul within,
a John without—and a Judas within,
a saint without—and a Satan within,
an angel without—and a devil within,
is ripened for the worst of torments!
Sirs, do not deceive your own souls!
A painted sword shall as soon defend a man, and
a painted mint shall as soon enrich a man, and
a painted fire shall as soon warm a man, and
a painted friend shall as soon counsel a man, and
a painted horse shall as soon carry a man, and
a painted feast shall as soon nourish a man, and
a painted house shall as soon shelter a man—as
a painted holiness shall save a man! He who
now thinks to put off God with a painted holiness,
shall not fare so well at last—as to be put off with
a painted happiness. The lowest, the hottest, and
the darkest habitation in hell will be his portion,
whose religion lies all in shows and shadows.
Well, spiritual counterfeits, remember this—it will
not be long before Christ will unmask you; before
He will uncloak you; before He will disrobe you;
before He will take off your masks, your cloaks,
and turn your rotten insides outward—to your
eternal shame and reproach before all the world!