Monday, March 19, 2007

Painted holiness

Painted holiness(Thomas Brooks, "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 23:14Who 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!

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