Although the women of the United States are confined within the narrow circle of domestic life, and their situation is, in some respects, one of extreme dependence, I have nowhere seen woman occupying a loftier position; and if I were asked... in which I have spoken of so many important things done by Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply, To the superiority of their women.

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Christian in Complete Armour - Hypocrisy

The Christian in Complete Armour;

A Treatise

Of the Saints' War against the Devil:

Wherein a Discovery is made of that grand Enemy of God and his People, in his Policies,
Power, Seat of his Empire, Wickedness, and chief design he hath against the Saings.

A Magazine Opened,

From whence the Christian is furnished with Spiritual Arms for the Battle, helped on with his Armour,
and taught the use of his Weapon: together with the happy issue of the whole War.

By William Gurnall, M.A.,

Of Emanuel College, Pastor of the Church of Christ, Lavenham, Suffolk.


[The things the hypocrite trades in and lays claim to.]
The hypocrite trades in the duties of God’s worship. Judas sits down with the rest of the apostles at the passover, and bids himself welcome as confidently as if he were the best guest—the holiest of all the company. The proud Pharisee gets to the temple as soon as the broken-hearted publican. But what work doth the hypocrite make with these things that would be known indeed. Sad work, the Lord knows, or else God would not so abominate them as to think he hears a dog bark, or a wolf howl all the while they are praying. We think David had a curious hand at the harp that could pacify the evil raging spirit of melancholy Saul. But what a harsh unhappy stroke have they in the duties of God's worship, that are able to make the sweet meek Spirit of God angry, yea, break out into fury against them? And no wonder, if we consider but these two things.

1. The hypocrite does no less than mock God in all his duties. And of all things God can least bear that. God is not mocked. Christ preached this doctrine when he cursed the fig-tree, which did, by her green leaves, mock the passenger, making him come for fruit, and go ashamed without any. Had it wanted leaves as well as fruit, it had escaped that curse. Every lie is a mocking of him to whom it is told, because such a one goes to cheat him, and thereby puts the fool upon him. Why hast thou ‘mocked me,’ said Delilah to Samson, ‘and told me lies?’ Judges 16:10, as if she had said—as is usual upon the like with us —Do you make a fool of me? I leave it to the hypocrite to think seriously what he is going to make of God, when he puts up his hypocritical services. God’s command was none should appear before him empty. This the hypocrite doth; and therefore mocks God. He comes indeed full-mouth, but empty-hearted. As to the formality of a duty, he oft exceeds the sincere Christian. He, if any, may truly be called a ‘master of ceremonies,’ because all that he entertains God with in duty, lies in the courtship of tongue and knee. How abhorrent this is to God may easily be judged by the disdain which even a wise man would express to be so served. Better to pretend no kindness, than, pretending, to intend none. It is the heart God looks at in duty. If the wine be good, he can drink it out of a wooden cup. But let the cup be never so gilded, and no wine in it, he makes account that man mocks him that would put it into his hand. It was Christ’s charge against Sardis, ‘I have not found thy works perfect before God,’ Rev. 3:2. I have not found them full cviii ‘before God,’ as the original hath it. Sincerity fills our duty and all our actions. And mark that phrase before God, which implies that this church retained such an outward form of devotion as might keep up her credit before men. She had ‘a name to live,’ but her works were not full before God. He pierced them deeper than man’s probe could go, and judgeth her by what he found her within.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see that people are still reading... and understanding, this timeless Christian classic


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