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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Snippets from Spurgeon on Hypocrisy

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) preached the sermon called "The Hypocrites Character." Here are some notable lines from the manuscript: This age is full of shams. Pretence never stood in so eminent a position as it does at the present hour. There by few, I fear, who love the naked truth: we can scarce endure it in our houses; you would scarcely trade with a man who absolutely stated it. There was once an age of intolerant bigotry, when every man was weighed in the balance; and if he was not precisely up to the orthodox standard of the day, the fire devoured him. But in this age of charity and of most proper charity, we are very apt to allow the counterfeit to pass current and to imagine that outward show is really as beneficial as inward reality. He who is true will sometimes suspect himself of falsehood, and he who is false will wrap himself up in a constant confidence of his own sincerity. With a blush, each one of us must confess that to some extent, our life is contradictory to our profession. We blush and we mourn over this . . . Can we say, that if every man were struck stone blind and deaf and dumb, we would not alter our conduct the least? Can we declare that the opinion of our fellows is not our guiding law, but that we stand servants to our God and to our conscience, and are not to be made do a wrong thing from flattery, nor are we urged to do a right thing from fear of censure? Mark: the man who does not act rightly from a higher motive than that of being praised gives sore suspicion that he is a hypocrite. There are many books, which are excellently bound; but there is nothing within them. And there are many persons that have a very spiritual exterior, but there is nothing whatever in the heart. Some people I know are like inns, which have an angel hanging outside for a sign, but they have a devil within for a landlord. There are many men of that kind. They take good care to have an excellent sign hanging out; they must be known by all men to be strictly religious. But within, which is the all-important matter, they are full of wickedness. Fine clothes make fine gentlemen, and fine places make fine hypocrites. But the man who is true to his God and to his conscience is a Christian all day and all night long and a Christian everywhere. He is no Christian, who cannot walk with Christ come rags, come poverty, come contumely (insults or ill treatment) or shame. He is the hypocrite who can walk with Christ in silver slippers and leave Him when it becomes necessary for him to go barefoot . . . These are some excellent sayings from a minister who excelled in Christ-likeness. We have much to learn at his feet. Hypocrisy haunts us all, and I think it is imperative that we contemplate and confront this matter - especially and foremostly when we find it in ourselves.

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