The enemies inside the church do her the most serious damage—she suffers most from those fearfully presumptuous sinners who are not satisfied with sinning in the King's kingdom, but must needs sin in the King's palace, who dare to bring their filthinesses even to his own table, and pollute it.
If any of you who are hypocrites hope to escape, you need dwell deep indeed! Where are the deep places which can afford refuge to religious pretenders? Where shall liars conceal themselves? O, hypocrite! it may be you have planned your sin so cleverly that the wife of your bosom does not know it: your scheme is so admirably cunning that you carry two faces, and yet no Christian sees other than that Christian mask of yours. Ah, sir! but you are a greater fool than I take you for, if you think you can deceive your God. Your own conscience must be very uneasy.
Hypocrites are the devil's martyrs; they endure a life-long martyrdom of constraint and fear.
I have seen, when I was a boy, a juggler in the street throw up half-a-dozen balls, or knives and plates, and continue catching and throwing them, and to me it seemed marvellous; but the religious juggler beats all others hollow. He has to keep up Christianity and worldliness at the same time, and catch two sets of balls at once. To be a freeman of Christ and a slave of the world, at the same time, must need fine acting. One of these days you, Sir Juggler, will make a slip with one of the balls, and your game will be over.
A man cannot always keep it up, and play the game so cleverly at all hours; sooner or later he fails, and then he is made a hissing and a by-word, and becomes ashamed, if any shame be left in him.
O, "dwell deep, ye inhabitants of Dedan," if you think to escape from God's eye and from the revealing power of his providence. Better were it for you to come right out, and throw away your cloaks, and be deceivers no longer. Cast off your double-mindedness. "Cease to do evil, learn to do well," for it is time to seek the Lord, and may God grant you his effectual grace that you may do so at once, ere he condemn you to the lowest hell.