It is a creature of many lives!
(J. C. Philpot, "The
Lost Sought and Saved" 1851)
Man is a strange compound. A sinner, and
the worst of sinners, and yet a Pharisee!
A wretch, and the vilest of wretches, and
yet pluming himself on his good works!
Did not experience convince us to the contrary,
we would scarcely believe that a monster like man,
a creature, as someone has justly said, "half beast
and half devil," should dream of pleasing God by his
obedience, or of climbing up to heaven by a ladder
of his own righteousness.
Pharisaism is firmly fixed in the human heart.
Deep is the root,
broad the stem,
wide the branches,
but poisonous the fruit,
of this gigantic tree, planted by pride
and unbelief in the soil of human nature.
Self-righteousness is not peculiar to only certain
individuals. It is interwoven with our very being.
It is the only religion that human nature . . .
Again and again must the heart be ploughed up,
and its corruptions laid bare, to keep down the
growth of this pharisaic spirit.
It is a creature of many lives! It is not one
nor ten, nor a hundred that can kill it. Stunned it
may be for a while, but it revives again and again!
Pharisaism can live and thrive under any profession.
Calvinism or Arminianism is the same to it. It is not
the garb he wears, nor the mask he carries, that
constitutes the man.