feathers—but black skin
(Thomas Watson, "The Godly Man's
Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil)
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which
look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are
full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
In the same way, on the outside you appear to
people as righteous but on the inside you are full
of hypocrisy and wickedness." Matthew 23:27-28
Here is a sharp rebuke to such as are "glittering dross"
Christians, who only make a show of godliness. These
our Savior calls whitewashed tombs. Their
beauty is all
paint! Many are painted over with a religious profession,
whose seeming luster dazzles the eyes of beholders; but
within there is nothing but putrefaction!
Hypocrites are like the swan, which has white
—but black skin; or like that flower, which has a
appearance—but a foul scent.
The hypocrite deceives others while he lives—but deceives
himself when he dies! What good will it do a man when he
is in hell—that others think he has gone to heaven? Oh,
beware of this!
Counterfeit piety is double iniquity. What is this but to abuse
God to his face, and to serve the devil in Christ's livery?
To have only a pretense of godliness will yield no comfort
after death. Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted
refresh him who is thirsty? He who has only a painted
holiness shall have only a painted happiness! Let us take
heed of this pious pageantry and devout stage-play!