The ostrich

(Matthew Mead, "The Almost Christian" 1661)

A man may preach like an apostle, pray like an
angel—and yet may have the heart of a devil!

Many have gone to hell, laden with spiritual gifts. No
doubt Judas had great gifts, for he was a preacher of
the gospel. What a grand profession Judas had! He
followed Christ, left all for Christ, he preached the
gospel of Christ, he cast out devils in the name of
Christ, he ate and drank at the table of Christ—and
yet Judas was but a hypocrite!

The Scriptures speak of some who have "a form of
godliness, yet deny the power thereof." That is, they
do not live in the practice of those graces, which they
pretend to profess. He who pretends to godliness by
a specious profession—and yet does not practice
godliness by a holy life, he has a mere form of
godliness—but denies the power.

Grotius compares such to the ostrich, which has
great wings—but yet does not fly. Just so—many
have the wings of a fair profession—but yet do not
use them to mount upward in spiritual affections,
and a heavenly life.

As many go to heaven with the fear of hell in their hearts—
so many go to hell with the name of Christ in their mouths!