The fruitless professor

From Spurgeon's sermon, "The Fruitless Vine"

The damnation of a fruitless professor will be the most
horrible and ignominious sight that ever hell itself has seen!

When Satan fell from heaven, with his black Satanic malice
against God, there was a kind of grandeur in his devilry-
there was an awful, terrific sublimity in his damnation.

And when a great blasphemer and a hard swearer shall be sent
at last to perdition, there shall be something of sublimity in it,
because he has been consistent with his profession.

But when a professor of religion finds himself in hell,
it shall be the most miserable, contemptible, and yet terrible
mode of damnation wherewith men were ever damned!

I think I see honest blasphemers lifting themselves from their
chains of fire, and hissing between their teeth at the minister who
comes there, after having been a deceiver- "Aha! aha! aha! are
you here with us? You did warn us of our drunkenness, and tell
us of our curse; ah! are you come into the drunkard's hell

"Pshaw!" says another, "that is your strict Pharisee.
Ah! I remember how he told me one night that I should perish,
unless I made a profession of religion.
Take that, sir!" and he spits upon him.
"You are a loathsome thing. I perished; but I served my master
well. You- you did pretend to serve God, and yet you are a
sneaking hypocrite!"

Says another, yelling from the corner of the pit,
"Let us have a Methodist hymn, sir; quote a promise from the
Bible; tell us about election. Let us have a little of your fine
preaching now."

And round hell there goes the hiss, and the "aha! aha! aha!"
and the yell of spitefulness and scorn upon the man who
professed to be a Christian, but became a castaway, because his
heart was not right in the matter.

I confess, I should dread above all things the unutterable hell of
hells of hypocritical apostates, of men that stand in the ranks,
profess to love God, prate godliness, that sit in the pews and
uphold Christianity, that take the sacrament, and speak about
communion, that stand up to pray, and talk about being heard
for their faith, who are all the while committing abominations, and
under cover of their professions are cheating the poor, robbing
the fatherless, and doing all kinds of iniquity.

I confess, I as much dread the 'excess' of their damnation,
above the damnation of others, as I dread to be damned at all.

It is as if in hell another hell had been made, to damn those that
sin above others, to damn them after being damned- for
hypocrites, for men who have been with us, and not of us;
who professed to be Christ's, and yet have been mean
deceivers after all.

O! sirs, if you would not make your chains more heavy,
if you would not stir the fire to a more furious heat,
if you would not make your yells more hideous,
quit your professions this night, if you are not worthy of them.

Go out of this place, and send in your resignation to the church;
or else, sirs, be honest, and bend your knee before God, and
ask him to search you, and try you, and make you sincere and
upright before him.

Be one thing, or else the other; do not cloak yourself in the
robes of sanctity to hide the corruptions that all the while fester

Stand out, bold, brave sinners; and do not be
'sneaking' sinners, that wear the masks of saints.