517. Among the many reasons why the mere lip-confession of being a sinner is not repentance, is this, that everyone, an impious man or even a devil, may make that declaration, and this with external devotion, when he thinks of the torments of hell, either those present or impending. But who does not see that this is not from any internal devotion, consequently that it is imaginary and therefore a matter of the lungs, and not a matter of the will from within, and thus of the heart? For an impious man and a devil still burn inwardly with the lusts of the love of doing evil, by which they are moved like windmills given by strong winds; therefore such a declaration is nothing but a contrivance to cheat God for the sake of deliverance or to deceive the simple. For what is easier than to compel the lips to cry out, and the breath of the mouth to adapt itself thereto, to turn up the eyes and raise the hands? This is the same as what the Lord says in Mark:
Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you, hypocrites, This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me (7:6);
and in Matthew:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees! for ye cleanse the outside of the cup and the platter, but within they are full with extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup and of the platter that the outside may be clean also (23:25, 26; and more in the same chapter).