518. In a like hypocritical worship are those who have confirmed in themselves the faith of the present church, that the Lord by the passion of the cross took away all the sins of the world, meaning thereby the sins of every man, if only they pray according to the formularies about propitiation and mediation. Some of them can pour forth from the pulpit, with loud voices and apparently burning zeal, many holy utterances about repentance and charity, while they deem both of these useless in respect to salvation; for by repentance they mean no other than lip-confession, and by charity that charity only that pertains to public life; but this they do to please the people. It is such who are meant by these words of the Lord:
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied by Thy name? and in Thy name done many mighty works? But then will I profess unto them, I know you not; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:22, 23).
In the spiritual world I once heard a man praying after this manner: "I am full of sores, leprous, unclean from my mother's womb; there is not a sound spot in me from my head to the sole of my foot; I am not worthy to raise my eyes towards God; I am deserving of death and eternal damnation; have mercy upon me for the sake of Thy Son; purify me in His blood; on Thy good pleasure depends the salvation of all; I implore mercy."
Hearing him pray thus, the bystanders asked, "How do you flow that you are such?"
He replied, "I know it because I have heard so."
But he was then sent to angelic examiners, before whom he spoke in the same way; and these, after examination, reported that he had spoken the truth about himself, and yet without knowing a single evil in himself, because he had never examined himself, but had believed that after lip-confession evils were no longer evils in the sight of God, both because God turns His eyes away from them, and because He has been propitiated. In consequence of this he had not come to a sense of any evil, although he was a willful adulterer, a thief, a wily detractor, and intensely revengeful; such he was in heart and will, and therefore would be such in word and deed did not the fear of the law and of the loss of reputation restrain him. After he was found to be such, he was judged and sent away to the hypocrites in hell.