Insincere Confession

Pastor R., of Elberfeld, was once sent for to see a dying man. He found the patient really very ill, and entered at once into an earnest conversation about the state of his soul. The patient began, in the strongest terms, to describe himself as the very chief of sinners, and declared that his past life filled him with abhorrence. He continued so long in this strain that the pastor could scarcely find an opportunity to speak. At last, taking advantage of a pause, he remarked gently, “It was then really true what I heard of you?” The patient raised himself in the bed, stared in astonishment at the pastor, and demanded, “What, then, have you heard? No one, in truth, can say anything against me;” and continued, in a strain of unbounded self-satisfaction, to tell of his virtues, and recount all his good deeds, pouring out at the same time a torrent of execrations against the slanderers who had tried to injure his character. “It was not from foes or slanderers,” said the pastor, “that I heard it, but from yourself; and now it grieves me to hear that you do not believe what you said.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)