Pharisees "Ye make clean the outside of the cupand of the platter." Oh, awful sarcasm : the outsideand nothing else. The heart of these professors wasnot right with GOD. They responded to the calls of public charity, but no true love for GOD and menreigned in their souls. With reverent mien they saidtheir prayers and then went home to indulge somesecret sin, to ruin a troublesome rival, or crush a helpless servant, or quietly to rob an orphan child of itsinheritance. They unfurled to every breeze the bannerof Jehovah that the crowd might admire their loyalty,but in the hidden chambers of their inmost being wereDconcealed the whole of Satan s outlawed band selfishness, and coveteousness, and worldliness, and impurity.From this hypocrisy our LORD revolted with theunited strength of His human and divine nature.He loathed, as any noble-spirited man would haveloathed, such miserable unreality, and yet pitied thosewretched creatures tottering on the very brink of eternal64 THE MESSAGE OF PEACEperdition. He made one last effort to save them fromthemselves, to reveal the truth to their blinded hearts,to snatch them back from the abyss which was alreadyopening to receive them. And if this failed if theoutstretched arm availed not to rescue, at least Hewould hinder others from following in their steps atleast He would unfold to His own people the truecharacter of their self-elected leaders lest they, too,should be involved in the like destruction. So, speakingas One that had authority and casting aside for a timethe gentleness of the Redeemer, He uttered His awfuldenunciation : " Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,hypocrites ! Ye blind guides ! Ye fools, ye hypocrites !Ye make clean the outside of the cup and of theplatter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."Now there arises a further inquiry. How was it thatthese Pharisees could descend to such depths of iniquity ?Surely it was right to make clean the exterior, surelythey were bound to live the decorous, moral life in whichthey gloried ? How, then, did it come to pass that thevery anxiety to make clean the outside of the cup andof the platter was turned by the great enemy of soulsto their destruction, and that which should have beenfor their health became unto them an occasion of falling ?I will endeavour to answer this inquiry, and itis to this division that I would request your specialattention, because upon it will be based the concludingand more practical remarks.