23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
23 Verse 23. Will I profess] ομολογησω, I will fully and plainly
tell them, I never knew you-I never approved of you; for so the
word is used in many places, both in the Old and New Testaments.
You held the truth in unrighteousness, while you preached my pure
and holy doctrine; and for the sake of my own truth, and through
my love to the souls of men, I blessed your preaching; but
yourselves I could never esteem, because you were destitute of the
spirit of my Gospel, unholy in your hearts, and unrighteous in
your conduct. Alas! alas! how many preachers are there who appear
prophets in their pulpits; how many writers, and other evangelical
workmen, the miracles of whose labour, learning, and doctrine, we
admire, who are nothing, and worse than nothing, before God,
because they perform not his will, but their own? What an awful
consideration, that a man of eminent gifts, whose talents are a
source of public utility, should be only as a way-mark or
finger-post in the way to eternal bliss, pointing out the road to
others, without walking in it himself!
Depart from me] What a terrible word! What a dreadful
separation! Depart from ME! from the very Jesus whom you have
proclaimed in union with whom alone eternal life is to be found.
For, united to Christ, all is heaven; separated from him, all is