Our Pharisaism

E. B. Pusey


Excerpt from Our Pharisaism: A Sermon Preached at St. Paul's Knightsbridge, on Ash-Wednesday, 1868

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God I thank Thee that I am not as other men are.

There is, perhaps, scarce a character in Holy Scripture which men more detest, than this Pharisee. I suppose, much on the principle that we loathe the ape, because he is so hideous a likeness of ourselves. For, if we detested or despised him, as being in any way our inferior, as having unamiablenesses, which we have not, we should have arrived at out-Phariseeing the Pharisee, like him in all except the religious side of his character, in that we do not thank God that we are (as we think,) not like him.

And yet, for the nineteenth century, he is a very respectable religionist. One might, if one dared follow one's own impulses, wish that we had more of them. Any how, the wives of our people would be safe; for he was no adulterer. We should have fewer of those commercial crises, which bring calamity on so many innocent people, and shew the hollowness of our national claim to honesty (Pharisees in this, in all but his truthfulness); for he was u not unjust."

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