the Fourth Week of Lent
Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
In the long line of portraits of the Doges, in the palace at Venice, one space is empty, and the semblance of a black curtain remains as a melancholy record of glory forfeited, Found guilty of treason against the state, Marino Falieri was beheaded, and his image as far as possible blotted from remembrance. As we regarded the singular memorial we thought of Judas and Demas, and then, as we heard in spirit the Master's warning word, 'One of you shall betray me,' we asked within our soul the solemn question, 'Lord, is it I?' Every one's eve rests longer upon the one dark vacancy than upon any one of the many fine portraits of the merchant monarchs; and so the apostates of the church are far more frequently the theme of the world's talk than the thousands of good men and true who adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Hence the more need of care on the part of those of us whose portraits are publicly exhibited as saints, lest we should one day be painted out of the church's gallery, and our persons only remembered as having been detestable hypocrites.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Apostates'. Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fff/​a/apostates.html. 1870.