And think not to say within yourselves (kai mh doxhte legein en eautoi). John touched the tender spot, their ecclesiastical pride. They felt that the "merits of the fathers," especially of Abraham, were enough for all Israelites. At once John made clear that, reformer as he was, a breach existed between him and the religious leaders of the time. Of these stones (ek twn liqwn toutwn). "Pointing, as he spoke to the pebbles on the beach of the Jordan" (Vincent).