Where does all this vanity come from?

(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)

"Vanity of vanities, ALL is vanity!" Ecclesiastes 1:2

My soul, why seek your happiness below — here in this fallen world, where "all is vanity"? Oft have you tried it, anxious still to find some earthly good. As often you have found Solomon right, that "all is vanity."

The worldling, too, can say that all is vanity — and yet pursues it still. Be it not so with you! Let all that is empty here on earth, lead you to what alone will satisfy — the grace of God, the love of God, the Lamb of God; to "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8.)

Have you ever asked yourself, "Where does all this vanity come from?" My soul, it comes from you — and you received it from your father Adam! You and your fellows of the human race, have caused it all.
Whence comes the tempest?
Whence come the earthquake, the pestilence, the shipwreck, the blighted crop?
Whence come sickness, famine, death?
Whence come bereavement, affliction, and sorrow?
Whence come murder, drunkenness, wars, and immorality?
Whence come all that is vile, and sad, and disappointing?
Whence comes the universal taint — the wrongs, the groans, the misery of all created things?

The poison of sin that is in you, has poisoned all others besides! Since you are sinful — all is out of course. Since you are vanity — all things here are vain. The curse that fell on you — you have entailed on your children. My soul, be humbled with the thought — consider and be wise!

Oh, look within your heart, for all is vanity there.
How swift for evil!
How dead to all that is good!
What rank corruption!
What inbred sin!
How weak your purposes for good!
How faltering your course in holiness!

If all is vanity without — it is tenfold vanity within!
If all around is vanity — you are the master-vanity of all!

Bless, God, then, O my soul — in Jesus you have that which is not vanity. In Jesus you have all that is solid, durable, and perfect! You have eternal riches, strength, life, pleasure, comfort, peace! You have a sure foundation — a Rock that can never be shaken — an unfailing help!