What delusions!

(Thomas Reade, "Christian Experience")

"The human heart is most deceitful and
  desperately wicked."  Jeremiah 17:9

O! what a wretched being is man, when
left to himself! Every evil nestles in his
, producing a thousand stings to
torment him in time and through eternity.

It is awful to think what delusions men
practice upon themselves. Through the
artifices of Satan, and the false reasonings
of their own hearts, they are deceived to
their own ruin.

They compare themselves with those who
are more notoriously wicked; and thus think
themselves good.

They magnify their supposed virtues,
and soften down their vices.

They presume upon the mercy of God, as if He
were too benevolent to put His threatenings into
execution; or in other words, too good to be true.

They depend upon a 'death bed repentance',
not considering that repentance is the work
of the Holy Spirit.

They disbelieve the eternity of hell torments,
as being a punishment too cruel and severe
for the all bounteous Creator to inflict upon
His erring creatures.

They deny the particular providence of God;
esteeming it beneath His glorious Majesty,
to inspect their trivial concerns, or to notice
each trifling deviation from His Law.

They suppose the Almighty to be such
a one as themselves.