A state of vanity

(Octavius Winslow, "Evening Thoughts")

The world through which the Christian is passing
to his rest, may be emphatically called a state of
vanity. How perpetually and forcibly are we
reminded of Solomon's exclamation, "Vanity of
vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit."

"Surely every man walks in a vain show."

His origin, the earth;
his birth, degenerate;
his rank, a bauble;
his wealth, but glittering dust;
his pomp, an empty pageant;
his beauty, a fading flower;
his pursuits, an infant's play;
his honors, vexations of spirit;
his joys, fleeting as a cloud;
his life, transient as a vapor;
his final home, a grave.

Surely "man at his best state is altogether vanity."

And what is his religion but vanity?
His native holiness, a vain conceit;
his natural light, Egyptian darkness;
his human wisdom, egregious folly;
his religious forms, and rites, and duties,
    "a vain show in the flesh;"
his most gorgeous righteousness, "filthy rags."
In the impressive language of Scripture, of him
it may be said, "That man's religion is vain."