This disclosure is revolting to our pride!

(from Thomas Reade's, "Inadequate Views of Human Nature")

We see many dancing along in thoughtless gaiety,
and sporting on the brink of perdition. But this
lightness of spirit is transient; sorrow soon darkens
the glare of human happiness, and leaves the soul
in sad dejection and despair.

The world is full of mourning, lamentation, and woe.

This picture may be gloomy, yet it is true.

Sin has defaced the moral excellence of man;
yes, more, has converted him into whatever is
base, polluted, and depraved.

All his faculties and powers are now employed
as weapons against his Maker; and the very plan
of mercy, whereby alone he can be restored to
holiness, happiness, and heaven, is opposed,
neglected, or despised.

And yet we talk....
of moral excellence in a fallen creature;
of goodness in a heart which is desperately wicked;
of amiable qualities in a mind at enmity against God;
of strength in a helpless worm;
of wisdom in a soul beclouded in all its powers.

Strange inconsistency!

The Word of God condemns such a motley
character, and pronounces a woe on that
which the world so much admires.

It is no uncommon thing to hear people talk
about their good hearts and good intentions;
when love to God, and a desire to please Him,
are utter strangers to their soul.

These 'self admiring people' consider as libelous
every attempt to tear away the mask, and to
expose the native vileness of the inner man.

Thus, pride, vanity, 'self love', and unbelief; the
deadly roots from where all sin springs, conspire
to keep us in a state of bondage, and enveloped
in the mist of error.

It is quite compatible with the vanity of our fallen
nature, to extol, as the highest excellence, those
benevolent and patriotic feelings which often exist
in a heart totally alienated from God.

But the Bible acknowledges no real virtue,
except that which arises from the regenerating
work of grace upon the soul.

An attentive reader of that Holy Book must be
struck with the faithful delineations which it gives
of the human heart. Man is there represented as
he appears in the sight of God, when divested
of all his meretricious ornaments.

The Scripture has concluded all under sin. In this
state, grace at first finds the sinner. By nature,
there is no movement of the soul towards God; no
affection for Him; no trust in Him; no obedience to Him.

What we call virtues, will be found, when analyzed,
to be mere selfish principles; and human applause
to be the secret spring of many a splendid action.

This disclosure is revolting to our pride!

But proud man must be humbled!