If they knew all about us!
(James Smith's autobiography, "Marvelous Mercy!" 1862)
The following in an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:
I am daily more and more vexed with myself — because I am so unlike Jesus — so unlike what I ought to be, and what I wish to be. I shall never glorify Him as I ought, while I have to carry about this body of sin and death.
How kind it is of our gracious God, to conceal from others — what He Himself sees within us; and which if known by others — would alienate them from us, and fill them with disgust! What contemptible creatures we would appear to our friends — if they knew all about us!
We may study our own hearts, and if we study them under the cross, it will not injure us — but benefit us. But no man may study his brother's heart — he is not to be admitted into the chambers of idols within. We may form some idea of the hearts of others — by our own; for as face answers to face in water — so does the heart of man to man.
I find it very difficult to believe that another's heart is as bad as mine — except in the case of some heinous criminal. I cannot charge my friend with being so depraved as I am — for having such base thoughts, vile inclinations, and abominable desires, as I have. But perhaps others think the very same respecting me.
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked! Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9