You can always tell when a man is a great ways from Godhe is always talking about himself, how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith, he is down on his knees, and, like Job, he cries, Behold I am vile.
For when man comes to front the everlasting God, and look the splendor of His judgments in the face, personal integrity, the dream of spotlessness and innocence, vanishes into thin air; your decencies and your church-goings and your regularities and your attachment to a correct school and party, your gospel formulas of sound doctrinewhat is all that, in front of the blaze of the wrath to come?
To depend partly upon Christs righteousness and partly upon our own is to set one foot upon a rock and another in the quicksands. Christ will either be to us all in all in point of righteousness, or else nothing at all.
God has nothing to say to the self-righteous. Unless you humble yourself before Him in the dust, and confess before Him your iniquities and sins, the gate of heaven, which is open only for sinners, saved by grace, must be shut against you forever.
A man may as certainly miscarry by his seeming righteousness and supposed graces, as by gross sins; and that is, when a man doth trust in these as his righteousness before God, for the satisfying His justice, appeasing His wrath, procuring His favor, and obtaining his own pardon.
What self-righteous persons take to themselves, is the same work that Christ was engaged in when He was in His agony and bloody sweat, and when He died on the cross, which was the greatest thing that ever the eyes of angels beheld. Christ could accomplish other parts of this work without cost; but this cost Him His life, as well as innumerable pains and labors. Yet this is the part which self-righteous persons go about to accomplish for themselves.