The following is from a message by Thomas Watson entitled, "Four Sad Evils" preached in 1663.
It is one of the best things I have read in a while and clearly sets forth the absolute necessity of humility in the believer. While I do not agree with the Calvanistic position of Thomas Watson I certainly agree with the primary thrust of this short quote.
As the Apostle Paul said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am: . . . ." May we always remember this and lift our hearts in praise to his grace, mercy, and goodness revealed in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now for the quote:
"The sins of the ungodly are looking-glasses in which we may see our own hearts. Do we see a heinous, impious wretch? Behold a picture of our own hearts! Such would we be--if God left us! What is in wicked men's practice--is in our nature. Sin in the wicked--is like fire which flames and blazes forth. Sin in the godly--is like fire hid in the embers. Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandalous sin--yet you have no cause to boast, for there is as much sin in the embers of your nature! You have the root of all sin in you, and would bear as hellish fruit as any ungodly wretch--if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace!
Why might not God have left you--to the same excess of wickedness? Think with yourself, O Christian--why should God be more merciful to you, than to another? Why should He snatch you, as brand plucked out of the fire--and not him? How should this make you to adore free grace! What the Pharisee said boastingly, we may say thankfully--'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers, etc.'
If we are not as wicked as others--we should adore the riches of free-grace! Every time we see men hastening on in sin--we are to thank God that we are not such! If we see a crazy person--we thank God that it is not so with us. When we see another infected with the plague--how thankful are we, that God has preserved us from it! Much more when we see others under the power of Satan--how thankful we should be, that this is no longer our condition!"
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. - Titus 3:3