Why are we so apt to be captivated with the gewgaws of the world?

(Letters of John Newton)

The holiness of a saved sinner consists chiefly of low thoughts of self — and high thoughts of the Savior. These will always be in proportion.

The lower we appear to ourselves — the more highly we shall esteem Him.
The more we are enthralled with His glory — the more we shall sink in our own eyes.

Could you find the man who has most of these properties — you would find the most holy man upon earth. And as we advance in these — we shall, in the same degree, attain to everything else that properly belongs to holiness.

Why are we liable to anger, pride, selfishness, and other evil tempers?
Because we think too highly of ourselves, and suppose that we are not treated as we deserve to be.

Why are we so apt to be captivated with the gewgaws of the world?

Because we are so faintly impressed with a real sense of the excellence of Jesus.

We say indeed that His loving-kindness is better than life, but if we really and fully thought so — then hard things would be easy, and bitter things would be sweet, and there would be no room for impatience or discontent in our hearts.

But alas! all within us, and all around us — is defective and polluted!

"Hold me up — and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

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For further reading: William Nicholson's uplifting short article, "The Expectation of Eternal Life".