When the world shall see a poor, proud, selfish, rebellious, froward, perhaps dissolute and debauched creature, made gentle, meek, humble, self-denying, sober, useful,—they cannot but inquire after the secret and hidden virtue and power which principled such a change. This is given as the glory of the grace that was to be administered under the gospel, —that it should change the nature of the vilest men;—that it should take away cruelty from the wolf, and violence from the leopard, rage from the lion, and poison from the asp,—making them gentle and useful as the kid and the calf, the cow and the ox, Isa. 11:6-9.
It is not in our nature to humble ourselves to walk with God; we have an opposition to it and all parts of it : no angels or men can persuade us to it. Our carnal mind is enmity to him, not subject to his law, —nor can be. To have our souls humbled, brought to the foot of God, made always ready, willing, obedient, turned in their whole course, changed in all their ways and principles;—this glorifies the grace of God which is dispensed in Christ; by which alone it is that the work is wrought. When men make profession to have received converting and renewing grace from God, and so separate themselves from the men of the world on that account, yet live as they do, or worse, so that their ways and walking are contemptible to all;—it is the greatest reproach imaginable to that work of grace which they make profession of.