"The Almost Christian" by Matthew Mead, 1661
The unsaved man's motto
"There is a proud heart in every natural man. There was much pride in Adam's sin-and there is much of it in all Adam's sons. Pride is a radical sin, and from hence arises this over-inflated opinion of a man's spiritual state and condition.
"The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." Luke 18:11
"This is the unsaved man's motto. A proud man has an eye to see his beauty--but not his deformity. He sees his abilities--but not his spots. He sees his seeming righteousness-but not his real wretchedness.
"It must be a work of grace that must show a man the lack of grace. The haughty eye looks upward--but the humble eye looks downward, and therefore this is the believer's motto, 'I am the least of saints--and the greatest of sinners!'
"But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner!' I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God!" Luke 18:13-14
With thanks to Grace Gems and its collection of timeless old messages