Have we not all in our various ways, set up some beloved idol—something which engaged our affections, something which occupied our thoughts, something to which we devoted all the energies of our minds, something for which we were willing to labor night and day? Be it money, be it power, be it esteem of men, be it respectability, be it worldly comfort, be it literary knowledge, there was a secret setting up of SELF in one or more of its various forms, and a bowing down to it as an idol.
The man of business makes money his god. The man of pleasure makes the lust of the flesh his god. The proud man makes his adored SELF his god. The Pharisee makes self-righteousness his god. The Arminian makes free-will his god. The Calvinist makes dry doctrine his god. All in one way or other, however they may differ in the object of their idolatrous worship, agree in this—that they give a preference in their esteem and affection to their peculiar idol, above the one true God. “And the idols He shall utterly abolish.” Isaiah 2:18
There is, then, a time to break down these idols which our fallen nature has set up. And have not we experienced some measure of this breaking down, both externally and internally? Have not our idols been in a measure smashed before our eyes, our prospects in life cut up and destroyed, our airy visions of earthly happiness and our romantic paradises dissolved into thin air, our creature-hopes dashed, our youthful affections blighted, and the objects from which we had fondly hoped to reap an enduring harvest of delight removed from our eyes?
And likewise, as to our religion—our good opinion of ourselves, our piety and holiness, our wisdom and our knowledge, our understanding and our abilities, our consistency and uprightness—have they not all been broken down, and made a heap of ruins before our eyes?