(J. C. Philpot, "New Years' Address, 1858")

"Take heed unto yourselves!" Acts 20:28

There are few Christians who have not ever found
SELF to be their greatest enemy. The pride, unbelief,
hardness, and impenitence of a man's own heart; the
deceitfulness, hypocrisy, and wickedness of his own
fallen nature; the lusts and passions, filth and folly of
his own carnal mind; will not only ever be his greatest
burden
, but will ever prove his most dreaded foe!

Enemies we shall have from outside, and we may
at times keenly feel their bitter speeches and cruel
words and actions. But no enemy can injure us like
ourselves!
In five minutes a man may do himself
more real harm, than all his enemies united could
do to injure him in fifty years!

To yourself you can be the most insidious
enemy
and the greatest foe!

In all its forms, SELF in its inmost
spirit is still a . . .
deceitful,
subtle,
restless,
proud, and
impatient
creature
; masking its real character in a
thousand ways, and concealing its destructive
designs by countless devices.

We have but to look on the professing church to find . . .
the highest pride under the lowest humility,
the greatest ignorance under the vainest self-conceit,
the basest treachery under the warmest profession,
the vilest sensuality under the most heavenly piety,
and the foulest filth under the cleanest cloak.

"Take heed unto yourselves!" Acts 20:28