But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 2 Cornithians 4:7
Do not be surprised if you feel that in yourself you are but an earthen vessel—if you are made deeply and daily sensible of your frail body. Do not be surprised if your clay house is often tottering—if sickness sometimes assails your mortal tabernacle— if in your flesh there dwells no good thing; if your soul often cleaves to the dust—and if you are unable to retain a sweet sense of God’s goodness and love. Do not be surprised nor startled at the corruptions of your depraved nature—at the depth of sin in your carnal mind—at the vile abominations which lurk and work in your deceitful and desperately wicked heart. Bear in mind that it is the will of God that this heavenly treasure which makes you rich for eternity, should be lodged in an earthen vessel. We have ever to feel our native weakness—and that without Christ we can do nothing—that we may be clothed with humility, and feel ourselves the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints. We thus learn to prize the heights, breadths, lengths, and depths of the love of Christ, who stooped so low to raise us up so high!
J. C. Philpot (1862 1869)