CH Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, 1876:
Consciousness of self-importance is a hateful delusion, but one into which we fall as naturally as weeds grow on a dunghill. We cannot be used of the Lord without it leading to dreaming of personal greatness, thinking ourselves almost indispensable to the church, pillars of the cause, and foundations of the temple of God.
We are nothing and nobodies, but that we do not think so is very evident, for as soon as we are put on the shelf we begin anxiously to enquire, ‘How will the work go on without me?’ As well might the fly on the coach wheel enquire, ‘How will the mails be carried without me?’
–Charles Spurgeon, as quoted in Iain Murray, Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching (Banner of Truth, 1995), 20
The title to the editorial in which Spurgeon wrote this was: ‘Laid Aside: Why?’
(HT: Dane Ortlund)