For if a man think himself to be something
Of himself; to have anything of himself, to do anything of himself, and of himself to attain to life and salvation:
when he is nothing:
of himself; not even as a creature, but owes his being and preservation, and all the mercies of life, to another, even to God; has no grace nor gifts of himself, but what he has received, and can do no good thing, not think a good thought, or perform a good action, of himself, and much less of himself procure eternal life and salvation:
he deceiveth himself:
and will find himself sadly mistaken, and wretchedly disappointed another day; or whoever thinks himself to be some famous and excellent person, to be something more, and better than others, of a more excellent nature, and of greater abilities, that he is free from sin, or at least holier than others, and not liable to fall as others, whom he looks upon with disdain and contempt, wanting that charity which the law, and new commandment of Christ, requires, when he is nothing but sin and vanity, he is destitute of the grace of God, he deceives himself and the truth is not in him. This the apostle says to depress pride, and a swelling conceit of themselves, and all uncharitable, rough, and severe usages of others. A saying like this the Jews have F25;
``whoever he is that is something, or thinks in himself that he is (Mwlk) , "something", it would be better for him if he had never been created.''
F25 Midrash Kohelet, fol. 79. 1.