When we come to God, we must bring nothing but Christ with us. Any ingredients, or any previous qualifications of our own, will poison and corrupt faith. He that builds upon duties, graces, etc., knows not the merits of Christ. This makes believing so hard, so far above nature. If you believe, you must every day renounce, as dung and dross (Phil 3:7,8), your privileges, your obedience, your baptism, your sanctification, your duties, your graces, your tears, your meltings, your humblings, and nothing but Christ must be held up. Every day your workings and your self-sufficiency must be destroyed. You must take all out of God’s hand. Christ is the gift of God (John 4:10). Faith is the gift of God (Eph 2:8). Pardon is a free gift (Isa 45:22). Ah, how nature storms, frets, rages at this, that all is of gift and it can purchase nothing with its acting and tears and duties, that all workings are excluded, and of no value in heaven.
Honey Out of the Rock by Thomas Wilcox (1621-1687)