From Charles Spurgeon, sermon 3369 (“Man Humbled, God Exalted”):
Conviction of sin is a wondrous puller-down. When a man begins to feel his sin lying heavy upon his heart, when his iniquity is continually before him, as David puts it in Psalm 51, then his high looks are gone.
Have you ever seen a rich man in the anguish of conviction? You would not know him from a beggar then. His purse-pride has gone; all his wealth gives him but little comfort. “My sin! My sin! My sin!” saith he. “Would to God I were as poor as the paupers in the workhouse, if I were but rid of my sin! What is my wealth while I have my sin?”
Have you ever seen the man of knowledge, the man who knows everything, the sharp, quick, critical man, who takes everybody up, and thinks he can set all the world right—have you ever seen him under a sense of sin? He feels himself to be a fool at once, and would sit down on a form with the infant class in a school if there he might learn of a Savior, being content to give up all his wisdom, and to be a babe in Christ.
Have you never observed the man who was naturally of a high and haughty disposition, who reared up among his fellows, have you never seen how he acts when God’s hand is on him! Why, he would fain hide himself anywhere, and he envies even the meanest and most obscure of the children of God.
Once get a sight of sin, and those things which now prop us up will all give way, and we shall be beggars in the face of all the world, when once we see how exceeding sinful a thing our sin is.