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The duties of the Christian--those duties which form the subject matter of the present volume—were once comprised by our Lord in those of love towards God and love towards our neighbour.
The great difference between the present state of mankind and that in which he was when God pronounced him very good, consists not so much in his understanding becoming dark, as in his heart becoming hard. It is true that the eyes of his mind are to many objects blinded, and that with regard to all, he looks at them through a false medium; but this is not to be compared with the depravity of his heart—he has lost that fervent love, that universal charity, in which consisted his chief likeness to his almighty Creator, and in place thereof a cold, unvarying selfishness has become the governing principle of his life. It was not the least mark of the wickedness of the world that men should, in the last and most corrupt days, be lovers of their ownselves; and this feeling, though necessary to our very existence, is that against which we have the greatest occasion to guard. It matters not that men are only in imagination lovers of their ownselves; that could their eyes be opened to behold the awful realities of eternity, they would find that so far from loving, they were really hating their own souls; for while the shadows of this world stand around them, and assume the appearance of substance-while the temptations which the father of lies so well knows how to prepare, are present in all their glittering and alluring beauty, the carnal mind, which cannot discern spiritual things, will still place its felicity in the pleasures of earth, and snatch them only the more eagerly, because forbidden by the Spirit of God. The uncertainty which hangs over the prospects of the unrenewed man must naturally induce