Now to have right notions and tempers with relation to this world, is as essential to religion as to have right notions of God. And it is as possible for a man to worship a crocodile, and yet be a pious man, as to have his affections set upon this world and yet be a good Christian.
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life ch. 1.
A Serious Call was on the initial list of suggested reading offered by Dissidens way back in March of ’05. In fact, it was number 1 on the list. Somewhere along the way I picked up a copy and it joined the ever-growing collection of “books to get to.” His recent post, particularly the last quote, incited me to tolle lege.
Chapter one is a diatribe against the impotence of Christianity. Rather, the impotence of Christians. A pious man is not made or revealed during Sunday services. If a man is not a Christian everyday of the week he is no Christian. If a man does not manifestly have completely separate affections than the best of unbelievers around him, he is simply a better unbeliever–though only marginally so.
Even if you do not have the book, you can read it here. I do not think you can start it soon enough.