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CHURCH MEMBERS: :
SKETCHES OF HUMAN NATURE;
THE DUTIES AND DIFFICULTIES THAT OCCUR IN
THE INTERCOURSE OF CHRISTIANS WITH
ONE ANOTHER AND WITH
By WILLIAM INNES,
MINISTER IN EDINBURGH,
Revised from the Edinburgh Edition.
132 WASHINGTON STREET.
Sniered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1838,
BY JAMES LORING, in the Clerk'e Office of the District Court of Massachusetts,
FROM THE REV. MR. KEELY,
To the Publisher of this Revised Edition.
I am pleased to learn you are going to bring out a new Edition of “Sketches of Human Life by Innes of Edinburgh.” I wish the public may give it that patronage it merits. It is undisputed that a knowledge of human nature in its every-day operations is of great importance to those who are called to move in society. 'Philosophers have written much upon the physical, moral, and intellectual qualities of man; but their knowledge being acquired in the study, is generally inapplicable to real life. While there is no subject in which man is more directly interested, there is scarcely any upon which he is less informed. Every one supposes the knowledge is easily acquired, and yet almost all fail in the pursuit. We talk much of the art of men to conceal their real character, and endeavour to account for our mistakes upon this. Thus, we flatter ourselves that our failure is not the consequence of either our weakness, indolence, or want of persevering attention; but the unavoidable result of man's habitual disguise and hypocrisy. I doubt this. Disguise and hypocrisy, wherever they are found, are an assumed character. No man can ever sustain an assumed character so as not to be sometimes off his guard. When this is the case, a man of strong mind may look through him, and know all his predominant inclinations. I will allow that disguise is an impediment; but it can exist only to a certain degree,