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Chapter LIV.—God to Be Supremely Loved.

“It behoves, therefore, the good to love that way above all things, that is, above riches, glory, rest, parents, relatives, friends, and everything in the world.  But he who perfectly loves this possession of the kingdom of heaven, will undoubtedly cast away all practice of evil habit, negligence, sloth, malice, anger, and such like.  For if you prefer any of these to it, as loving the vices of your own lust more than God, you shall not attain to the possession of the heavenly kingdom; for truly it is foolish to love anything more than God.  For whether they be parents, they die; or relatives, they do not continue; or friends, they change.  But God alone is eternal, and abideth unchangeable.  He, therefore, who will not seek after that which is profitable to himself, is evil, to such an extent that his wickedness exceeds the very prince of impiety.  For he abuses the goodness of God to the purpose of his own wickedness, and pleases himself; but the other neglects the good things of his own salvation, that by his own destruction he may please the evil one.”

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