Just as we have a picture of the world to come in the blessing of this life, so we have in this life the constant and unceasing reminder that we are fallen beings living in a sinful and cursed world. Wickedness not only courses through the world as a result of our actions, it streams through the foundations of our very natures. If not for God's mercy, we all of us would become as bad as we could possibly be.
And yet, "for all the blight of ignorance and folly, fallen man has not been left without some ministries of Providence, nor has God, in His anger, shut up His mercies." And yet, even these mercies which soften the burden of sin show that we are in a desperate condition. We have to work at obedience to the moral law and education is a painful process. Our natural inclination is to slide away from these things, and it sometimes seems that the whole world is against us. Just think of how much we have to fear nature, sickness, and other people--to say nothing of hostile spiritual powers. "Even sleep, which we think of as perfect rest, is made restless by dreadful dreams and nightmares so filled with unspeakable phantoms that seem so real that our whole being is filled with fear." When we're awake, life is that much more frightening.
It would seem that sin rules all, yet "from all this but hell of unhappiness here on earth, nothing can save us but the grace of Jesus Christ, who is our Saviour, Lord, and God."