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THE LIFE OF MR. PRIDE,
B6g fancy is like Miss Considerate ; and besides, I just left Mr. Decency in the house of Miss Moderation : so that it cannot be linn.
Miss G. I don't think I am influenced by Pride in my dress, - Tonly assume a decent appearance; and I think it is necessary. There is no harm in being a little like other people, especialiy as I am called to be annong them, I hope you wouirt not have me dress like Farmer Rustic's dairy-maid?
Piain. Mg; I agree with you that it is right to be neat and decent in your appearance. This, instead of being contrary to religion, iş a lesson that is taught by it; but when I speak of decent apparel, I mean apparel that is becoming the person wearing it; which I think you have gone far beyond.
Miss G. Wherein is it unbecoming ?
Pluin. Because it is imitating the earthly-minded, who have all their thoughts and time employed in earthly vanities.
Miss G. I don't go so far as many do.
Plain. Indeed I don't think you are far behind them. The last time my Lady Fastiion came to town, did you not run with the Babylonish ladies, and the inhabitants of Vain Street, to meet her? and did you not compliment her, and invite her 10
Miss G. Well, I think her a very agreeable lady; and, to speak plainly, I don't think pride consists in dress.
Plain. No; perhaps in a sense it may not; but rather in the disposition which occasions it. Yet it is not improper thus to speak; for we read in Scripture, of being " clothed with scales," and it is expressly said, “ They were his pride :” therefore, when I see you clothed with the scales of worldlyfashion, I do not hesitate to say, it is your pride!
Miss G. So you would make me out to be as proud as the Devil !
Pluir. I should be sorry if you made yourself so.
Miss G. I don't dress any inore than professors in general do; and they see no harm in it. Why then should you be so lavish of your censure, when I am only like inost of the people of God?
Plain. There was a time when the generality of professors fell down and worshipped idols; and if your mode of arguing be right, I think, you should get one too.
Miss G. In that there is a material difference, as it respects dress : it is something of an indifferent nature, which does not interfere with the worship of God.
Plain. Perhaps, if I was to ask you where you spent most țiine this morning, - on your knees, or at the looking-glass, you would be led to see that it did; and I am afraid you have spent more time in complimenting Pride and fashion, and adorning and admiring beautiful Selt, than you have in the adoration of your Maker!
Miss G. I think you are very censorious. I shall not te? any body how long I am dressing :- you are very particular about trifling things. I think it is straining at a gnat to be so scrupulous about dress.
Plain. I think it is right so to do; for those who have indulged themselves in swallowing gnats, have at length swablowed camels.
Miss G. Well, I don't see any harm in it.
Plain. Where is your old friend Conscience? I have not seen or heard him since I have been here. Oh, there he is, fast asleep on the bed of Carnal Security. (Here he gave him a good shake.) Come, it is high tiine to awake. (At which he just moved, yat'ned, and rubbed his eyes, suying, Ah! very right, Mr. Plainman; and fell asleep again. It appears that Mr. Pride, finding him rather troublesome, had given him a dose of opium, so that he could not keep awake a minute at a time. This stir of Conscience made Miss Gayclothes blush, and appear somewhat disconcerted; but she soon recovered.)
Miss G. There are many things in Scripture which tend to shew that there is no harm in it. The church is compared to a bride, decked with ornaments; the love of God to a ring;and they would not be made use of to represent divine things, if there was any thing wrong in the use of them.
Plain, According to this way of reasoning, it would be right to fight, wrestle, and run at raceș ; for these are made use of to represent spiritual things: and instead of any thing to favour it in Scripture, I think there is every thing against it:
“ Be not conformed to this world,” &c. adorning be the outward adorning,” lic.; and you must remember the daughters of Zion, how they brought the curse of God upon them, for following the fashions of the times.
Miss G. Theirs were Heathen fashions: round-tires, like the moon, expressive of their inclination to idolatry; which was the cause of God's displeasure.
Plain. But don't the Lord expressly call it their Pride ? and let me ask, What object of worship were the nose-jewels, &c. descriptive of?
Miss G. Since you say so much about dress, what rule will you lay down to go by!
Plain. I will hold forth to you a good example, which is Jesus Christ. If your heart is right with God, to be like bim will be your highest ambition : he has left us in this, as well as in other things, an example, that we should follow his steps.
Miss G. I don't understand you. You don't mean that I should wear a seamless coat, or a scarlet robe?
Plain. No; but the apparel of Christ was expressive of his character; and thus I think it should be with all who process to follow him, and I am sorry to say, that, judging according to this rule, there are but few that dress perfectly consistent.
« Let not you
THE LIST OF MR. PRIDI;
Plain. I mean, that the seamless coat of Christ was de scriptive of his perfect righteousness; his scarlet robe, of the shedding of his blood : so whatever you are, your dress should express. If you are bound or Heaven, let your dress shew that you are not attentive to earth; - if you have a real godly siinplicity of heart, let there be simplicity of dress, if
you are inodest, let your dress be modest; - if you are humble, let your dress denote humility.
Miss G. Well, after all, I cannot see any harm in my manwer of dressing.
Plain. It is likely you may not see it, for sin is of a blinding nature; and those who live in sin seldoin see its evil.
Miss G. Well, you may say what you please, but I don't think religion has any thing to do with dress.
Plain. Then the apostles meddied with things they had no business with, for they gave prohibitions and directions relative to it. And were not the things written by the apostles, written for our learning? But you pass over those passages which relate to dress, and don't like to learn such lessons; but you know that children, when they won't learn their lessons, are corrected ; and don't you think your heavenly Father will correct you, if you are determined to live in such open conformity with the world? I shall have done with you, and hold no correspondence with you as a Christian, until you are brought to repent of your folly.
Miss C, Well, you may do as you like, and I shall do as I like. I will never be under such controul as to alter iny dress, or refrain from those thiogs which cre convenient, to please your humour. Plain. Farewell.
Just as he was going out, some one was heard at the door : it proved to be a Mr. Mildman, of Charity Row, who frequently used to call on Miss Gayclothes, when she lived in God-fearing Lane, for the sake of a little friendly conversation : he noiü came with an intention to remind her, affectionately, of the impropriety of her intimacy with Mri Pride; and persuade her, if possible, to leave Little-thought Street, and return to God-fearing Lane; or clse to take a house, as there were a great many vacant, in Holiness Square. Mr. Plainmun anil Mr. Mildman having spoken kindly to each other, the foriner departed, and the other took his seat. The conversation at first turned on a rariety of subjects; it was introduced with observations on the weather.)
Alt, Mildman. What a delightful day it is, Miss! How pleasant it is to see the sun, after it has been obscured for some days!
Miss G. Yes, Sir, it is very pleasant indeed; and, as you observé, the 'dull weather we have had, makes it still inore so.
Mild. I have often thought what a glorious emblein the Sun of Nature is of the Sun of Righteousness! Truly, the light of the natural Sun is sweet ;- but what is it, when coinparerl with the shining of the Sun of Righteousness !
Miss G. It is sweet indeed, when Jesus shines into the soul; and disperses those clouds of darkness which we sometimes feel.
Mild. I have often admired those gracious proinises which are made to those who are called to walk in darkness. Though he hide his face for a moment in loving-kindness, he will again appear; though heaviness may endure for a night, joy coineth in the morning!
Miss G. These promises are very encouraging, if we had but faith to lay hold of them.
Mild. Hark! I thought I heard somebody at the door.
Miss Worldlyfancy, walk in.
Miss Il'orldlufancy. (Sucing Mr. Mildman.) No, I thank you; I only want to speak a word to you, if you please.
(They turke'i aside. Aliss Worldlyfuncy came to look at Miss Guyclothes's bonnet, as she said she should like to have one just like it; and Miss Gayclothes promised to let her see it, that she might take a pattern by it. Miss Il'orldlyfancy biing gone, Miss Guyclothes returns to the parlour.)
Mild. I think I have some recollection of that young lady: Is it not Miss Relapse-into-the-ll'orld?
Miss G. No, Sir; it is a Miss Worldly fancy. She lives in this street, - not many doors from my house she frequently calls. To be sure, she is not quite so spiritual as I could wish; but very lively and cheerful in her disposition ; and, upon the whole, a very agreeable person. Miss Relapse-into-the-world is marrier; and has lelt the town.
Mild, Indeed! I knew it was expected. She received the addresses of a gentleman from the town of Vain-Life.
Miss G. Yes, shie did; she is gone there to reside.
Mild. I am sorry that she is so departed : I knew her when she lived in Du-trell Street; and she appeared to be a truly virtuous character. I was pleased with the simplicity of lier mamers, humbleness of her mind, and spirituality of her conversation : I never thought of her leaving the town.
Miss G. No; indeed I shonld have thought she would have been the last. I heard her, but a little beiore this man came to see hier, speak very highly of Do-well Street, where she lived. She told me, It was the way of pleasantness, and the path of peace! I cannot think what induced her to marry that beauish chap, and leave the town, with all its privileges!
THE LIFE OF MR. PRIDE.
573 Mild. I think I can tell you how it came aboạt : This gentleman, from Vain Life, got an intimate friend of his, that las considerable influence in this town, to speak for him.
Miss G. Who could that be? I shall not have a very good opinion of him any more, let him be who he will.
Mild. He is called by different names; but I believe he is most properly called Mr. Pride.
(Here Miss Gayclothes could scarce avoid a blush, as Mr. Plainman had just been charging her with too great an intimucy with the same character.)
Miss G. As she always manifested such an aversion to him, I wonder she should be influenced by what he could say.
Mild. When he first went, he concealed his name; and assumed the appearance of some other person of respectability. He told her a pleasing tale of the excellency of this gentleman's disposition ; - that though he was fond of pleasure, he was not grossly immoral ; – that it was her duty to accept the offer, as it would be a mean of her preferment: set forth the pleasures of a higher station, and made her think it would afford her satisfaetion to move in a higher sphere; and also argued, that as he was superior to her in circumstances, it must be pure affection that led him to pay his 'addresses to her, Conscience indeed opposed it; but in these cases Conscience, is not much attended to. Pride gained the ascendency : and, to make short of it, I believe she married him to rise in the world. Though I think she did give Conscience an answer to satisfy hin: when he opposed it, she said, she would talk to him, and endeavour to persuade him to come and live in the town; but, alas ! he perverted her to Heathenism, instead of her converting him to Christianity : all occasioned by this wretched Pride! and it is surprizing what inischief he has done in the town. - Oh! have you heard, Miss, of Mr. Imprudent's house being broke open, and his losing all his money, and almost every thing else that was valuable ?
Miss G. Yes; I believe they are now gone to live in Beggar Lane?
Mild. Yes, they are. Do you know who it is that was guilty of the burglary?
Miss G. Mrs. Imprudent told me, it was one Cross Pro'vidence.
Mild. There is very strong suspicion that it was Mr. Pride. He and they were always upon friendly terms; and I understand, that as the daughters grew up, he got particularly acquainted with them; in consequence of which he came more frequently, and stimulated them to assume a gay appearance, make rich entertainments, &c. until at length this villain, for the kind reception he met with, robbed them, and reduced them to their present situation. I believe he continues to XI.