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in the stream of human life, whereby many in all ages have been caught and destroyed.
Pride is the most hateful sin, and
be justly called the mother, or fountain of all sin. It was that which cast Lucifer out of heaven, and the once perfectly happy pair out of paradise. It was that which deluged the old world, and overthrew the cities of the plain: opened the earth, and kindled the flame which swallowed and destroyed Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and all their company; made Ahithophel strangle himself; reared the lofty gallows for Hamam; and drove Nebuchadnezzar from the society of men, to graze
with the beasts of the field : nay, pride is the foundation and cause of all the hatred, strifes, and wars, whether personal or domestie, civil or foreign, tha tever have been, are, or shall be, in the world,
Yet, how surprising is it, that mankind should caress that in their bosoms which is so hateful to God, and destructive to themselves! Some will say, and I have often been not a little shocked to hear it, that people are the better of a little pride. Awful depravity! horrid ignorance ! and gross stupidity this “certainly is! but it often ariseth from a mistake of confounding pride with prudence: prudence is certainly a cardinal virtue, approved of God, and highly commendable in all ; but pride, cursed pride! for I can call it no less, being that primary sin which entailed the curse upon men and devils, is a moral evil, truly hateful to God, and utterly detestable in all; the very least degree of it partaketh of the nature of the whole. :
And shall I habour that in my bosom which turned angels out of heaven, man out of paradise, and hath thrown the whole world into confusion? Forbid it, O God, and clothe me with its opposite, humility.
But what is pride ? It is an insolent selfconceit; an unquenchable thirst for pre-eminence, which always hath for its concomitant, envy, that continually gnaws, not the bones, but the soul of its possessor.
The devil fisheth with this hook in the little stream of childhood, as well as in the stronger current of youth, and settled pool of old age. Pride discovereth itself in children, by their passions, and resentments a
gainst their little companions, for injuries and affronts which they either really have, or imagine to have received; and by their dissatisfaction at seeing any of their peers caressed above, or even equal with themselves; a conceit of being thought beautiful, a taste for fine clothes, and the like ; which early sproutings of pride, parents or tutors not checking in the bud, but rather, on the contrary, fostering by laughing at, and indulging them in such follies, it groweth apace with them, as they advance in life, and too often, it is much to be feared, terminateth in their destruction.
But turn, my thoughts ! O turn to a more solemn, yet far less irksome subject. Yonder well plum'd hearse, nodding as it cometh, with two mourning coaches, attended by a few in sable, gravely mounted, bringeth not the news only, but the evidences of mortality along
Let me step towards the high-way, and inquire whose remains this is; and while I am informed of the mournful tale, learn to prepare for my own dissolution.
Ah! and is this the direful case ? I am shocked at the dreadful story! having been just informed by one of the attendants, that this is the corpse of a young gentleman, who the other evening being at the theatre, (that splendid nursery of vice) imagined himself to have received an affront from a young officer in the army, who passing by the box in which the young gentleman sat to a neighbouring one, the cane below his arm accidentally tipped the young gentleman in the cheek, who happened to be leaning that way; at which, supposing himself highly affronted in the presence of some young ladies near him, fired with pride immediately left the house, sent a challenge to the officer, to set tle the affront by an affair of honour, which he accepting, they met next morning, when the young gentleman was shot.
Ah! the folly of indulging pride, and to what degrees of wickedness doth it drive men! Could we now for a moment remove the covering of the other world, it is not improbable, but we might see this young man, , with many thousands more in hell, cursing their parents and tutors for not checking that pride in early life, which was the means,
the awful means of landing them in tor ment.
A good way farther down the river side, I observe several persons together, close by its brink, and some apparently in the water itself. My curiosity is excited to know what they are doing ; and in order to discover this, let me walk a little down the flowery bank to yonder eminence, which rises at a little distance from the side of the river, from the summit of which I may clearly perceive what they are engaged in, without intruding myupon
How charming is the spring, and how delightful this verdant walk ! but pleasanter far the sources of contemplation which offer themselves to the mind.
From this little height I now discover with pleasure what those persons are employed about: They are fishing; but the scene is agreeably changed ; that before was angling, but this with the net: which putteth me in mind of the gospel, that is in scripture beautifully compared to a net, and the preachers of it to fishermen, Matt. xiii. 47. Mark i. 17,