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a madman, who has broken from his cell, and is running directly towards the river. The screams which I hear are from the crowd, who are alarmed for his safety.
Now they seize him, and are bearing him back to his gloomy abode. Poor man! his case is very deplorable. How thankful ought all to be for nature's best gift, Reason, and the use thereof!
But what was I meditating on at the time of this alarm ?---It was drunkenness : And what else is a drunken man but a madman? made so, not by a sinless infirmity, but by his own inclination.
Unaccountable deprąvity this indeed! that man, who was created after the image of God, and endowed with reason in all its purity, should take pleasure in depriving himself of that little remains of it which the fall hath left, and making himself mad with his own hand!
Did I pity the poor man that is just now carried back to his cell ? this man's case is much more deplorable : A drunkard is not only the grief of his family, the bane of society, the devil's drudge, and a destruction to himself, but the open enemy of God; and one, if grace prevent not, who will be made to drink of the cup of God's indignation at last. Psal. lxxv. 8. Rev. xiv. 10.
If the drunkards in Joel's time were called to awake, weep, and howl, because of the new wine's being cut off from their mouths, Joel, i. 5, much more reason have they to awake, and
weep, and howl, when they hear from the word of inspiration, which is irrevocable, and more firm than the basis of heaven and earth, that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. 1 Cor. vi. 10.
This angler, who, a little time since, alarmed as well as myself, had left his amusement, is now returned to pursue his sport, but in a different manner : having taken off the bait, he fishes with a light coloured gaudy fly.
With a hook of this kind, even pride, the devil fished in paradise, whereby he caught our first parents, by holding out to our mother Eve the great endowments, all-comprehensive knowledge and excellence to which she would attain by eating of the forbidden fruit. She, believing the serpent, ambitious to be thus ennobled, swallowed the hook, by eating the prohibited fruit, and thereby was not only caught herself, but also assisted Satan in catching her husband, by which an estate of sin and misery was entailed upon them and all their posterity.
And with this hook of pride, the old serpent hath been constantly fishing ever since in the stream of human life, whereby many in all ages have been caught and destroyed.
Pride is the most hateful sin, and may 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 Corah, Dathan, Abiram, and all their company ; made Ahithophel strangle himself ; reared the lofty gallows for Haman; 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 domestic, civil or foreign, that ever 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 detes