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perhaps, displeased with the appearance of our companions or friends, because their dress may be better than our own, or they may render themselves more agreeable, and so obtain a larger share of attention than we deem right; and therefore, we pronounce them proud, and feel offended at what would cause our gratulation, if we sincerely respected them. It will not need great penetration on the part of our young friends to discover, in such a case as this, that the evil larks in their own hearts. There are few things we are so ready to charge upon others as pride, and yet we are the last to discover its operation upon ourselves.
Pride is the offspring of the devil, and finds its legitimate place and exercise among the lost. The devil was lifted up with pride, and thus fell into his present condemnation. 1 Tim. ü. 6. All who have been cast out from God and heaven, have been so on account of the pride of their hearts. Pride is a desire to exalt ourselves above others. It must be the highest-it cannot bear to take the lower place. It aims to be first, and will not easily submit to occupy a secondary position. Pride will have everything subservient to itself, and acts as though the world was made to minister alone to its enjoyment and pleasure. Whatever stands between pride and the gratification of its wishes, becomes an object of hatred. Pride knows nothing of toleration, and never rests satisfied till it has crushed all opposition. Many of our intelligent young friends will think this an awful picture of pride, and feel almost disposed to question its faithfulness. Bat, alas! it is true to nature. If we each examine the little world within our own bosom, we shall soon discover the truth of this representation.
The Scriptures present us with various marks to distinguish the proud. They are represented as a generation pure in their own eyes, and yet not washed from their filthiness-all their works they do to be seen of men—they love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greeting in the markets. He that proudly speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory. Prov. xxx. 12; Matt. xxiii. 5; Luke xi. 43; John vii. 18. We have seen many young persons, possessing every qualification to make them honoured and useful members of society, ruined with pride. Such persons can never
win the love and esteem of their fellow-men. By some the proud may be feared, and by others flattered ; some will serve them from interest, and others from compulsion ; but few will feel that real affection for them, which makes service a delight and pleasure. Pride is hateful in the sight of God; severe and awful are some of the denunciations of the Divine Being against the proud. “Him that hath a high look and a proud heart, will not I suffer." “ The proud he knoweth afar off.” “ Pride and arrogancy do I hate." *** Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” “A high look and a proud heart is sin." “ God resisteth the proud.” Who can read such passages as these, found in abundance throughout the Bible, without feeling how hateful a thing it must be in the sight of God.
Then look at the following examples of God's indignation against it. It was pride that brought destruction upon Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, when the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them all up alive. Haman was filled with mortified pride, when he sought the destruction of Mordecai and the whole of the Jews in the Persian Empire. But how strikingly was God's word fulfilled in his case, “ Pride goeth before destruction," for he was hanged on the very gallows he had caused to be erected for Mordecai, and the Jewish nation was saved alive, and taken into favour. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon was lifted up with pride, and said, " Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty." While the word was in his mouth, God doomed him to be driven from man, and to eat grass as oxen, till his hair should be grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws. When his understanding returned unto him, he acknowledged the God he had before denied, and said, “ those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” Herod Agrippa was puffed up with pride, and we are told that upon a certain day, he was arrayed in royal apparel, and sat upon his throne, and made an oration to the people, and they gave a shout, saying, “ It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord omota him. heranse he save not God the glory :
and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” " Pride goeth before destruction."
Pride assumes a variety of forms and shapes in different persons and circumstances. Some are proud of the power they possess and exercise. No matter whether it reside in the king or the peasant; power often begets pride ;--pride with power, leads to oppression, and oppression ends in rebellion. The operation of this principle may be seen in the family, the nation, and the world. Some are proud of their wealth, and boast of their houses and lands, their gold and silver. Their estimate of good consists in the amount of worldly property a man may possess ; hence they look with a degree of contempt on all those who are unable to lay claim to a large portion of the dust of earth. Some are proud of their ancestral honours and renown. They speak and write of their forefathers—their deeds of daring in the battle-field, or the important place they have occupied, as though these entitled their descendants to the homage and adulation of a nation, independent of their personal virtues and excellences. Some are proud of the knowledge they possess, and are so puffed up with a sense of their own importance, that they seem to have no patience with the untaught and ignorant around them. They dwell in an atmosphere of their own, and can scarcely condescend to hold intercourse with those of a lower region. Pride, whereever it operates, or whatever form it assumes, is hateful to God, and destructive to the best interests of man. It lies: at the foundation of nearly all quarrels; it places man in opposition to his fellow-man; it sets up improper distinctions in society, and often gives a licence to the passions, of man, that end in the most deplorable consequences.
We hope our young friends have not imbibed the false notions that prevail in the world on this subject. is often said that a small amount of pride is necessary to stimulate young people to seek after excellence in the various pursuits of life. What is here called pride, may be denominated a laudable ambition to excel ; which, when kept within proper limits, may prove of great benefit. It should always be our ambition, whatever we do, that is right, to do it well
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with
thy might.” But how different is all this from pride; the one engenders diligence and application, the other selfconceit and undue importance; the one trains us to be men, the other makes fools of us, and unfits us either for earth or heaven. No, our counsel to all our readers is, fly from pride as you would the face of a devouring serpent. Listen neither to friends or foes, who may tell you that pride is necessary to young persons. Be careful that in your dress, conversation, and demeanour, you manifest a humble unassuming manner. Such conduct will commend you to all whose good opinion is worth your striving to obtain ; neither will you lose your reward before Him who shall one day be your Judge.
We are quite aware that the opposite spirit may subject our readers to the charge of cowardice and meanness. But which is the greatest coward, the man that braves the jeers and insults of his fellow-men, and does that which is right, or the man that fears their contumely, and does wrong that he may escape it? Many young persons become involved in quarrels through the operation of pride. The least indignity or insult rouses them to make wicked retaliation. There are few greater signs of degeneracy than to hear a person boasting of his pride. It marks a fallen spirit, and contains within itself the germ of confusion, disorder, and every evil work. “ Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might: let not the rich man glory in his riches. But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight saith the Lord.”
From the “ Prophet's Chamber."
CROWNING THE WISEST. Nor many years ago, it happened that a young man from New York visited London. His father being connected with several of the magistrates of the British aristocracy, the young American was introduced into the fashionable circles of the metropolis, where, in consequence of his very fine personal appearance, or that his father was reported to be very rich, or that he was a new figure on the stage, he attracted much attention, and became quite the favourite of the ladies. This was not at all relished by the British gentlemen, but as no very fair pretext offered for a rebuff, they were compelled to treat him cirilly. Thus matters stood, when the hon. M.P. and lady made a party to accompany them to their country seat in Cambridgeshire, and the American was among the invited guests. Numerous were the devices to which these devotees of pleasure resorted in order to kill Time, that old fellow who will measure his hours; and the ingenuity of every one was taxed, to remember or invent something novel.
The Yankees are proverbially ready of invention, and the American did honour to his character as a man accustomed to freedom of thought. He was frank and gay, and entered into the sports and amusements with that unaffected enjoyment which communicated a part of his fresh feelings to the most worn out fashionables in the party. His goodnature would have been sneered at by some of the proud cavaliers, had he not been such a capital shot; and he might have been quizzed, had not the ladies, won by his respectful civilities, and his constant attentions in the drawing-room and saloon, always showed themselves his friends. But a combination was at last formed among a trio of dandies to annihilate the American. They proposed to vary the eternal waltzing and piping by the acting of charades and playing various games, and having interested one of those indefatigable ladies, who always carry their point in the scheme, it was voted to be the thing.
After some few charades had been disposed of, one gentleman begged leave to propose the game called “ Crowning the Wisest.” This is played by selecting a judge of the game, and three persons, either ladies or gentlemen, who are to contest for the crown by answering successively the various questions which the rest of the party are at liberty to ask. The one who is declared to have been the readiest and happiest in his answers receives the crown.