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MOST young people wish to make a shewy appearance. They are anxious for gay clothing, to outshine their equals and rival their superiors. How many
do we see far more diligent in adorning their bodies, than improving their minds. Perhaps you may say, What then am I to be negligent and slovenly, and render myself disgusting? By no means, that would be running into the opposite extreme. On the subject of dress, let me beg your attention to a few words of advice.
1. Avoid every thing that borders on indecency.
Some kinds of dress seem as if they were purposely contrived to display, or produce wanton
These are quite unfit for either sex, in
any age or rank. Let it be your full determination never to follow fasbion, when fashion forsakes modesty. Afier the fence of virtue is once broken down, it lies exposed to a thousand invaders. Be not then ambitious to imitate those giddy worth-, less fops, who flutter in all the resorts of gaiety and folly :
What is a butterfly at best,
2. Avoid all extravagance, or that which would cause inconvenience from too great expence.
That dress may be highly proper in one station, which is very unsuitable in another. Young people are apt to look above them, and catch at what is beyond their reach. We sometimes see servants wear more splendid and expensive apparel than their masters or mistresses. But nothing can be pleasing or becoming that is out of place. Let your dress and appearance be consistent with your circumstances. By costly clothing, which you can ill afford, you will only make yourself ridiculous.
What forls behold with envious eyes,
3. Beware of giving up too much time to dress. !
If you had garments embroidered with gold or adorned with gems, they could not shield you
from calamity and disease, or prepare you for eternity. I
Lady Pennington justly observes, “ That to run into the extreme of fashion is the certain proof of a weak mind. Whatever time is taken up in dress, beyond what is necessary to decency and cleanliness, may be looked upon, to say no worse, as a vacuum in life.” While you are gathering a few glittering baubles to deck yourself, you are losing those golden hours, those precious moments, which all the wealth of India cannot redeem. The body, however delicately fed, and richly arrayed, must soon return to the dust and see corruption. It is the soul therefore that requires your chief care. Let it be your great concern to have the immortal part covered with the robe of righteousness, and adorned with the garments of salvation.
Do you ask what is the robe of righteousness ? I answer, it was wrought by the perfect obedience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and is freely presented to you in the Gospel. The soul, deformed and defiled by sin, is utterly unfit to appear before that God who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. But covered with this royal rohe, which the Saviour finished, you may venture into the presence of the King of Kings, and shall stand accepted in the great day. The righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is uinto all, and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference. Rom. iii. 22.
Do you ask what are the garments of salvation? I answer they are humility, meekness, charity, and truth.
1. Humility. Without this, though you may have a christian name, you cannot be a christian. Of the wicked it is said, pride compasseth them as a chain. Now all who are thus wrapped up in arrogance and self-sufficiency, are offensive in the sight of God. Would you resemble Christ? you must be of a meek and lowly spirit. The Apostle Peter says, Be ye clothed with humility. This garment is absolutely necessary, to all the followers of Jesus; it is that which distinguishes them from the world.
2. To humility must be added meekness.
This garment is necessary to preserve you from being wounded and hurt, by the vexatious thorns and briars, that are every where scattered through the path of life. Though thousands slight and scorn it, no words can sufficiently describe its beauty, or set forth its worth. Let then your adorning be the hidden man of the heart; in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. I Pet. iji. 4.
3. I lave another christian grace to recommend, without which the brightest gifts, and the greatest talents, are but a useless glitter, or an empty sound. “ Above all, put on charity, which
is the bond of perfectness." This is a lovely and attractive robe, that never fails to give a peculiar charm to the character which it adorns Then put on charity, and when mortality is swallowed up of life you will wear it unsullied in the shining ranks of Angels around the throne of God.
4. Let your loins be girt about with truth.
You have a race to run, a warfare to wage. Be not discouraged. The girdle of truth is not only an ornament, but also a defence. It braces and invigorates the feeble, fainting soul. Gird up the loins of your mind, and hope to the end. These garments of salvation never wax old, but grow brighter as all things else fade and perish. They are not to be put on in particular companies, and then laid aside; but must be worn at all times, and in all circumstances. The servants of Christ must not be ashamed of his uniform, but rather rejoice to bear his image and fulfil his commands.
Thousands seem to act, as if they thought riches the one thing needful. What ingenious and artful schemes are contrived! what grievous and painful Jabours are endured! what terrible and destructive dangers are braved to get a little shining