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much commended for style and language, and she can tell where to borrow it.
Flavia would be a miracle of piety,if she were but half so careful of her soul, ås she is of her body. The rising of a pimple in her face, the sting of a gnat will make her keep her room two or three days, and she thinks, they are very rash people, who do not take care of things in time. This makes her so over-careful of her health, that she never thinks she is well enough ; and so over indulgent, that she can never be really well. If you
visit Flayia on the sunday, you will always • meet good company, you will know what is doing in the world, you will hear the Jast lampoon, be told who wrote it, and who is meant byevery name, that is in it. ;. you will hear what plays were acted that week, who was intolerable at the last assembly, and what games are most in fashion... Flavia thinks they are atheists, who play at cards on sundays; but she will tell you the nicety of all the games, what eards she held, how she held them, and the history of all, that happened at play, as soon as she comes from church. If you would know, who is rude and i! natured, who is vain and foppish, who lives too high, and who is in debt; if you
:: Thus lives Flavia ; and if she live ten years
would know, what is the quarrel at a certain house, or who and who are in love; if you would
know, how late Belinda comes home at night, of her what clothes she has bought, how she loves com, the
pliments, and what a long story she told at such a place; if you would know, how cross Lucius
is to his wife, what ill-natured things he says to cine. her, when no body hears him ; if you would Ith know, how they hate one another in their hearts, and though they appear so kind in publick ; you cally
must visit Flavia on the sunday, 1 But still she has so great a regard for the holiness of s day, that she has turned a poor old widow
of her house, as a profane wretch, for havit the been found once, mending her clothes a.
Sunday night. -3,513"
longer, she will have spent about fifteen hundred and sixty sundays after this manner. She will have worn about two hundred different suits of clothes. Out of these thirty years of her life, fifteen of them, will have been disposed of in bed ; and of the remaining fifteen, about fourteen of them will have been consumed in eating, drinking, dressing, visiting, conversation, reading and hearing plays and romances, at assemblies, balls, and diversions. For you may reckon all the
time she is up, thus spent, except about an hour
that it is impossible for Flavia to be saved; but thus nuch must be said, that she has no grounds in scripture to think, she is in the way to sal
For her whole life is in direct opposion to all those tempers and practices, which the gospel has made necessary to salvation.
If you were to hear her say, that she had lived all her life like Anna the prophetess, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day,' you would look upon her as very extravagant ; and yet this would be no greater an extravagance than
that she had been striving to enter in at the strait gate, or making any one doctrine of the gospel a rule of her life.
She may as well say, that she lived with our saviour, when he was upon earth, as that she has lived in imitation of him, or made it any
for her to say,
part of her care to live in such tempers, as he required of all those, who would be his disciples. She may as truly say, that she has every day washed the saints' feet, as that she has lived in christian humility and poverty of spirit ; and as reasonably think, that she has taught a charity school, as that she has lived in works of charity She has as much reason to think, that she has been a centinel in an army, as that she has lived in watching and self-denial. It may as fairly be said, that she lived by the labour of her hands, as that she had 'given all diligence to make her calling and election sure.'
Here it is to be well observed, that the poor, vain turn of mind, the irreligion, the folly, and vanity of this whole life of Flavia is all owing to the manner of using her estate. It is this, which has formed her spirit, which has given life to every idle temper, which has supported every trifling passion, and kept her from all thoughts of a prudent, useful; and devout life.
When her parents died, she had no thought about her two hundred pounds a year, but that she had so much money, to do what she would with, to spend upon herself, and purchase the pleasures and gratifications of all her passions.
It is this setting out, tliis false judgment, and indiscreet use of her fortune, that has filled her whole life with the same indiscretion, and kept her from thinking of what is right, and wise, and pious in every thing else.
Though the irregular trifing spirit of this character belongs, I hope, but to few people ; yet many may here learn some instruction from it, and perhaps see something of their own spirit in it.
For,as Flavia seems to be undone by the unreasonable use of her fortune, so the lowness of most people's virtue, the imperfections of their piety, and the disorders of their passions are generally owing to their imprudent use and enjoy. ment of lawful and innocent things.
More people are kept from a true sense' and taste of religion, by a regular kind of sensuality and indulgence, than by gross drunkenness. More meni live regardless of the great duties of piety, through too great a concern for worldly goods, than through direct injustice. : This man would perhaps be devout, if he were not so great a virtuoso. Another is deaf to all the motives to piety by indulging an idle, slothful temper,