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Saturday, 29 April 2017

Tending to the soul's ruin

Would all the votaries of fashion, men and women on earth could view—were it for a moment only—its true appearance as seen in hell, and they would never desire to be fashionable again!

It is strange—no, not strange, but sadly true—that most people believe vanity and the love of dress no great sin, but, at worst, only one of those amiable foibles to which one may plead guilty quite innocently.

Love of dress in itself perhaps need not become a sin—I say perhaps, but look at it as you please, there is that connected with it which cannot but tend to the soul's ruin. Its aims and the aims of the spirit lie widely apart; it takes the place of better things, and vanity, clinging to you as a cloud, will hide the true objects of life. Men or women ruled by vanity fritter away their time, and when they die not only good works do not follow them, but opportunities wasted stand round their bier. Who has the face now to say that vanity, that love of dress, is harmless?

I look upon my own life. How plainly I see it all now—how gladly would I improve opportunities, could they but return!

Letters from Hell, L. W. J. S., Richard Bentley & Son, London, 1889