My pride has had a terrible fall. As I sat on my throne looking down on all the Amelias in the world, I felt a profound pity at their delight in petty trifles, their love of position, of mere worldly show and passing vanities.
"They are all alike," I said to myself. "They are incapable of understanding a character like mine or the exalted, ennobling principles that govern me. They crave the applause of this world, they are satisfied with fine clothes, fine houses, fine equipages. They think and talk of nothing else; I have not one idea in common with them. I see the emptiness and hollowness of these things. I am absolutely unworldly; my ambition is to attain whatever they, in their blind folly and ignorance, absolutely despise."
Thus communing with myself, I was pleased to hear Dr. Cabot and his wife announced. I hastened to meet them and to display to them the virtues I so admired in myself. They had hardly chance to utter a word. I spoke eloquently of my contempt for worldly vanities and of my enthusiastic longing for a higher life. I even went into particulars about the foibles of some of my acquaintances, though faint misgivings as to the propriety of such remarks on the absent made me half-repent the words I still kept uttering. When they took leave, I rushed to my room with my heart beating, my cheeks all in a glow. . . What a horrible reaction now took place! I saw my refined, subtle disgusting pride, just as I suppose Dr. and Mrs. Cabot saw it!. . .There was a terrible struggle in my soul. I saw that instead of brooding over the display I had made of myself to Dr. Cabot, I ought to be thinking solely of my appearance in the sight of God, who could see far more plainly than any earthly eye could all my miserable pride and self-conceit. But I could not do that and chafed about till I was worn out, body and soul. At last I sent the children away and knelt down and told the whole story to Him who knew what I was when He had compassion on me, called me by my name and made me His own child. And here I found a certain peace. Christian, on his way to the celestial city, met and fought his Apollyons and his giants, too; but he got there at last! ~ from Stepping Heavenward, October 30, 1842 entry
[Let each of us take heed. ~ mr]