It has such an amazing appetite that it can feed both on grace and garbage!
(John Berridge, 1716-1793)
The foulest stain, and worst absurdity in our nature, is pride! And yet this vile hedgehog so rolls himself up in his bristly coat, that we can seldom get a sight of his claws.
Pride cleaves to us, like a shirt soaked in tar cleaves to the skin. No sharp ploughing and harrowing will clear the ground of it. This foul weed will be sure to spring up with the next rain!
Pride follows me like my shadow!
This diabolical sin has brought more scourges on my back than everything else! It is of so insinuating a nature, that I know not how to rid myself of it.
I hate it, and love it.
I quarrel with it, and embrace it.
I dread it, and yet allow it to lie in my bosom.
It pleads a right, through the fall, to be a tenant for life. It has such an amazing appetite that it can feed both on grace and garbage! It will be as warm and snug in a monastery, as a brothel—and be as much delighted with a fine prayer, as a foul curse!
Lord, save me! If pride must dwell with me, let it not be a lordly master, but a loathed viper!
Oh, that I could once say unto you, foul pride: "Farewell forever!"
There is no Christian grace—but pride will creep into its bosom, and mix with it as freely as oil with oil.
Nor is Lady Pride ever so delighted as when she becomes intimate with humility, and by soft caresses and kind speeches, encourages the sweet damsel to think highly of herself, even when she looks and talks humbly.
One moment she whispers and tells me that I am a fine fellow—and then I am elated.
By and by, she calls me a fool—and then I am sullen.
I can do no religious act—but pride is skulking at my elbow, and much affecting me both by her smiles and frowns.
This foul pride besieges my heart, besets all my steps, and meets me at every turn.
Pride has more heads than a Hydra! (A mythological serpentine water monster which had many heads. Every time someone would cut off one of them, two more heads would grow out!)
Pride has more shapes than Proteus! (A mythical Greek figure who could assume a different shape at will.)
It is such an odd mysterious evil—that I can even be proud of loathing my pride.
Henceforth if you ask my real name, it is Pride!