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Chapter 10—Dress
Fashion rules the world; and she is a tyrannical mistress, often
compelling her devotees to submit to the greatest inconvenience and
discomfort. Fashion taxes without reason, and collects without mercy.
She has a fascinating power, and stands ready to criticise and ridicule
all who do not follow in her wake.
Satan, the instigator and prime mover in the ever-changing, never-
satisfying decrees of fashion, is always busy devising something new
that shall prove an injury to physical and moral health; and he tri-
umphs that his devices succeed so well. Death laughs that the health-
destroying folly and blind zeal of the worshipers at fashion’s shrine
bring them so easily under his dominion. Happiness and the favor of
God are laid upon her altar.
We see the world absorbed in vain amusements. The first and best
thoughts of the larger portion are given to dress, and the culture of
mind and heart is neglected. Even among those who profess to love
and keep the commandments of God, there are some who ape this
class as nearly as they possibly can and retain the name of Christian.
Some of the young are so eager for display that they are willing to
give up even the Christian name if they can only indulge their vanity
in dress.
On Sunday many of the popular churches appear more like a theater
than like a place for the worship of God. Every style of fashionable
dress is displayed there. Many of the poor have not courage to enter
such houses of worship. Their plain dress, though it may be neat, is
in marked contrast with that of their more wealthy sisters, and this
difference causes them to feel embarrassed. Some try to appear like the
wealthy by trimming goods of an inferior quality in imitation of more
costly apparel. Poor girls, receiving but small wages, often spend their
last cent in order to dress like those who are not obliged to earn their
own living. In consequence, they have nothing laid by for sickness,
nothing to put into the treasury of God, no time to improve the mind or
to study God’s word, no time for secret prayer or the prayer-meeting.