The Arch-Enemy, Discouragement

We are all quite familiar with the old story of the devils and the just man. Evil devices of every kind were resorted to by the devils to make the just man sin, but he would not. They teased, they tormented, they tempted, they tried to force and to deceive; but all to no avail. The just man remained loyal to his God. At last a brilliant scheme was suggested by the arch-demon; it was that all the devils should henceforth direct their efforts to discourage the saint, well knowing that should he yield to discouragement he would become weak and it would then be an easy task to conquer him.

The first symptom of this false consciousness is doubt; the last despair. It was, indeed, a devil's master stroke, a subtle plot, and, if it proved successful, — a sure doom. But Love, the ever victor, triumphed.

Since I have been trying to follow Christ's example as it is so clearly and practically set forth in the Bible when read with our text-book as a commentary, I have often had occasion to remember this story of the just man and the wicked plot against him, and it never fails to rouse within me a protest that the devil or evil should try to tempt poor humanity with a suggestion of discouragement, and this thought brings with it a realization of the necessity for constant watchfulness and prayer.

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The Boy in Christian Science
October 16, 1902

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