The Thrall of Deception

One of the dominating habits of mortal mind is to judge things and persons by appearances, and the injustice and suffering which follow in the wake of this evil is indescribable. A lesson may be learned from every human experience and observation, however insignificant, if viewed in the light of truth.

In some of our eastern States deer are trapped in a manner which is both interesting and suggestive. At a certain height a wire is strung around a number of trees, forming an inclosure. A swinging gate, inside of which the bait is placed, is left open, and when the deer has entered, the gate swings to and closes tightly. The deer, seeing itself inclosed, is mystified by the wire and will neither jump over it nor dodge under it, and is thus securely imprisoned. To its frightened sense the wire seems a formidable obstruction which it believes itself unable to overcome. Did the deer realize how unreal is its prison; how deceptive the hindering barrier; how unimpaired its own strength and agility, this realization would at once destroy the enthralling appearances, break the spell, and with a bound it would leap to liberty.

Is there not a lesson in this picture for every spellbound, mystified, and struggling heart? The animal was really never deprived of its liberty; it was in the very midst of liberty, but believed it was robbed of it; a hopeless prisoner, because to its clouded vision it so seemed. What was this spell but ignorance of itself, its rights and liberty, which were the same now as before the depressing confusion?

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The Attitude of the Insurance Companies
August 25, 1906

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