To a philosophical farmer weeds may teach many lessons; for example: the necessity of tilling the soil so that the largest possible quantity of water and plant food may be conserved for the use of the crop; that productive land is always ready and willing to work, even if its work is misdirected in weed production; and that the character and history of the land may be determined from the character and quality of weed growth. Great abundance of weeds is an unfailing indication of poor farming; and conversely, land well managed never becomes seriously if at all encumbered with weeds.

Like other plants, weeds grow wherever they find a chance; not necessarily where no cultivated plants are growing, but often most vigorously and frequently among the crops. Indeed it may be remarked that in a general way certain classes of crops are accompanied by corresponding classes of weeds unless the farm practice is such as to prevent this characteristic, but thinking farmers have devised methods of management which, while accomplishing several other desirable objects, incidentally keep the land free from weeds. Every farmer knows that weeds are prompt to take advantage of opportunities, and that if he is not alert in applying practical methods of eliminating them. his land is sure to be overrun. Especially is this true where one crop predominates year after year. It is also noticeable that when a long-established system is broken up the land appears to be overrun with an abundance of weeds that before may not have been observed, or at least only as scattered specimens. This is because these particular weeds have seized a chance which under the old method was not afforded them. but they in turn can be combated by rational methods.

From this brief and superficial discussion of weeds and their control it is evident that the student of Christian Science may draw several parallels. In the first place he may learn that human thought must be directed in right channels, so as to make sure that it does not go in wrong ones; and second, that the character and history of each person is determined by the quality and quantity of his thoughts. As the serious prevalence of weeds is an infallible indication of poor farming, so the abundance of undesirable thoughts or their results is a never-failing sign of poor thinking; and conversely, the absence of such is a sure concomitant of good thinking. No student of agriculture denies that scientific methods are needed in order to obtain the best results in farming, and it is infinitely greater importance to understand and practise the Science of Mind in order to get rid of the evils which for so long a time have been permitted to grow in human consciousness,—the beliefs in sin, disease, and death.

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November 16, 1907

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