To Isaiah there came a voice crying in the wilderness: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God." This verse is often in the writer's thought as she looks abroad over the peaceful country in which her home is situated. Here, three hundred years ago, the Pequot Indians were trailing through the primeval forests and fierce beasts were making their dens in secret caves, and when the Puritans pushed their way across the sea and into the forests, they had to meet not only hunger and cold, but the ferocity of beasts and the inhumanity of savages.

Bravely, however, in their pioneer work on the rocky New England soil, they faced the elements, the wild beasts, and the Indians, and little by little all were overcome. In comfortable homes they no longer feared stealthy foes, cultivated fields took the place of deep woods, the tracks of animals became highways for civilization, and now through a fertile happy country the motor-cars of the descendants in the fourth and fifth generation of these sturdy pioneers speed without an obstacle over the highway which links two great cities. As one compares the present generation with the men who, as it were, hewed religious liberty out of this hard soil, he can but wonder if an inheritance of ease is an unmixed blessing. Are we worthy descendants of those sturdy old pioneers who put this highway beneath our feet?

To the seers of every age since Isaiah has come the call, "Make straight in the desert a highway for our God," and each has built a little stretch of this road through the desert of mortal hopes and fears. One was the true Wayshower; but after he had cut through the path to God and shown men how to walk in it, mortals lost the trail again, and turned back into the desert for another long and weary wandering. Not many years ago, the call came to a woman who scaled the peaks and looked far abroad to discover once more the course of the highway. Then, obedient to the voice of God and regardless of self, she began to mark the road that leads "from sense to Soul" (Science and Health, p. 566). Here, too, were primeval conditions,—forests of prejudice to be leveled, the wild beasts of material lusts and passions to be destroyed, lurking envy and savage malice to be driven out from ambush, the rocky soil of indifference and selfishness to be broken through; but she never faltered in her lonely task. Then her efforts caught the attention of here one and there another who, following her, lent their ardor to the road-building. As the way grew straighter, thousands flocked into it, until now the highway to our God once more lies open and "the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein."

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December 21, 1912

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