The word "discretion" is explained by Webster as meaning "wise conduct and management; cautious discernment, especially as to matters of propriety and self-control." The words of the wise man should often be pondered when he says, "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: ... That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous." The Christian Scientist should preeminently be possessed of the virtue of self-control and propriety. An example must be set to the whole world, for the Christian Scientist continues to be an object of wonder and close scrutiny; if he fail not, he is as a beacon set on a hill to all beholders. Jesus said, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Courage is required to handle the serpent. At God's command Moses grasped the serpent by the tail, the suppositional basic error. Thus its undesirable nature is detected, and its impotence, yea, its nothingness, is demonstrated, and there remains a staff to lean upon, the all-inclusive nature of purity, the one Mind.

Evil has sought out many inventions, and the serpent of mortal sense approaches its would-be victims with as much subtlety today as when it first inaugurated its attack upon the human race. Its approach, however, must be in harmless guise to gain admission to the consciousness all unaware of its propinquity. The Christian Scientist, alert at the post of duty, dismisses the trespasser with short shrift, detecting at a glance the insidious nature of the attack. The less experienced may stop to parley with error, and error being a special pleader has a ready answer every time. "What am I? A triviality; I pray you let me in." "You insist? Well, I am called sentiment, or human affection, personal or sex attraction, what you will. I am perfectly natural, and to question me thus is to cast a doubt upon human affection. You, as an avowed follower of Christ, must surely know that love is expressed in loving." And thus, perhaps, the seemingly inoffensive stranger is given house room. "Alas," says our Leader, "for those who break faith with divine Science and fail to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness!" (Science and Health, p. 569.) Nothing is easier than to deceive ourselves, but man is not a hopeless victim in the toils of the serpent of lust, that he should obey its mandates. One vigorous effort toward purity, one answering gleam from Truth and Love, when meekness takes the place of pride and righteousness of self-righteousness and hypocrisy, is sufficient to dissolve the hallucination of pleasure in physical sense and matter.

Love surely meets our every need, and Christian Science, with tenderness unspeakable, recalls and awakens the wanderer from the dream of sense, and placing his feet upon the road bids him take fresh courage, showing him how to retrace his steps and in future to choose the path with greater care. Surely we may always regain what we may seem to have lost. Jesus tells us that Love comes running to meet the prodigal when resolve is put into practice.

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June 22, 1912

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