"There is no Pelee"

At a missionary exhibition held in London a few years ago, there was given a dramatized representation of the introduction of Christianity into heathen lands. One scene in particular was most impressive from the Christian Science point of view. It represented the worship of the goddess Pelée, who was supposed to preside over the people's destiny, and at certain seasons to show her displeasure by causing a volcanic eruption.

The eruption was depicted, and at the first sound of it the people, who had been innocently engaged in work or play, suddenly stopped, and an expression of fear came over their faces. This deepened into horror as an old man, the priest of Pelée, stepped forward, and with portentous frown and solemn mien looked around upon the hapless little company. Then, choosing the youngest and fairest maiden, who was evidently finding life most sweet, he pointed his staff toward her, thus signifying that she must die, be thrown into the boiling lava as a sacrifice to Pelée, who must be appeased at all costs.

The anguish portrayed on the faces of the condemned maiden and her friends may be imagined, as they knew the fiat of the priest to be inexorable. All the brightness had suddenly gone out of their lives, and blank despair, the terrible impotency of fear, possessed them. But at this point, like an angel of light, the queen of the country, who had embraced Christianity, came forward and stayed the proceedings. Instead of the helpless victim going to her doom, the queen herself walked up the side of the burning mountain, and stepping to the edge of the crater said in defiant tones, "Do your worst, Pelée." The priest and the people shuddered at such blasphemy, and wondered if the queen would not be destroyed in the wrath of the goddess; but nothing happened, and the spell of superstition was broken. Then the queen descended and in earnest tones exclaimed, "There is no Pelée," and forthwith proclaimed that thereafter the worship of the false goddess should cease and the truths of Christianity be taught her people.

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The Snow Man
August 28, 1915

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