"The little foxes, that spoil the vines"

CHRISTIANS everywhere must constantly be on guard to make sure that destructive mental qualities, such as pride, jealousy, deceit, envy, hate, malice, and the many other "little foxes, that spoil the vines," do not enter their thoughts, and so prevent the expression of Godlike qualities. In the holy land, the enemies of the vineyards were tiny animals, and history records that they were very destructive, because they worked on the vines in early spring before the fruit had formed. The marks made by their sharp teeth were so small as to be scarcely noticeable. So, in his Canticles, Solomon writes, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines."

How like the depredations of these "little foxes" on the fruit of the vines are the inroads made upon mortals by would-be destructive qualities. How often existence is blighted and unfruitful, because of the "little foxes" of evil. Many forms of error are so open that instinctively we repel their suggestions and cast them out. But it is the subtle forms of error, oftentimes appearing in the guise of good, that ensnare the unwary. If we listen to the voice of the tempter and accept these evil suggestions, they sap our spiritual vitality, weaken our powers of resistance, and tend to lull us to sleep in the midst of seeming danger. But there is a remedy at hand, available to all; and, thanks be to God, we need not be a prey to any evil suggestions! This remedy is clearly indicated on page 392 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," where Mary Baker Eddy writes, "Stand porter at the door of thought."

When love for God and mankind is the impelling influence in our lives, that love will effectually close the door to mental intruders of all kinds. Against evil in every form love lifts up an impregnable standard. Against this spiritual standard, evil of every nature, whether that of the "roaring lion" or of the "little foxes," is utterly powerless. What opportunity has any one of these "little foxes" to enter the thoughts of those whose resolve it is to reflect more love, humility, gratitude, meekness, and gentleness? What a bulwark of protection the true thinker is erecting against the enemies of false belief! How impregnable is the fortress surrounding the one whose daily prayer is, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting"!

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August 31, 1929

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