The Bait and the Hook

Plutarch reports that a noble Roman, Marcus Cato, learned early in life that "Pleasure is evil's chief bait." Parallel Lives, Cato the Elder; The same strain is found in Hebrew writings of earlier centuries. In Genesis the allegorical talking serpent offers the seductive promise that those who eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will be as gods. And today the lure of worldly, sensual pleasures is still being cast.

But watch out! The chief bait of evil has a concealed hook—pain! Pain follows acceptance of the subtle enticement that there is pleasure in sensuality. The Christian Science textbook, Science and Health by Mrs. Eddy, puts it this way: "If we look to the body for pleasure, we find pain."Science and Health, p. 260; This becomes apparent when it is seen that the belief in pleasurable sensation in matter cannot be isolated from the belief of pain in matter. The two, material pleasure and pain, are inextricably linked. If one is going to accept the first, he is forced to accept the second also.

Cato, of course, was speaking of the kind of pleasure that detracts from the nobility of life. Evil's bait is pleasure that is selfish, sinful, sensational, or essentially physical.

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Outside the "In Group"
April 18, 1970

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