uring a trolley ride through
That Mental Chisel
New England locality, where church
spires were almost as plentiful as
trees, I studied the faces of the
people who came into the car dur-
ing my two hours' journey.
The day was beautiful, and all along the route
our numbers were recruited by bevies of women,
young, middle aged and old, who were bent on
shopping expeditions or setting forth to make
They went and came at each village through
which our coach of democracy passed, and they
represented all classes.
The young girls were lovely, as young girls
are the world over: their complexion possessed
that soft tender luster, peculiar to seashore
localities, for the salty breath of Father Neptune
is the greatest of cosmetics. Many of the young
faces were formed in classic mold, their features
clearly cut and refined, and severe, like the
thoughts and principles of their ancestors.
Often I observed a mother and some female
relative, presumably an aunt, in company with
a young relative; and always the sharpening
and withering process of the years of set and
unelastic thought was discernible upon their
faces, which had once been young, and classic
In the entire two hours I saw but three
lovely faces which were matured by time.
I saw scores of well-dressed and evidently
well-cared-for women of middle age, whose
countenances were furrowed, drawn, pinched,
sallow, and worn, beyond excuse; for time, sor-
row, and sickness are not plausible excuses for
such ravages upon a face God drew in lines of
Time should mature a woman's beauty as it
does that of a tree. Sorrow should glorify it as
does the frost the tree, and sickness should not
be allowed to lay a lingering touch upon it, until
death calls the spirit away.
Without question the great majority of the
women I saw were earnest orthodox Christians.
I heard snatches of conversation regarding
Church and Charities and I have no doubt that
each woman among them believed herself to be
a disciple of Christ.
Yet where was the result of the loving, tender,
sweet spirit of Christ's teaching?
It surely was not visible upon those pinched
and worried faces? and those faces were certain
and truthful chronicles of the work done by
the minds within.
One face said to me in every line, "I talk
about God's goodness and loving-kindness, but I
worry over the dust in the spare room, I fret
about our expenses, I am troubled about my
lungs, and I fear my husband has an unregener-
ate heart. I never know an hour's peace, for
even in my sleep, I worry, worry, worry, but of
course I know I will be saved by the blood of
Another said, "I am in God's fold, well and
safe, but I hate and despise my nearest neighbor,
for she wears clothes that I am sure she cannot
pay for, and her children are always dressed
better than mine. I quarrel with my domestics,
and am always in trouble of some kind, just
because human beings are so full of sin and no
one but myself is ever right. I shall be so glad
to leave this world of woe and go to heaven, but
I hope I will not meet many of my present
Another said, "If I only had good health--
but I was born to sickness and suffering, and it
is God's will that I should suffer!"
Oh the pity of it, and to imagine this is
Thank God the wave of "New Thought" is
sweeping over the land, and washing away those
old blasphemous errors of mistaken creeds.
The New Thought" is to give us a new
race of beautiful middle-aged and old people.
To-day in any part of the land among rich,
poor, ignorant or intellectual, orthodox or mater-
ialists the beautiful mature face is rarer than a
white blackbird in the woods.
It is impossible to be plain, ugly, or uninter-
esting in late life, if the mind keeps itself occu-
pied with right thinking.
The withered and drawn face of fifty indi-
cates withered emotions and drawn and perverted
The dried and sallow face tells its story of
dried up sympathies and hopes.
The furrowed face tells of acid cares eating
into the heart.
All this is irreligious! yet all this prevails
extensively in our most conservative and churchy
He who in truth trusts God cannot worry.
He who loves God and mankind, cannot
become dried and withered at fifty, for love will
re-create his blood, and renew the fires of his
He who understands his own divine nature
will grow more beautiful with the passing of
time, for the God within will become each year
The really reverent soul accepts its sorrows
as blessings in disguise, and he who so accepts
them is beautiful and glorified by them, within
Are you growing more attractive as you
advance in life? Is your eye softer and deeper,
is your mouth kinder, your expression more
sympathetic, or are you screwing up your face
in tense knots of worry? Are your eyes growing
hopeless and dull, is your mouth drooping at the
corners, and becoming a set thin line in the
centre, and is your skin dry, and sallow, and
Study yourself and answer these questions to
your own soul, for in the answer depends the
decision whether you really love and trust God,
and believe in your own immortal spirit, or
whether you are a mere impostor in the court of
The Heart of the New Thought by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago : The Psychic Research Company, c1902.