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From the April 1883 issue of The Christian Science Journal

There is an eastern story of a Sultan who overslept himself, so as not to waken at the hour of prayer. So Satan came and waked him, and told him to get up and pray. "Who are you?" said the Sultan. "O, no matter," replied the other; "my act is good; is it not? It is not important who does the good action, so that it be good." "Yes," replied the Sultan, "but I think you are Satan. I know your face; you have some bad motive." "But," says the other, "I am not so bad as I am pictured. You see, I have left off my horns and hoofs. I am a pretty good fellow, after all. I was an angel once, and still claim some original goodness." "That's all very well," replied the sagacious and prudent Caliph; "but you are the tempter; that's your business: and I wish to know why you want me to get up and pray." "Well," said Satan, with a flirt of impatience, "if you must know, I will tell you. If you had slept and forgotten your prayers you would have been sorry for it afterward, and penitent; but if you go on as now, and do not neglect a single prayer for ten years, you will be so satisfied with yourself, and feel so fully ventilated of your goodness, that it will be worse for you and you will forget that the best way to become a Christian is through deeds instead of words. God loves the sincere heart, and the fault of having to repent is less than hypocrisy and pride."

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