A False Claim

The peculiar use of certain words in the Christian Science vocabulary seems strange at times to unaccustomed ears. To the sensitive, critical ear it may come as a somewhat startling shock, while to the more moderate it may simply suggest a questionable use of terms. In any case it is likely to have the beneficial effect of arousing a spirit of inquiry which, even if mixed with doubt, is better than a mental torpor or false peace.

One such rather unusual expression frequently made use of in the testimonials given in our periodicals, and in the experience meetings, is the term "claim" or "false claim," when reference is being made to physical ailments.

One object in using such a term is to dispossess the thought of sickness of some of its awful seeming reality and terrorizing power. Some counteraction is certainly needed along this line, for as we glance over the columns of the newspapers, or listen to the general trend of conversation around us every day, we cannot fail to notice how much attention is given to diseases and ills of different sorts. These are discovered, announced, and discussed in all their newest forms until the very atmosphere seems laden with colds, contagion, and catastrophes, and every one is taught to expect a periodical spell of sickness in some form or other. No wonder that Christian Science should cause a commotion, when it steps forth to combat all these evil influences and tendencies. What! it is asked, do you mean to tell me that I am being deceived by a mirage, or ghostly fancy in thinking that the things I actually see, hear, and feel are real and to be feared?

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For Favors Received
September 12, 1901

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