Looking up the word "thought" one day recently in Richardson's Dictionary (a work comparatively little known, but specially valuable and interesting by reason of the number of illustrative quotations it contains, showing words in actual use), I found myself referred to the word "think," and from that to the word "thing." At first this appealed to me as being a somewhat farfetched association of ideas, but almost immediately, on calling to mind Mrs. Eddy's teachings in Science and Health, I could see that it was quite a natural and appropriate one, and that it ought to have been fairly obvious to me at once, seeing that the connection had been noted and traced by one (the compiler of the dictionary) not looking at things from the Christian Science standpoint.

A friend suggested that this might interest other readers of the Sentinel, so I give the references just as they stand in the dictionary, as far as they are germane to the purpose, viz., that of substantiating in one more instance the basic accuracy, appropriateness, and wisdom of Mrs. Eddy's choice and use of words and literary style in Science and Health, all students of which will readily recall the close and vital connection which she shows to exist between "think" and "thing," between thought and its manifestations. To cite two passages only, Mrs. Eddy says on page 123, "Divine Science, rising above physical theories, excludes matter, resolves things into thoughts, and replaces the objects of material sense with spiritual ideas;" and again, on page 269, she says, "Metaphysics resolves things into thoughts, and exchanges the objects of sense for the ideas of Soul."

According to Richardson's Dictionary, to think means "to have feelings or sensations ... to have or hold a perception, conception, or opinion ... to observe, to consider, to meditate, to deliberate. The word is applied very widely to the various operations of the mind upon things past, present, or to come." The same authority gives "thing" as meaning "that which is done. It appears . . . that the German Ding is of very various and extensive application, to any (thing) thought, said, or done; and Tooke considers thing to differ from think only in the final letter, and even this distinction is not preserved in certain provincial pronunciations. . . . This word cannot be explained in its general signification without the use, express or implied, of itself. Thing is that which (aliquid), any (thing) which we think, or which causes us to think; that which causes thought sensation, feeling. It is usually contradistinguished from person, though sometimes emphatically applied to persons."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

March 28, 1908

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.