WORDS AND WORKS

At a Wednesday evening meeting in the South I once heard a Christian Science practitioner tell how much help he had received in studying our text-book. Science and Health, with a dictionary near at hand, and he advised his hearers to make a systematic practice of doing so, saying that if they looked up only one word a day they would find by the end of a year that they had wonderfully advanced in their understanding of the terminology of Christian Science. He then gave them as an example of the deeper meaning thus to be gained, the definition of the word "faith," that it is "the unity of belief (understanding) and trust."

In my own experience I found that I must get Christian Science intellectually as well as spiritually—in reality the two cannot be separated—and this study of words has greatly interested me. I have seen that the author of our text-book was trying to convey to us a broader, fuller meaning than is to be gained through the commonly accepted meaning of words. Says Cleland, "The words we at present make use of and understand only by common agreement assume a new law and life in the understanding when you trace them to their radicals, where you find every word strongly stamped with nature,—full of energy, meaning, character, painting, and poetry." This may be illustrated by two words in the first verse of the 91st Psalm which have become wonderfully illuminated for me, the words "abide" and "might." We read, "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." "Abide" is defined in Webster as meaning "to remain stable or fixed in some state and condition." "Might" is "energy or intensity of purpose, ... means or resources to effect an object." "Might" is thus seen to be "God's right hand grasping the universe" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 364).

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