Illogical thought is not only profitless, it is misleading, deceptive, and therefore immeasurably harmful in its ever widening influence. One of its commonest forms is that in which a universal conclusion is drawn from a particular premise; it is the habit of those who ground a final and inclusive judgment on the facts of a particular experience, and against the seductions of this habit we as Christian Scientists have occasion to be no less watchful than others, especially in view of the far-reaching significance of our thought and example to the Cause which we represent.

To illustrate, it is not infrequently discovered that a patient suffering from a given disease is cherishing a marked degree of envy, jealousy, or other sinful sense, and to the practitioner who has learned that all causation is mental this fact may awaken the suggestion that the relation of the specific sin to the specific ailment is that of cause and effect. If such an experience were repeated, the conviction might be reached that the given mental state is always conducive to the ill thus associated with it, and hence that any one suffering from this ill has been indulging the sin in question. This conclusion would be hazardous, because it is unsupported by the logic of the facts in hand; nevertheless the endeavor to verify it might be prompted, and at the same time the temptation might come to explain a failure to heal by the assumption that the causative sin is unforsaken, though the sufferer may declare that he has no consciousness of its indulgence. This would constitute a clearly defined case of the mental stumbling referred to, and the seriousness of the results attending its multiplication need not be emphasized.

In speaking of the cause of disease, Mrs. Eddy has very definitely stated certain considerations which should affect our judgment in any and every case. She says, "By universal consent, mortal belief has constituted itself a law to bind mortals to sickness, sin, and death." "Human hypotheses first assume the reality of sickness, sin, and death, and then assume the necessity of these evils because of their admitted actuality. These human verdicts are the procurers of all discord" (Science and Health, pp. 229, 481).

April 24, 1909

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