If a child were disturbed by a belief in ghosts and were to cry out in terror at the delusion, the average parent, unacquainted with mental processes and ignorant of the fact that the child was suffering from a false sense of something, would be in a position to offer nothing more than mere human consolation. The alert Christian Scientist mother, however, would under such circumstances tell the child that there were no real ghosts and that he need not be afraid of them, assuring him at the same time that God, good, is ever watching over and guarding His little ones. In the one instance the mother might succeed in temporarily quieting the child, but his belief in the reality of ghosts would be as strong as or even stronger than ever, because the fear of them would be still undestroyed. This would leave the way open for a possible recurrence of the experience. But in the other instance the mother would strike straight at the root of the trouble and destroy it by specifically denying the error and antidoting the fear with the truth of being. This illustration shows the value of knowing the nature of error and how to destroy it.

There are a great many people (perhaps some of them are Christian Scientists) in the world, who are laboring under the false belief that there is no difference in meaning between the words ignore and deny as used in Christian Science. In fact, the writer was at one time in this class, and he invited much criticism of himself after coming into Christian Science by taking the stand that evil—sickness and suffering included—could be ignored with impunity. This brought him many unpleasant experiences. One day, however, while studying the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," he came across this passage on page 339: "You conquer error by denying its verity." Up to this time, he had been laboring under the belief that merely to declare that God is good and that God is All, was sufficient to solve his problems. The passage quoted above, however, set his thoughts at work in new channels. Turning to the dictionary, he found that, according to Webster, to ignore a thing was wilfully to disregard it; while to deny a thing was, according to the same authority, to declare it to be untrue. Then the realization came that nowhere in her writings does our revered Leader say that we should ignore or wilfully disregard error, but that she does repeatedly exhort us to deny it as unreal, untrue; as devoid of intelligence, law, activity, or power.

January 20, 1912

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