Being exact, Christian Science can tolerate no carelessness, either in the statement of its Principle or in the use of terms. Demonstration is a term which is used very frequently, and often carelessly, by Christian Scientists, and in studying just what it means in Christian Science, the writer is often reminded of experiences connected with her early work as a teacher of mathematics. Before entering upon her duties she heard many references to two exceedingly bright boys who had worked nearly through the arithmetic the preceding year. No one spoke of their mathematical understanding, however, or knew of their ability to apply it, other than that they had worked all of the problems. It was not surprising, therefore, when the first recitation revealed the fact that although answers had been secured throughout the text-book, upon testing the boys as to their mathematical understanding of the fundamentals involved in the problems, the simplest rules could not be applied. Their erratic work had secured the desired results, for figures had been made to fit, though not one answer had been obtained scientifically.

It was not until this method was discarded for a time and blackboard work undertaken, not until they learned to work from a basic law, that they had any concept of what demonstration means in mathematics, and so appreciated its significance. They also learned that the securing of answers is not the object, but a necessary result of the correct application of mathematical laws. One meaning of the term "to demonstrate" is, "to prove with certainty." It implies, then, something already existing but not yet realized by the student, who must proceed to work as though knowing its existence; he must have no other basis for thought in order to demonstrate the truth of any statement.

August 16, 1913

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