The words "demonstrate" and "demonstration," as used in Christian Science, involve meanings vastly different from and broader than those given them in dictionaries. Unless, therefore, Christian Scientists watch with care their use of these and other words to which the discovery of Christian Science by Mary Baker Eddy has given new and enlarged meanings, they are likely not only to abuse their use, but to confuse those who are taking their first steps toward the goal of scientific demonstration. The term "demonstrate" in its Christianly scientific sense means one thing, and in its usually accepted sense another; hence the use of the term in connection with Christian Science in an indefinite or indiscriminate manner, not only would tend to mislead one unacquainted with Christian Science terminology, but would, at the same time, evidence a misunderstanding of the use which Mrs. Eddy makes makes it. Words or terms to which the discovery of Christian Science has given new meanings, can seldom be used in a Christianly scientific sense in their old or original meanings.

Possibly no word or term has been affected by the discovery of Christian Science as has the word "demonstrate;" and it may be safely said, none has been more misused in its new application. How often do we hear it affirmed by Christian Scientists that they have "demonstrated" this or that material thing; or that this thing or that thing, this circumstance or that circumstance, this material condition or that material condition, is a "demonstration"! In the light of the teachings of Christian Science one often wonders what can possibly be meant by such statements. What would one infer, for instance, if he were to hear it said by a Christian Scientist that he had demonstrated an automobile? Outside of Christian Science such a statement might be intelligible; but not so in Christian Science. It is the one who is not a Christian Scientist who demonstrates material things. The Christian Scientist has to do with that which is spiritual; and to state to a beginner in Christian Science, to one who is just learning that God is not cognizant of matter, that some one has, through Christian Science, demonstrated a material object, not only would be the height of unscientific assertion, but would, at the same time, tend sadly to confuse the beginner.

Overcoming Minor Errors
October 20, 1923

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