Thought and Words

As is shown by her published writings, Mrs. Eddy was careful and skillful in the use of words. She was both educated and individual in using these tools of thought. Evidently, also, she desired that all Christian Scientists should give attention to accuracy and expressiveness of speech. For instance, she gave us this rule: "First purify thought, then put thought into words, and words into deeds" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 341).

Mrs. Eddy's individual employment of language for her great purpose is illustrated by her adaptation of old words to new uses. An instance is furnished by "evangelize." In all dictionaries, this word means to instruct in the gospel; convert to Christianity. So when Mrs. Eddy wrote that "the human self must be evangelized" (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 254), she added a further and more particular meaning to this already useful word.

Another illustration of the same kind is furnished by Mrs. Eddy's use of the word "metaphysics." As commonly used, this word denotes a certain branch of philosophy or the more abstruse branches thereof. Although contrasted with physics, it is not in popular use a distinctly mental or spiritual term. Therefore, when Mrs. Eddy began to use "metaphysics" or "divine metaphysics" with reference to Christian Science, she adapted an old word to a new use.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Spiritual Understanding
April 30, 1932

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.