Is the Practice of Medicine a Science?

We hear a great deal about the Science of medicine, and medical practitioners frequently refer to it as their "beloved science." Theologians and physicians unite in declaring that God created drugs, and gave them to mankind to heal sickness and disease. To be sure there is no Scriptural authority for such a claim, but unless medicine can produce some show of divine authority, the growing tendency of the age to accept Christian Science as the divine remedy for sickness, will leave medicine without a single excuse for its existence. Occasionally one of our well-meaning preachers will quote from Revelation, 22:2, "The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations," and will offer that as divine authority for medicine. A perusal of the context of this quotation, however, discloses the fact that the Revelator was not speaking of drugs, but was describing the New Jerusalem—a new heaven and a new earth; and the tree referred to was the Tree of Life, whose leaves are indeed "for the healing of the nations." But the "Tree of Life," like the "Water of Life," comes to man through the revelation of God, and is not taken in doses through his digestive organs in the shape of drugs.

Now if we really want a few Bible quotations that show the true status of medicine, we can find them; for instance, in Jeremiah, 30:13 we read, "Thou hast no healing medicines;" and later, in the seventeenth verse of the same chapter we find, "I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds." Exodus, 15:26 reads: "I am the Lord that healeth thee." Psalm 103:3: "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases," and Jeremiah, 33:6 : "Behold I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them."

September 14, 1899

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