Christian Science and Progressive Physicians

The authoritative pronouncements of many speakers at the late medical convention in Boston certainly furnish food for thought, and in many respects they give promise of better things. Especially is this manifest in the readiness with which the facts are being recognized by leading physicians, however unsavory and discouraging they may be. For example: a distinguished gentleman from abroad who is rated as one of the leading authorities of Europe on the treatment of cancer, conceded that its present medicinal and surgical treatment is altogether experimental, that old methods must be discarded and new ones found. Another physician declared that "the United States Pharmacopæia is a relic of mediæval barbarism, and is still crowded with things which belong with the stuffed alligator." Commenting upon the above statements, the editor of a leading daily has well said that these are startling admission "for those who take the prescriptions."

The dilemma of the honest, doctor is a serious one. He has been educated to think that his healing art is a science; that its asserted specifics have been divinely provided, and that his ministry is therefore of the highest significance to humanity. He is now discovering that its most intelligent exponents are led to speak of the practice of his profession as but an oft-repeated experiment which gives no suggestion of a divine ordering, and which has proved to be wholly unequal to the occasion. While recognizing the seriousness of the position in which physicians are placed, Christian Scientists, can but rejoice that the awakening to truth is thus advancing, and that it has already rendered general thought accessible as never before to the healing Science of Christianity. Both the physicians and their patients are seeing that drug-treatment is wholly unscientific; that the nostrum used is relatively unimportant; that the "providential provision" idea respecting materia medica has wholly broken down, and that physical ills are manifestation of a false mental state which can be rectified by Truth alone.

Moreover, intelligent physicians are realizing that, having failed in many lines of experimentation and having recognized a long list of diseases as "incurable," they are bound, both by their interest in humanity and by their hope of success, to be considerate toward any proffered remedy which is commended by undeniably good results. Speaking of this obligation laid upon physicians, the author of "Pro Christo et Ecclesia" has recently said: "If religion, by a new faith in God, should bring strong reinforcements to the innate vitality of the body, strong enough to keep the body well, or to restore it without medical aid when it is diseased, . . . this would be a result that every physician worthy of the name would hail with delight, whether he agreed or not with the religious view of the how and why of the increased vitality. It is a conservative religious sentiment which has made objection to the exercise of faith in regard to health, never the scientific spirit. What every medical man desires for his patient is life, more abundant life; and he knows far better than laymen the limits of his power—the diseases which he cannot cure, the disabilities which he cannot remove" (Hibbert Journal, April, 1906).

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Promises of Good
July 7, 1906

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