There is a growing suspicion in the minds of many that a belief in the power of matter to heal matter is only another phase of an old superstition, one which was exposed and derided by the prophet on Mt. Carmel, one which was rebuked by Jesus when he said, "O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" a superstition which survives in another form in the totem pole, in the charm worn about the neck, or in the "rheumatism ring."

The ignorant savage feels the ardent rays of the sun, sees all about him the withering effects of an intense tropical heat, and with some show of reason he decides to worship that which seems to be causative, according to his limited view of the universe. Another equally ignorant savage cuts down a tree, fashions a rude image with hideous features, calls it a god or a demon, and worships it. In another part of the world a highly cultivated and scholarly mortal goes out into the woods, collects various herbs and roots, squeezes the juice from one and grinds the other to powder, calls them specifics for certain diseases, and bows down to them. The process is called idolatry or science, according to geographical location, but it is manifestly the operation of the same trait of the human mind, changed in form only by education and environment, but traceable finally to the primary instinct of the carnal mind to have "other gods."

The world is divided as to its faith in the ability of something to heal its diseases. One man believes that if he prays to a sacred image he will have an answer to his prayer. Another believes with equal fidelity that if he puts some material things into his stomach, these will heal him of most of his aches. Results sometimes follow both ceremonies. The first is called faith cure. The second is never admitted to be faith cure, but faith is the basis of both activities. The second process is clearly proved to be faith cure, when some unmedicated potion is given and the patient recovers. The cure in such cases follows, not because of the medicine, for none was given, but because of the patient's belief.

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October 19, 1907

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