THE reading of a newspaper account of the most recent legislative attempt to place the healing of disease through Christian Science in the category of offenses against the law, has suggested an interesting speculation. Assuming the success of the effort to legalize a materia medica monopoly in a given State, it is pertinent to inquire to what lengths the prohibition against the substitution of the power of divine Truth for drugs might be construed to go. In Science and Health, p. 369, the prevention of disease is explicitly stated to be as much a part of Christian Science practice as is the cure of disease. It would seem to follow that any legislative edict against Christian Science practice must inhibit equally both of the recognized branches of this practice, for it could not well be lawful to employ for a preventive that which is unlawful as a remedy.

The logical enforcement of such legislation would lead to some interesting results. Suppose, for example, a man or woman who, after years of periodical illnesses, like grip. sick-headache, or some other persistent malady, requiring medical aid at each recurrence, had become a Christian Scientist and discontinued the regular calls for the doctor; would not such an one become, ipso facio, a suspicious person legally, and subject to judicial inquiry as to whether he or she had not violated the law, the presumption of course being that but for indulgence in the forbidden practice of Christian Science the patient would have continued to be sick and send for the doctor at the proper and customary intervals? Or, again, taking the case of one who, after having been repeatedly exposed to the most virulent forms of contagion, should apparently pay no attention to that fact and still fail to come down with any of the diseases involved—could such an one escape the accusation of having resorted to Christian Science, and would he not be called upon to show cause why, if innocent of this charge, he had not been stricken in accordance with the laws of the medical profession? Of a truth, they who believe that God is the sufficient and only Great Physician would have but a perilous legal status if material thought could have its way; but the lack of success which has pursued all attempts legally to ostracize the practice ordained by Christ Jesus and illustrated by himself and his early followers, gives assurance that no such attempt can ever succeed in the face of the ever-accumulating testimony to the superior efficacy of that practice.

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February 23, 1907

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