You have been so very fair to Christian Science and...

News and Courier

You have been so very fair to Christian Science and Christian Scientists in the past that, in compliance with the old adage, "One good turn deserves another," I offer my services in answer to the queries of the Rev. J. S. Hartzell, in order to make good your promise that the Christian Scientists would not allow the gentleman to inquire in vain.

The question, "Why was Trophimus sick, and why did St. Paul leave him in that condition?" might be answered by the old-fashioned way of asking another question: Why does the Rev. Mr. Hartzell leave so many unsaved sinners? He preaches the gospel which he believes is intended to bring salvation, and yet he has not succeeded in saving all that have come under the shadow of his effort. There may not have been a Trophimus among them, but we dare say there may have been a John or a James. Even so great a personage as our Lord healed only a few sick folk in one place, because of the unbelief of the people. It may not have been any fault of Paul that he did not heal Trophimus, for while it is true that none can "hear without a preacher," it is also true that none can preach effectively without a hearer. Paul's remark that he had left Trophimus at Miletum sick may have been a polite way of saying that Trophimus had become so unworthy that he was not receptive to the healing influence of Truth. In my experience as a practitioner I have left a great many sick folk behind in their inharmonious conditions; in some instances because my understanding of truth was not equal to the case, in other instances because they had no inclination to accept the truth and did not receive it.

In answer to the question, "Why was St. Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach's sake and his often infirmities?" I would express my belief that Paul probably was speaking in a figurative sense. Perhaps he referred to the wine of inspiration. The prophet referred to the "oil of gladness," but he meant simply the outpouring of gladness. Perhaps Paul was urging Timothy to take higher ground—to depart from the simple ideas of truth and reach out for something higher and stronger. I scarcely believe that his instruction to Timothy consisted of a request to take medicine. If so, his medical beliefs and recommendations differ very much from those which are accepted and advocated by the temperance folk of our day. Moreover, even though Paul may have advocated the use of wine for stomach trouble, that fact could not affect the truth of the proposition that God, without alcoholic stimulants or drugs, is a sufficient help in time of trouble, but would only indicate Paul's lack of ability or inclination to rely implicity upon the divine power, as did Christ Jesus, the Exemplar, before him. If any comment is due Paul in this instance, it is to rebuke him for his small faith.

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August 15, 1908

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