It is quite impossible to dissociate Christianity from the thought of sympathetic consideration for the afflicted, and hence it was not at all surprising that a vigorous protest was entered by Christian physicians and ministers throughout the country, when an eminent medical lecturer recently suggested it would be a wise and kind thing to allow the hopelessly incurable "to go the way of nature." The right of every aspiring thought to life, and that in the deepest and best sense of the term, is universally recognized, and whenever the question is raised, the heart of humanity invariably says, No! the sick should not be "mercifully permitted to die;" they should be healed.

When, however, one comes to consider the situation, he wonders much that this protest should have been so long delayed. Why should those who have declared their faith in a gospel that healed disease in the first century accept the asserted incurability of disease, and mentally give judgment against the sick, in the twentieth century, and in what sense can any be said to believe in "the law of the spirit of life" who practically deny its present efficiency? Regardless of the Scriptural assurance that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick," the insistence that there is "no hope" has been positive and practically universal among Christian believers, the moment materia medica has rendered its verdict, and this condemnatory vote is often cast despite the fact that the illness was traceable to exposure while ministering in a Christlike way to the need of others!

Surely no more pitiful evidence of the decadence of Christian faith could be adduced than this, that in the hour of a sufferer's exigency of need those most near and most loving are found to be against him, in that they practically pronounce his death sentence by declaring for the hopelessness of his struggle; and all this, perchance, while believing in the verity of a once effective gospel. Surely the Christ-appointed means of saving life should at least be tried before Christian love is content to abide by the dictum of medical law, and yet Christian people are consenting today to the inevitability of the death of their dear ones without having made any effort whatever to help them by resort to "the prayer of faith" commended by St. James; and this, too, when it is known in all the world that the prayers of Christian Scientists have proved effective in thousands of cases which were "nigh to death."

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March 5, 1910

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