History informs us that the blessed ministry of healing which our Master instituted when he sent forth his disciples with "the great commission," as it has so appropriately been called, continued to be an important part of the work of his followers in the first three centuries of the Christian era; and no good reason has so far been given for the failure of all who from that time to the present have called themselves Christians, to keep this essential feature of his work prominently in view. Indeed, it seems even more strange that this phase of his ministry could ever be forgotten, when we recall how much of his time was given to the healing work, and how strongly he emphasized its importance in empowering the disciples to cast out evils and to heal all manner of diseases.

Not that he failed to "preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine," but he made his preaching practical, made it something for every-day use and help, rather than an outward observance of the letter of the Mosaic law while the inner man was as a whited sepulcher, full of all uncleanness. Wherever he turned, multitudes of the sick and suffering ones of earth thronged about him or were laid at his feet by their friends, and Matthew tells us that "he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." They had received the "letter" in abundance, but their barren lives still lacked the potent touch of "the spirit that quickeneth."

Down through the generations these same conditions have been the unsolved problem, because mankind have failed to lay hold on the healing and saving truth that was ever close at hand. The word has been faithfully preached; but the "seamless robe" has been rent, and millions of despairing ones who based their hope of heaven on their belief that God saves from sin, have cried out in their anguish, "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?" forgetting or ignoring the great Physician "who healeth all thy diseases," because they had been taught that "the day of miracles is past."

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April 1, 1911

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