It is a pity that the two correspondents who write anonymously...

Chelsea Mail

It is a pity that the two correspondents who write anonymously in the columns of your issue of recent date do not give their names. One of these critics signs himself "Ecclesia," which is the Latin for church. He settles the problem of evil, and some other things, in just eighteen lines. It has, however, to be remembered that the world has known far more than one, even Christian, ecclesia, and that these churches have differed so violently from each other as to the true Christian faith that they have persecuted one another, and even burned men and women's bodies, all in the name of God, who is Love, by way of inducing this God to save these people's souls from eternal punishment. Is it any wonder then that a recent Christian writer has spoken of the Jehovah of the Old Testament "in one of his worst moods"? At any rate, it is ample reason for a Christian Scientist to insist that the only proof which can be given that the gospel preached is the gospel of Christ, is that demanded by Jesus the Christ, when he declared, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also." To call yourself a Christian, and insist that your neighbor is not, is simply vox et praterea nihil, nothing more or less than that. The command of the Founder of the Christian religion was that his followers should preach the gospel and heal the sick with signs following. Preaching has always been easy enough, but it is the healing that counts, for it is the healing which is the test of the preaching,—"these signs shall follow them that believe."

It is a little dangerous for a writer, and one who signs himself "Ecclesia," of all things, to argue that the power to heal was confined to those who formed the first church at Jerusalem. First, because the majority of theologians deny this completely, and assert the exact contrary. Second, because healing has continued throughout all the centuries, from St. Paul to St. Sebald, from St. Sebald to Fox, from Fox to Wesley, and so to our own time. As a matterr of fact, healing was a recognized factor in Christian service down to the time of Constantine, and the works of the Fathers are filled with records of it. Thirdly, because the statement is in absolute contradiction to the plain declaration of the gospels. Again and again, without reference to time or place, Jesus the Christ declared that healing must be considered the proof of faith. He told the disciples to teach the world, not the founders of the church at Jerusalem, everything he had commanded them. He told the disciples, at one time, that not only the healing of sickness, but many other signs of miracles, should follow them that believed; then, at another time, that not only the works he had done, but greater works should be done by those who believed in him. These greater works were certainly not accomplished by the founders of the church in Jerusalem. They remain to be accomplished; but they will not be accomplished by limiting healing to material methods. Jesus healed the sick without drugs and without operations. No doctor or sugeon of today has ever done his works; they have been and can only be done in his way. Lord Lister was a great man, but he knew less than Paul, who settled the question of blood-poisoning without antiseptics at Miletus; while Jesus himself said that neither scorpions nor poisons could prevail against Christian faith.

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