After reading Dr. Atkinson's letter in a recent issue, it...

Bexhill (England) Observer

After reading Dr. Atkinson's letter in a recent issue, it seems that his interpretation of Christian Science and its teachings has developed into a personal attack, interspersed with dogmatic assertions with regard to the motives and aims which actuated the healing work performed by Jesus and his disciples. These assertions are given without any substantiation, so that our critic must forgive us if, in the face of Scriptural records which are opposed to his conclusions, we find them a little difficult to accept.

This critic would try to impress us with the statement that miracles of healing were confined to the disciples and to the immediate followers of Jesus. In the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," Gibbon bears witness to the fact that for two hundred years after the inauguration of the Christian era, healing the sick without material remedies was practised by the early Christians. This is corroborated by many other historians of undoubted authenticity. Apart from these facts, however, it does not seem that the critic's assertions are borne out by what we know of the teachings of the Master. That Jesus considered the healing of the sick a necessary expression of the Christ-power is evident, not only in his own ministry, but also in the instructions he gave the twelve, in his commission to the seventy, and in his final commands just previous to his ascension. Certainly Jesus presented the never-changing, ever-present Christ to humanity as the healer of both sin and sickness. If his last comforting assurance, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," means anything, it certainly means this: that this same Christ, endowed with all the powers which Jesus manifested to a suffering world, is veritably here today; and it would be interesting to know where our critic, in his interpretation of the Scriptures, finds his authority for eliminating the healing of the sick and retaining the forgiveness of sins.

Perhaps, however, our critic would reply that it is through the use of drugs and material remedies that we should look for the Christ-healing. In answer to this we would point out that in all the healings that Jesus performed he did not in any instance use or recommend drugs. It is useless so to misinterpret the lesson of the clay placed on the eyes of the blind man, and quote this as an instance of material methods. If clay and spittle is the divine prescription for blindness, it is quite certain that it cannot be improved upon, and it is unexplainable that the medical methods of today do not continue its use.

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September 20, 1913

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