In a recent issue, under the heading of "The Healing of...

The Commonwealth

In a recent issue, under the heading of "The Healing of the Mind," you say that you wish some doctor would write sympathetically and with practical knowledge of what is comprehensively known as faith-healing. In faith-healing you include Christian Science. Now, of course no Christian Science would admit that Christian Science is covered by what is commonly understood by faith-healing; this, however, for the moment is not the question, but rather, why no doctor will follow the idea you throw out. First, may I point out that this is not quite the case. To give a single example, Dr. Saleeby, in his lectures, has drawn attention to the undoubted healing accomplished by Christian Science of such complaints as locomotor ataxia, and has written with considerable sympathy of this form of healing. Still, the great mass of doctors are afraid of Christian Science healing, as the human mind is always afraid of every step forward. When the stethoscope was first invented, the leading medical paper of the day spoke of it with just the contempt with which homeopathy was attacked after Hahnemann's discovery of it. Christian Science, as a matter of fact, is a step right forward beyond homeopathy. Homeopathy reduced was drug to a minimum, and so showed that the healing action was mental. This has not, however, prevented the homeopaths from being almost as violent in their denunciation of Christian Science as the allopaths.

You give in your article a very convincing example of how not to be critical. You talk of the simple reading of Science and Health over a sick cow, as if any Christian Scientist ever did such a thing. At the same time, the reading of Science and Health to a sick cow would be at least as efficacious as much of the veterinary treatment many of us have seen, and a good deal less injurious than quite a lot of it. Why, at the same time, should it be so supremely ridiculous to think that a man can be healed by divine power and that a cow can not? There is a certain saying of Jesus about the fallen sparrows which might lead people who write in this way to think twice. If matter is a subjective condition of the human mind, as Christian Science insists it is, and as the idealism of natural science admits it is, what is there to prevent a cow from being healed any more than a man? I know that this sounds very strange to people who believe Christian Science is suggestion, but then, one of the things the world has got to learn is the fact that its description of Christian Science as suggestion will never make this teaching suggestion, for it is the very antithesis of anything of the sort. A world in which the power of God could not rescue an animal from pain and suffering, would be very far from the harmonious condition which Jesus described as the kingdom of God in our midst, and an omnipotent power which had to be confessed unequal to healing any creature would be very far from exhibiting omnipotence.

The fact is, of course, that Dr.—,like medical men in general, has formed a concept of Christian Science healing which is a veritable burlesque of what it really is. They talk on the platform, they write articles in the papers, in sublime ignorance of the fact that what they are perpetually criticizing is their own complete ignorance of a subject they are too self-satisfied to investigate. The sick, however, are in a very different position to the doctors. The sick wish to get well, and are not so particular as the doctor as to what cures them. The result is, that the sick appeal for Christian Science treatment, and when they are healed they give "unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God the things which be God's." As a result, Christian Science has spread right round the world, and is exerting a greater and greater influence every day. The medical profession may choose to assert that this is not the case, just as the Spanish Inquisition is reported to have insisted to Galileo that the world did not move. The world did move, however, and Christian Science is spreading; and when the medical profession some day wakes up to the fact, it will be too late to establish its reputation for sanity in dealing with the question.

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