Seeing that the recent lecture at Salem by a Swedenborgian...

Salem (Mass.) News

Seeing that the recent lecture at Salem by a Swedenborgian minister on "Christ's Divine Healing Power," of which the News published a report, was evidently designed to minimize and discredit the healing work done by Christian Science, I assume that comment by a Christian Scientist may be in order. At the outset I am glad to observe that this lecture, as reported in the News, was more moderate toward Christian Science than some of the many other references to the same subject by the same speaker during the last dozen years. I hope that the time is not distant when he will have a more just appreciation of the efforts of those who are endeavoring, and with notable success, to do the healing work which was commanded by Christ Jesus. At present, however, our brother does not know of or does not acknowledge the success which actually has been achieved in the practice of Christian Science; and from the premise that Christian Science healing does not amount to much, he contends that it is not the same healing work as that which was done by Christ Jesus. In short, the reverend gentleman contends that a difference in degree of success proves a difference in kind of healing.

The same argument would impeach the healing work done by the original disciples of Jesus; for they were not always successful. It is to be observed, however, that when a case of their failure was reported to him, he did not disown them for it. What he did was to instruct and encourage them. (See Matthew xvii. 14-21.) If the one whose example was perfect could be so patient with the lack of perfection, would it not be well for the gentleman who lectured at Salem to withhold his cavil at Christian Scientists until he can do better healing work than they are doing?

The test of discipleship furnished by Christ Jesus was one of works, and these included healing. (See Mark xvi. 17, 18; John xiv. 12.) Also his commands, first given to his immediate followers and afterward made universal, included "Heal the sick." (See Matthew x. 5-10; xxviii. 16-20.) Should we not begin to deal with disease as he did until we can do as well as he did? Should we not obey at all until we can obey in full? The entire contention of our censorious brother depends on the answer to these simple questions.

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October 23, 1915

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