Signs of the Times

[A. J. Peel in Ottawa (Ontario) Citizen]

I am one of a large number of ordinary folk who have been under the impression that Christianity had some message for such times as these and that Christian faith was proof against fear of plague or pestilence, and it rather staggers one when we see professed Christian people and good church members not only fearful, but anticipating sickness for themselves and others, and by the power of suggestion creating fear in the minds of those who had no fear. Is there any cause for wonder that men are asking what our boasted Christianity is worth? (I should perhaps state that I am a member of the Presbyterian church.) There are those who raise their voice against God and ask why, if He is all good, He brings sickness and death upon us and our kin, and orthodox Christianity replies that His ways are inscrutable and "past finding out." This is far from satisfying; moreover, it is a base libel on the eternal Spirit of good in whom "we live, and move, and have our being." God is the eternal enemy of disease and death and has no more to do with this epidemic, either as a judgment or as a means to compel our thoughts to dwell on the serious side of life, than the people of Ottawa have to do with the government of China. God is all good; therefore He can only acknowledge health. Disease is the absence of health; it is negative, just as darkness is the absence of light and is not a positive substance. When humanity recognizes this truth and alienates itself from the misconceptions of orthodox religion, dominion over disease and sickness will be an accomplished fact. If the student of metaphysics realizes this truth, how much more should the professed Christian realize it, seeing that the Christ whom he professes to follow and who was the greatest metaphysician the world has ever seen, always treated disease as a negative thing.

Not only did Christ dispel disease whenever he came in contact with it, but he specifically stated that his disciples were to "preach the gospel" and "heal the sick." Of course as long as the church teaches that disease may be a divine minister and a means by which God works His will with the world, there is no hope that the power which the early church undoubtedly possessed will be regained and practiced by the modern church. If we fear sickness, according to the law of metaphysics we invite sickness; one of the old patriarchs has said that the thing he greatly feared came upon him The entertaining of the thought of health by those who believe that only health is positive, not only for ourselves but for our fellow citizens, will go a long way toward eradicating the epidemic which is raging throughout the country to-day.

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December 21, 1918

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