That the power of the mind over the body is great no person of experience will dispute. Every intelligent physician knows that in about one-half of his cases he needs to treat the mind as much as the body of his patient, and that in such cases to hold the confidence of his patient is very necessary. Who has not heard of the conscientious physician who in many cases administered bread-pills with strict orders as to proper food, drink and clothing, and thus had great success?
Every wise general has recognized the necessity of having the minds of his soldiers cheerfully employed, as promotive of general health. To this end sentimental music is prohibited in the army in time of war, and cheery and martial airs are commanded.
It has long been observed that where an infectious disease breaks out and becomes pestilential, those most afraid of it, whose minds dwell on the disease and dread it most, are the most subject to it, and most likely to have it in a violent form. The story has been often told of the college professor whose class in a joke experimented upon him, and put him into bed sick for several days, by some five of them meeting him at various places on his way from home to the school and each succeeding one emphasizing more than the former that he looked unwell, in fact sick, and should return home at once.
It is a well known fact that French scientists were some years ago granted several prisoners condemned to death, to experiment with as they chose. One was placed in a cell in which a man had just died from cholera, but was not told of the fact and was well the next day; another was placed in a clean cell, but told that the death from cholera had been in that cell and that he would surely take the disease; and he did take it, and died. Another of their experiments was, to bind and blindfold a prisoner and pass his hand and arm through a partition, telling him that scientists wanted to learn how long it would take to bleed to death from the cutting of one of the arteries of the arm. He prepared for the execution in this form and died in a few hours, though really the experiment was to learn how much effect fear would have, for the cut made in [R2013 : page 178] his arm was quite insignificant, and he lost only a few ounces of blood; the drip, drip, drip, which he could hear, and feel run down his arm, being a carefully arranged device of tepid water. He was mind-killed; he thought he had lost the blood, and exhaustion and death were the result.
Who, that has observed, will not admit that to think about an ache or a pain will aggravate it? And if it will intensify pain to allow the mind to dwell upon it, is it not reasonable to believe that pain can be lessened, and a cure expedited, by an exercise of the brain power in an opposite direction? The secret of how the mind operates upon disease undoubtedly lies in the fact that the brain is not only the seat of all thought, but also of all feeling. It has communication with the entire person by its active messengers, the nerves. Consequently when a message of pain comes from wounded nerves, the brain has power either to soothe the wounded nerves and assist thus in allaying the pain, or, on the other hand, it has power, instead of healing, to spread a general alarm to the entire nervous system, and thus both to increase the pain and delay recovery. From that centre, the brain, all the nerves are directed and more or less controlled, as a factory is governed and directed from the manager's office. If we had no nerves, we could have no pain; and if we had the nerves even, and had no brain to which they could communicate their trouble, we could have no knowledge of pain. Hence we see that whether we shall suffer much pain depends not only upon the fineness, delicacy or sensitiveness of our nerves, but also upon the way in which our minds shall receive the appeals of our nerveswhether we magnify or minimize them. And yet, the full appreciation of the mental powers of human beings, and how best to make use of them, evidently belongs further along. In the full sunlight of the Millennial day this will doubtless be one of the prominent agencies of human restitution.
But we should be on guard against a device of our enemy, who, taking advantage of this principle of restitution which must soon be far more widely recognized than at present, endeavors to use it as his balloon by which to lift into public notice doctrines and theories subversive of the doctrines of the Scriptures. We refer now, specially, to what is deceptively termed "Christian Science." This entire system seems to be as fraudulent and deceptive as its name, though we admit that some honest souls are possibly to be found among its advocates, having been deceived and misled by it. By reason of the gross misrepresentations of God's character and plans by so-called Orthodoxy, some, in groping for something better, have fallen into this snare of Satan, as others have been ensnared into Infidelity, Spiritism, Theosophy, etc.
There is nothing Christian about "Christian Science." It is against Christ and against the truths which Christ and his apostles taught. It is emphatically anti-Christian in its tendencies. But it acknowledges Christ, [R2014 : page 178] says one. Yes, we answer, so did the devils when they had an object in so doing. (Matt. 8:29; Acts 16:17; 19:15.) Spiritists also acknowledge Christ, claiming that he was an eminent medium. And so these Christian Scientists use his name to deceive, if possible, the very elect, claiming that our Lord was one of thema Christian Scientist who did very well all things considered, but who did not understand the Science so well as its present exponents, who are ladies, and whose finer sensibilities were requisite to a full appreciation of the unfathomable depths of this science.
Candor compels us to remark that few Christian people recognize the meaning of the word Christian. It is not like the word Lutheran or Wesleyan: the secret force lies in the meaning of the Greek word Christ, which corresponds to the Hebrew word Messiah, and is a title rather than a name. It signifies, one Anointed by Jehovah as his agent, to accomplish the promised deliverance and blessing of mankind. All this was and is understood by the Jew as the import of the title Messiah, and should be recognized as the meaning of the corresponding word Christ by all true Christians.
"Christian Science" expounders, however, very far from believing in or expecting any deliverance through our Lord Jesus, the Christ, see nothing from which to deliver mankind, except perhaps delusions of pain, etc. They deny entirely any atonement for sin, and in fact deny any original sin to make necessary a ransom-sacrifice, such as the Scriptures teach. And not only do they thus deny the Lord's work already accomplished, but they deny any future work to be done by him as the Millennial King. They deny that he did anything at his first advent except to teach their science, and that very imperfectly as compared with what they could have done,especially as compared with what the self-styled "Rev." Mrs. Eddy, their Boston leader and teacher, would have done.
But do not "Christian Scientists" claim to believe the Bible? some one suggests; and do they not quote from it frequently? Yes, certainly, that is a part of their garment of light, by which they deceive some of the children of the light. They quote Scripture much as Satan quoted it to our Lord in the temptation recorded in Matt. 4th chapter. But though they quote from the Bible, it is in an inconsistent manner and wholly out of its relation to the context, just as Satan did,not to define God's plan, but to bolster up a theory which proves a snare to many not rooted and grounded in the truth. Such, not familiar with the general meaning of the passages quoted, too often do not take [R2014 : page 179] the time to fully examine the context, but swallow the theory whole, presuming their teachers to be honest, and that the passages cited are correctly applied.
So-called Orthodoxy (by the custom of its ministers to take texts from the Bible for all sorts of discourses, contrary to the meaning and intention of the writer) has laid the foundation for just such deceptions as these which are now shipwrecking the faith of so many. Indeed, we are distinctly shown that all but "the elect," a faithful few, will be misled by some of these various deceptive snares. But the "very elect," because fully consecrated to God, shall have light and help sufficient to prevent them from being deceived so as to fall into such errors.
We are not criticizing Christian Science at length in this paper, for this we have already done in a former issue. We merely wish now to note that the truth on the subject of mental assistance to healing, presented above, already for many years recognized by all thinkers, though perhaps fully comprehended and appreciated, as yet, by none, is a very different thing from the claims of "Christian Scientists." The former is in perfect harmony with both reason and Scripture, while the latter violates both.
In fact, we hold that the theories of these scientists (?) cannot have emanated from a sound brain, no matter how many sound minds may have been worked up to the point of belief in so unreasonable and unscientific a view of matters. We notice, too, that though they claim to believe that diseases and pains are not realities, but merely imaginations of the diseased minds, and curable by getting rid of such imaginations, yet when it comes to paying for this imaginary healing, imaginary dollars will not do. One might suppose that they would become so convinced of their theory that "All is mind, there is no matter; all is life, there is no death," etc., that they would consider hunger and thirst and weariness and money as mere imaginations, and disregard them; but not so: food, and dress, and rest, and especially money, are very real to them. For instance, a book to explain (?) their theory is only $3.00. And the services of those who, after hearing about twelve discourses, get a "diploma" to practice as "Christian Scientists," are never charged for in an imaginary manner, but at a good round figure in tangible money. All this is very different from the spirit and method of our Master, whose name they fraudulently adopt, to deceive and ensnare his followers.
But does some one ask, What object could Satan have in getting up such a deception and delusion? We answer, It is one of the many efforts he is permitted to make now against the foundation of all true Christian faithTHE RANSOM. Of course "Christian Scientists" do not claim to deny the ransom; nor do any of the various no-ransom theories so claim. It is part of their deceptive policy to retain a form of sound words, while they are diligent and untiring in their efforts to subvert their real significance. And all errors seem to take this form, evidently inspired by the one great deceiver, the arch-enemy of the cross. They are all the more dangerous and deceptive because they do not deny the Bible openly, but underhandedly. They deny original sin and its penalty, and ignore the work of Christ as Redeemer. They do not, of course, deny that he died, but they do deny that he "gave himself a ransom [a corresponding price] for all;" for they deny that any price was required or paid. The following quotation from one of their prominent writers shows that they ignore Christ's redemptive work entirely, and substitute a principle of good as their deity. The writer says:
In this manner Satan would deceive the world into the belief that the restitution privileges and blessings, which he can not delay, are not results of God's time and order, nor brought about by our Lord's redemptive work at Calvary, and his second coming in power as the promised "Seed" to bless all the families of the earth, and to restore all things, as spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21.) He would offset and hinder as much as possible the proper effect of the coming blessings (viz., to lead mankind to appreciate and love their Redeemer and Restorer), by forestalling the effect of the coming restitution to the full perfection of human powers, and attributing them to a mere natural, human, mental "development" and "growing."
This deception, as to the cause and source of the coming restitution, leading the mind away from the great work of Christ, first as Redeemer, and finally as Life-giver or Restorer, will be all the greater, because Satan thus adroitly mingles truth with errora truth, too, more forcible far than the world and "Christian Scientists" generally conceive. The Millennial restitution will come about as a gradual development, expanding every good human quality to its ultimate limits (full restitution to all that was lost); and doubtless this will be accomplished very largely through the channel of faith and mental healing, guided by the Great Physician and his glorified Bride.
The fact that Satan, the prince of death and sickness (Compare Heb. 2:14 and Luke 13:16), has adopted "mind cures" to draw the attention of the world and to keep them blinded (2 Cor. 4:4) proves that our great foe is put to straits to continue his hold upon [R2014 : page 180] mankind; for, as our Lord intimated, when Satan begins to cast out Satan, it is a sign that his kingdom is nearing its end and will soon fall. This agrees with what we know from other sources,that Satan's triumph is limited; that he will soon be bound for a thousand years, that he may deceive the nations no more.
Few recognize the influence of the mind over the body. God has so organized our beings that pure, noble, holy thoughts in general have not only an elevating and ennobling effect upon the mental and moral constitution, but an invigorating influence upon the physical system. And, on the contrary, every unclean, ignoble, unchaste, unholy thought (as well as act) has a direct effect not only toward debasement of mind and morals, but toward the germination of seeds of disease already in the constitution of all the fallen race.
If this were more widely known and more fully recognized, it would be a great blessing to very many, and would tend to prevent much sickness among both young and old, and would sometimes explain why those whose hands and brains are busiest are often the most healthy and happy. "Keep thy heart [mind, will]; for out of it are the issues of life." These words should be deeply graved upon the tablet of memory by every person. They are words of wisdom. Their full import may not be recognized by many in the present time, but surely all must sooner or later learn it; for compliance with this rule is to be the arrangement by and under which, during Christ's Millennial reign, the world will be blessed.
Mankind will be brought to a knowledge of the truth, and to an opportunity for restitution to full perfection by the great Redeemer, but in such a manner [R2015 : page 180] as to require them to strive against sin and impurity, and to strive for righteousness and perfection, which in response to their prayers and efforts the Life-giver will supply freely, having redeemed them from the Adamic condemnation for this very purpose of restoring the obedient to all that was lost in Adam's fall.
It is a mistake to suppose, as many seem to do, that because our Lord Jesus paid the full price of our redemption from sin and death, therefore all the redeemed ones must be freed forever from condemnation and sin, as soon as the "times of Restitution" begin. On the contrary, when the world is awakened from the tomb it will be still under condemnation as sinners and unworthy of eternal life, and subject to the bondage of corruption (death). Its first step will be to learn of God's gracious provision in the ransom, by which, through Christ, they may escape sin and its penalty (corruption) and obtain the gift of life. That knowledge will develop either obedience and consecration to Christ and lead to its reward of gradual restitution to human perfection, or it will lead to a personal and wilful rejection of God's grace and the merging of their sentence from Adamic death to Second death. Our Lord's sacrifice atoned for and is applicable to only the sin of Adam and its wide spread results. Hence it covers only those sins which result from weaknesses within ourselves and evil and temptation surrounding us, which our hearts (wills) do not consent to nor approve when we come to know the right and wrong in God's sight.
As soon as we come to a clear apprehension of our provided redemption, and into harmony with its conditions, we may consider ourselves "saved" from the Adamic condemnation and restored to divine favor, though the time for actual restoration to the blessings secured is at the close of the Gospel age. This is true of the elect Church now, and will be true of the world in the next age. The actual attainment of the privileges and blessings of restitution provided for all by God, through our Redeemer, and to be freely offered (in the coming age) to all, will not be attained except by the desire and effort of the human will; just as the saints of this age must watch and strive and pray, to win the prize of the new nature now offered.
As soon as we know and accept of Christ's redemption work, we may reckon ourselves free from all condemnation on Adam's account, or traceable to his failure; and then, at that moment of knowledge, the individual trial of each human being begins; and by his efforts as well as his prayers he shows his desire for a life of holiness and purity and fellowship with God. And to such the Lord is pleased to extend his favor and every needed aid, bringing them ultimately to full perfection and to the enjoyment of all the privileges lost by wilful sin in Eden. And every sin and impurity, every unholiness, every dishonesty of thought or act will react upon the evil-doer, bringing with it a heavy toll of interest; and, if persisted in, it will prove such a one unworthy of the everlasting life of holiness and purity. This, the only everlasting life which God has offered or will grant, will be given only to those who, when brought to a full knowledge of all the facts, shall so desire a life of holiness as to strive against sin and impurity in every form.
And while this principle will apply specially to mankind during the Millennium, it is also a principle with the saints in the present time. Purity, chastity, holiness of heart (of mind), belong to our consecration,to be copies of God's dear Son, our Lord, who was holy, harmless, undefiled. Wherefore:
"Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report,...think on these things."Phil. 4:8.