This section is from the book "Faith - Healing. Christian Science And Kindred Phenomena", by James Monroe Buckley. Also available from Amazon: Faith-Healing, Christian Science and Kindred Phenomena.
Both the patient and the metaphysical healer must be taught that Anatomy, Physiology, Treatises on Health, sustained by what is termed material law, are the husbandmen of sickness and disease. It is proverbial that as long as you read medical works you will be sick. . . . Clairvoyants and medical charlatans are the prolific sources of sickness. . . . They first help to form the image of illness in mortal minds, by telling patients that they have a disease; and then they go to work to destroy that disease. They unweave their own webs. . . . When there were fewer doctors, and less thought was given to sanitary subjects, there were better constitutions and less disease.
We are told that the simple food our forefathers ate assisted to make them healthy; but that is a mistake. Their diet would not cure dyspepsia at this period. With rules of health in the head, and the most digestible food in the stomach, there would still be dyspeptics.
Because the muscles of the blacksmith's arm are strongly developed, it does not follow that exercise did it, or that an arm less used must be fragile. If matter were the cause of action, and muscles, without the cooperation of mortal mind, could lift the hammer and smite the nail, it might be thought true that hammering enlarges the muscles. But the trip-hammer is not increased in size by exercise. Why not, since muscles are as material as wood and iron?
A proper view of Mrs. Eddy's publications is, however, of great importance.
My publications alone heal more sickness than an unconscientious student can begin to reach. If patients seem the worse for reading my book, this change may either arise from the frightened mind of the physician, or mark tho crisis of the disease. Perseverance in its perusal would heal them completely.
Never tell the sick they have more courage than strength. Tell them rather that their strength is in proportion to their courage. . . . Instruct the sick that they are not helpless victims; but that, if they only know how, they can resist disease and ward it off, just as positively as they can a temptation to sin.
In preparing to treat patients, the healer must strengthen and steady his own mind.
Bo firm in your understanding that Mind governs the body. Have no foolish fears that matter governs, and can ache, swell, and be inflamed from a law of its own; when it is self-evident that matter can have no pain or inflammation. ... If you believe in inflamed or weak nerves, you are liable to an attack from that source. You will call it neuralgia, but I call it Illusion. . . . When treating the sick, first make your mental plea in behalf of harmony, . . . then realize the absence of disease. . . . Use such powerful eloquence as a Congressman would employ to defeat the passage of an inhuman law.
You are fortunate if your patient knows little or nothing, for "a patient thoroughly booked in medical theories has less sense of the divine power, and is more difficult to heal through Mind, than an aboriginal Indian who never bowed the knee to the Baal of civilization".
See that the "minds which surround your patient do not act against your influence by continually expressing such opinions as may alarm or discourage. . . . You should seek to be alone with the sick while treating them".
Bathing and rubbing to alter the secretions, or remove unhealthy exhalations from the cuticle, receive a useful rebuke from Christian Healing. . . . John Quincy Adams presents an instance of firm health and an adherence to hygienic rules, but there are few others.
Suppose the patient should appear to grow worse. This I term chemicalization. It is the upheaval produced when Immortal Truth is destroying erroneous and mortal belief. Chemicalization brings sin and sickness to the surface, as in a fermenting fluid, allowing impurities to pass away. Patients unfamiliar with the cause of this commotion, and ignorant that it is a favorable omen, may be alarmed. If such is the case, explain to them the law of this action.
I will here state a phenomenon which I have observed. If you call mentally and silently the disease by name, as you argue against it, as a general rule the body will respond more quickly; just as a person replies more readily when his name is spoken; but this is because you are not perfectly attuned to Divine Science, and need the arguments of truth for reminders. To let Spirit bear witness without words is the more scientific way.
This is further modified:
You may call the disease by name when you address it mentally; but by naming it audibly, you are liable to impress it upon the mind. The Silence of Science is eloquent and powerful to unclasp the hand of disease and reduce it to nothingness.
A Christian Scientist never gives medicine, never recommends hygiene, never manipulates. He never tries to "focus mind." He never places patient and practitioner "back to back," never consults "spirits," nor requires the life history of his patient. Above all, he cannot trespass on the rights of Mind through animal magnetism.
The foregoing rules for practice are taken from Mrs. Eddy's different works.
The difference between the views of Mrs. Eddy and those who diverge from her is superficial, though neither she nor they will admit it. Miss Kate Taylor, in " Selfhood Lost in Godhood," referring to Mrs. Eddy's large work, says: "It can be read with profit by any who are seeking truth with sincerity, and with no tendency to become biased." She also says that she was formerly a member of the Christian Science Association, and "learned that limitations are not conducive to growth, and that, as Emerson truly says, ' God always disappoints monopolies,'" and frankly gives her opinion of those denounced by her former preceptor.
The so-called mal-practitioners and mesmerists therein mentioned, on thorough investigation,—not only by myself, but in company with others who seek to be liberal-minded and to give Truth its due wherever it exists,— I find to be simply those who have separated themselves from the Association, that they might pursue their own convictions of right, and step out of the regular ranks of stereotyped terms to let their thoughts find expression in their own words.
The chief point of departure in Miss Taylor's theories from those of Mrs. Eddy is in the value attached to a knowledge of the preceding life of the patient.
Physical disease has many different causes. The physician treating a patient is often narrowed in his efforts to do good, because of some hidden moral or mental cause, some underlying fear, some sorrow, some inherited proclivity, some wrong unforgiven, some trait of character, some past occurrence which has tinged, perhaps almost unconsciously, tho whole tenor of a life. It is not necessary that a person's innermost sacred thoughts and life be unveiled, as the physician does not expect, neither does he like, to receive confidences, unless, indeed, they are given voluntarily with a feeling of trust. Some word or hint, though, to the physician would often aid materially. . . . The treatment consists in a vigorous holding of the patient to his right of soul-growth, unobstructed and unretarded by physical defects. ... In answer to tho question, "Is it prayer f" I would first quote Victor Hugo's definition of prayer,—" Every thought is a prayer; there are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees,"— and then answer, Yes, it is prayer. Prayer with the old interpretation begs the Father to change the unchangeable, while prayer with the new interpretation lifts the beggar to a comprehension that he himself has omitted to take the gifts already prepared for him from the foundation of the world.
She gives this advice to the sick :
Eradicate all thoughts of physiology, drugs, laws of health, sickness, and pain, and know that God is the only panacea,— divine love the only medicine. . . . Seek the help of a Christian Healer. . . . Judge him not unjustly, . . . neither be in opposition, for his is a good motive. . . . While under his treatment obey any natural impulse, without fear of consequence. Remember! without fear. This does not mean to be foolhardy in the beginning,—unless the cure should be almost instantaneous,—but advance gradually. ... If you have a time during the treatment when you should feel worse, do not be discouraged. . . . Look forward. . . . One little secret it is well to know. . . . Deny every thought of sickness every time it enters your mind. . . . Never use will-power, mistaking it for divine Truth.
Also Mrs. Stuart teaches the importance of a knowledge of the previous life:
A man came to me from Erie, Penn., with what was called by different M. D's softening of the brain and Bright's disease of the kidneys. After questioning him I found his trouble dated back to the Chicago fire. Now he was not conscious of any fear, was in no personal danger for himself or family. But he was in that atmosphere of mental confusion and terror all through the city. He was cured by treatment on that point and nothing else. A woman came to me who had suffered five years with what the doctors called rheumatism. I happened to know that the death of a child had caused this effect. By silently erasing that picture of death and holding in its place an imago of Life, eternal Life, she was entirely cured in twenty minutes.