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.
The career of Prince Hohenlohe, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sardica, is as well authenticated as any fact in history. Dr. Tuke, in his thoroughly scientific work on the "Influence of the Mind upon the Body," admits his cures as facts. The Prince, who was born in 1794, in Waldenburg, was of high position and broad education, having studied at several universities. When twenty-six years of age, he met a peasant who had performed several astonishing cures, "and from him caught the enthusiasm which he subsequently manifested in healing the sick." I quote two cases on the authority of Professor Ony-mus of the University of Wiirtzburg. " Captain Ruthlein, an old gentleman of Thundorf, 70 years of age, who had long been pronounced incurable of paralysis which kept his hand clinched, and who had not left his room for many years, was perfectly cured.
Eight days after his cure he paid me a visit, rejoicing in the happiness of being able to walk freely. ... A student of Burglauer, near Murmerstadt, had lost for two years the use of his legs; and though he was only partially relieved by the first and second prayer of the Prince, at the third he found himself perfectly well".
Father Mathew was very successful in relieving the sick; after his death multitudes visited his tomb, and of these many were helped and left their crutches there.
In all parts of Roman Catholic countries, and in the Greek churches of Russia, great stacks of crutches, canes, and splints may be seen, which have been left by those who, as Dr. Tuke says, " there is no reason to doubt, have been cured and relieved of contracted joints by the prayers offered at some shrine, or by the supposed efficacy of their relics." Similar results have been seen in Montreal, Canada, within a few years, at solemnities connected with the deaths of certain bishops, one of whom had performed many cures through a long career.
It cannot be denied that many cures occurred at Knock Chapel in Ireland; and also at Lourdes in France, whose fame "is entirely associated with the grotto of Massavielle, where the Virgin Mary is believed, in the Catholic world, to have revealed herself repeatedly to a peasant girl in 1858." This place is resorted to by multitudes of pilgrims from all parts of the world, whose gifts have rendered possible the building of a large church above the grotto, "consecrated in 1876 in the presence of thirty-five cardinals and other high ecclesiastical dignitaries." The gifts have been made by devotees, many of whom claim to have been cured of ailments that defied medical treatment; besides, a large trade is carried on in the water, which is distributed to all parts of the world. I stood by the fountain for hours observing the pilgrims drinking and filling their bottles. A flask which was filled for me has stood on my mantel for several years, and I am bound to say that no serious illness has occurred in the family during that time. Many recoveries follow its use.
Nor is there any reason to doubt that Joseph Gass-ner, a Catholic priest in Swabia. effected many cures.
Turning from the Roman Catholic and Greek churches to Protestantism, five or six names are conspicuous in connection with the production of cures without the use of medicine, and in answer to prayer.
Dorothea Trudel, a woman living at Manheim, long had an establishment there. Marvelous tales have been told of the cures, some of which have been thoroughly authenticated.
Another name widely known is that of the late Rev. W. E. Boardman, with whom I was acquainted for many years. He had an establishment in the north of London which is designated "Bethshan," and has created quite i« sensation. There hundreds of remarkable cures are claimed of cancer, paralysis, advanced consumption, chronic rheumatism, and lameness; and the usual trophies in the shape of canes, crutches, etc., are left behind. They will not allow the place to be called a hospital, but the "Nursery of Faith." Their usual mode is to anoint the sufferer with oil and then pray; though considerable variety in method is practised apparently to stimulate faith. They profess to effect many cures by correspondence, and assert that the healing virtues claimed for French and Irish relics by Roman Catholics are not to be compared with those exercised in answer to their prayers.
Dr. Charles Cullis, of Boston, recently deceased, was long noted in connection with healing diseases by faith and prayer, and among his followers has given Old Orchard, Maine, a reputation as great as the grotto at Lourdes has among Catholics.
The Rev. Mr. Simpson, formerly a Presbyterian minister, and now an Independent in the city of New York, has also become prominent, and there can be no doubt of the improvement in health of many of the persons for whom he has prayed. His devotees have enabled him to open a house here to which various persons, among them some ministers, resort when ill.
Mrs. Mix, a colored woman living in the State of Connecticut, had great fame; having been the instrument of the cure of persons who have devoted themselves to faith-healing, attending conventions, writing books, etc. Her death was bewailed by many respectable persons, without distinction of creed, sex, age, or color, who believed that they had been cured through her prayers.
One of the elements of the notoriety of George O. Barnes, the "Mountain Evangelist," of Kentucky, was his oft-announced power to heal.
Having admitted in general that real cures of real diseases are often made, it is necessary to consider more closely the subject of testimony.