IN a little village on Long Island, a young girl lies dangerously ill of typhoid fever. When she was prostrated by the disease, her parents, who were firm believers in what is called “faith cure,” refused to call a physician, saying that the proper means for the curing of the sick were prayer and the laying on of hands. The child grew steadily worse until finally, by order of the chairman of the village Board of Health, a doctor took the case in his charge and administered remedies which appear to have resulted in staying the further progress of the disease.
The parents submitted to the authority under which the doctor proceeded with the case, but regarded his efforts in combating the disease as being altogether uncalled-for, useless, and contrary to faith in God as the healer of disease.
The case has attracted some notice, and it will no doubt be thought of by many as representing a contest between two methods of healing, which differ from each other on the point of faith in the power of God, and that healing through faith has been shown to be a delusion. As a matter of fact there is nothing of this kind in it.
The trouble is with those inclined to this view, and indeed with people generally, that they are so blind to spiritual truth that they are not able to see God in the many “common” things in which he has revealed himself to them. They think of the power of God as something that must be manifested in some supernatural way, and unless they can see a miracle of some kind they will not think they have seen any manifestation of God at all.
Real faith in God sees vastly more than this. Real faith sees God in the things that he has made. The remedies that are used by the physician to combat disease in the regular practice of his profession are from the hand of God. The Creator has placed many such things in the earth at the disposal of man, and has given him the ability to discover many ways in which disease can be checked by operations based upon the principles of “natural law,” which is the law of God. All this is from the Lord as truly as is the power that heals in a “miraculous” manner, and faith in God views it as such. It sees the miraculous power of God, testifying to God’s love for the human family, in the “common” things of every-day experience. It sees God not far off from every one of us, and that “in him we live, and move, and have our being.”
Is it to be expected that God will always pass over the common remedies which he has provided against disease, known and used by the ordinary physician, to make use of some extraordinary way of restoring the sick to health? That he sometimes does this there can be no doubt. But having placed many remedies in the hands of man for such emergencies, it is only reasonable that man should use them, and should thus coöperate with God in the work for physical salvation. Coöperation is a principle of prime importance in the economy of God.
And when man does thus use the natural remedies God has provided against disease, let him not fail to recognize the power of God in it the same as if God had seen fit to interpose in his behalf by some miraculous manifestation.
CHRISTIAN enthusiasm cannot be preserved on ice, even in hot weather.