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CHURCH AND FAITH HEALING., Press, Volume L, Issue 11998, 19 June 1914
CHURCH AND FAITH HEALING.
THE EFFICACY OF PRAYER.
(rt__ o__ ottx ooßa__r-}r-_rr.> LONDON, May 8. Tho problem of spiritual, faith 3nd montal healing is dealt with in a remarkablo report of a clerical and medical committee of enquiry which, under tho chairmariship of Bishop Rylo (Dean of "Westminster), has for the last four years been investigating tho subject. Tho committee included the Dean of Durham, the Dean of St. Paul's, the Bishop of Stepney, and some eminent medical men. Nineteen sittings have been held, and many witnesses wero examined. In stating tho conclusions at which they have so far arrived, the coronyttee Kay they fully recognise that the operation of the Divino Power can bo limited only by the Divino "Will, and desire to express their belief in tho efficacy of prayer. They cay, however, that they reverently bciievo that tho Divine Power is -screwed in conformity with and through the operation of natural laws. They point out that with the advancing knowledge of these laws increasing benefics mc being secured for mankind through human instrumentality, especially in regard to the healing oY disorders of body and mind. The committee, therciore, coneider that spiritual ministration should be recognised equally with medical mhistration, as carrying God's ble_ing to the sick.and as His.duly appointed mean, for the furtherance of their highest interests. The committee, however, aro forced to tho conclusion, after the most careful enquiry, that "faith" or "spiritual" healing, like till • treatment by suggestion, can bo expected to bo permanently e_ectiyc. only in cases of what are. generally termed "functional'" disorders. The alleged exception., are fio disputable that they 'cannot' bo taken ; into accouiit«. , The comuii-tce would .emphasise'this point in order to warn * thoso'who resort to "healers'' in tho hope of receiving a permanent cure that they may thereby be postponing until too late the medical treatment which servo to arrest organic disease. While making .this statement, they -thankfully' recognise suffering from organic .disease'are greatly comforted-aud relieved, and even physically benefited, by. spiritual ministrations. Such ministrations, by appealing to tho''spiritual nature, and reinforcing, the- spiritual powers, may contribute greatly to tho success of the physical treatment by the medical practitioner. They however, strongly deprecate the .independent treatment of disease by irresponsible and unqualified persons. QUESTIONS TO WITNiSSSES•Kach. witness received a series of questions. from tho committee . aslcing what was. understcflSd by "spiritual" healing, and whether any distinction wero mado between'".spiritual' healing and "mental" healing. On these two points, there was a- difference of opinion, some regarding "spiritual healing as involving' direct, external, Divine..interposition above tho ordinary laws .of Nature, while others seamed to draw no fuiidamontal distinction be-tween;-piritua!" bnaling'' and "healit.g by inißgostion,"-except that the former T/oa of a religibufi character .and applied through.'religious rites such a- imposition ;of hands, "unction/ and prayer. • .Another question asked was whether witnesses connected tho "spiritual" hcalfjig-of tho present-day with the .gift_ .of healing, in' the Apostolic Chusrch. and -apoording to the report •most of the witnesses, did find such a regarding these "gifts" as having been . long dormant,: though "never entirely interrupted.' . ■ ' "' ■In reply'to'a request for evidence I from personal. .knowledge '• of any caeos where organic disease }ja_ been healed by "fpiritual" of "meutai" inUuences alon©, : the committee state that many pf. tho. witnesses t gave* convincing evidence- of'beneficial, results'in "caees of functional or nervous .disorders, obsossio'ns ; alcoholism, drug "habits, vicious proponsitios, etc., thi-ough . treatment ! by "spiritual", or mental* influences, j They T>oint t out. 'however, that no ! satisfactorily certified- case was adduced lof any . organic disease, competently I diagnosed as such which had been cured i through .these means alone. A few of tho -witnesses there was no ob- ! "jection -to . tbo, exercise oF , "gifts : of. ! heajing" by persons possessing no medical qualificatioha,, though the greater number were keenly alive to "tho risk and danger of" _ny independent treatment, of disease by. persons, not medically qualified. All felt there was room for a closer legilimate co-operation between the clergy and medical pi-ofes-sion.'- - ■ -.-.'..■;'■", LORD SANDWICH'S EXPER- ..." lENCBS' ! Among called was the Earl of Sandwich, who 6t'ated that he had in very many casfs . exercised tho power of, healing, invariably with success. He stated that he would treat cases with or without doctors whenever ;ho was requested or directed. 'He reI cognised his power as a Divine e.iit, and the means ho chiefly employed were the laying-ou of hands and. prayer. liord Sandwich mentioned several cases in which he had relieved pain permanently or effected cures in persons suffering from cancer,. paraly&k?. sciatica, neuritis,' blindness, mania, etc. He-was unwilling to undertake to furnish the committee with particulars of his cures.- They wero indisputable and could be supported by the. evidence of very many-people, including members of the medical and.clerical profofrsions. •The evidence of the following other witnesses accompanies the report:— The Rev., Francis Boyd, vicar of St. Saviour's, Pimlico, who said his treat-ment-was by laying-on of hands with prayer and holy unction. The' Rev. "W. -_. Cobb,, rector of St. Ethelburga. Bishopsfrate, .said he was connected with "prayer, groups" in ■which sick persons wero prayed for, in most case_-without their knowledge; in several cases cures had resulted. Tho Rev. Percy Dearrner, vicar of St. Mary the "Virgin, said he believed spiritual, healing might operate at a distance. *""' The Rev. ■J. C. Fitzgerald, -Community of the Resurrection. Mirfield. said he'felt power'going forth from him. and that some stated that they had seen rays emanating from. his hands as he placed them on patients. Ho cited euros. He had treated many cases at a distance; he did not think the imposition of hands essential. ' Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, author of "Hypnotism and Treatment by Suggestion," said that while making the sn»gestionn, which he uttered in a whisper or low tone, he -told the patient he did not wish them listened to. He claimed results where ©very other means had failed, and never a death in his twentytwo year_ experience. His powers had increased. Dr.-C; Lloyd Tnckey, author of '''Psycho-Therapentics." said he regarded mental healing as a grade of hypnotism a_d the piaetice of unction as beneficial, arousjng hope and producing a state of ecstasy. - Dr M. B. W'rissht. author of ' _nggestion," said: "I have relieved WTiter _ and piano cramp'by suggestion, though I do not ui.derst_.-d the process." -The committeo.now.propose to direct their attention to formulating a basis of co-operation betweeen ministers of relijrion and members of the medical profcssioa in the treatment of disease, a .nd to enquiring carefully into the evidence for "mental" healing of organic or other serious disorders eubmitted for
CHURCH AND FAITH HEALING., Press, Volume L, Issue 11998, 19 June 1914
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