Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/779

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CHRISTIAN SCIENCE.

757

employ mental suggestion as a therapeutic means, rely upon it as a part of their armamentarium, and use it in appropriate cases, either alone or combined with other means of cure, as electricity, hydrotherapy, and drugs—which last, despite Mrs. Eddy's foolish denunciation, are quite as much entitled to be considered divinely appointed therapeutic agents as is mental suggestion.

What I did want especially to discover was whether the Christian Scientist could cure such diseases as are considered by the medical man to be incurable—as cancer, locomotor ataxia, or advanced phthisis—and also what were the results of their treatment of typhoid fever, pneumonia, diphtheria, malaria, etc. And I wanted also to investigate the claims of Christian Science concerning the alleged cure of surgical conditions, such as necrosis or hæmorrhage from severed arteries, by no other means than the sole exercise of thought. If the Christian Scientist could have healed in such cases, I for my part would have declared him a worker of miracles. Therefore I searched diligently for such cases.

In the beginning I had the honor to meet Mrs. Stetson, the "pastor," or the "first reader," of the "First Church of Christ, Scientist," at 143 West Forty-eighth Street, New York city. I had prepared a number of questions concerning Christian Science which I wished to ask Mrs. Stetson. She preferred, however, not to answer them herself, but told me that she would be pleased to forward them to Mrs. Eddy. I then wrote out these questions and put them, together with a letter to Mrs. Eddy, very respectfully requesting her consideration of them, in Mrs. Stetson's hands. Mrs. Stetson then very kindly forwarded them to Mrs. Eddy. Among the questions which I asked were the following:

Is the treatment of the sick a part of Christian Science?

Upon what principles is the Christian Scientist's method of treatment founded?

How do you define health?

How do you define disease?

When a patient presents himself to you, do you inquire concerning the causes of his illness?

Do you investigate symptoms? (Symnptoms, I stated, are the signs of disease.)

Do you make diagnoses? (A diagnosis, I stated, is a consideration of symptoms by which one disease is distinguished from another or others.)

In what does your treatment consist?

In treating a patient, do you administer any material substance, and require that it be taken into the body as one would food?