Then, there's the second "how" of healing, the how of method. What about the use of means? No question is more often asked in this connection. And there is the utmost confusion about the right answer.
When Christ was here there was no science of healing. There always has been a natural healing practised by men. The Jews have been noted for their skill in the use of herbs and other simples, and in nursing. Luke was in all probability such a physician.
today there is far more knowledge of the human body, and of the effects upon it of certain substances found in the vegetable world. There has grown up through years a fund of experience and of wisdom and skill in this regard. Properly used it is invaluable in discerning just what the ailment is, and what is wisest to do.
In spite of malpractice, wrong and faulty diagnosis, guesswork and experimentation, the unwise use of drugs, the commercialism, and the rapid putting of people through a wholesaling process in medical practice, and a not-good professionalism, in spite of these there is a human science of healing.
It is most striking that outstanding men in that science today put greatest emphasis on the non-use of drugs, on the sort and preparation and quantity of food, on the general habit of life, and on the mental attitude.
Above all else skill in accurate diagnosis, the actual discernment of just what the trouble is, is distinctly rare. It is rare in its common scarcity. And it is rarer yet in its value, its influence on needed action for relief.
There has grown up in recent years a new group of physicians, known by various names, who stress natural methods, the disuse of drugs, correcting wrong adjustments in the body by skilful manipulation, proper use of proper food, and like measures.
Without doubt, the Christian physician, studious and conscientious, dispassionately abreast of the latest real learning in his science, in real touch habitually with Christ, and under the sway of the Holy Spirit, free from the pride of mere professionalism.
Concerned only and above all in having his patient get well, with a simple faith in the present power of a living Christ, such a physician would be aided by the Holy Spirit in discovering the real ailment, and used in ministering to relief and healing.
But you say quickly, "Where is such a physician?" and I say, quite confidently, there have been such physicians, and there are. Though one regrets their scarcity, and prays most fervently that their number might be increased. For, be it keenly marked, this would be strictly in line with God's way of doing things. Their very absence or scarcity simply makes greater the need of going direct to the great Physician.
Here is a quotation from the lips of a physician, than whom it is said none stands higher in the profession in these two English-speaking nations. The quotation is a recent one, and is taken from a standard religious journal.
This famous physician said, "I believe that prayer does cure disease. Healing comes to some individuals directly through prayer, I am sure. I use it in my practise and rely on it today more often than on medicine. I believe that prayer is the contributing factor in the victory over disease.
"If I had no material means at hand I should use prayer alone, with confidence that it would work the cure, if recovery were in conformity with God's will. And when prayer has thus been made a factor in recovery I believe it is through direct action on the part of God."