It will help much to remember here that there are seven different ways in which healing may come to the diseased body, four natural, two supernatural, one a blend.
There is a natural healing without human co-operation. The Creator has graciously put a healing power in the human body. If you cut your finger instantly nature goes to work. The blood begins to coagulate and staunch the flow. That power within begins to make new tissue, enough, to bring up the two edges of the wound together, and to heal it up completely.
This has been true, of course, since Eden days, through the centuries, and everywhere, in savage jungles and krall, and in cultured city centre.
There is the same natural healing assisted by human cooperation. A right mental attitude exerts enormous influence.
The term "subjective mind" is used for certain mental faculties and processes. The term "objective mind" is used for other mental faculties and processes or functions. Maybe some day the thing can be put into simpler words for us common folk to grasp more clearly. Mental science has not yet been fully charted.
Without doubt, the subjective mind, or the subjective functions of the mind, do control the sensations and functions of the body. The imagination plays an incalculable part here.
Again, without question, the objective mind or processes control the subjective mind as absolutely as the subjective mind controls the body. The body is the slave of the subjective mind in its instant, full, I had almost said, abject obedience to it. The subjective mind is the slave of the objective mind as absolutely.
Our knowledge, and reasoning, and deciding, and the insistent set-of-mind affect the imagination enormously. And this in turn actually controls in large measure bodily conditions.
Incidentally, just now, here is the process of faith, a simple faith in Christ, inbreathed by His Holy Spirit, through His Word or more directly, as all faith is.
The objective mind lays hold of Christ's promise, and accepts unquestioningly the result as already quite assured. The subjective mind in obedience to that at once goes to work to produce the needed changes in the body.
Then, quite in addition to this, as the need may be, there is a supernatural touch of Christ's own direct power coming in, and working directly upon the body, and also working through this purely natural process.
The thing to mark just now is that the whole mental attitude, both conscious and unconscious, affects enormously the free working of that natural healing correcting power within every man's body. The processes of grace are as fascinating as a romance.
Then there is this natural healing power assisted by expert knowledge and practised skill. Here is where the true physician comes in. And the most a physician ever can do is to assist this natural healing power.
The wise physician recognizes this, and freely acknowledges it. He is merely nature's assistant. His best work is in finding out, what that natural power already knows, just what the trouble really is.
Then he can be of real assistance, and only then. Otherwise he is only a poor bungler hindering. And if he be sufficiently wise, and humble enough, and maybe sometimes unprofessional enough, merely to be an assistant, so far all is well.
And when healing comes what the assistant has done is distinctly the smaller part. That natural healing power has done the big thing, under a wondrous unseen personal Physician directly directing and aiding.
My eye was quickly caught with the legend cut deep into the gray stone over a large hospital building near one of our largest Eastern cities. It said "Man tends; God mends."
The truth got out that time. The big thing is done by God, that is, as is commonly said, by nature. Man's highest place is as an attendant. And surely it would be scientific and wise and good common sense for the attendant physician to be in closest sympathetic touch with his Chief of-staff.
What a tragic thing for the poor patient when he isn't. This is the third way in which healing may come, the natural healing power within the body assisted by human skill.
Then there is a fourth way. The natural healing, in spite of, and overcoming unwise bungling and lack of skill. The human touch in this case puts a greater burden on the natural healing.
And oftentimes the burden proves too much. The human touch is an interference. Nature is outdone. And the poor patient limps slowly along, or his life slips its tether.
There are two supernatural ways in which healing comes. There is the direct supernatural touch of Christ, distinctly in addition to anything that nature or human skill or both can do. And this is the one thing which this series of Talks is mainly concerned with.
And there is a second supernatural healing, the Devil's. A strange thing this! That comes in for separate treatment in a later Talk.
And then, of course, there may be a blend of two or more of these. Four natural, two supernatural, and a blend of these two.