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cattle, whales and all that move in the waters. The clay has · anointed his eyes. From the hem of a robe, plucked in passing, he has found virtue to proceed. Handkerchiefs and aprons have brought him healing, and haply the shadow of Peter passing by. Relics he venerates as personal effects of holiness. He is never scandalized by bits of the true Cross, for he has accepted the scandal of the Cross as a whole. He has the grossest conception of substance because he sees that nothing is excluded from transubstantiation.
And then, just when the logically-minded expect him to worship a wafer, he does nothing of the kind. This thorough-going materialist is not in the least likely to apotheosise matter. If he did not believe in matter, he would, of course, worship every wafer. For in that case a wafer would not be a sacrament or even a symbol; it would be the Eternal “ realizing Itself.'
.To withhold worship would be impiety. He would be an idolater out of sheer necessity. He would not merely be an idolater of the Mass; he would be an idolater of the mascot. In point of fact, he would be a Vital-immanentist.
Sacramentalism is the transmutation of nature which, otherwise, would never get a move on. A million grains of corn ripen and one of them becomes the vehicle of the Eternal. A million candles are molded, and one of them“ giveth light unto the world.” A million coins are minted, and two of them become the widow's mites. Say that all wealth is GOD'S, that all candles burn with His light, that all grains embody His life, and you do not make the world Divine, you simply make Deity mundane, that is to say, you eliminate GOD. To the vital-immanentist the universe presents the tame image of an imprisoned GOD. To the Christian it has the excitement of a Divine invasion. To the pantheist the menial is the menial, obviously and hopelessly so. To the pantheist an ass, laden and beaten and obstinate, is the degradation of GOD, all the while he rebukes this manner of prophet and cries
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far, fierce hour, and sweet:
And palms before my feet.
sacramental! But to the votary of impersonal piety there is no raising the world throughout the entire stuff of it. If the universe be the incarnation, ring down the curtain!
August is here, and the fluid glory of ripe corn. Somewhere in these flowing miles are grains destined to embody GOD. A stream of water leaps from the rock, cooling the day with the music of its plash. I watch in imagination its course of mercy to the soiled and parched city. I watch it till at last in the font it becomes no longer the symbol of cleansing but “ the mystical washing away of sin.” This it is that gives to the whole material world its romance. It is the potency of earth that appeals to the Christian. He never knows what valleys may laugh and sing next, what streams may make glad the city of GOD, what water-floods may discover to him the Lord sitting above them. The Gospel is for the solid earth no less than for the imponderable spirit. These terrestrial habitations belong not to Lucifer or Pan but to Him Whose Name is Saviour and Love. Not only will He“ not leave us in the dust"; He will not leave the dust where it is. All that is is the alchemy of Him Who saith, “ Behold I make all things new," all things, all sheep and oxen, yea and the beast of the field, the fowls of the air and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. The sacramentalist sees the world rising from height to height, exultant with the presage of a splendor ever on before. " There is a spiritual body”; in that immense and awful affirmation lies the possibility of unceasing interpenetration. The elevation of the Host is the elevation of the universe.
The Necessary Guidance of the Present
Revival of Interest in Prayer*
Rev. WILLIAM AUSTIN SMITH, D.D.
tener, and by scrutinizing the wares there offered for sale, one may discover some of the things which people are seeking in the present revival of interest in prayer and the use which they purpose to make of religion.
He is a bold person who would assert that none of the socalled miracles of Christian healing can happen. A dogmatic condemnation of such miracles is certainly not in the spirit of modernist principles. The new Nancy School of Psychology claims that psychical impulse can inhibit the multiplication of malignant cells. Under the influence of suggestion, it is claimed that epitheliomata, a species of cancer, has been known to undergo complete absorption. The line between organic and inorganic diseases is not being as rigidly drawn as once it was. Mr. Hickson has asserted that he has cured cancer. M. Coué relates the case of a boy with a severe endo-carditis, showing the most advanced symptoms and physical signs in every valve, becoming a picture of health after a few treatments by auto-suggestion, revealing a perfectly compensated heart, and able to run three miles without respiratory distress.
What are the limits in which mind can modify living matter! Do miracles of healing really take place! And if so, at what point must direct divine intervention be assumed to supplement the workings of natural processes? None of these questions shall I attempt to answer in this paper. We are on the borderland of vast, unexplored territory between the physical and the psychical. What further explorations shall reveal, none of us would dare to say. But we think it ought to be said that the fact that certain physical results, miraculous in their appearance, can be affected by suggestion, does not deprive prayer of any of its glory when suggestion is used in the name of religion.
• This was read as a paper at the Church Congress, in Baltimore, April 28, 1922.
Mr. Hickson, I believe, thinks that it does. Because suggestion, without faith in God, can work miracles of healing, it does not discredit the religious value of the same miracle wrought by prayer. If the physician can do by suggestion what Mr. Hickson can do by the laying on of hands, science has not discredited Mr. Hickson nor impugned the power of God.
Our topic, if I understand its scope, is not, “ Do miracles happen through prayer!" “ Can prayer cure cancer, remove or check tuberculosis, heal heart lesions?” The topic suggests, if I understand it aright, that there is needed today some theological guidance in our popular prayer movements, and certain safeguards against unwarranted claims by the clergy and other healers; that by definite ethical and religious instruction prayer may be given its right direction and content.
The kind of prayer we utter depends, does it not? upon what we believe about the nature of God, and what we believe to be the supreme gifts that He can bestow upon us. The practice of prayer,
of course, like all religious practice, may grow in richness and perfection of technique. What a man may ask of God in the distracted or frenzied moment when he falls upon his knees, may not be at all the gift he would ask ten minutes or half an hour after he has been in communion with God. Yet, whatever the temptation to ask inferior gifts of the Spirit may be, well instructed Christians ought to know the goal at which prayer should aim. Let us, therefore, ask what principles ought to guide us in prayer. If we know the dangers, we may, perhaps, be fitted to seek for the proper safeguards. Those safeguards must, of course, be found in our outlook upon life and our definitions of religion and of God.
Clergymen and laymen ought not to make claims of the results of prayer which they cannot verify. If the data upon which verification rests cannot be presented for examination to witnesses competent to weigh such evidence, then the clergy, like men of science, ought to withhold their claims. I begged Mr. Hickson, in the interest both of science and religion, to assemble committees consisting of reputable physicians and competent laymen to follow up the cases of cures in his healing missions, that the Church might have definite evidence, at least concerning some of these claims of the power to heal organic disease. Mr. Hickson believes that such scientific investigation would seem to belittle the power of God.
There is, indeed, an abundance of verifiable results in prayer open to us all. The prayer of faith which reposes the human will in the Divine, and seeks sustenance, guidance, light and strength, is always answered. Weak men receive strength; blind men receive spiritual sight; anxious, worldly, restless souls get quietude and peace; listless hearts become awake to the consciousness of power and purpose; souls filled with envy and covetousness become selfless and magnanimous. Wills weakened by indulgence are fitted to resist evil; nervous, irritable, self-centred, fear-ridden men and women are released from their chains, and the bodies and minds take on new energy and life. Every clergyman knows these facts. No reputable physician would think of denying them. We do the medical profession a grave wrong if we suppose that they are not conversant with the physical as well as the moral effect of prayer. In that endless procession of sick and ailing folk that passes through their offices, they have learned something about human nature. They have seen the need and witnessed the effect of a wholesome, religious faith. Doctors are not fools, all of them; they will go far with Mr. Hickson and the rest of us in our claims, and they are at times patiently silent when they ought to call us to account for trespassing in provinces where we may do grave damage. They are sending patients whom they cannot cure to our healing classes. Indeed, if they were disposed to be illtempered, they might accompany these patients with a letter saying that had we clergymen done our job better upon these poor, sick folk, they would never have found their way into physicians' waiting-rooms.
If men and women, after hearing from our pulpits the good tidings of the Gospel, having received for years the sacramental strength of the Church, are still living lives perilized by worldliness, morbid introspection and fear, then we have indeed been careless shepherds of our sheep and opaque transmitters of the healing light of Heaven.
But when the physician sends a patient to one of our healing missions, the physician's expectations are both scientific and religious; whereas the healer's claims are sometimes neither