It was not necessary for his disciples to know the esoteric science of healing, in order to enable them to heal the sick, any more than it is for us to-day. We may know how little the knowledge of true scientific principles involved in the exercise of that power has to do with success in healing, when we observe the diversity of views entertained on the subject by the successful healers of modern times. Christ gave to the world all the knowledge necessary for the successful exercise of that power in the one word faith. He was the first who taught that lesson to mankind; and it holds as good to-day as it did when he first proclaimed it to the multitude upon the banks of the Jordan.
1 Matthew xiii. 10, 11, 13, 15, 34, 35.
The second reason for withholding a statement of the scientific principles involved in his manifestations of power and his spiritual philosophy was that he foresaw the time approaching when the world would reason it out for itself; and that when that time came, mankind would be prepared to receive it. He foresaw that in the progress of civilization and enlightenment the time would surely come when the world would not be content to rest its belief upon the doctrine of any one, whatever his claims to inspiration or authority. In other words, he foresaw the present age of materialism, and its tendency towards scepticism regarding everything which cannot be scientifically demonstrated by the inductive processes of reasoning. He knew that when that epoch should have arrived in the history of man's intellectual development, the truth of his doorlines would be all the more forcibly impressed upon mankind if the) could be proved by the inexorable rules of logic. Besides, science and inductive reasoning would have been lost upon the people with whom he had to deal.
That he fully realized this is shown by his implied rebuke to the nobleman of Capernaum, when he exclaimed, "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe." To have attempted to reason with them would have been like "casting pearls before swine." He appealed to them by the only logic they could understand. He offered to them the only evidence they could appreciate, - the evidence of their senses.
That Christ foresaw the time when the world would be in possession of indubitable evidence of the truth concerning him, but that he knew that the time had not yet come, is clearly shown by his remarks to his disciples in his memorable interview with them just previous to his crucifixion:
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." 1
This refers to the then existing conditions. He had given them all the proofs that they were capable of appreciating of the truth of his doctrines. In the next sentence he refers to the time to come, when still more evidence would be given to the world.
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth." 2
This clearly refers to the time, which was yet to come, when mankind should seek the truth and demand to know it. The " Spirit of truth " is a personification of that spirit in man which seeks to learn the truth for its own sake, by the only process known to this world, - inductive reasoning. That day has come. The Spirit of truth is abroad throughout all the civilized world, and it demands reasons for the faith that is in the Christian Church. Again Christ said:-
1 John xvi. 12.
2 John xvi. 13.
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
"And ye shall also bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." 1
The first verse above quoted has the same meaning as this last quotation. The second refers to the events of his life of which they were witnesses. He foresaw that the record of those events would be read by future generations, and compared with later experiments. He had left the power to heal as a heritage to all who should come after him, possessing the requisite faith; and he knew that the testimony of his disciples concerning the works that he had performed would be compared with later exhibitions of the same power. He foresaw that the "Spirit of truth " would eventually discover the laws pertaining to his doctrines and his works, and that a comparison of the testimony of his followers with the discoveries of science would demonstrate to the world the essential truth of his history and of his spiritual philosophy.
I shall now briefly point out a few of the more salient features of the history of Jesus which bear upon the subject under consideration, and shall undertake to show, first, how the discoveries of modern science confirm the accounts of his physical manifestations; and secondly, how they confirm the essential features of his spiritual philosophy.
The prominent feature of his physical manifestations consisted in healing the sick; and in the discussion of the first division of the subject I shall confine myself to the consideration of that part of his career.
1 John xv. 26, 27.
The first proposition bearing upon the subject is, that Jesus Christ was the first who correctly formulated the exact conditions necessary and indispensable to the exercise of the power to heal the sick by psychic methods.
The second proposition is, that the conditions which he declared to be necessary to enable him to exercise that power are the same conditions which are indispensable to-day.
These propositions will be considered together.
The condition which he declared to be essential, not only in the patient, but in the healer, is embraced in the one word faith. That word, more than any other, expresses the whole law of human felicity and power in this world, and of salvation in the world to come. It is that attribute of mind which elevates man above the level of the brute, and gives him dominion over all the physical world. It is the essential element of success in every field of human endeavor. It constitutes the power of the human soul. When Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed its potency from the hill-tops of Palestine he gave to mankind the key to health and to heaven, and earned the title of Saviour of 'the World.