How Does Christ Heal? The Conditions, The Method, The Use Of Means
Natural and Supernatural
God is chary of the supernatural. He is lavish in nature. Nature is God in action. He loves nature’s roads. He made them. He prefers them. He will not hesitate for a moment to do the supernatural when the need calls for it. He will do a fresh act of creation, pure direct creation, before a single line of His Word is allowed to fail. He will reach through and above the natural channels with the added touch before He will let one trusting child of His, in intelligent touch of heart and will, know disappointment. The flood of power, more than the usual thing, waits any emergency that plainly calls for it. But, God loves nature’s regular paths. They are His own. Nature is God’s way of working things out. Christ avoids the sensational, the cheap, vulgar, catchy-in-the-bad-sense sensational. On more than one occasion He was at pains to avoid the crowd gaping for some touch of this morbid sort of sensationalism. Though nothing is so sensational, in the good sense, as God’s power in action in an unusual way in some sore emergency. Christ’s miraculous healing created a tremendous sensation. And He made use of that sensation to teach of the Father’s eager love, and gentle patience, and lavish power. The supernatural has a touch of the spectacular to us, because we are not used to it. It is unusual. It catches attention at once. The natural hardly gets any attention, we are so used to it. Nature is simple and quiet. The things that mean most to us, and to our daily lives, come noiselessly, softly. They work modestly. no one ever heard the sun or the moon, busily at work keeping the whole order of nature in blessed rhythm for our sakes. The dew does its gracious work shyly. It’s the small, warm, gentle rain that the soil welcomes most, and responds to most quickly. The air does its unfailing ministry so modestly we scarcely ever think of its presence, till some foul intruder spoils its sweet odour and neutralizes its life-giving power. Truth is a Quaker. It wears a plain garb and talks in quiet gentle speech. It never calls attention to itself. It goes by almost unnoticed in the bustle of the street. But it breathes out a healthful atmosphere, and leaves a fragrant trail. Error wears flashy clothes. It talks in loud, boisterous tones. It blusters, and swaggers the full width of the sidewalk. And the crowd stops and stares, and wists not that the air had been befouled. Error steals some truth for wings, else it would fall dead flat at once. The Devil borrows truth’s clothes, without asking permission. He talks in a loud, positive, there’s-no-doubt-about-this voice. So men’s eyes and ears may be caught and befouled. Nature is simple. That’s God’s touch. Satan tangles things up. Truth is so simple as to seem too easy, sometimes. One instinctively says “of course.” Sin makes life’s problems complex. Truth is plain spoken and unpretentious. One becomes wary and weary of a cloud of words, many words, long, big-sounding words. Christ is chary of the supernatural. He is lavish in nature. He gives so lavishly all the time that there would be no need of the other, the extra, the supernatural, if it were not for the terrible emergency of life. Sin is forever setting life all askew, and making emergencies. A single touch of the supernatural quickly catches the eye. A flood of the natural, keeping the whole swing of life a-going, rarely gets a thought. Yet, though already so lavish in His habitual giving, and so thoughtful about giving outside of this, Christ is on the eager run to give the more-than-common touch of power, the supernatural, when need be, to meet the ever present emergency so common in life. Sin’s ravages are epidemic. There’s a wilful ignoring of the simple natural laws of the body. There’s an ignorant disregard of nature’s beneficent laws of action. There’s a constant need of the supernatural touch. And Christ thought fully gives that touch in the way that will help us best and most. Our well-being, body and spirit, is precious to Him. The integrity of His pledged Word He holds sacred. He is on the heels of evil, like a flash, before any trusting child of His shall be disappointed, or a scratch of His Word allowed to slip.
Helping So As Not to Hurt
We’ve been talking about Christ’s power in healing; what He can do. We’ve spoken of His love in healing; what He will do, and do with an eager gladness. Now, we want to talk a bit together about Christ’s wisdom in healing, the way in which He does heal. There’s a rare wisdom in Christ’s method in healing men’s bodies. There is nowhere that wisdom is so much needed, rarest wisdom, as in giving. Those engaged in giving help to others habitually, in a larger or smaller way, know well what a fine art is needed here if men are not to be hurt when they are needing help. To give so as to help, and help in the best way, and help only, not hurt, is a fine art indeed. Nothing is more ticklishly difficult. Thoughtless giving is cheap and common, lazy and hurtful. Love is always thoughtful, though it cost more. But love ignores the cost even when it must be counted. In His healing, Christ is thinking always of two things, the immediate need and the deeper need, the body, and the man himself living in the body. Often helping the deeper need meets the bodily need too, and meets it in the best way. The glad, intelligent surrender to Christ as a Master brings certain changes in one’s habits. And this in turn radically affects the body and the health, oftentimes. Often Christ’s touch upon the life prepares the way for the touch upon the body. It does yet more. It leads to the intelligent thinking into things. And this in turn leads to such obedience to the laws of the body as to prevent a recurrence of the bodily trouble. Sometimes that obedience is very simple. Sometimes it is radical. It may mean breaking old habits in such common things as eating and sleeping and the methodical daily round. And health and healing are very dependent on these common things. Christ is love. And nowhere is love more put to it to be really helpful than in giving. The tangle of sin has come in to blur men’s eyes, and teeter their judgment this way or that, and especially to make the will twisted and abnormally set in its way. There are two things to note keenly here, as to how Christ heals. There are two “hows,” the how of conditions and the how of method. The conditions underlie all else. This has to do with one’s touch with Christ. The method has to do with the healing itself, the way it’s done. The physician and the sick man must get into touch. Christ and the man needing Christ’s healing power must get together. Some have supposed that saintliness is the requirement for the healing touch. They have supposed that the saintly may come and expect the healing touch; but hardly others. Well, of course, the closer the touch the better. And saintliness practically means simply a close touch, the habitual close touch. But it isn’t the saintliness that heals, nor because there is enough of it. There must be touch, of course. But it is Christ, Christ’s blood, that heals. It is never because of any merit in us such as saintliness suggests. It is through the contact, however saintly it may be or not, that Christ’s healing power comes in.
The “How” of Conditions
Now, the word about the conditions necessary for healing. Of course, there are always conditions. That’s a bit of the common sense of life. Whether it’s having a check honoured at the teller’s window, or having the right to run an automobile, Or, motoring through thick traffic in the city, or cooking a good meal, or playing golf, or keeping in good bodily shape, or polite social intercourse, or what not in the common run of life, there are always conditions. And here the conditions are so simple as to be almost laughable. And yet they are so in flexibly rigid as to be absolutely indispensable, like almost all conditions of life. Listen: come to Christ the Saviour, who died for our sins, as none other did, nor could, nor can. Ask for, and accept, forgiveness of your sins, and the cleansing from sin through His blood. Thank Him for dying for you and taking your sin away. Then, when the need comes, go at once to Him. Whatever the need may be, cleansing from some sin you’ve let in, power to break that evil habit, guidance in some difficult situation, or bodily healing of whatever sort, to whatever extent, go to Him. Go first to Him. Go to Him at once. He will forgive all our iniquities. He will heal all our diseases. He will prolong our days till the full span of life is run out. He will put His direct helpful touch on the outer circumstances, for our sake. He will renew the vigour of body and mind and spirit clear up to the measure it should be. This is His will for you and me. Now, it would be quite enough to stop right there. That tells the whole story of the conditions to be met. But, because things are quite a bit foggy, it will be good to talk a bit about just what this means in actual habit, in the common run of things, in daily life. We haven’t been taught about healing. Indeed we haven’t been taught much at all about the Christian life. There are always fine exceptions. We need to be taught. Then there will be an intelligent understanding. There will come to be a matured mellowed mental judgment. There will be a seasoned wisdom to know how to act in emergencies. There will be a habit of action formed. We will know how to meet opposition. We’ll understand about “the fiery darts.” For our enemy is cunning and practised. He’s an old hand in the fine art of befooling, and filling the air with foggy questions and doubts. An old seasoned soldier holds steady under fire when the new recruit takes to his heels. The experienced banker or broker keeps his head when panic threatens where the less-seasoned takes fright and maybe loses out. So there’s a bit more to say. It’s detail. It’s included in what has been said. It will really grow up out of that if one follows fully and truly and simply. It can be put into four words, an act, a purpose, a habit, an attitude. The act is the surrender to Christ as a master, not a Saviour simply but a master. In a thoughtful intelligent seasoned way Christ is to be allowed to sway all the habits, as the flame sways the dry kindling in the grate with a good draft. The personal habits, the home relationships and contacts, the daily work, or business or profession, the income and out-go, the recreations and social contacts, — all these, in a wholesome sane habitual way, are to be as you believe He would prefer. For He always has a preference, very decided. And when in doubt hold the thing in question open till the doubt quite clears. The surrender is an act, a glad act. Then it becomes a practice, a constant unwavering practice. And then it becomes a habit, a fixed unconscious habit of action. It simply means fullest touch of habit and motive and life with Him who died for us, out of the love of His heart, when He didn’t have to. This is the meaning of being in touch with Christ. The purpose is this: in everything to please Him. The purpose really becomes a passion, a tender, strong, tense passion, a passion of love, a passion for Him. It does not simply ask “is this wrong?” and leave it out. “Is this right?” and put it in. But this: “What would He prefer? What would please Him?” There are many things that aren’t wrong. You can prove that so far as logic goes. Though, of course, logic can be used to prove anything. And of course again, logic itself proves nothing. A thing may be proven not wrong. But if that quiet inner Voice tells you it is not best, not what He would prefer, then that is quite conclusive here for the man really in touch. Christ’s preference, Christ Himself, the Man who loved so, and loves, and cares what we do, this quite settles things for the man in touch. The habit is this: a bit of daily time off alone with the Book every day. The day may be crowded, but the man in touch finds that bit of time planned for, and growing longer of itself rather than shorter. What one really wants is always included, however crowded the day and the way. It’ll be time when the mind is fresh, or the nearest it comes to being fresh, whatever time that may be. It will be unhurried time, the spirit unhurried, even though the watch lies open before you. It will be time with the Book itself. And if one has a paragraphed Bible (such as the revisions), with good clear type, a copy pleasant to handle, and if he isn’t afraid to make notes on the margin so things will stand out, so much the better. In that bit of time each day, multiplied by as many days as the calendar provides, the vision clears, the understanding is taught, the purpose stiffens, the judgment seasons and acquires poise (that rarest thing!), the spirit gentles, the heart becomes purer and hotter (the normal heart condition), the brain cooler, the feet steadier, the up-reaching hand bolder, and the out-reaching hand warmer. This is what keeping in touch means. The continual attitude of mind and spirit comes instinctively under the sway of all this. One goes the simple daily round with an unspoken prayer and an inner song. There’s the doing of the endless commonplace things with a new spirit. They’re done for Him, as He did them in that Nazareth home and carpenter shop. The commonest things are done well because done under His eye. There may be monotony in act, but never in spirit. What would be drudgery becomes rhythm, because of the inner spirit. The ever-present One within, the song in your heart even when clouds gather, these sweeten the humdrum task. And when the unexpected comes, when the emergency suddenly looms, this quiet, steady attitude of spirit finds you ready. You are prepared. You hear the clear, quiet inner voice. You know instinctively what to do. And you hold still and steady till you do know. This is what keeping in touch means. The whole thing is just that, being in touch with Christ, and keeping in touch. This is the simple underlying condition for healing. This being in touch is the natural human thing. Anything else is not human. It’s an intrusion. Things are out of plumb. This simple natural touch with Christ means health, a normal bodily functioning all the time. It means protection from that which threatens your health. It means the direct healing touch, if and when, disease actually gets in. This is the first “how” of Christ’s healing, the how of conditions, getting and keeping in touch. Sin broke and breaks the touch with Christ. We were started in touch back in Eden. We are born into this world in touch, at least, creatively. And that’s no small thing. The whole fabric of modern life, as it actually is, tends to the breaking of that touch. The wilful doing what we want to when we instinctively know we should do something else, this starts or strengthens the break. Loss of touch means loss of strength, yes, bodily strength. And disease and sickness and weakness in general, in some way, come through that break. Coming to Christ, coming all the way, and staying, this mends up the break. He mends it up. Then the way is open for all one needs of whatever sort. And, when, some day He comes back again, there will be the fulness of touch in His immediate presence. Then the last lingering vestige of sin’s break in our bodies will be gone. The body laid away in the dust, in a believing hope, will know the fulness of life again, as will ours who are still living in that day.
The “How” of Method
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. To-day 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 to-day 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.”
The Seven Ways Healing May Come
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 co-operation. 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.
The Use of Means
But, now, we come direct to the question: what about the use of means? And the answer is simple. And it is an answer that answers. There need be no evasion here, smothered up in foggy rhetoric. The answer is this: ask Christ. Get in touch, if not already so. And then when the need comes ask Him. He will tell you. And if you are in touch, and you will listen quietly, you’ll hear His answer, clear and simple and positive. The dominant law of the Christian life, do you know what it is? This: obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading. This takes the first place, always. When there is any conflict this law displaces all others. Perhaps you ask, but how shall one know just what His leading is? And that question has al ready been answered in that bit on keeping in touch. Four things were named for keeping in touch with Christ, act, purpose, habit, attitude. That’s the answer here. In that habitual touch we will know clearly just what the Holy Spirit would have us do. And as we do what He tells us things will clear up for us yet more. Christ heals through means and the skilled human expert, sometimes. He heals without these, sometimes. He heals when the physician frankly confesses his inability to cure. And sometimes He heals by overcoming and counter acting the physician and the means used. Ask Him. He’s there by your side, inside. He’s intensely interested. He’s eager to tell you what to do. In this He is a true physician, for He advises. And, if it may be through means, remember it is His touch through the needed means that is effective. And His own personal direct touch is more, much more, than the means or the expert human counsel that He may know your body stands in need of. The wise physician is an expert in the body, its functions and its needs. Your body may be needing something it isn’t getting, may be needing it very badly. Modern cookery, with some exceptions, is washing out of the food chemical salts and other nourishment that our bodies need for health and strength. Modern commercialism, for just one instance now, is milling out of the wheat much, indeed most, of what the Creator put in to meet our bodily needs. No nations are better fed than these two English-speaking nations. Yet, as a matter of mere sober fact, with loaded tables, our bodies are being hurt, crippled, starved, for lack of needed nourishment. The Creator has put into the foods what our bodies need. We wash it out, or mill it out, or otherwise put or leave it out. The physician may find our bodies ailing sorely for lack of some element the food we eat should give, but doesn’t. It does not matter what you call it, if it actually supplies what is lacking. It is clearly the particular kind of nourishment the body needs and isn’t getting. The physician-expert, if he be wise enough, may help us live more in accord with the laws of our bodies commonly called the laws of health. A simple striking incident is told of Leo Thirteenth. He was elected pope in his later sixties. He was very frail in health. It is said that he was finally elected after a long contest because it was thought he could not live long. And then other plans could mature, and other ambitions among his electors could be achieved. So it was said. He outlived the entire College of Cardinals that elected him, finally dying in his ninety-fourth year, and remarkable for his intellectual vigour and his masterful grip on his policies to the end. And he himself explained the human side of such a long life in spite of his extreme physical disabilities. He said he was not an expert in the knowledge of his body. He had a physician to advise him about the care of his body. He followed faithfully the regimen of food, exercise, sleep and so on prescribed for him. Clearly he must have had a really wise skilled physician. And he attributed to this his remarkable mental vigour clear to the end of his unusually long life. We may be disobeying flagrantly some law of our bodies. Obedience is the universal law of all life. There can’t be health and vigour of body without intelligent obedience to its laws. We are all fairly ignorant, for intelligent people really remarkably ignorant, in this regard. In the bodily emergency that has arisen there may be need of expert advice and guidance. One at once remembers that this thoughtful intelligent obedience to the laws of the body is strictly in accord with God’s general line of action. He loves nature’s roads. He made them. They are sufficient for all common use. We are supposed to use our thinking apparatus. Really, regeneration means a new mental birth as well as a new spirit birth. But that’s another story. Yet, be it keenly noted, in the emergency the supernatural swings into action. And life is full of emergencies…. If one can imagine the supernatural healing touch given unwisely it is clear that it would confirm us in our ignorant or wilful disobedience to the law of our bodies. Then another crisis comes, and another healing, and so on. Could anything be more abnormal? What a childish level of action! Instead Christ would lead us up to the level of intelligent mature action…. Ask Christ. He’ll be glad to tell you. But you must be careful to obey, simply, intelligently, fully. Failure to obey dulls the ears. You won’t be so keen to hear next time He speaks…. The Holy Spirit is so practical. He’s a real Friend. He wants to help. He helpeth our infirmities, of all sorts. Ask Christ. He’ll tell you. And you’ll hear if your ear is open, and your inner spirit quiet enough. Do you remember the homely bit in the story of the healing of Hezekiah? (II Kings 20: 1-18. Isaiah 38: 1-8, 21.) In answer to his pleading prayer Isaiah is sent with a message. And this is part of what he said, “Take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster on the boil, and he will recover.” Then there was the supernatural shift backward of the shadow on the sun dial as an indication that God was actually at work on his behalf. What an exquisite blend of the homely and the divine, the natural and the supernatural! There was something Hezekiah’s body needed that human hands could do. There was something else needed in his body that only God’s touch could reach. The poultice did what it could. God’s touch did what no poultice could have done. Both are used. God loves nature’s roads. But He unhesitatingly gives the more-than-natural touch when need be. Ask Him. He’ll tell you. Then be sure you give Him the praise, as Hezekiah failed to do when his royal guest came from a far country. One can understand that God moved the King of Babylon to come when he heard of Hezekiah’s remarkable healing. Hezekiah failed God, and failed his visitor, too.
Sanity and Saintliness
There’s a fellowship of saintly Christian people who, among other blessed truths, teach healing by Christ’s direct touch. Their testimony and activity have been graciously owned and used by God throughout the homeland and the foreign-mission world. They insist that no means be used. It is a common word among them that to consult a physician and to use means reveal a lack of faith. One is reluctant to say a word that even seems critical of such a saintly consecrated folk. Yet, clearly such condemnation of means is not according to the teaching of Scripture, nor the Holy Spirit’s leading, nor God’s general dealing with men, nor according to good sanctified common sense. The Holy Spirit’s leading is the one touchstone of what to do. It is striking that the most prominent false system of healing to-day, distinctly non-Christian, though using Christian phraseology, makes this same insistence on not using any material help of any sort. It is the one point of contact between two groups diametrically opposed at every other point. One needs to avoid extremes. The sanity of the Holy Spirit awes. If one may say it with utmost reverence, the Holy Spirit is always so sane. There is no one so sane as the man actually under the control of the Holy Spirit. It’s a touchstone. Saintliness and sanity naturally go together. Faith Street is on the top of a hill. There are two roads slanting down on opposite sides, down to the lowlands and swamps. On one side is Doubt Street. The slant down is scarcely noticeable at the first. It is so slight. And there are unseen traffic men always trying, by this means or that, to start you off that way, if ever so little at first. On the opposite side of the hill is Queer Street. Its slant downward is almost none at all at the first. Still it’s there. Queer Street has a large number of one-room bungalows. So many personally lovely saintly people associate, all alone, each with himself, down there. The only proper place to live is up on the top of the hill on Faith Street. The air is bracing there. Fogs and clouds are blown away. Indeed some object that the air is too sharp. It’s a searching air, they say. And then, they say, it’s such a steep slant up to the top. It pulls your strength so, and takes your breath getting up. But those who live there habitually talk much of the bracing quality of the atmosphere. The view is very clear, and far, and unobstructed. And there’s a wondrous wind-harp on the top, whose soft rhythmic chordings refresh and strengthen. Let us each one hire a moving van, if need be, and move up the steep slope to the top of the hill, and settle down up on Faith Street, and refuse to be budged down either way by the insistent traffic man. It is interesting to notice that it is entirely possible to be both sane and saintly. No one is so sane as one actually swayed by the Holy Spirit in his mental processes, as well as in the habit of his life. Keeping in touch with Christ through the Book, and the knees, and the habitual recognition of His presence, and keeping in touch with other humans, this keeps one wholesomely sane. It seasons both spirit and mental judgment. Then, when any need arises, the first thing is to ask Him, Christ, for the healing touch, and to ask Him what to do, if anything. He guides us in the use of our common sense. The man surrendered in heart and will the Holy Spirit guides in thinking things through, and in knowing what to do (Psalm 25:9). It ought to be the blessed commonplace that all bodily ailments, slight or serious, be prayed over the first thing. I remember a gentle-faced young mother in the West, with two or three young children. She quietly said that as ailments arose with any of the children she always prayed with them, simply, briefly. And she knew, she said, what a practical difference it made. If it’s a serious case, perhaps a chronic case already in hand, the thing is to have a bit of quiet time alone with Christ over His book. Have a bit of getting in touch afresh. Ask Christ. Wait quietly for His answer. Cultivate the quiet inner spirit. Ask expectantly, remembering that it is His first will to heal. He is willing to heal, and more is eager to heal. Reach out your hand and take all His Pierced Hand is reaching down to give…. Let us live in simple, full touch of life with our living Christ. And when any need may come go to Him. It is His eager will to advise with us, and above all to heal us, to His glory. For those we touch will know what a Christ Christ is. It will let them see His glory, that is, see the sort of a Saviour He is.