THE FORCES of evil, and their effect, not only upon ourselves but upon others, especially the influence of the parents upon children, already referred to in these columns, was recently set forth by Prof. Gates, showing that our various mental conditions exercise a strong influence for good or evil, as respects the health or disease of our bodies. His claim is that anger, malice, hatred, fear and in general all the evil passions which sweep over fallen mankind, mentally exercise a deleterious chemical influence, through our nerves, upon the blood, while wholly pure, happifying, loving thoughts exercise a healthful influence. Referring to this subject, the Congregationalist says, "Prof. Elmer Gates asserts that the malevolent passions create poisons in the blood which are detectable by chemical analysis. It has been demonstrated, over and over again, that the nursing child can be poisoned, or even killed, by a sudden fit of anger in the mother, and we begin to understand why, when we realize that the anger actually caused material poisons to germinate in the lifegiving fluid [the mother's milk]. Then we can begin to comprehend how a state of unrest, of fear, of rage, of jealousy, of lack of self-control, in the mother, will interfere with perfect nutrition of the child, and fill its tissues with the poisons which these malevolent passions generated in the mother's blood."
Thus we see how it comes that wherever the purifying and uplifting influence of the Gospel of Christ goes, not only are the parents benefited, and caused to enter into a rest and peace and joy which the world can neither give nor take away, but additionally the influence of the spirit of righteousness, through kindness, love, extends to the neighborhood, and especially to the families of the consecrated. Thus it is that during centuries those who have come in contact with the Word of God, the fountain of the pure Gospel, have been most blessed and most uplifted in the scale of human civilization, and are the most noble specimens of the race, the best mentally, possessed of a larger degree of the spirit of a sound mind than others. And the more Christian people learn respecting the good influence of the true religion, taught in the Lord's Word, upon the health and happiness of themselves, their children and others, the stronger and the better that influence should be.
When last we referred to this subject of the influence of the mind over the body for health or for disease some seemed to get the impression that it was a concession on our part to the theories of so-called "Christian Science" which claims to be a "mind-cure," pure and simple. But we answer No; there is not the slightest sympathy between the view which we have just expressed and the theory of "Christian Science." The two theories are exact opposites. "Christian Science" teaches that there is no pain, no sickness, no sorrow, no death, except as people imagine these. Their system of cure is that people should lie to themselves and stick to the lies until by anti-suggestion self-hypnotization is effected and they believe the lie—Satan cooperating to establish this latter-day delusion that, if it were possible, the very elect might be deceived and perverted from the truth as laid down in the Lord's Word, and that still others might be confused and made skeptical.
The opposite of all this is what we teach. It is not new but old. It truthfully admits the fact (1) that the whole creation is groaning and travailing in pain; (2) that this is a part of the dying process, the result of the original sentence or "curse" upon father Adam, as the just penalty of sin. But (3) it not only assures us that we are sadly and seriously wounded, physically, morally and [R2385 : page 332] mentally undone, but it presents an all-healing remedy—the blood of Christ, the merit of our Redeemer's sacrifice on our behalf,—and offers us "life more abundant" through obedience to him. It is to such as have thus laid hold of the hope set before us in the gospel, that we declare that true faith and trust in this Savior rests the mind as well as binds up the broken heart, and thus in proportion to our faith, trust and obedience it becomes a fount of joy, peace and blessing which extends its influence to all of life's affairs and to a considerable extent to our physical health. "Blessed [every way] is the man that trusteth in the Lord:" he is able to rejoice in tribulation, in sickness, in poverty—in every condition he is blest, and may be joyous in realizing that the light afflictions of the present time are working out a far more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory to those who are rightly exercised by them.