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OUR notice of the "Miracle Wheat" grown in Virginia, the grower reports, has caused him lots of trouble answering letters and returning money sent for small samples. He has shown us representative stalks of the wheat and photos of its growing in the field, fully corroborating all that we have published respecting the same. But he refuses to sell any of it until he has secured a fair stock, which will be in a few years hence.
Meantime the matter has brought out the fact that others are also propagating "Miracle Wheat," as witnessed by the subjoined reports. We advise farmers to begin at once to inspect their wheat before cutting and cull out for seed the choicest, fullest heads or most "stooled." Our thought is that in this natural way God is preparing for the Millennium, when "the earth shall yield her increase."
W. W. Ward, of Dayton, Washington, has discovered a new variety of wheat that has seven distinct heads united to a common base. And each head is larger than the ordinary wheat. Ward figures that the new variety will yield as high as 280 bushels to the acre, with an average of 200 bushels.
Hundreds of farmers have visited the Ward ranch and are intensely interested in the new wheat. All have asked for a few pounds of the seed, but Ward is figuring upon further experiments and plans to plant all of this year's crop next season, enlarging his present area to about three acres.
Is the modern criminal to be reformed by means of the surgeon's knife? Is our whole penal system—reformatories, jails, and asylums for criminal lunatics—to be abolished, while society depends for protection, and looks for the elevation to a higher moral standard of the thief and the murderer to a few inches of steel wielded by the hand of a strong-nerved genius of science?
Recent miracles of surgery, such as those performed by Dr. Bernard Hollander, who has recently claimed that criminals should be judged according to a medical standard, suggest that we are on the eve of a revolution in our treatment of the criminal and insane, and that in a few years a dozen cuts of the lancet will effect a greater change in the moral equipment of the Ishmaelites of society than years of confinement in a jail.
Look at the case of Holzay, otherwise known as "Black Bart," the terror of half-a-dozen states in America. No treasure on board a train was secure against his evil designs; no plans of the detectives were sufficient safeguard against his desperate courses. "Black Bart" stole and murdered with impunity; but in a slack moment he fell into the hands of the police and his criminal career was closed by a sentence of imprisonment for life. In a few weeks he was removed to the criminal lunatic asylum, and the prison surgeons, deliberating long and anxiously over his case, came to the conclusion that "Black Bart's" crimes were not so much the result of "cussedness" as a sheer inability to run in the straight and narrow path. His brain was affected by a tumor; remove the growth, they said, and it's a thousand chances to one that "Black Bart" will become a fairly decent member of society. The operation was performed, and in six weeks the nature of the once desperate criminal had completely changed. The knife, while removing the tumor, would seem to have removed his evil passions as well; his old blood-thirstiness had disappeared, and prison-wardens, who formerly hesitated to approach him unless in couples, found him as harmless as, and more tractable than, a child.
Not long since a Welsh railway porter fractured his skull by falling off a truck. He was trephined, and apparently got well, but always suffered from epileptic fits. His usual alertness deserted him, and instead of being a bright, intelligent man, he became drowsy and listless, indifferent to all that was going on around him. In this condition he was taken to the Liverpool infirmary, where it was found that the old hole in the skull was an inch long, and that a flap of skin, including the old scar, was directly attached to the brain. What did the surgeons do? They scraped the folds of the brain clear of this skin, and placed between the brain and the bone a thin plate of gold in order to prevent them sticking together again. Over this the skin was neatly [R4250 : page 292] drawn and securely sewn. A week later the patient was sitting up in bed; in a month or less he was reading the newspapers, and taking a keen and intelligent interest in the busy world around him. The instruments of the surgeon had saved him from becoming a human log; they had brightened his brain, and sharpened his faculties as no treatment in an asylum could have done.
A somewhat similar case was that of Jay Lentz, employed as a foreman at the Great Western mines at Harmon, in Virginia. He was caught under a fall of slate, his skull was broken, and a piece of his brain was torn from the main structure. Of course, his mental condition immediately changed for the worse. The doctors, faced by a terrible problem, resolved on heroic measures. The shattered brain was neatly dressed. A healthy yearling calf was tied down, her skull cut away, and a lobe of the brain removed and fitted into the cavity of Lentz' head. Slow, but sure, was the miner's progress towards recovery. As his physical health improved his old-time intellectual brightness came back, until he was able to resume his ordinary occupation in life.
More marvelous still, however, is a case in which the surgeon's knife has been used to restore the moral faculties, with a boy as the subject. The boy is Carl Fredericks of Hoboken, whose brain is so peculiarly formed, say the doctors, that if left alone he would never do right. The growth of the brain matter has installed in him a tendency toward perpetual evil. Let us rid his skull of the excess, said the surgeons, and see if any moral improvement is visible. Certain parts of the brain, which were considered to cause the trouble, were cut away, and the effect was surprising. Carl is growing good; his wicked tendencies are gradually disappearing, and it is expected that in a few years he will have his full quota of moral faculties.—London Exchange.
About a year ago, two ministers of New England decided to try methods analogous to those used by Spiritists, Eddyists, Mormons and Hypnotists for the cure of diseases. They met with a measure of success, as do the others. The news of their methods is spreading, and a prominent publishing firm, with a Methodist D.D. at its head, is now sending circular letters to ministers everywhere, advertising two new books which they publish, explaining how the work can be carried on by any preacher along hypnotic lines.
We print below extracts from a long article in the Kansas City Star, detailing the fact that Rev. A. T. Osbron of its city, is endeavoring to use hypnotism to regain his hold upon his dwindling congregation of Methodists. We quote:
"The reason Christian Science numbers its converts by the thousands while the orthodox church complains of a falling off in membership is this: Christian Science holds out the offer of help to the afflicted, rest to the weary and health, wealth and prosperity for all. Its helping hand is extended now. Its promise of happiness is in this life.
"The Rev. Mr. Osbron believes that all Methodist ministers not only should preach the gospel, but should "heal the sick" and comfort by the divine power in them. In his little church at 925 Newton avenue, Dr. Osbron has undertaken a movement portentous for the church and to humanity. It is a movement which its founder hopes will grow and encompass the earth. It is interesting to listen to the opinion of this prophet of the church that is to be.
"'The fact that men care little about theory or doctrine,' said Mr. Osbron, 'explains why very sensible men become adherents to such unscientific and non-Christian organizations as the Spiritualist or Christian Science church. The truth is a large part of their membership is totally unfamiliar with the doctrines to which they have subscribed. Visible facts attracted them. They wanted results and that was all they cared for. Their interest was aroused by what the church did, not what it taught.
"Many thousands there are who would gladly testify to the efficacy of their manner of treatment, and in the face of such a multitude of witnesses we can but hold our peace. True, it is urged that many of their patients die without medical aid. Just so do the patients of the doctors die in spite of their medicines.
"The orthodox church must utilize the marvelous healing powers of suggestive or psychic therapeutics. This power has been possessed by individuals from the earliest times. By its means the early church-men performed miracles of healing by touch. Of late it has been disregarded by the church and the attention of followers called only to the miracles of other days. Quacks and charlatans have seized upon the psychic power and used it for their personal aggrandizement. It is time for the church again to take up this, their allotted task, and obey the Scriptural injunction, 'heal the sick,' as a part of the church's ministrations to its followers.
"My method is in no sense that of the Christian Scientist. The Scientists deny the reality of pain, disease and sin. I believe they are very real. But I also know that much suffering can be relieved and many physical ills cured by suggestion and prayer.
"There are thousands wandering in the shadow of insanity who might be saved by proper suggestion. It is astonishing to discover the number there are who are constantly harassed by fear in various forms. They screen these fears and fixed ideas from their friends, and suffer in silence until nervous breakdown, suicide or crime is the certain end. All these could be cured, criminal tendencies removed and the reform schools all but emptied by the proper use of hypnotic suggestion."
"The minister's meeting of the Methodist church in Kansas City, after a discussion of a favorable character, appointed a commission consisting of the Rev. Ernest Claypool, the Rev. Daniel McGurk and the Rev. Arthur Barton, to keep in close touch with the movement, and to make an official report to the body on the first Monday of September next as to the class of work done."
Let us not be misunderstood. We fully agree that the human mind can either greatly assist or hinder a disease or its cure. We advise all to mentally resist everything undesirable, mental and physical; and that God's children obey their Lord's advice and "cast all their care upon him," realizing that fear is a most dangerous thing, except the fear of displeasing God. But how sad it is to see professed ministers and professed people of God, rushing into Satan's trap, wholly negligent of and as above scoffing at the essence of the Master's teaching. He that saveth his life shall lose it [R4251 : page 293] and he that loseth his life for my sake and the Gospel's shall find it—preserve it unto life eternal. How remarkably few understand that the call of this Gospel Age is "to suffer with Christ," and to "be dead with him" that we may by and by live and reign with him.
Let us, who are awake to the true situation act accordingly—avoiding Hypnotism, Spiritism and Occultism (demonism) in their every form of deception, and let us do all we reasonably can to spread a knowledge of the Truth to all people, especially to Christians.