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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/826

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the family, with, their guest, gathered at the table. The invalid occupied a bedroom adjoining the dining-room, in order that when the family were at table she might hear their conversation through the open door. The clergyman was asked to say grace, and began thus:

“O Lord, we thank thee for the abundance now spread before us; we thank thee that it is all paid for—”

Here a sudden interruption came from the invalid in the next room, who, on hearing her husband's pet phrase put into a prayer, burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Entirely forgetting her condition, she sprang out of bed, and stood holding her sides and shaking all over with mirth when the family rushed in. That solemn joke cured her, leaving nothing to be paid for. The same author tells of a New Hampshire lady who was also cured after being bedridden for a long time. In pleasant weather her grown-up sons used to lift their mother tenderly into a carriage, and take her for a drive. It was their opinion, however, that her case demanded heroic treatment, and they resolved to make the experiment. Near the house a brook crossed the road, through which they often drove to let the horse drink, instead of crossing by the bridge. The ford was usually safe and easy; but one day the carriage was suddenly upset by some stones previously placed in the water by the boys, and the invalid was thrown into the middle of the stream, from which she must scramble out or drown. She fathomed the well-meant plot, and was very angry; but the remedy was effectual, and her lameness was cured on the spot. A lady in California, who had suffered much from neuralgia and become blind, on hearing an alarm of fire regained her sight. Accidental mental excitement caused by explosions at the cartridge-factory in Bridgeport, Conn., has cured many cases of intermittent fever. A physician, writing to the “Medical News,” tells of a man being cured of a chronic rheumatism, and another of nervous exhaustion, by the earthquake-shock at Charleston.

Hence we see that disease can be cured through the mind in a great variety of ways. The true science of mind-cure will explain all of them, but Mrs. Eddy's doctrine does not satisfy this condition. Moreover, hers is a complicated theory; and experience has shown that in science, where the facts can be explained in a simpler way, a complicated theory is likely to be false. Furthermore, a theory which, like Mrs. Eddy's, contradicts scientific laws that we see proved true every day of our lives, can not itself be true also. If her “Science” were to become established, all that we now know as science would have to be abandoned as inconsistent with it. Not only would the science of physiology, which she directly attacks, be destroyed, but the sciences of physics,