The following was written by the present editor, and printed as a Series, but before its circulation the Series were discontinued. It is now reproduced in the Journal. — Ed.
And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people. And the report of him went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto him all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed with devils, and epileptic and palsied; and he healed them.— Matt, iv: 23, 24, Rev. Ver.
This is the first Biblical account of Jesus' healing the sick. It is not the first Biblical account however of the sick being healed without the aid of drugs or medicine. There are many instances of the healing of disease in the Old Testament without the use of material remedies. The prophets of the Old Testament, as well as the apostles of the New, relied rather upon the Divine Power to heal the infirmities of the flesh, than upon drugs or physicians. It is related of Asa that in his sickness he trusted not to the Lord, but in the physicians, and what was the result: "Asa slept with his fathers." This would seem to be a severe rebuke to those who rely on the physicians, on material medicine, or upon human strength, rather than upon Divine strength, for the healing of disease. Elisha cured Naaman of leprosy, not by drugs, or material remedies, but by directing him to wash seven times in the river Jordan. Naaman protested against this simple remedy and "was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper;" and he asked: "Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servant came near, and spake unto him, and said. My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." The water of the river Jordan had no supposed healing virtue, while that of the other rivers had. Hence the prescription of Elisha to go and wash in the common water of Jordan, was altogether too simple a remedy for Naaman. He wanted something more difficult than that. He would have been willing to have gone a long distance to some spring or river whose waters were renowned for their healing properties. He would have been willing to go to almost any expense to have been assured of a cure of his leprosy, or with hope of being cured.