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From the May 1898 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The following notes will indicate to you something of the matter with which we had to deal in relation to the proposed medical bill before the New York Legislature. My own activity in this matter is an incident rather than the result of any plan. As early as last August, we heard it said that the medical fraternity were laying plans for the enacting by the Legislature at Albany this winter, of a law that would crush out the Christian Scientists and their method of practice. Advice was secured quietly from one of our Supreme Court justices, who is friendly to our Cause, for the reason that his wife has been healed after all other efforts had failed. This gentleman, who is familiar with all legislative matters in our state, kindly volunteered to advise us in case such legislation should be undertaken. In course of time, a bill was offered in the Assembly which aimed directly at our work, distinctly naming Christian Scientists in its text; simultaneously with this, another bill was offered in the Senate, not so drastic, but very subtle in construction. Our legal friend referred to above, as well as an able ex-senator, secured copies of both these bills, and informed us that they were equally dangerous. Correspondence was begun by many of the Scientists and their friends throughout the state with their representatives at Albany, and notwithstanding a great volume of influence was brought to bear, it yet seemed that both these bills were liable to come up. Upon hearing that they had been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health of the Assembly and the Senate, hearings were asked for. Various statements as to the liability of these bills coming up for hearing were floating about, and on Saturday, March 12, one of the brethren from western New York went to Brooklyn in order first to confer personally with our friend and counsel, the Justice, and secondly to learn just how the brethren at New York were proposing to meet this matter in the Legislature. An informal meeting was held and arrangements perfected for a formal meeting composed of representatives from the several churches at New York and Brooklyn; then at a meeting held March 13, a committee was appointed, charged with the important duty of securing a proper attorney or attorneys and others who should conduct our side of the case before the Health Committee at the Capitol; arrangements being completed for gathering a goodly number of our brethren at Albany, on short notice, who might attend these hearings at the Capitol, illustrating and demonstrating the power, practicability, and effectiveness of Christian Science. On Monday morning a Scientist, accompanied by an attorney, went to Albany, and by noon, Monday, it was ascertained that the member introducing the Assembly Bill and the chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Assembly, by mutual agreement, had consented not to present that bill for passage, and they unhesitatingly stated that this view was reached by them, because of the great weight and wealth of remonstrance which had poured in upon them from all parts of the state. The fate of the Senate Bill was not, however, definite, and as a hearing upon this bill was appointed for Wednesday the 16th, word was at once sent out to the various centers of our work throughout the state. Accordingly large numbers of Scientists and their friends began to arrive in Albany, so that by ten o'clock, Wednesday morning, notice was given to Senator Dr. Brush, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Health, that his committee room would not be at all adequate to receive those who would be there in attendance upon this hearing, and he was requested to arrange for the hearing in some suitable place, which he did by securing the Senate Chamber, and at the adjournment of that day's session of the Senate he met there with his Committee; and the Scientists, who had been notified of this fact, completely filled the Chamber and galleries—it being a fair estimate that there were in the neighborhood of one thousand people in attendance. Included in this audience were many members of both houses of the Legislature. The discussion, which was opened by ex-judge Talman, of Brooklyn, and was also participated in by Mrs. Laura Lathrop, of New York, Mark S. Hubbell, Esq., of Buffalo, Henry L. Call, Esq., of New York, Dr. Cochran, of New York, and Mr. Henry W. Box, of Buffalo, was concluded in less than an hour. In announcing that the arguments against the measure would now close, Dr. Brush stated that it was scarcely probable any one would venture to say a word in favor of it after what had been seen and heard against it; but that, as a matter of form, if there was any one present who wished to speak for the bill they could do so. Dead silence reigned in the Senate Chamber for some seconds. And then the eloquent Senator Coggeshall, who had introduced the bill, arose, and in a short but felicitous speech, happily conceded his willingness either to withdraw the bill, or to amend it in such a manner that Christian Scientists should be entirely exempted from each and all of its provisions. The formal meeting then adjourned, and for over an hour the Senate Chamber and the adjoining apartments were the scene of a most happy and interesting impromptu reception to the Senator, and interchange of congratulations by the brethren who had so quickly come together from all parts of the Empire State. During the evening, senators and members of the Assembly called at the hotels of the Scientists who remained in the city over night. Nothing but kind words and friendly feelings were expressed on all sides for our brethren in the Cause.

The writer of these notes is happy to tell to the Field the glad, good news that from the hour of the hearing, until noon, Friday, when he left for home, the subject of Christian Science was the general topic of conversation about the Capitol and throughout the city of Albany, so that, indirectly, great work has undoubtedly been done for our Cause where its opposite was intended.

The victory lately scored by our brethren in the Massachusetts Legislature was a point strongly urged by our speakers.

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