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PSYCHO-THERAPEUTICS.                    157
the requisite subjective faith may be acquired without the concurrence of objective belief, and even in defiance of objective reason. That system is based upon the assumption that matter has no real existence; consequently we have no bodies, and hence no disease of the body is possible. It is not known whether the worthy lady founder of the school ever stopped to reduce her foundation principles to the form of a syllogism. It is presumed not, for otherwise their intense, monumental, and aggressive absurdity would have become as apparent to her as it is to others. Let us see how they look in the form of a syllogism :
Matter has no existence. Our bodies are composed of matter. Therefore our bodies have no existence.
It follows, of course, that disease cannot exist in a nonexistent body.
That the above embraces the basis of the system called Christian science no one who has read the works of its founder will deny. Of course, no serious argument can be adduced against such a self-evident absurdity. Nevertheless, there are two facts connected with this system which stand out in bold relief: One is that it numbers its followers by the hundred thousand; and the other is that the cures effected by its practitioners are of daily occurrence and of the most marvellous character.
The first of these facts demonstrates the truth of the trite saying that any system of belief, if earnestly advocated, will find plenty of followers. The second shows in the most I conclusive manner that the faith of the objective mind is not a necessary factor in the cure of disease by psychic * processes.
It seems obvious that no greater demand could be made upon the resources of our credulity than to tell us that all that is visible or tangible to our objective senses has no real existence. And yet that is what the patient of Christian science is invited to believe as a condition precedent to his recovery. Of course he feels at first that his intelligence is insulted, and he protests against such a palpable absurdity. But he is quieted by soothing words,