THE PHYSICAL MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRIST. 361
stood. It is, however, comparatively easy to overcome an auto-suggestion, in the treatment of disease, for the patient is generally anxious to be cured, and is willing to assume a passive state of mind; and this is generally all that is necessary. Moreover, the subjective mind, ever on the alert for any means of preserving the life or health of the individual;, will readily accept a therapeutic suggestion if there is no active counter auto-suggestion. If the healer understands the law of auto-suggestion, and advises his patient that he can overcome the effect of objective unbelief by a simple assertion of belief, salutary results all the more readily follow.
A remarkable instance illustrating this principle occurred in the history of Jesus. It was in the case of the man who brought his son to be healed, who was afflicted with a " dumb spirit." He had gone to Jesus' disciples, who failed to effect a cure. In despair, he appealed to the Master, saying:
" If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
" Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to-him that believeth.
"And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." 1
Whereupon Jesus rebuked the foul spirit and commanded it to come out of the boy, "and enter no more into him." And the boy was instantly healed.
Now, the whole circumstances surrounding this case were calculated to render the father sceptical concerning the power of Jesus to heal his son. He had gone to the disciples, and they had failed. When he appealed to Jesus he said : " If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us." This expression plainly implied a doubt. After Jesus had explained that belief was a necessary condition of success, the father cried out: " Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." This expression plainly indicated a want of objective faith. But he spoke the words, " I
1 Mark ix. 22-24.