154 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
former profession. Christian spiritual healers, in the literal sense of the term, claim to be the instruments of the spirit of Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. They teach that when they lay their hands upon a sick person it is Jesus Whose hands are really laid, or that the power of healing which flows from their hands emanates from Him.213
James's injunction to use unction gave rise to important developments, and just as the Petrine introduction of exorcism in the Name of Jesus proved to be a stumbling-block in the way of the progress of mental healing, so this was one of the many great hindrances to the scientific treatment. Whatever the disease from which he was suffering may have been, if a sick person was anointed on the eyes, ears, nostrils, mouth, hands, feet and reins, it was believed that he could be cured. Rufinus, in his Ecclesiastical History, tells of a supernatural cure worked by five disciples of St. Anthony, in Egypt, in the latter part of the fourth century. ' There was brought to them a man withered in both hands and also in his feet. But when he had been anointed with oil all over by them, in the Name of the Lord, immediately the soles of his feet were strengthened, and when they said to him, " In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . arise and stand on thy feet and return to thy house ", at once, arising and leaping, he blessed God/ Another supernatural cure, this time said to have been worked by St. Macarius who died in 395, is related by Palladius, a friend of St. Chrysostom. A noble and wealthy virgin from Thessalonica, who had suffered for many years from paralysis, was anointed by the saint daily for twenty days, praying fervently for her all the time, and then sent her back, cured, to her own city.
St. Martin of Tours, who lived about the end of the fourth century, is reported to have cured a paralytic girl