A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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xii                   WHO IS QUALIFIED FOR THE TASK ?                 447
ministerial work and obtain full medical qualifications. Another class, also resembling John Wesley in that they possess the gift of spiritual healing, overlook the training which he so arduously acquired, and consequently fail to give the world the best of which they are capable. As Aristotle laid down: ' If we wish to master any art or to gain a scientific knowledge of it, we must study the general principles, and make ourselves acquainted with them in the proper manner '8a (x, 9-16). John Wesley, possessing the charisma of healing, and fortifying it with the necessary medical training, ministered to the bodies while retaining his ministerial office to serve souls. Would that there were more like him nowadays ! Men of this calibre are well fitted to perform the task which, as we have tried to show, is of such urgent importance in this restless and nerve-racked age.
The exact nature of the gift of healing is unknown, but it is certainly a natural endowment which has no relationship either to the character or the belief of the man who possesses it. In itself, it is no more and no less a divine gift than are the talents for music, poetry, painting or mathematics. ' Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above ' (James i, 17). That it is a valuable and beneficent gift goes without saying, but we must be careful lest too much be expected from it.
Meanwhile, it must be pointed out that many of those who believe in some form of spiritual healing do not agree that any individual should be regarded in a special way as a spiritual healer. The Lambeth Committee of 1920 reports: 'No witness desired the licensing of " healers " '.
To make a natural talent really effective, a course of education and training is imperative ; whatever his natural faculty, a painter must learn the technique of drawing and colour and study the masterpieces of his