The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 361 pages of information about The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories.
except fire and sword, and I believe that the new religion will conquer the half of Christendom in a hundred years.  I am not intending this as a compliment to the human race, I am merely stating an opinion.  And yet I think that perhaps it is a compliment to the race.  I keep in mind that saying of an orthodox preacher—­quoted further back.  He conceded that this new Christianity frees its possessor’s life from frets, fears, vexations, bitterness, and all sorts of imagination-propagated maladies and pains, and fills his world with sunshine and his heart with gladness.  If Christian Science, with this stupendous equipment—­and final salvation added—­cannot win half the Christian globe, I must be badly mistaken in the make-up of the human race.

I think the Trust will be handed down like the other papacy, and will always know how to handle its limitless cash.  It will press the button; the zeal, the energy, the sincerity, the enthusiasm of its countless vassals will do the rest.

IX

The power which a man’s imagination has over his body to heal it or make it sick is a force which none of us is born without.  The first man had it, the last one will possess it.  If left to himself a man is most likely to use only the mischievous half of the force—­the half which invents imaginary ailments for him and cultivates them:  and if he is one of these very wise people he is quite likely to scoff at the beneficent half of the force and deny its existence.  And so, to heal or help that man, two imaginations are required:  his own and some outsider’s.  The outsider, B, must imagine that his incantations are the healing power that is curing A, and A must imagine that this is so.  It is not so, at all; but no matter, the cure is effected, and that is the main thing.  The outsider’s work is unquestionably valuable; so valuable that it may fairly be likened to the essential work performed by the engineer when he handles the throttle and turns on the steam:  the actual power is lodged exclusively in the engine, but if the engine were left alone it would never start of itself.  Whether the engineer be named Jim, or Bob, or Tom, it is all one—­his services are necessary, and he is entitled to such wage as he can get you to pay.  Whether he be named Christian Scientist, or Mental Scientist, or Mind Curist, or Lourdes Miracle-Worker, or King’s-Evil Expert, it is all one,—­he is merely the Engineer, he simply turns on the same old steam and the engine does the whole work.

In the case of the cure-engine it is a distinct advantage to clothe the engineer in religious overalls and give him a pious name.  It greatly enlarges the business, and does no one any harm.

The Christian-Scientist engineer drives exactly the same trade as the other engineers, yet he out-prospers the whole of them put together.  Is it because he has captured the takingest name?  I think that that is only a small part of it.  I think that the secret of his high prosperity lies elsewhere: 

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The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.