The rude nations of the earth believed that disease was the result of evil spiritual agencies, and the untutored savage, without the aid of books or any of the advantages which the learned physician possesses of studying the human system, arrived at the conclusion that disease was inflicted by living, unseen individualities.

Science has discarded that idea. It has dissected the human body, and, finding the result of the diseases, has assumed to have found the cause; assumed that it is mere bodily disarrangement. Yet any intelligent physician will tell you that in his own experience he has witnessed the effect of mind upon the body; that he can give a bread pill to a patient, informing him that it is a purgative, and it will act in that manner; that a certain powder will create nausea or a burning sensation, and it will produce those results when the powder itself is harmless.

As the body, if permitted to decay, comes to be infested with vermin, so the spirit, if allowed to remain idle and inactive, will become infested by spiritual vermin which will taint and destroy it; and the savage idea that disease is caused by spiritual agency is correct.

If an individual permit any one idea to obtain predominance, and he dwell upon that idea to the exclusion of other thoughts, he will attract spirits who fill the air—not organized spiritual beings who inhabit the spirit world, but half-organized beings (polypus) who live in this atmosphere and were originated from the brains and the physical organisms of the inhabitants of the earth; these beings, finding his mind concentrated or magnetized to a point, will effect an entrance. Suppose, for instance the person centres his mind upon the loss of a friend or of money: this concentration becomes a magnet, which, like the rays of sunlight acting upon a portion of vegetation, produces decomposition upon which spirit vermin may feed. So by dwelling too continuously upon one thought, certain faculties of the mind become excited by constant action, while others become paralyzed and the result is insanity.

Now spiritualists, or believers in spirit intercourse, should be the most healthy persons in the community, for they understand, or should understand, the laws of psychology which teach that constant dwelling upon one thought will bring spirits of like character who will intensify that thought, and they also know that they have but to use their will and the whole magnetic relations will change and a new influence will be brought to bear.

Tell a man he has heart disease, make him believe it, and his heart will beat like a sledge-hammer. Tell him his liver is diseased, make him believe it, and he will feel bilious and look bilious.

Tell a man he looks well, compliment him upon his appearance, and he will feel well, look spruce, and his spirits will become elastic.

It has been a matter of surprise to some why the spirits have taken such an interest in the science of medicine, and why they have developed so many as healers. It is that they may teach man that disease is generally a magnetic condition; and they hope to teach the community, through those physicians whom they develop, to discard drugs and rely upon magnetic influences and the power of the will to keep the body in its normal condition of health.

Too much stress cannot be laid upon the power of the will in dispelling disease, and in expelling it.

A diseased patient may be likened to a medium who is possessed by a spiritual being of low order. The very low condition of the spirit causes him to adhere and cling to the medium, and unless the will is directed to exorcise him, he will keep his subject continually under his influence and the proper individuality of the person will be annihilated.

Thus, disease, like an evil spirit, takes its hold upon an individual, and can only be overthrown from its position by a strong will, which sends it shrinking away like a criminal from the body it has infested.

If the will of the patient is not sufficiently strong, then the will of some good friend must be used. These good friends are known as healing mediums. Also a change of air and scene should be obtained, which brings the will into a new action, and thus dislodges the tenant.

The will is like a sharp two-edged sword, which cuts right and left, and leaves no chance for skulking to anything to which it has directed its power.

I will close my remarks by repeating that the savage is right in his belief, and that disease is indeed the result of—I might call them spiritual harpies, who, though they may not in these civilized times be driven out by the beating of drums, the tom-tom, and the howling of frenzied savages, yet can be dislodged by kindred manipulations, such as mesmeric passes, deep breathing, and a positive though almost quiet exercise of the will.

Some of my brethren of the profession will be surprised to find these views advanced by one whom they believe held more rational opinions on earth; but there are others whose keen intellects have pierced through the wisdom of the schools, and have discovered that the physics they have concocted, when applied to the complex mechanism of the human system, in palliating the disorders of one function disarrange some half a dozen others, and that the soul and the body are so interblended that we must heal a disease of the body through and in conjunction with the spirit, its counterpart.