Faith Healing

James 5:14
I answered your questions by mistake to another person who had written to me about the same thing. The two cases were, one in the Western States where a German (for all this is German, whose religion is characteristically for this world) began by healing his neighbors, he says—and I had no reason to doubt it—by looking to God in faith; perhaps got puffed up, and worked by Satan's power so as to lay a man, who himself told me about it, like a log on the floor, without the use of his limbs; and then it turned to a system of corruption, so that he had to flee the country for his life, and said afterward that at the end it was Satan's power. The other was a more reputable case: a Lutheran clergyman who used to heal persons, but connected it with all the false Lutheran doctrines of baptismal regeneration, etc. I knew personally the case of some really good people at Boston, where it was connected with perfectionism and higher life, falsifying and discrediting by error what is greatly wanted in the church—to be able to say, "To me to live is Christ." Dorothy Trudel never had peace, nor a plain gospel, till her death bed.
But no mistakes of men take away the plain force of God's word and that He does answer the prayer of faith. James 5 supposes the church in order, and that those, who in a certain sense represented it, could be sent for—where God's order was going on and His government regularly administered in the church. That is not the case now, but if those who are practically such, and have personally faith (that looks through the ruin to the source of good according to the order) and believe, God will still hear the prayer of faith: I do not doubt it. In general it is only looking for so much physical relief, generally turning aside from what is heavenly. There may be faith in the person also; sending for the elders supposes something of this. But while I fully believe there may be such answers to prayer, the books about them seem to me full of error, and, while there may be some faith as to what is physical, not calculated to edify. But the very prayers of the Establishment for rain, etc., suppose the principle.
December, 1881.