I’ve Got Cold

From Miscellaneous Writings by

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         Out upon the sidewalk one winter morning, I observed
         a carriage draw up before a stately mansion; a portly
         gentleman alight, and take from his carriage the ominous

15    “Ah!” thought I, “somebody has to take it; and what
         may the potion be?”

         Just then a tiny, sweet face appeared in the vestibule,
         and red nose, suffused eyes, cough, and tired look, told
         the story; but, looking up quaintly, the poor child said, —

20    “I’ve got cold, doctor.”

         Her apparent pride at sharing in a popular influenza
         was comical. However, her dividend, when compared
         with that of the household stockholders, was new; and
         doubtless their familiarity with what the stock paid, made
25    them more serious over it.

         What if that sweet child, so bravely confessing that
         she had something that she ought not to have, and which
         mamma thought must be gotten rid of, had been taught
         the value of saying even more bravely, and believing
30    it, —

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1      “I have not got cold.”

         Why, the doctor’s squills and bills would have been
         avoided; and through the cold air the little one would
         have been bounding with sparkling eyes, and ruby cheeks
5      painted and fattened by metaphysical hygiene.

         Parents and doctors must not take the sweet freshness
         out of the children’s lives by that flippant caution, “You
         will get cold.”

         Predicting danger does not dignify life, whereas fore-
10    casting liberty and joy does; for these are strong pro-
         moters of health and happiness. All education should
         contribute to moral and physical strength and freedom.
         If a cold could get into the body without the assent of
         mind, nature would take it out as gently, or let it remain
15    as harmlessly, as it takes the frost out of the ground or
         puts it into the ice-cream to the satisfaction of all.

         The sapling bends to the breeze, while the sturdy oak,
         with form and inclination fixed, breasts the tornado. It
         is easier to incline the early thought rightly, than the
20    biased mind. Children not mistaught, naturally love
         God; for they are pure-minded, affectionate, and gen-
         erally brave. Passions, appetites, pride, selfishness, have
         slight sway over the fresh, unbiased thought.

         Teach the children early self-government, and teach
25    them nothing that is wrong. If they see their father with
         a cigarette in his mouth — suggest to them that the habit
         of smoking is not nice, and that nothing but a loathsome
         worm naturally chews tobacco. Likewise soberly inform
         them that “Battle-Axe Plug” takes off men’s heads; or,
30    leaving these on, that it takes from their bodies a sweet
         something which belongs to nature, — namely, pure

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1      From a religious point of view, the faith of both youth
         and adult should centre as steadfastly in God to benefit
         the body, as to benefit the mind. Body and mind are
         correlated in man’s salvation; for man will no more
5      enter heaven sick than as a sinner, and Christ’s Christi-
         anity casts out sickness as well as sin of every sort.

         Test, if you will, metaphysical healing on two patients:
         one having morals to be healed, the other having a physi-
         cal ailment. Use as your medicine the great alterative,
10    Truth: give to the immoralist a mental dose that says,
         “You have no pleasure in sin,” and witness the effects.

         Either he will hate you, and try to make others do like-
         wise, so taking a dose of error big enough apparently to
         neutralize your Truth, else he will doubtingly await the
15    result; during which interim, by constant combat and
         direful struggles, you get the victory and Truth heals him
         of the moral malady.

         On the other hand, to the bedridden sufferer admin-
         ister this alternative Truth: “God never made you sick:
20    there is no necessity for pain; and Truth destroys the
         error that insists on the necessity of any man’s bondage
         to sin and sickness. “Ye shall know the truth, and the
         truth shall make you free.’”

         Then, like blind Bartimeus, the doubting heart looks
25    up through faith, and your patient rejoices in the gospel
         of health.

         Thus, you see, it is easier to heal the physical than the
         moral ailment. When divine Truth and Love heal, of
         sin, the sinner who is at ease in sin, how much more should
30    these heal, of sickness, the sick who are dis-eased, dis-
         comforted, and who long for relief!

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Love is the liberator.