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We are to inquire what is his point of contact with the people who accept his claims and become his followers. A casual study of Mr. Dowie’s work would lead one to see the emphasis he places upon "divine healing." Every copy of his official organ, Leaves of Healing, the title of which is significant, has one or more published testimonies from those who profess to have been cured of some bodily ailment, disease, or immoral habit, through the prayers of Mr. Dowie or by conformity to the principles which he expounds as God's way of healing. In Shiloh Tabernacle at Zion City, gathered from all quarters, are exhibited on the walls, crutches, canes, surgical instruments, trusses and almost every form of apparatus used by the medical profession. These are called trophies and are said to have been put there by the people who once thought they needed them but who no longer have use for them. Then too, divine healing meetings are a regular occurrence in Zion City, and at every place where a Zion representative is endeavoring to reach the public by evangelistic work. In a divine healing meeting which I attended at Zion City a large portion of the audience were clearly seen to be afflicted with diseases, or were crippled and disabled. Several invalids in wheel chairs were brought into the room.

In his interview at Havana, Cuba, * (to which reference has been made), Mr. Dowie said: "If you were in my Tabernacle in Zion City any Sunday afternoon, there would be from six to seven thousand people there, and if I were to say, ‘everyone of you now present who has been healed in body, through faith in Jesus, stand,' I think almost five thousand would


* L. of H., March 4, 1905.




stand. Nearly everyone in the whole congregation has been healed at one time or another."

Evidence could be multiplied to show that divine healing is Mr. Dowie's chief point of contact with the class of people he has won as followers.

It is clear then that all who become Mr. Dowie's followers believe in divine healing apart from any agency other than the prayer of faith. Indeed the entire gospel which Mr. Dowie professes to preach is "salvation, healing and holy living," and it is the divine healing which arrests attention and awakens interest in Zion and its leader. This point of contact is possible for several reasons: (1) there are a large number of sick people in the world who are willing to resort to any device to be healed. This scarcely needs proof. * (2) A large number of people in the churches are already imbued with a belief in faith or divine healing. In a letter from a man who publishes tracts upon divine healing and who has no use whatever for Zion, he says: "I was the guest of some very dear friends of mine, people of faith, who, like myself, stood for divine healing and kindred truths before Dr. Dowie left Australia for these shores, and who have never


* In The World To-Day, April, 1905, Professor Angell writes: Viewing the situation broadly, It appears to me that two factors are largely responsible for the rapid expansion of the Christian Science movement. The first of these has to do with therapeutic phases of the cult. The present day American is notoriously predisposed to neurasthenic ailments of all kinds. He - and she - live at a high tension, which readily permits the emergence of hypersensitivity of one kind and another,  and readily gives an exaggerated neurotic turn to many ailments that normally are free from such complications. Here then is a very large contingent of persons suffering from impaired physical tone, with a morbid interest in their own hygienic welfare. Now, let it be forcefully announced that Christian Science has a panacea for disease, and you will find thousands of these people ready and willing to try it, just as they would try patent medicines. ... "This same statement would be equally true tor Mr. Dowie's Zion movement. Insert "Dowie Movement" where "Christian Science" occurs, and the paragraph need not be otherwise altered, although people of a different type of culture as a rule are found in Zion.




wavered in their loyalty to the truth. Four years ago, to my great regret, these friends joined the Christian Catholic Church. Knowing how useless it is to reason with people who join such movements, believing them to be of God, I refrained from talking with them about the matter. ... Finally they went to Zion City to live. ... I have other friends in the organization. "

In another letter he says: “I am not now and never have been connected with Dr. Dowie's work, altho I have considerable respect for him, being well acquainted with the man and his work. But I am one of the ‘miserable one-immersionists’ as he delights to call Baptists, ... and cannot bring myself to see as he does about Triune Immersion. Nor can I endorse his teaching concerning universal restoration of men and devils, and I have to smile at the claims he makes. ... Many of my friends are in Zion and my failure to toe the line with them has resulted in financial loss to my work, so far as they are concerned; but it is better for me to stay as I am, an independent worker along these lines, having fellowship with all who name the name of Christ and depart from iniquity. I was a member of the Baptist church. ... On Sundays a company of people of 'like precious faith' assemble in a hall in this city. ... This company is composed of members of nearly every evangelical church in the city, M. E., Baptist, etc. They meet in the afternoon so as not to interfere with the usual church service. ... That healing has been provided for in the atonement I no more question than I do my salvation, and that is as real to me as existence."

This letter in itself shows (a) that an organized movement for publishing and disseminating belief in divine healing exactly as taught by Mr. Dowie exists in this country (b) a considerable number of people in Evangelical churches read this literature and hold these beliefs (c) they furnish some materials at first hand for Mr. Dowie's organization.

In a pamphlet entitled "Dowieism Exposed" the writer,




Elder I. D. Bowman of Philadelphia says: “I believed in divine healing from childhood. I became a Bible student in early youth, being taught that the Bible is literally true; when I read divine healing in both the Old and New Testaments, I readily accepted it. I believed that Jesus was the same today; that he never repented of any gifts. Therefore we had a right to expect healing at the present time. For more than twenty years I had this faith before I ever saw or heard of a genuine case of divine healing. A few years before hearing of Dowie, I met devoted christians who claimed to have been healed by simple faith in Jesus Christ. Then I began to read a number of works on the subject - works by A. J. Gordon, A. B. Simpson,  Dorothea Trudel, Jennie Smith, etc.  Later I was handed a copy of 'Leaves of Healing,' published by Dowie. I examined it carefully and became a subscriber at once. Much in the paper I accepted as truth and thought that Dowie was doing a good work."

This man would naturally be an advocate of divine healing and his office would give him an excellent opportunity to spread the belief before he had ever heard of Mr. Dowie. To what extent Gordon, Simpson, and similar teachers, has spread belief in divine healing we may not surely know, but they have had considerable influence upon a great many in the churches.

But there is further evidence that belief in divine, or faith healing, exists to a considerable extent in the churches. A number of letters of inquiry sent to pastors in regard to the prevalence of belief in divine healing in their church and community have elicited replies such as the following:

“None of the members of my church here believe in divine healing as a therapeutical system. There may be one exception. A number believe that specific relief from pain may and often does come in answer to prayer and without medical treatment.” *


* Only one remove from the position of the "average" in Zion, for not all Mr. Dowie's followers are extremists even in the matter of divine healing. I have found a number who would use home remedies.




"Several who are now followers of Dowie were believers in divine healing. One man I distinctly remember told me he could take any quantity of strychnine with impunity. (I do not think he claimed to have done it.)" *

"We have only one who believes in divine healing, and makes it the summum bonum of his creed. We have many who trust God for healing and these care for themselves as best they can by advice and medicine."

“There is one avowed believer in divine healing in my congregation. ... There are quite a number, myself included, who are opposed to a careless and unnecessary use of drugs."

"Only two who believe in divine healing as taught by Simpson; perhaps two or three more who believe in more properly speaking 'faith cure.'"

"We have a few who believe in divine healing - a few who are Christian Scientists."

"We believe that God sometimes hears prayer and restores the sick who otherwise would not be restored."

"We have one man, and that a leading and intelligent member, who claims that he was healed of a facial trouble on one occasion wholly and solely by prayer."

“There is only one person in my church who believes in divine healing.”

"I had four members that went off to follow Dowie and several more leaned that way.”

"Your questions trouble me. I have lost two good members of my church in - , in another three; another went to Zion to be cured, but failed, so did not join. I take great interest in sick people; visit them much, and have almost cured some people."

"Two are typical Dowieites (excluded members.)"

"Seven believe that divine healing is possible. "

"Eight per cent of our members believe in divine healing. ... Ten per cent opposed to doctors, drugs." (In this


* Doubtless based on the statement in Mark 16: 17, 18.




church I learned by personal conversation with the pastor, of a few people inclined to become followers of Mr. Dowie - one man was about to take the step, when Mr. Dowie suggested that he sell his business and invest. At this, he suspecting financial loss of some sort drew back.)

These answers are to the question, "Have you any members in your church and congregation who believe in divine healing in answer to prayer, apart from other means?" They are not satisfactory, but are selected at random. Almost all to whom letters were sent have had some experience with such people, and the answers quoted indicate that in most of our churches there are one or more persons who are of the sort to whom Mr. Dowie can make direct appeal in the matter of "Healing," and in some cases they have actually left the church to investigate or join Zion. We must remember too that these people are ardent advocates of this belief, which in many instances has become a hobby. "In my congregation is a woman of unquestionable sincerity and fairly good 'gift' in testifying, who while not offensive about it, never loses an opportunity to tell, in public or private, of her healing at the hands Mr. Dowie. She has already partially won over her husband, once a member of a Baptist church, and other members of her family. *

The answers indicate that our churches have been a more or less fertile field for Mr. Dowie to work.

Another line of evidence is that found in the letters received from actual followers of Mr. Dowie, which show that divine healing first arrested their attention and led them to Zion.

"When I slipped and tore up my knee cap and the doctors wanted to put on a cast and if I walked, go with crutches and keep off my feet three or four months, then it was that I found in reading the 'Leaves' and comparing with the word that the Lord is the healer of his people when they repent, confess, restore, make their paths straight ... Yes, I was


* A group of persons of "like precious faith," that is, who believe in divine healing meet occasionally at the home of this woman and some not yet convinced, are striving as they say, "to take God at his word, and believe the simple promises for healing."




healed without a cast; the word of God is full of healing - read and ask God to open up the word more fully to you. I will send you a little literature."

"I received your letter asking me for the personal experience in my healing, I will be glad to do so for the glory of God. In Chicago was when I first learned of God as my healer. ...  had been all my life a drunkard. I had the best doctors that I could git to see if the Deisas of Drink could be taking from me. ...  when I went to Zion home of hope. ... I thank God that he did take all Dises of Drink and sin from my heart … I will send you a Peais to read an I am shore that if you will look in your Bible as it will tell you to you will understand Divine healing better."  (“Peais to Read," refers to tract "Do you know God's Way of Healing. ")

"A simple, childlike faith in God, I believe will best express mother's attitude toward God when she got her healing. She had faith in the Son of God whose atonement was for Spirit, Soul and Body. ... We are healed as we are saved, through grace."

"I was healed of deafness and cathar of my left ear through Dr. Dowie's prayer. Jesus is the healer, Satan the defiler. ...  Will send you 'Leaves of Healing' and various tracts."

"We, that is my husband and myself, were members of the Evangelical Association, where we heard of the work Dr. Dowie was doing; and so I went first to hear him and found that it was Bible truth that he was giving - salvation, Healing and Holy Living are taught so plainly. How new it seemed that people were being healed and still it is just what Jesus did when on earth. God did so much for our Newton. He was a weak, sickly child from birth ... one day I took him out to the children’s meeting and an Elder prayed with him and he was a changed child from that day. ... Christ seemed more real to us and of course that well of water had to flow. I could not keep it myself but commenced to tell others about it. ... We finally left the church and joined Zion. ... we firmly believe in Ex. 15:26, Psalm 103:2 (Who healeth all thy diseases) and if he heals all our diseases then there are none left for the doctors." *

“I knew nothing of Devine healing until I herd Dr. Dowie teach it then I searched my Bible and found it was there. If I had refused to receive it because it was not admitted into the Baptist church or the other


* Ex. 15:26 I. c. reads, "I am Jehovah that healeth thee," and the clause in Ps. 103-2 to which reference is made is, "Who healeth all thy diseases." The perfect naiveté which regards God as acting directly upon the human body, ignoring all agencies and means is not susceptible to scientific reasoning at all. It seems almost incredible to one trained in the modern scientific conception of things that so large a number of persons are of such primitive turn of mind.




denominations, I would probably be in my grave today. ...  One does not have to believe in Dr. Dowie as Prophet and Apostle before he can be healed - when the heart is right we receive healing through faith in Jesus, but it is a fact that those who receive Devine Healing soon come into the Christian Catholic Church, because the Pastor cannot teach it and remain in his church, and the member cannot testify concerning it. ... My brother I will ask you to read prayerfully the 'Leaves of Healing' and the result will be a more abundant life in you.”

"We were members of the Episcopal church before joining Zion and it was while we still belonged to that church that my dear wife, in answer to our united and heartfelt prayers, was cured of a case of catarrh from which she had suffered since childhood, and which the leading specialists of Chicago had all declared to be incurable. I was cured of rupture by the laying on of hands of an Elder in the Church, supplemented by our own prayers. My broken arm was also a wonderful case of divine healing." (This man has left Zion for various reasons indicated in his letter, but is a firm believer in divine healing still.) *

"I have known of and believed in divine healing long before I heard of Dr. Dowie. altho not always practicing it. I received great blessing at one time. ...  I have friends who have had wonderful healings in answer to the prayer of faith who did not even know of Dr. Dowie. ... If you need healing go to God as a child to a father and tell Him so ... and if in earnest you will be able to trust to God for healing.”

A man who had been a Methodist Episcopal minister writes "When my


* Another case of ignorance and sophistry is found in this letter which is from a man of some education. He says: "The only place where there is mention in the O. T. of any one employing a doctor, he died. On the other hand there are many places where sorcerers are spoken of in condemnation. The Greek for sorcerer is Pharmakos from which is derived our word pharmacist, so druggists are many times condemned in the Bible.” It seems useless to try to answer an argument of this sort.  Not "much learning,” but "little learning has made the man mad.”  To convey the original sense of a word to the transliterated word with no regard for the history through which it has passed before and after its transliteration is stupidity that is hardly open to reason;  e. g. the word electricity is transliterated from the Greek elektron which means amber, a substance used in pharmacy and the arts. It is possible to conceive that the use of amber was condemned by the Greeks, (it wasn't) but that would in no way affect our attitude toward electricity. Again the word gymnast comes from the Greek word which means naked. The naked Greek athlete or gymnast was not condemned, but a perfectly nude athlete today would in all probability.




wife, having been given up by the doctors, hearing of Dr. Dowie and sending him for prayers, was healed, we were in a position to lay down our Ministry and go to Chicago and stay twelve months to make sure that the Christian Catholic Church is actually Apostolic in its purity as well as its power and that there was no objection to its doctrine or government. I found the doctrines to be those I had become so familiar with from Wesley and loved so well, and I found they were not theories, but that the Gospel truths were wrought out into the lives of the people in a practical way, causing them to clean up their lives and be saved and healed."

"I was not healed at the time I united with the Church (Zion.) I was well. I had been instantly healed years before of Piles. I have had several noted healings since and have seen very many miracles of healing grace."

"My mother-in-law believed in Zion and was healed of numerous diseases, and my sister-in-law was healed of a slight deformity. ... We have not taken any medicine for over two years and we haven't had a doctor in the house but once. ... When I am sick I always look to God to deliver me of all evil and confess my sin. If you have been reading Leaves of Healing it hadn't ought to take you long to see the right path and come out from the wordly people. ...  I will pray for you that you may be brought to Zion."


These answers which all breathe the atmosphere of absolute sincerity come in partial reply to the question. "What led you to become a member of Zion?" All from whom an answer came with the exception of one, were led into Zion by the door of healing, having their faith corroborated by other things, to be sure, but this being the main issue with them. The exception is that of a man who, an unfaithful member of a Baptist church is led to renewed morality and Christian living through a wife's mediation. She being a member of Zion by belief in healing led him to unite with the organization through whose teaching he was reclaimed.

In most of the letters there is manifested an eagerness to testify to what the writer has experienced, and one can as he reads, feel this throb of earnestness to spread what has been found helpful. The personal statements that they will do all possible to lead me into the light, and that they are praying for me that I may find my way to Zion, are all but pathetic.




When we remember, therefore, the very large number of Christian people who are prone to sickness, and the number in the churches, of course considerably smaller, who believe in divine healing in answer to prayer, we can see how Mr. Dowie got a hearing for the doctrine he emphasizes most. Again we see that every convert to Mr. Dowie, everyone who has been healed or who is convinced he has, whether so or not, immediately becomes a willing propagandist.

It is certain, therefore, that a very large majority of Mr. Dowie's followers would never have been such but for his emphasis upon this doctrine and his ability to heal, or to persuade that he has healed. And this vast majority of his humbler followers are sincere and earnest in their belief. *


*  I have talked with many who have left the C. C. A. C. because of Mr. Dowie's tyranny, but not one who has renounced belief in divine healing or who does not believe that in his earlier work Mr. Dowie did accomplish healings, or to speak more accurately as representing them, "was mightly used of God in healing many." They may think he is shorn of power  now, but his approach to them was by the way of his rather extreme teaching along this line - divine healing.



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