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Doctor James R. Newton was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1810. He possessed the gift of healing when he was a child, but adults ignored him at first. When they did begin to pay attention and take him seriously, he developed the ability to cure a variety of skin diseases, like warts.  At that time, he only worked with family and friends.

In 1853 he was a passenger on the steamer, Golden Gate, that sailed from Panama to San Francisco. Yellow fever broke out on board, sickening many of the 1300 passengers. The fever raged for eight days. Seventy-four people died. The ships surgeon lost all but one of his patients. Newton lost none.

Five years later, he began to practice as a spiritual healer in Cincinnati, Ohio. Large numbers of people arrived for help, and it was said he treated 100 people in a day. He cured paralysis in a leg, rheumatism, goiter, cataracts, hearing issues, and pain. He moved next to Cleveland where he had even greater success. That was followed by a move to Boston in 1860. He opened an office where people could witness cures and he saw an estimated 10,000 people who doctors proclaimed to be incurable. “But the claims of the genuineness of this power may be safely rested upon the abundant testimony already and hereafter to be adduced—much of it given under oath—that positive and often instantaneous cures did occur, in large numbers…” Several hundred sticks and crutches were left in his office.

Newton traveled to many cities during the 1860s, including New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Haven and Springfield, Massachusetts, Rochester, Havana, and New Orleans.  Local newspapers reported on his cures. “No pain is caused, no medicine given, and no surgical operation performed.”

His travels took him across the Atlantic to England. At one meeting he stated, “As to the power of healing, it is merely an illustration of the power of love. When any sick person comes before me, I lay my hands on that person and feel that I love him; tell him I love him and if the patient is not antagonistic, he is almost sure to be healed because this opens their heart to me and the disease must depart.” He believed in faith and prayer and thought the power which Christ gave to his Apostles to cure disease was still in existence.

The Modern Bethesda, edited by A.E. Newton, holds the records of many of Dr. Newton’s healing sessions, including affidavits and individual accounts. Newton used hot water flowing over the head of the patient as a remedial agent to cure affections of the spine, kidneys, diabetes, and Bright’s disease. He believed that magnetism imparted by traditional medicines does more than the medicines themselves. Olive oil and Seidlitz powder were used for gallstones. He used a silver tube “through which magnetism is conveyed by my breath directly to the diseased parts.” He could also cure from a distance, using “magnetic letters” for correspondence.

 Throughout his healing career, Dr. Newton was very well liked but he was involved in three lawsuits during his life. He believed they were Individuals who were jealous of his work and wanted to impede his activities. During one case over one thousand people submitted notarized statements of his healing ability and success with them.

Additional Reading:

Newton, A. E. (1879) The Modern Bethesda. Newton Publishing Company, New York

Dr Newton.jpg

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