PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF A PHYSICIAN,
AN APPEAL TO THE MEDICAL AND CLERICAL PROFESSIONS;
A REVIEW OF "CHRIST AND THE TEMPERANCE QUESTION" IN THE CHRISTIAN UNION.
JOHN ELLIS, M.D.
CHAPTER I. PERSONAL MEDICAL EXPERIENCE OK A PHYSICIAN.
CHAPTER II. WHY EVERY PHYSICIAN SHOULD EXAMINE HOMOEOPATHY.
CHAPTER III. DANGERS THAT RESULT FROM THE ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT OF DISEASES.
CHAPTER IV. PERSONAL RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE OF A PHYSICIAN.
CHAPTER V. THE DAWN OF A NEW DISPENSATION.
CHAPTER VI. A NEW DAY TO OUR EARTH.
CHAPTER VII. THE WANTS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
CHAPTER VIII. RESTRAINING AND CURING SPIRITUAL AND NATURAL DISEASES.
CHAPTER IX. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE CONTINUED AND EFFORTS.
CHAPTER X. FINAL APPEAL TO THE CLERGY.
ADDENDUM. A REVIEW OF "CHRIST AND THE TEMPERANCE QUESTION," IN THE "CHRISTIAN UNION."
PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF A PHYSICIAN.
We all admit that every one who attempts to act as a physician, should strive to qualify himself, or herself, for the work by obtaining the best education which our medical schools afford; for to physicians are intrusted, not simply the property or money, but the very lives of their fellow-citizens. As the responsibility is great, so the duty of preparing one's self before commencing practice, and of keeping fully abreast of all new and valuable discoveries in the art of healing, is equally great. A physician should not be led blindly by his teachers and prominent medical writers, and so strongly confirm himself in the theories and views which they proclaim that he cannot, without prejudice, examine new views and theories with due care. It has been said that when Harvey discovered the true course of the circulation of the blood, there was not a single professor in the medical colleges of England over fifty years of age, who ever believed "the heresy," as his discovery was called. However this may have been, it is certain that professors and prominent medical writers are not always the first to see and recognize the truth, even when it is clearly presented to their notice.
A native of western Massachusetts, I studied medicine with an intelligent and worthy physician in my native town, and attended two and one-half courses of medical lectures at the Berkshire Medical College, at Pittsfield, Mass., and graduated in 1841; and during the following winter I attended the Medical College at Albany, N. Y., devoting a large portion of my time to dissecting. After finishing at Albany, I visited various places in western and central Massachusetts, and operated on eyes for strabismus or cross-eyes,—an operation which had then been recently introduced for that deformity; after which I settled at Chesterfield (Mass.), and commenced practicing medicine, where I remained about one year.
One day I visited Northampton, and, calling on a physician with whom I was acquainted, I found upon his table a homoeopathic book. "Why," I exclaimed with astonishment, "you are not studying homoeopathy, are you?" "Yes," he replied, "I am studying it, and trying the remedies cautiously;" and he went on to describe cases which he had treated satisfactorily by the use of the remedies, and among them a case of pleurisy and one of intermittent fever, and he wound up by saying: "Now, if you will go down the street to a book-store and purchase 'Hull's Jahr,' in two volumes, I will give you half a dozen homoeopathic remedies, and you can try them for yourself."
Here was a dilemma. Never until that hour had I ever heard homoeopathy spoken of, by either a medical professor or one of my professional brethren, except with contempt and ridicule. "But," I said to myself, "if there is any truth in homoeopathy I ought to know it, and I cannot treat this physician's testimony with contempt; and it is a duty which I owe to my fellow-men, and especially to my patients, to investigate the new system carefully." I immediately went and purchased the books, and he give me six bottles of medicine, and I took them back with me to Chesterfield. I remember making but one Homoeopathic prescription before leaving Chesterfield, and that was for a case of uterine hemorrhage, which I had treated unsuccessfully for some time with allopathic remedies. I looked over my Homoeopathic books carefully and found that China (cinchona) was indicated. As that remedy was not among the bottles of medicated pellets which my medical friend had given me, I directed that one drop of the ordinary tincture of Peruvian bark should be dropped into a glass of water, and that, after stirring it well, one teaspoonful of the solution thus made should be given three or four times a day. The patient commenced improving immediately, and was soon well.
Soon after that I removed to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and commenced anew the practice of medicine. I then had neither the knowledge nor the faith in homoeopathy which I thought would justify me in treating any serious case of disease with homoeopathic remedies; but I did not neglect to study the new books. One day, a friend of my younger days, who was residing at Grand Haven, came into my office and said that he had been suffering from the toothache for several days, and that he did not like to have the tooth extracted, and he wanted to know if I could do anything for it without extracting it. I told him that I had recently obtained some homoeopathic books and remedies, and that I had noticed that remedies were spoken of for toothache. So I looked over my books and selected Belladonna as the remedy suitable in his case, and gave him a dose of it and other doses to take with him if he needed them. We talked in the office for a short time, and then we walked up to the hotel where he was stopping; as we entered, he stood still a moment and remarked: "Well, my tooth does not ache as severely as it did." I saw him weeks afterward, and he told me that he had not had the toothache from the hour he took the medicine.
Away in that new place, then a village of about one thousand inhabitants, with no homoeopathic physician within a hundred miles of me, I commenced cautiously the use of the new remedies; first in mild cases of disease, and in cases where Allopathic treatment failed to produce the desired effect. Among the first of the serious cases where I used the remedies was a case of pneumonia. A young man had been very sick with that disease for many days. I had resorted vigorously to the antiphlogistic treatment then in vogue; a consulting physician was called, and at last we told the family that our patient could not live until the next morning. I then said to the consulting physician: "I have some homoeopathic remedies; suppose we try them?" His reply was: "It does not make any difference what you try; he will not live until morning." Under such circumstances I felt that I was justified in trying the new remedies. I accordingly dissolved a few pellets of Aconite in a glass of water, and of Bryonia alb. in another glass of water, and directed that a teaspoonful of the solution of Aconite should be given once an hour for five hours, and that a similar dose of Bryonia be given instead of Aconite every sixth hour. I sat down by his bedside and watched his case for two hours. At the end of that period I found that his pulse was five beats less frequent in a minute, and that his breathing was a little easier. The next morning all of his dangerous symptoms had disappeared, and in a reasonable period of time he was restored to health. I talked with the consulting physician about his unexpected recovery, and we were, disposed to think that we had made a false prognosis, and that he would have recovered any way. Still, the case made some impression on me; so that in the next case of pneumonia to which I was called, I resolved to try the same remedies in the same way. The patient was a man about forty years of age. Under the action of the Aconite and Bryonia the patient about held his own, neither gaining nor losing very perceptibly for about three days. At the end of that period I became alarmed, and felt that if the patient were to die I should be guilty of the crime of manslaughter. I discontinued the treatment, and resorted to the then regular antiphlogistic treatment; the patient immediately began to get worse, and at the end of three days more he was a very sick man. I then came to the conclusion that my patient had done much better under the homoeopathic treatment than he had under the Allopathic, and I discontinued the latter and returned to the former, giving the Aconite and Bryonia. The patient ceased to grow worse; he held his own for two or three days, then he began to improve, and was soon restored to health. From that day to this I have never bled a patient suffering from either pneumonia or pleurisy, neither have I applied a blister, or given a cathartic, or an Allopathic dose of tartar emetic, or an opiate, or any form of alcoholic or fermented drinks, either during the continuance of the above-named diseases or during convalescence; nor have I ever regretted, in a single instance, not having done so.
During the fall of the year we had many cases of dysentery which were very obstinate, continuing one or two weeks or longer, attended by a fever approaching a typhoid character. I found the Allopathic treatment unsatisfactory, as there were quite a number of deaths. So I consulted my homoeopathic books and concluded to try the remedies; but at that time I had only the six carefully prepared remedies given me by the physician in Northampton, and I found that I needed some other remedies; so for Arsenicum I used a drop of Fowler's solution of arsenic in a glassful of water, giving a teaspoonful of the solution thus prepared for a dose, and I also used the tincture of Colocynth and other remedies in the same manner. Even with the help of such crude remedies I found that I could generally control the disease far more speedily and with greater certainty and safety than by Allopathic treatment.
I was called to attend a young man who, while stooping over to set a trap in the woods, was mistaken for a bear by a comrade who was hunting with him, and shot through the neck. To restrain secondary hemorrhage I was obliged, in order to save the life of my patient, to ligature both carotid arteries at the interval of only four and one-half days, which, at that time, had never been done successfully at an interval of less than twelve months between the operations. My patient did not suffer from head symptoms, as I was fearful he would, but his lungs became seriously congested. I resorted to the Allopathic treatment without affording any relief; and, as he was steadily getting worse, I consulted my homoeopathic works and gave him Aconite, a drop of the tincture in a glass of water; of the solution thus made I directed a teaspoonful to be given every hour; this gave prompt relief to the active symptoms of congestion. For a cough which remained I gave a few doses of belladonna prepared in the same manner, and all of the symptoms soon disappeared. I reported this case to the New York Journal of Medicine, and it was transferred, even to the homoeopathic prescriptions, to the American edition of Velpeau's great work on surgery.
I found when I went to Grand Rapids that the intermittent, remittent, and pernicious fevers, which prevailed in that place and in the surrounding country, were generally treated by the resident physicians with mercurial or other cathartic remedies, followed or accompanied by Quinine and brandy or fermented drinks containing Alcohol, and opiates where they were supposed to be necessary. As I began to look into homoeopathy, I first prescribed Ipecac for the vomiting which sometimes attended these fevers, one drop of the tincture in a glass of water, and giving a teaspoonful from the glass for a dose. For watery diarrhoeas I gave Fowler's solution of Arsenic in the same manner, and in both instances generally with very satisfactory results. As my confidence in the homoeopathic treatment of diseases increased, I sent to New York and obtained an assortment of the remedies and more books, and was then much better prepared to prescribe successfully. I soon found that by their use I could dispense with cathartic remedies and thus avoid the danger of causing a medicinal irritation of the bowels, which it is sometimes difficult to control. I also found that I could do much better without Alcohol in any form, in the treatment of these fevers, than with it; and I soon ceased to use brandy, wine, beer, etc.
As to Quinine, that remedy will unquestionably interrupt the paroxysms of intermittent and remittent fevers promptly if it is given at the proper time and in suitable doses; and, if the attack is the first the patient has ever had, a return of the disease may at least sometimes be prevented by giving once a week in two or three doses, at an interval of twelve hours, about the quantity which would be required to interrupt the disease in the first instance. These doses should be given the day before the disease is expected to return. I found it much better to give about two large doses of quinine than to give the same quantity in 1 or 2 grain doses. I reported the results of my experiments and observations in the use of Quinine at Grand Rapids to the New York Journal of Medicine (allopathic). In all instances where life is in danger from a return of a paroxysm of intermittent or remittent fever, the patient can be rescued from immediate danger by giving Quinine in doses sufficient to prevent a return of the paroxysm. In all other cases, and perhaps even in such, we can rely safely on homoeopathic remedies in minute doses. Quinine in Allopathic doses will rarely cure the disease, excepting, it may be, as named above, in a first attack. If the patient has ever had more than one or two attacks, it is almost sure to return again and again for two seasons, complicated with symptoms caused by the remedy, in spite of Allopathic doses of quinine; whereas by treating the patient homoeopathically, except in old cases, you will not suddenly interrupt the paroxysms, for they may continue one or two weeks, or even a few days longer, but when they cease there is generally the end of the disease, and the patient speedily regains his ordinary state of health instead of lingering along with frequent returns of the disease for generally two seasons, as he does when quinine is used. Old cases of intermittent fever are frequently cured promptly by infinitesimal doses of homoeopathic remedies. I have never seen Allopathic doses of Quinine do any good in typhoid fevers. And, as to the use of cathartics, from my observation I soon became satisfied that a vast number of lives have been lost by their use in cases of remittent and typhoid fevers, the tendency to irritation of the mucous membrane, which exists especially in the latter disease, being often fatally aggravated by cathartic remedies.
I found the prejudice so strong against homoeopathy when I commenced my investigations, that I generally said nothing about the kind of remedies I was using, and sometimes disguised the remedies by mixing with sugar or pulverized liquorice root, or by mixing or dissolving them in water.
I have given the above details to show how carefully and patiently, step by step, I commenced my investigations, and watched the action of remedies when given in accordance with the Homoeopathic law of cure, and compared the results with the results which followed the use of Allopathic remedies.
I remained at Grand Rapids two years. During that period I gradually substituted the Homoeopathic treatment of diseases for the Allopathic, as fast as I found I could cure the various diseases which came under my observation with more safety and certainty by the former method of treatment than by the latter.
Now I ask the intelligent, conscientious, and philanthropic reader, Did I do right or did I do wrong in thus investigating homoeopathy and using cautiously the remedies for the cure of the sick, as I found them more efficacious and safe than the remedies which I had been taught to use and had used previously? If it was my duty to thus critically examine the new method of treatment, when my attention was seriously called to it, and to cautiously try the remedies on the sick, is it not clearly the duty of every Allopathic physician in our land to do the same? To thus earnestly call the attention of physicians of every school to the importance of investigating homoeopathy, and carefully using the remedies for the cure of the sick, and to entreat them not to stop and be satisfied with crude doses, such as drop doses of tinctures and the first, second or third dilutions or triturations of remedies, as some have done, is my sole object in writing these pages. The most decided and satisfactory cures which I have ever witnessed have been effected by the thirtieth and two hundredth dilutions. But, according to my experience, it is not well to confine one's self absolutely to either high or low dilutions, as some have done; but if you are satisfied that you have selected the right remedy, instead of changing the remedy when you do not see relief from its use, change the dilution from low to high or high to low, as the case may be. I could detail many cases to show the importance of doing this. No physician should labor specially to sustain either a theory or preconceived ideas, but to cure his patients promptly. The health and lives of our fellow-beings are too important to be trifled with.
During the early years of my practice of homoeopathy I was called to see a young man recently attacked with "epileptic fits." As he was going immediately to New York, with his sister, I advised them to call on the late Dr. John F. Gray, with whom I became acquainted during my first visit to New York. On reaching New York they called on Dr. Gray, and the young man remained under his treatment for several weeks. Of Dr. Gray's treatment of this patient, so far as remedies were concerned, I know only of a single remedy which he gave, which was Nitrate of silver, which I understood was given in a somewhat crude form, and not even in a low centesimal dilution. The young man, finding little or no benefit from the treatment, went to his home in Georgia, after which I received a letter stating that he had not been essentially benefited by Dr. Gray's treatment, and requesting me to prescribe for him. In response I sent him the 30th dilution of Nux vomica, which he took and soon recovered from the disease, and never had any return of the paroxysms. Dr. Gray was a low dilutionist.
On the other hand, during my second or third visit to New York I called on Dr. Edward Bayard, who was a high dilutionist. I found him in poor health. He had been suffering, as he told me, for some time from a subacute irritation of the mucous membrane of the bowels, with loose passages, and some febrile excitement. He asked me to prescribe for him. After a careful inquiry as to existing symptoms I said to him, "Mercurius vivus ought to cure you." He replied that he had taken it repeatedly without the slightest effect. I asked him what dilution of this remedy he had taken. He replied that he had taken the 30th and 200th dilutions. I suggested that he should take the 3d trituration. "Why," he exclaimed, "I have not prescribed the 3d trituration of mercury for many years, and I do not know as I have any in my office." But, on looking around, he found a bottle of the second centesimal trituration; and I said to him: "That will answer. You can take a dose of that now [which he did] and repeat it three or four times between now and to-morrow night, after which take a dose of the 30th or 200th dilution of sulphur." The next time I saw him he told me that my prescription cured him promptly.
That the careful treatment of diseases by the use of low dilutions of Homoeopathic remedies, when compared with the Allopathic treatment, is wonderfully successful I well know; for it was by the success which attended the use of the low dilutions that I was led into the new practice, as thousands of other graduates of allopathic colleges have been. Still, I know very well by experience that the low dilutionists, in a very large number of cases, fail to cure patients promptly, and in many cases fail to cure them at all when they could cure them promptly by the use of the high dilutions, often by the very same remedy which they have been using. I was called to see a patient suffering from puerperal anaemia, with "nursing sore mouth." She was greatly exhausted; her stomach, which was very acid, would retain very little nourishment. She had been under Allopathic treatment for some time without experiencing any relief. I gave her a low dilution of Pulsatilla, which afforded her no relief. Then I selected other remedies, from which she derived no benefit. After that I gave her the 200th dilution of Pulsatilla, the first dose of which produced, as she declared, a change for the better within an hour, and she rapidly recovered under its use. A lady who had for two winters been sent to Florida by her Allopathic physician for a severe cough, attended by the physical signs of induration of the summit of one of her lungs, called on me early in the fall, saying that her physician advised her to go again to Florida, but that she did not like to go, and wanted me to prescribe for her. After examining her symptoms carefully I gave her a single dose of Sulphur, 200th dilution; at the end of a week she was better, at the end of another week much better, and at the end of the third week she had but few symptoms remaining, for which I gave only one dose of Arsenicum, 200th, which completed the cure.
Having practiced medicine for two years at Grand Rapids, I spent a winter East and visited New York, making the Acquaintance of Homoeopathic physicians, and conversing with them about the new system of treating disease, attending medical lectures and clinics at the two Allopathic colleges. I remember very well attending a clinic at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, held by the late Prof. Willard Parker, when a little child was brought in suffering from whooping cough. Prof. Parker, looking around upon the students, said: "Here, gentlemen, is a case of disease which, like the small-pox, measles, and scarlet fever, runs a definite course; if you will let the patients alone they will generally get well, but if you commence dosing them you will often bring on complications and they will die." This statement, coming from a medical man of his prominence, surely was worthy of consideration.
After spending the winter at the East I went to Detroit, Mich., and opened an office in connection with Dr. P. M. Wheaton. I practiced in Detroit for fifteen years, excepting that during the last six years of that time I spent a part of each year at Cleveland, giving a course of lectures on the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Western Homoeopathic Medical College, of Cleveland, Ohio.
When I went to Detroit the prejudice against homoeopathy was very strong, especially among physicians. An attempt was made to pass a bill through the Legislature of Michigan which would virtually prohibit the practice in the State. The bill passed the Senate, but, owing to the prompt action of the friends of homoeopathy in exposing the design of the advocates of the bill, it was defeated in the House of Representatives. The presence of the Asiatic cholera in 1849 in the city, and the success which attended the homoeopathic treatment of that disease, was instrumental in calling the attention of large numbers of the most intelligent and influential citizens to the new practice and establishing it upon a firm basis. When the disease first appeared in the city, we furnished the families which we were accustomed to attend, and all others who desired them, with Veratrum album and Cuprum metallicum, which had been earnestly recommended by Homoeopathic physicians elsewhere, who had had experience in treating the disease, as preventive remedies, a dose or two of each to be taken daily. As a result, very few among the families which we were accustomed to attend were attacked with the disease, and in such cases as occurred the disease was generally readily controlled. As a rule, the most troublesome cases which we had to treat were those in which Opium or morphine in some form had been administered before we were called. In such cases it was exceedingly difficult to get a satisfactory response from our remedies, however carefully we selected them.
The Asiatic cholera is a violent disease and rapid in its progress, and if severe cases of this disease are to be treated successfully, it must be by remedies which are prompt in their action. It is here that homoeopathic remedies show their superiority over all other remedies or methods of treatment, for they act upon the diseased organs in the direction of the disease, and thus excite a prompt reaction. Homoeopathic remedies, when properly used, do not benumb, nor do they seriously aggravate existing diseased action; and they neither cause diseased action in well organs, nor reduce the quantity of blood, nor lessen the vitality of the organism and the ability to react against the encroachment of diseased action, as does the allopathic treatment; and, consequently, if a patient dies the physician and his friends have the consolation, at least, of knowing that he did not die from the treatment.
I well remember, while practicing in Detroit, attending a prominent citizen, a lawyer, who had a severe attack of pneumonia; and, while recovering from it, he went one night into a cold room to sleep, and this brought on a relapse which involved both lungs, and my patient became very sick. One day on visiting him I found an Allopathic physician sitting by his bedside. I was told that he simply called as a friend. As I entered he arose and walked out into the hall. I followed him, and asked him what he thought of my patient. He replied very promptly: "He will die! he will die, sir!! He ought to have been bled, blistered, and physicked long ago, but it is too late now." I replied: "He will not die, sir, for the very reason that he has not had the treatment you name; he has his blood and vital energies, unimpaired by the treatment, to sustain him." And he did not die, but recovered, and was appointed Governor of one of the Western Territories long after that.
After having practiced medicine for fifteen years, except the months I was absent at Cleveland the last six years of the time, I was invited to fill the chair of Theory and Practice in the New York Homoeopathic Medical College. This invitation I accepted, and removed to New York and took up my residence there, and commenced practice again in a new field. About the year 1868 I invented a new process for refining petroleum by the aid of superheated steam, and spent eighteen months in developing the process at Binghamton, N. Y., and then returned to my practice in New York City. In the year 1873 I gave up the practice of medicine, and in connection with two gentlemen who were interested in selling oils, I commenced the refining of petroleum, manufacturing therefrom machinery and other oils; to which business I have devoted my attention ever since. I have attended chiefly to the manufacturing department and my partners to the selling.
I have been frequently asked: "Why did you quit the practice of medicine? Was not that a useful business?" Yes, it was; but I had come to feel that there were fields for greater usefulness—in fact, that it was vastly more important to teach people the laws of health and life, and to strive to lead them by precept and example to shun the causes of disease, than it was to cure them when they were sick—that prevention was better than cure. Consequently, when I saw before me a reasonably sure prospect of being able to make a good deal more money at the refining business than I could ever expect to make in the practice of medicine, I could but feel that, by the aid of a reasonable portion of the money thus made, I could perform a far greater use than I could by practicing medicine. This, then, was the reason for my giving up a good and useful profession and practice for my present business. What I have attempted to do for the benefit of suffering humanity since I gave up the practice of medicine, I will name in a future chapter.
WHY EVERY PHYSICIAN SHOULD EXAMINE AND TEST HOMOEOPATHY.
I was born in the year 1815, and on the 26th of November, 1891, was 76 years of age. I have not practiced medicine as a business for many years, and I never expect to practice again. As to money, my present business gives me all I need, and money to spare for benevolent purposes. I do not expect, nor do I desire, to receive one cent, directly or indirectly, for the writing of this pamphlet, or for the money which I expect to spend for paper, printing, binding, and sending it, post paid, to every physician and clergyman in the United States and Canada whose name I can get. I do it because I believe and hope it will be a useful work and instrumental in doing good, and that many who are willing and waiting will find useful suggestions contained in its pages, and that through their instrumentality humanity may be benefited.
A few years after I became a convert to Homoeopathy I met in a railroad car a venerable professor from the college where I graduated. We were mutually pleased to see each other, and after our congratulations were over I remarked to him that, so far as the administration of remedies was concerned, I had departed somewhat from the "general principles" which he used to inculcate, and that I had become a Homoeopathist. The Professor looked up with astonishment and exclaimed most earnestly: "I am sorry to hear that! I am sorry to hear that!" He manifested not the slightest desire to know why I had made the change, but was ready to denounce and condemn. It would be useless to talk to such a man. Before one can see a new truth, however plain it may be, he must be willing to either examine the question carefully himself, or to heed the testimony of those who have examined it. Fortunately, all physicians have not been like the above Professor; for there have been thousands who were educated in and graduated from Allopathic schools, some of them gray-haired men, who, like myself, have carefully studied Homoeopathy and cautiously tested the remedies upon the sick, who have become converts to the new practice, and who have ever after relied upon its remedies in the treatment of the sick. No intelligent physician of any other school has ever carefully read the Homoeopathic works, and has to any considerable extent cautiously used the remedies in the treatment of severe cases of various diseases, without being able to see the vast superiority of the Homoeopathic over the Allopathic treatment of disease; and no one, without prejudice, and willing to see the truth, will ever do so without being convinced. Can a man, with eyes open, on a clear day, go out at noon time and declare that the sun does not shine? He may make such a declaration while shut up in a cellar or cavern, or if he never opens his eyes. As one who has patiently and diligently studied and practiced both systems, I say without the slightest hesitation that Homoeopathy, as a system of practice, is as superior to Allopathy as the direct light of the sun is to the reflected light of the moon; in fact, much of the allopathic practice of to-day is but a reflection of the homoeopathic light. What intelligent physician to-day bleeds, blisters, salivates, or vomits his patients, as students were taught to do by preceptors, professors, and books fifty years ago? And why is such treatment so frequently, to say the least, discarded now by Allopathic physicians? Is it not largely because the success which results from the Homoeopathic treatment of diseases, has convinced Allopathic physicians and their patients that such violent disease-creating measures and remedies are unnecessary?
Homoeopathy is strictly a scientific system of medicine. It is based upon a law of nature—"Similia similibus curantur," or the law that remedies will cure symptoms and diseases similar to those which they will cause when taken by healthy persons. It is wonderful with what care, skill, and perseverance the new Materia Medica has been developed, mostly by intelligent physicians, commencing with Hahnemann, taking the different remedies in varying doses, and carefully and patiently watching the symptoms that follow, and writing them down day after day; and then, when similar symptoms occur in case of disease, giving the remedies and carefully watching and writing down the results. Allopathic physicians, as a rule, have not the slightest conception of the vast amount of patient and persevering labor in this direction which has been done by physicians as well educated as they are, and most of whom have graduated in the same schools, who have devoted their lives to this work. Are not these facts worthy of the consideration of every physician in the world who desires the highest good of his fellow men? It is well known to every intelligent physician that there is some truth in the homoeopathic law of cure, and that it has to some extent been recognized from the earliest periods of medical history. A cathartic remedy, even in Allopathic doses, will sometimes cure a diarrhoea, and an emetic will sometimes cure a nauseated stomach; but such remedies when given in large doses do not always cure, or they would generally be used by Allopathists; they sometimes seriously and even dangerously aggravate the disease, so that the vital forces do not react and thus effect a cure. Nitrate of silver and acetate of zinc, which applied to well eyes will cause irritation and inflammation, are often applied to inflamed eyes. The kine pox, which is a similar disease, is well known to either prevent or materially modify smallpox; and so I could go on enumerating cases where Allopathic physicians treat their patients in accordance with the Homoeopathic law of cure. The great discovery of Hahnemann was not so much the Homoeopathic law of cure, for some knowledge of that was possessed before his day, but the practical application of that law to the cure of disease. He found by careful experiments that diseases can be cured by remedies, which when given to the well will produce similar symptoms or diseases, in doses so small as not to seriously aggravate the existing disease or symptoms; and that all diseases may be thus treated with a success hitherto unknown. This discovery was accompanied by the most careful experiments by him and his followers upon themselves, to ascertain with the greatest possible care the effects of various remedies upon the healthy, so as to be able to make accurate prescriptions for the sick. Here you have most careful scientific investigation and experiments as to the action of remedies upon the well and sick, made, not by pretenders or quacks, but by well educated physicians, that should command the admiration and respect of every intelligent man and educated physician.
As to the doses given to the sick, which have been such a stumbling-block to our Allopathic brethren, their size is simply the result of the most careful experiments. Everyone can understand that if we give an Allopathic dose of Ipecac to a patient already sick and vomiting, or of Veratrum album to a patient suffering from Asiatic cholera or cholera morbus, we will almost certainly aggravate the disease, perhaps to a fatal extent; for it is the reaction of the vital forces of the system against the new excitement caused by the remedy, which overcomes this new excitement and the diseased action at the same time. Now, if the action of the remedy is so severe that no reaction follows, then, of course, no cure follows, and even death may result.
The great beauty and excellence of the Homoeopathic system of medicine consists in the ability to treat patients successfully thereby, without making well organs sick, or aggravating existing diseased action, or creating an opposite diseased state, as you do when you give a cathartic remedy in a cathartic dose for constipation; in that case the reaction, if reaction follows, is not in the right direction, consequently the constipation is often aggravated. I have hardly ever seen, excepting in cases of mechanical obstruction, a severe and troublesome case of constipation that had not been caused by the use of cathartic remedies. So if we give an opiate, or an astringent, for a diarrhoea, we can see that it is a direct effort to restrain the disease by force, as it were, and we necessarily have to give large doses; and, if the vital forces react against this medicinal intrusion, the reaction is not in the direction of health. It is true that the vital forces sometimes overcome the diseased action in spite of the medicinal action; but it does not always do this, and subacute and chronic diarrhoeas are the result of the use of such remedies in some cases. To create disease of a well organ for the sake of curing disease in another organ, as is done when blisters are applied to the skin for diseases of internal organs, and when cathartics are given for diseases of the head or lungs, every one can see is a roundabout treatment; and while patients may sometimes be benefited by this calling off, as it were, the attention of the vital forces from the diseased action in other organs, still it is not a very satisfactory treatment as a whole; for you may lessen the vital power of resistance against diseased action, and may even cause serious disease of the organ assailed. I repeat, one of the great beauties of Homoeopathy lies in the fact that when remedies are given in accordance with its law of cure, they do not have to be given in disease-creating doses.
Hahnemann tells us that a single dose of the 30th dilution of Aconite, which contains but the decillionth of a drop of the tincture of the remedy, will cure acute pleurisy in twenty-four hours. I have thus treated patients suffering from pleurisy with a single dose of that remedy (it should be given soon after the commencement of the disease), and at the end of twenty-four hours have found the pain and fever all gone, and the skin moist and cool; and in one instance within two days the patient was on his way to California. I have never seen any such satisfactory cures of that disease from any kind of Allopathic treatment, nor from the low dilutions of Aconite or any other Homoeopathic remedy.
Hereafter I shall call attention of both physicians and the clergy to the causes and different methods of restraining or curing both spiritual and natural diseases; for there is the most beautiful analogy or correspondence between the methods of treating natural and spiritual diseases, and they must be considered in connection if we would clearly see the truth.
THE DANGERS THAT RESULT FROM THE ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT OF DISEASES.
This treatment of diseases, more in the past than at present, consists largely in giving and applying remedies in disease-creating doses. The antiphlogistic treatment consists of blood-letting and the use and application of reducing remedies which directly or indirectly lessen the inflammatory or febrile action; but it is manifest that while it may lessen the activity of the diseased symptoms it also lessens the vitality of the system as a whole, and consequently its power to resist and overcome the existing diseased action; so that it is a serious question whether in many cases more is not lost than gained, and it is certain that, owing to the loss of blood and strength, convalescence will be more tedious. Then the use of remedies which cause active diseased action is not always safe. My own mother, at the age of 51 years, while in delicate health, was taken with a severe pain in her side. A physician was called. She thought an emetic would do her good. The physician gave her one, and she died during its operation, or immediately afterward. Her physician was so affected by this sudden and unexpected result that he had to go and lie down. At that time I was but 10 years old.
In typhoid fever there is a tendency to irritation of the mucous membrane of the small intestines; and, as I have already stated, I am satisfied from observation that when cathartics are given during this disease this irritation is often most seriously aggravated, and death not unfrequently follows as a result.
But the greatest danger and evil which result from the Allopathic treatment of disease lie, not in the direction of the sudden deaths which sometimes result from the use of its remedies, but in the liability of patients to be led into the habitual use of a drug that has afforded them palliative relief during sickness, and the countenance thus given for the use of such drugs by the laity during health. Perhaps as a rule poisonous substances palliate the symptoms which they cause, or which follow their use. A cathartic remedy will palliate the costiveness which frequently follows the use of cathartic remedies. Opium will palliate the sleeplessness and suffering that follow when the patient leaves off the use of opiates which he has been taking for disease; and alcohol and all fluids and remedies which contain an appreciable quantity of alcohol will palliate the coldness of the surface, craving, and distress which follow when a patient who has been taking such remedies attempts to discontinue their use. And thus the patient is led to continue the remedy because it makes him feel better every time he takes it; and, consequently, he is led on as naturally as water runs down hill, until he becomes a slave to his appetite.
Now, cannot every conscientious and intelligent man see what an immense blessing to his fellow men it would be if all physicians were able to treat their patients as successfully by the use of Homoeopathic remedies and doses as by the use of the so-called Alcoholic stimulants and Narcotics, which are enslaving and ruining so many, and thus be able to discard and discountenance the use of all such remedies? How can honest, conscientious physicians disregard and treat with contempt the testimony of physicians who have been educated in the same schools with themselves, but who have used their reason and freedom to investigate the new practice and test the curative action of its remedies, when they assure them that they have treated their patients far more successfully by the use of Homoeopathic remedies than they ever have done by the use of narcotics, alcoholic and fermented drinks, and other Allopathic remedies? How can physicians disregard the testimony of multitudes of patients who have been thus cured?
Why should not every physician study Homoeopathy and test the remedies on the sick? He can do it cautiously; he has all of his old remedies by him; what has he to lose? If they do not relieve his patient's sufferings more safely and promptly, he is not obliged to continue to use them. Is it a sensible and rational course for any one to allow himself to be so strongly confirmed in the views of prominent professors, teachers, and books, that he cannot without prejudice examine new truths and new methods of treating diseases, and even new theories? Should not a man strive to keep abreast of the age in which he is living? Take it, for instance, in regard to the action of alcohol on living structures. No other man has ever experimented so carefully, patiently, and thoroughly as has Dr. Richardson, of England, and the results of his experiments appeal to the common sense and observation of every unbiased man. He shows conclusively by its action that it should never have been given in a vast majority of the cases of disease where it is given by physicians; yet what attention is paid to his testimony and demonstrations, which every disinterested physician can see to be true if he will?
Dr. Richardson has also shown conclusively that alcohol paralyzes the minute capillary vessels, so that while the blood is forced into them through the arteries by the heart, it does not flow out of these minute vessels into the veins as rapidly as it does during their healthy action; consequently these vessels are congested and unnaturally distended with blood; the face and surface of the body become red, owing to the presence of an unnatural quantity of blood in these vessels. Nor is this all. The heat of the body is generated by changes going on in the blood and flows with the blood, and consequently the surface of the body becomes, from the presence of this excess of blood, unnaturally warm; but the heat is rapidly radiated from the surface, consequently the body, as a whole, becomes cooler. Dr. Richardson found by careful experiment that, while the surface was warmer, internally the body was cooler and less able to stand the cold; and he also substantiated the truth of his experiments by experiments on pigeons.
I will allow Canon Wilberforce, of South Hampton, England, to describe his experiment. While attending a reception during his recent visit to New York he was asked the following question:—
Dr. E. P. Thwing: "I would like to ask the Canon, as a physician, if the feeling as to alcoholic medication in England has changed for the better; for instance, the aspect of the British Medical Association toward this subject?"
Canon Wilberforce: "I believe that is one point in which we are going furthest ahead. I think that the whole aspect of the medical question is changing, mainly under the influence of that distinguished man of science, Dr. Richardson. He is one of the leading scientific minds of Great Britain. He has been successful in his experiments and as bold as a lion in his utterances, and he is leading scientific thought in this direction. He has proved over and over again, to use a common phrase, that from the monarch on the throne down to the maggot in the cheese, every healthy being is better without alcohol. The other day he was staying with me. I have the greatest possible objection to experimenting upon living animals, but he described to me an experiment on pigeons. It was not a very painful experiment; indeed, there are some people who, I am afraid, would like to have the experiment made upon them. He tried to induce the pigeons to take peas soaked in alcohol. They refused to do so at first; but after a while they were pleased, and they selected the peas saturated with alcohol. One cold night he turned the pigeons out, and on the following day, when he was examining them, strange to say, all those pigeons that ate the alcoholized peas were frozen to death, and those that remained teetotalers were perfectly safe and sound."
The drinking of alcoholic liquors generates no heat, it simply holds the heat in the congested blood-vessels upon the surface of the body, where it is wasted, and thus the temperature of the body as a whole is lowered.
The greatest mortality which results from the use of intoxicating drinks does not result from what is recognized as drunkenness, but from what is recognized as moderate but steady drinking. The drunkard after his sprees usually has seasons of abstinence, during which he has a chance to recuperate or regain strength and vigor, and consequently drunkards often live to an advanced age; but the steady drinker has no such seasons of rest, but his face, by its almost constantly congested appearance, shows the condition of his internal organs; for the effect of alcohol is to paralyze the minute capillary vessels throughout the body and fill them with blood, which produces redness upon the surface and a sensation of warmth. The separation of waste and worn-out materials and their removal is largely effected through these minute blood-vessels, and it is through them that nourishment reaches all the structures of the body; consequently, the almost constant state of congestion of these minute vessels, which results from regular, moderate drinking, interferes very seriously with this change or purification and renewal of all the structures of the body. As a result, while some drinkers die from drunkenness, many more die from apoplexy, paralysis, laryngitis and bronchitis, heart failure, fatty degeneration of the heart, diseases of the stomach and liver, Bright's disease of the kidneys, etc., and especially from an inability to either resist or withstand epidemic, contagious, or inflammatory diseases, or even mechanical injuries.
There are life insurance companies that give special privileges to total abstainers over moderate drinkers (they never insure drunkards). Such companies find that they can give a bonus of from 17 to 23 per cent. to total abstainers as compared with moderate drinkers.
I remember very well attending the family of a brewer. He was standing by when I advised his wife not to drink beer, for it was not good for her, as it would increase her debility and retard her recovery. With astonishment and great emphasis he exclaimed: "Tell me that beer is not good for her!" Striking his chest with his fist, he said: "Just look at me and see what beer has done for me!" He was born in Scotland, and manifestly inherited a good, strong constitution. I replied to him: "You are a large, strong man, but a little too fleshy; what beer has done for you time will tell better than I can." A few months, perhaps a year or two, after that conversation, I was riding up a street which led toward his residence when I was called in a hurry into a saloon to see a man who was said to have fallen down "in a fit." On reaching his side I found the above brewer dead upon the floor. Without much question he died of heart failure, from fatty degeneration caused by the steady use of beer. I never heard of his being intoxicated.
Dr. W. B. Carpenter, who stands at the very head of the physiologists of our century, says:—
"That the taking of alcoholic stimulants is in any way useful in keeping up the heat of the body, may now be considered as a myth altogether exploded."
Again he says:—
"Now, it is the result of many observations that the introduction of alcohol specially deranges the vaso-motor system; this derangement showing itself alike in disturbance of the heart's action, and in relaxation of the capillary vessels, which become filled with blood, especially in the nervous system and in the skin. This causes one to feel that warmth and exhilaration which is the first effect of the introduction of these disturbing agencies, and which are appealed to as evidence that drink does us good. Well, what are the facts? The fresh glow is simply the result of relaxation of the capillary vessels of the skin, allowing a large quantity of blood to come to the surface, so as to give the feeling of superficial warmth. But if a larger amount of blood comes to the surface, it robs the parts within; and the feeling of genial warmth gives way to a general depression, especially when we are exposed to severe cold. The temporary exhilaration of the nervous system, too, is followed by a corresponding depression. Hence a person feels 'sick and sorry' the next morning after taking alcoholic stimulant."
As to alcohol giving strength, it is well known that it supplies no substance to the tissues; therefore it meets no want, and consequently can give no strength. Every one can see that blood-vessels, when paralyzed and congested with blood by alcohol, cannot perform their function in the metamorphosis of the tissues of the body, or of conveying nourishment to them and removing worn-out, effete substances from them, as during health. If you would see the legitimate effects of alcohol, look at the permanently congested face of the steady drinker, or his "rum blossoms," and remember that the capillary vessels of his brain and other internal organs are in a similar state, and then say if you think he has been strengthened by alcoholic drinks.
I remember very well when a young man, when a neighboring farmer was sick and unable to gather his hay, that the young men in the neighborhood set a day when they would meet and gather his hay for him. When, on the day set, we met in the field, and the neighboring young men noticed that my brother and myself had no bottle of cider brandy with us, they exclaimed with delight, "We will lay you out before noon." A spirited contest with our scythes commenced in good earnest. But they did not lay us out; they were glad to seek and lie in the shade of trees to rest, while we were able to continue our work. It is well known that men who are preparing themselves for, or engaging in, feats requiring great strength and endurance are beginning to find that they must let intoxicating drinks alone. It is something marvelous to see with what tenacity so many physicians hold on to the idea that fermented wine, beer, brandy, and whiskey are strengthening. This idea comes, to a great extent, from the custom which prevails of giving such drinks to patients who are recovering from fevers, acute diseases, and from the effects of other debilitating causes. Many physicians have been so accustomed to give these drinks to patients, under such circumstances, that they have not the slightest idea how much better they would do without them.
A few years ago I met a German woman whose husband I knew well, and had reason to fear that beer drinking was doing him great harm. I said to her that, on her husband's account, she should never let another drop of beer enter her house if she could help it. "Why," she exclaimed, "I cannot do without beer. I suffer so much during and after confinement, and am so weak, and have so little milk for my child, that my doctor says that I must have beer to give me strength." She was then expecting to be confined within a few months. I replied to her by saying: "I have attended a great many more patients during confinement than your physician has ever attended, and after the first three years of my practice, I never gave to a single patient beer, fermented wine, whiskey, or brandy, or any other intoxicating drink. Now, if you will follow my advice, you will have a very different time from what you have ever had before; and my advice is that from this time forth you do not taste a single drop of beer, wine, or any other intoxicating drink." She said she would follow my suggestions. I met her again when her child was a few months old, and she looked like another woman. She came up to me and said: "Well, Doctor, I have followed your advice strictly. I have not tasted beer, wine, or any other intoxicating drink, and I never before had such a comfortable time during my confinement. I never was so strong or gained my strength so rapidly. I never had so much nurse for my child, and I never had such a good-natured baby before." She was the mother of several children.
Such are the results of the two methods of treatment.
There is no surer way to retard and often prevent recovery than to give patients drinks or even remedies which contain an appreciable quantity of alcohol. Where the tendency to recovery is strong they will recover sooner or later in spite of the treatment; but in some cases the physician may keep a delicate, nervous patient sick as long as he gives alcohol in any form; and in the most critical stage of typhoid fever, pneumonia, and other diseases where the patient needs nourishment, and that impurities should be removed, there is no more dangerous treatment than to give alcohol in any form, which interferes with these processes by paralyzing and congesting the capillary vessels. Hot water and nourishment, cautiously supplied, are what such patients require, not alcoholic stimulants.
The habit of taking either opium or morphine in our country has very generally resulted from the prescriptions of physicians. The patient may obtain palliative relief from its use, but suffers when he attempts to leave it off; consequently, without fully realizing the danger which he incurs, he continues the remedy until he is enslaved.
With the exception of alcohol, I know of no more dangerous medicine to give during the critical stages of inflammatory, febrile, and other diseases than Allopathic doses of opium in any form. This anodyne, by its retarding, benumbing, and stupefying effects upon the body, often destroys the power of reaction at the critical stage of the disease when the vital forces should be left free to act, and consequently in many cases patients die who would not die if they were not under the influence of this drug. Patients will often go very near to the border line and yet rally if kept free from the so-called "stimulants" and narcotics, and simple, plain nourishment is cautiously given and the body kept warm.
Physicians are sometimes responsible for the habit of using tobacco among their patrons. It is generally in chronic cases of disease where tobacco is prescribed, and, as a rule, when it is once prescribed by a physician the patient never thinks of giving up the use of the remedy; nor, so far as I have known, are physicians who prescribe tobacco often, if ever, careful to direct patients to discontinue using the remedy as soon as the symptoms of the disease from which they are suffering are relieved. Of course, a physician who neglects to do this seriously neglects his duty. It is safe to say that few physicians ever prescribe the smoking or chewing of tobacco as a remedy for diseases who do not use the weed themselves, for they can generally find much better and safer remedies.
If a physician loves intoxicating drinks and has become a slave to them, he actually feels that they do him good every time he drinks, for by relieving the symptoms temporarily which they have caused they actually make him feel better; and what is more natural than that he should prescribe them for his patients? Here, then, it can be clearly seen that there is great danger in employing physicians who love intoxicating drinks, tobacco, or opium in any form; for they believe in the efficacy of these poisons, and they will often prescribe them when a physician not addicted to their use would not think of doing so.
I have alluded to some of the dangers which attend and the evils which often result from the Allopathic treatment of diseases. Every one can see that they are formidable enough and that they merit the serious attention of every lover of his race. The skillful homoeopathic physician is able to avoid these dangers and evils, for he does not use disease-creating or appetite-begetting doses of any remedy.
We notice that those having the management of our railroads are beginning to see that, for the protection of the property of the owners and lives of their patrons, it is not safe to employ men who drink intoxicating drinks at all; for it is well known that large numbers of those who drink are sooner or later sure to become unreliable and careless. Is it not time that physicians should cease to accept as students, and that our medical colleges should cease to graduate and send forth as physicians, men who drink intoxicating drinks? Should not medical professors and teachers have as much regard for the health and lives of men, women, and children as the managers of our railroads?
Again, it is well known that the use of tobacco tends to prevent development, impair health, and to make men moody, if not careless, and it not unfrequently leads them, especially when young, to disregard the rights and feelings of others. We see men and boys smoking wherever it is not strictly prohibited, even lighting their cigars and cigarettes as they leave our elevated railroad stations, and walking down the stairs before ladies and gentlemen, thus compelling those who follow to breathe the atmosphere which they have polluted. As a fair illustration of the spirit so frequently manifested, I will describe a little incident which occurred in my presence. A young man, perhaps twenty years old, stood in a line of men approaching the paying teller's window in one of our banks, vigorously smoking his cigar. An elderly gentleman behind him asked him if he would be so kind as not to smoke. The young man immediately straightened himself up in a most self-important manner and exclaimed: "What do you think I care if it is offensive to you?"
In our railroad cars smokers have to separate themselves from wives, children, and friends and go by themselves into a smoking-car or apartment, and why? simply because tobacco smoke is unpleasant to every man, woman, and child who is not accustomed to it; and the smoker's breath often smells so strong of the smoke when his cigar is gone that it is exceedingly unpleasant to sensitive persons. Why should our medical colleges graduate young men to go forth for the purpose of attempting to heal sick, sensitive, and nervous patients, who smoke or chew tobacco, and thus are unpleasant to many and a bad example to all? Have we not enough cleanly young men, of good habits, to supply all the physicians we need in our country? A smoking physician, by his breath and bad example to the young, may do a vast deal more harm than he can ever do good as a physician in the world.
The use of an intoxicating wine as a communion wine in so many of our churches, and the efforts of so many clergymen to justify its use, together with the prescription of intoxicating drinks by physicians, are the chief supports which to-day sustain our distilleries, breweries, and saloons, and the prevalent drinking habits and consequent drunkenness. Let all of our clergy, churches, and physicians withdraw their patronage and sanction of intoxicating drinks, and it would not be many years before the manufacture and sale of such drinks would be prohibited throughout the length and breadth of our land. That day will surely come, for a new age is opening up before us very different from the past. The Lord is coming at this day in the "clouds of heaven" with power and great glory. Old things are passing away and all things are being made new—new heavens and a new earth.
Sir Astley Cooper says: "I never suffer ardent spirits in my house, thinking them evil spirits. If the poor could witness the white livers, the dropsies, or the shattered nervous systems which I have seen, the consequences of drinking, they would be aware that spirits and poisons are synonymous terms."
Again he says: "We have all been in error in recommending wine as a tonic. Ardent spirits and poisons are convertible terms."
Dr. Benj. Richardson declares it to be his opinion that the administration of alcohol will become, like blood-letting, a thing of the past, that it is passing into the same position as blood-letting. He, as a student, was educated to bleed; he was educated in the employment of alcohol; he saw the effects of the application of these tested by comparison, and he has, in one instance as much as in the other, come to consider them as behind the age, and both as remedies belonging to a departed and deceived generation.—The Dawn (English), Nov. 19, 1891.
I cannot close this chapter without again earnestly calling the attention of all physicians to the great danger to life which results from giving alcohol in any form to patients in very critical cases, or as they are at or approaching the crisis in their disease, in fevers and in inflammatory diseases, such as pneumonia, etc.
Since writing the preceding pages, in fact, since most of them were in type, my attention has been called by notices in our papers to the fact that champagne was given to a starving man, and that a few drops of brandy were mixed with the milk given to a child in a similar condition, or suffering from marasmus; and within a week a physician who has traveled extensively and lectured before medical, theological, and literary organizations, and who has frequently been in consultation in critical cases, described in my hearing several cases of pneumonia which he visited, which were, as he expressed it, drunk. When asked by the attending physician what he would suggest, he always replied, "Stop giving your patients alcoholic liquids;" and with a single exception, out of a large number, and that was a complicated case, recovery followed. While practicing in Detroit I was called to see a prominent citizen who was suffering from typhoid fever. His physicians had told his family that he would die, but that the "stimulants" they were giving him might keep him alive a few hours. I found him delirious, with cold, clammy extremities and almost pulseless. I stopped his "stimulants" at once and gave him Homoeopathic remedies and nourishment, and the next day he was out of danger. No more dangerous treatment has ever been adopted than to give a patient in a critical stage of disease alcohol in any form or quantity. Every intelligent physician ought to be able to see that this is true. I repeat, alcohol paralyzes the minute capillary vessels and veins (look at the face of the drinker) on the surface of the body, in the brain (look at a drinker's words and actions), stomach, lungs, and kidneys, and congests them with blood, through which the structures are nourished with food and drink and purified by the removal of decomposed and effete substances. Cannot every one see that these vessels, when thus paralyzed and congested, cannot perform their duty as well as they can in a natural state? Then, again, the temperature of the body is lowered internally and its heat wasted from the surface. What patients in the critical stages of disease require are warmth applied, if needed, to the surface of the body and limbs, and hot water (not scalding hot, of course), milk, unfermented wine, and other simple, easily digested articles which will nourish and strengthen the body taken internally.
It is possible that in sudden, severe cases of hemorrhage, alcohol may sometimes rescue a patient from fainting and bleeding to death, by storing the blood in the capillary vessels of the brain and surface of the body temporarily while the bleeding vessels contract; but even in such cases other remedies, if at hand, may prove more reliable.
In cases of marasmus in children, if Homoeopathic remedies and nourishing articles fail to give relief, and the child becomes greatly emaciated, give the child cautiously salt fat pork, fried, but not to a crisp; give him a piece in his hand, too large for him to swallow, and see with what avidity he will chew and suck it. The fat in combination with the salt will supply a want in the child's system, and patients will often be restored by this simple treatment after other measures have failed.
Even if alcohol were a stimulant, as some claim, we can certainly see that to give it to a patient in a state of great exhaustion, either from lack of nourishment or from an inability to take nourishment owing to diseased action, is to most seriously endanger the life of the patient and often to destroy life; for alcohol gives no nourishment, and all unnatural excitement is necessarily followed by corresponding depression, which often carries patients in critical cases below the living point, and death follows.
I will close with the following from the Health Monthly:—"The theory that whiskey is necessary in the treatment of pneumonia has received a blow from Dr. Bull, of New York, who discovers that in the New York hospitals sixty-five per cent. of the pneumonia patients die with alcoholic treatment, while in London, at the Object Lesson Temperance Hospital, only five per cent. die.—Ex."
PERSONAL RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE OF A PHYSICIAN; AND AN APPEAL IN BEHALF OF A NEW DISPENSATION.
We know that in various ages of the world the Lord has revealed a knowledge of Himself to man. In the Ten Commandments we have the laws of spiritual life, in accordance with which we must live if we would enjoy spiritual health, precisely as we must live in accordance with the laws of natural life and health, if we would enjoy natural health.
We are dependent upon revelation for a knowledge of the laws of spiritual health, and of the causes and methods for the cure of spiritual diseases; but the Lord gives us, if we will keep His sayings, the ability, by careful scientific study and investigation, to obtain a knowledge of the physical laws of health, and the causes and methods of curing physical diseases. And it is wonderful how the natural in all respects symbolizes or corresponds to the spiritual.
To the Jewish Church the Lord revealed so much knowledge of Himself, and how they should live if they would be prosperous and happy here and hereafter, as that Church was prepared to receive; and He also promised to manifest Himself in person. All Christians believe that He fulfilled His promise when Jesus Christ appeared on earth; but He did not come in the manner which the Jews at the time of His advent expected. He came, not as a temporal ruler or prince; consequently they took Him for an impostor and crucified Him. To His followers and disciples He promised to come again in the clouds of heaven; but the clouds of heaven may not be the clouds of the material earth, any more than the spiritual kingdom which He came to establish was a natural kingdom; and it is possible that His second coming may not be in the manner anticipated by the Christian Church at the time of His second coming. He intimated as much when He inquired if He should find faith on earth. Should Christians, then, not watch and pray, and heed the signs of the times, lest they follow the example of the Jews, and reject Him at His second coming? Should not clergymen, as well as physicians, be led in freedom according to reason, and not blindly by prominent religious professors, clergymen and writers, and creeds formulated in an age of comparative darkness? Should the traditions and creeds of men be allowed to make of none effect the Word of God? Do we not see all around us signs of a most wonderful change going on in the world? Are these changes which we behold from the Lord, or from man?
I was reared in the Baptist Church. My father was a deacon, and labored faithfully to bring his children into the Church. I was taught that I must be converted, or get religion, before being baptized or joining the Church. What was meant by being converted I never fully comprehended, but I inferred from the instruction I received that it meant a radical change in one's feelings, the result of faith in the Lord's "atoning blood;" and that when this change was effected, I should be able to tell an experience similar to what I had heard others tell before joining the Church, which sometimes seemed quite marvelous. I attended "protracted meetings" and "revival meetings." And, one evening, I remember hoping and almost feeling that I felt a little change, and I even thought of announcing my feelings in the meeting; but caution prevailed, and I concluded to wait until the next day and see if there really was any change in my feelings. When the next day came, I could see no change, and consequently I made no announcement. Thus, I grew up and continued, until I was over thirty years of age, outside of the organized Church. I always respected religion, the Bible, and religious teachers, but I never got converted.
I had many things during childhood and early youth to be thankful for. My father and grandfather before him were accustomed to gather the family, night and morning, and read, or have some member of the family read, a chapter in the Bible, and then prayer was offered. Now, when this is done regularly, and especially if the Bible is read, in course, with here and there a few kindly remarks by the father or mother, no one can tell the good impression which is made on the children; they learn to reverence the Bible, and, what is of exceeding great moment, they hear it read through and through several times before they reach manhood, and they become comparatively familiar with the good and living precepts therein contained. The Sabbath-school, once a week for an hour or two, is all very well; but, in my estimation, it is very little, compared with daily family worship and acknowledging the Lord, and asking a blessing. O, that all Christian men and women could be aroused to the importance of such religious observances?
Some years ago, I went with my wife and a friend for a summer outing to the Catskill Mountains, and spent a few days at the Mountain House. There were a large number of guests there, of the various religious denominations. Those religiously inclined had established the custom of meeting every morning around a table, in a large room, when a chapter from the Bible was read, followed by singing and prayer. There have been few, if any, incidents of my whole life that I have more frequently thought of, or with greater pleasure and delight, than of those large, non-sectarian, and, as it were, family gatherings and simple services.
My mother died, as stated in the first part of this work, when I was ten years old. After remaining a widower for three years, during which period my grandparents, who lived with us, died and my only sister was married, my father married a widow, the mother of several children, a good Christian woman and a member of the Baptist Church.
I have always been thankful that I had a step-mother. No own mother could have been more kind, or have exercised a stronger influence for good over a son than she strove to exercise over me. She entered our home when I was thirteen years of age, when I needed a mother's influence and care perhaps as much as at any period of my life after I had ceased to draw my nourishment from my mother's breasts. Tears come into my eyes as I recall the pleasant, useful, and happy evenings and Sunday afternoons which I spent with her, when we happened to be alone in the house, reading and conversing about the interesting stories in the Bible and other religious books and papers that she thought would interest me. She may have had faults, yet I was about to say I do not remember one; but, unfortunately, she had one—she was a smoker of tobacco. Years before she had been troubled with "water brash," and a physician who, without much question, was himself a smoker, advised her to smoke; so she commenced smoking. He did not tell her to stop smoking as soon as she felt relief, as any intelligent physician should have done, if he was so unwise as to make such a prescription; but it is a question whether she ever experienced any permanent relief; for she was a bright, intelligent woman, and would have been likely to stop smoking of her own accord if she had been cured. In my estimation the physician who made the prescription was much more to be blamed than she was for the habit which followed. But seventy years ago very little was known as to the fearful slavery and diseases and mortality which result from the use of tobacco, compared with what is known to-day. The sin of ignorance cannot be pleaded in extenuation of such habits to-day, as it could then.
As to intoxicating drinks, I remember hearing my grandfather, when he was over eighty years old, after taking a drink of cider-brandy, exclaim: "A good gift of God, if taken with faith and prayer."
Fortunately, or providentially, I would say, the temperance reformation commenced soon after, and my father and other prominent members and the clergymen of the Baptist and Congregational churches in our town took an active part in the new movement. My father signed the pledge not to drink intoxicating drinks, and I followed his example; and I thank the Lord that I did so, for it gave me the strength and courage to say, "No, I thank you, I never drink," when invited and tempted to drink intoxicating drinks. No intoxicating drinks have been publicly sold in that town (Ashfield, Mass.) for many years. During a recent visit there I found that, within the past three years, there have been 61 deaths in the town, of whom 15 only were under 50 years of age, whereas 20 were over 80 years, of whom 4 were over 90 years of age. What do you think of that, Christian brother?
I remember very well the first ideas I had of God when a boy, which I derived from the preaching and praying of ministers. It was that God and our Lord Jesus Christ were two distinct Beings. We had for a time a venerable gray-headed old man who preached one Sabbath, and a young man who preached the next. I thought the old man represented God the Father and the young man represented Jesus Christ.
When I arrived at manhood and came in contact with men of different religious views, and read some of their writings, the doctrine of the Trinity became more and more a mystery to me. At one time I was slightly inclined to Unitarianism, but I could not reconcile their doctrines with the Bible. Yet the Trinitarians seemed to teach distinctly that there are either two Gods, possessing different attributes, or that Jesus Christ was not God. It does not make any difference what we say with our lips; the question is, What do we "think in our hearts"? When I heard a bishop of one of the prevailing denominations stand up in his pulpit, as I have, and represent Jesus Christ as standing with one hand upon the throne of Jehovah, and the other hand resting upon the sinner's head, pleading with the Father to forgive him for his (Christ's) sake, was there not in the mind of that bishop a distinct idea of two Beings, possessing different feelings and passions? Now, were both of them Gods, or was one of them not God? And when I heard prayers so frequently terminated by the phrase, "Forgive us for Christ's sake," the question naturally arose, to whom were such prayers addressed? If there are any intelligent rational ideas connected with the phrase in the mind of the one using it, has not his prayer unquestionably been addressed to some God outside of the Lord Jesus Christ? Who is that God? Can Christian men safely reject the express teaching of our Lord Himself when on earth, when He declared: "I and my Father are One;" "Whose hath seen me, hath seen the Father"? and the apostle's teaching, that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself"? Is there any other way to the Father at this day except through the person of the Lord Jesus Christ—God manifest in the flesh? Is He not the "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last"? Why, then, pray to an unknown God? In the Old Testament, we are told that "I, Jehovah, am your Savior, and beside me there is no Savior," and in the New Testament we are told that in Jesus Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. He is "Immanuel—God with us." Let us, then, worship Him—One God in One Divine Person.
The doctrine of election and predestination early troubled me. I could not reconcile it with the loving kindness which the Sacred Scriptures proclaim as characteristic of our Heavenly Father.
The doctrine of justification by faith alone, "without the deeds of the law," as the old hymn read, was not a doctrine which appealed to my reason, but it was a very consoling doctrine. Every young man who has been carefully reared by religious parents, and under the influences of a church, expects to be converted and get religion some time before he dies, and to join a church. But if he enjoys good health and the prospect of living for many years, especially if he is taught that, by merely believing or having faith at any time in the "atoning blood of Christ," he can escape the consequences of his evil deeds, there is great danger of procrastination.
A clergyman once said to me: "If a man repents and gets converted one hour before his death, the worse he has been or lived, the happier he will be." It seems to me better to be guided by the Word of the Lord, and to believe that the evil doer shall not go unpunished. The Lord came into the world to save men from sin and from the penalty only so far as they co-operate with Him. Sin is the cause, the penalty is the effect; and effect follows cause as a normal and necessary consequence.
The young, as well as the old, should be taught the great truth, that every thought we harbor, and every word we speak, and every act we do, aid in building up our spiritual organism, and will tell on our eternal destiny, just as the natural food and drink we use, and the exercise we take, will tell on the future health of our material bodies, for good or evil; and there is no avoiding it. If a man or woman, young or old, would be right in the future, he must do right in the present. No one should forget that, even if we reach heaven, the mansion which we will occupy there will depend on our lives here—every one will unite with those like Himself. No one can tell the immense harm which has been done to our race, by teaching that either by faith alone, or through the influence or efforts of the clergy, men can be saved from the penalties or consequences which are sure to follow an evil life. The "willing and obedient" shall eat the good of the land. Our blessed Lord tells us: "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love" (John xv: 10). Thus beautiful, symmetrical, spiritual organisms are built up, not by "sowing wild oats" during youth, and disobeying the divine commandments during the subsequent period of life. It is well for all, young or old, to remember the Word: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Gal. vi: 7.) At this day we need practical doctrines, which shall unite religion and life, or faith and charity, and such alone will command the respect of non-churchgoers.
While a young man my attention was early called to the doctrines of the Universalists, but their doctrines did not seem to me to accord with the Sacred Scriptures; nor did I think that all men could be equally happy hereafter, when there is such a vast difference in their conduct and lives here. Genuine happiness is the result of right willing and doing; in other words, of keeping the commandments. I have no doubt but the Lord desires that all men should thus live and be happy; but we know that all men are not willing. Having created them free agents, God does not compel them here to love the Lord and their neighbor, which loves manifestly constitute heaven; what reason, then, have we to think He will compel them to do it hereafter? If a man deliberately leads an evil life here, growing ever stronger and more confirmed in that life, until he has made evil his good and rejoices in it, what reason have we to suppose or assume that he will change when he enters the next life? I am willing to leave him in the hands of the Lord—he has passed from my sight. I well remember the remarks of my grandmother when she was eighty-six years of age, a few days after the death of her husband, my grandfather. She said: "I do not fear to die, for I feel that God will do me no injustice." Within a few days she departed in peace.
The Millerite excitement commenced when I was a young man. When I was about twenty years old I was traveling in central Massachusetts. One night there was a meeting of Millerites in the neighborhood where I was stopping, and I attended the meeting. The speaker was very zealous and earnest in his remarks. There was a comet with quite a long tail then visible, and he seemed to think that that comet, with its tail, might sweep across the track of our earth and work its destruction, which he anticipated. I remember very well my reflections on leaving that meeting. A few days before I had stood upon the side of a hill near the track, and had seen for the first time a railroad train on its way from Boston to Worcester. I said to myself: "Now we have railroads, steamboats, friction matches, temperance societies, Sunday-schools, the Bible translated into various languages, which but a few years ago were unknown. This great continent, from being a wilderness, inhabited by a comparatively few wild Indians, has been discovered and is being developed and cultivated by civilized and Christian people, and gradually being made capable of containing and sustaining hundreds of millions of inhabitants." With all these facts before me, I said to myself, "It looks a great deal more as though the world is just beginning to live; in fact, that a new era is dawning, than it does that the world is going to be destroyed." From that night the Millerite doctrine never troubled me any more, for I felt that I beheld, in all the wonderful inventions being made and changes going on in the world, the dawning light of a better day for the inhabitants of our earth.
THE DAWN OF A NEW DISPENSATION.
We behold the dawn of a new day before we see the sun, from whence the light proceeds.
The young in the Baptist Church, not having been baptized in infancy, are brought up to feel that they are out of the Church, and that they have to be converted, or "to get religion," before they join the Church, instead of being brought up to feel that, having been baptized, they belong to the Church and must believe its doctrines, and live the life which they teach. Thus I remained out of the Church until I was over thirty years of age. After I was twenty-three years old I attended different churches, as was most convenient. For a time I attended the Episcopal Church, while studying medicine; and after I graduated I attended the Congregational Church for several years more frequently than any other; but I had no thought of joining that Church, for during those days I always thought that immersion was the only true mode of baptism.
While practicing medicine in Detroit, a gentleman whose family I was attending asked me if I would not like to read a work on "Heaven and Hell," written by Emanuel Swedenborg, who claimed, he said, to have had open intercourse with the spiritual world, and to have written of what he had seen and heard in that world. He said that he had read it, and believed that the views therein contained were rational and true. If I had ever heard of them at all, at that time, I had never heard the writings of Swendenborg spoken of favorably before. Out of respect to the gentleman, I took the book home with me, but did not feel sufficient interest in it to attempt to read it through in course, but read here and there a few pages; and, after keeping it a few weeks, I returned it to the owner, feeling from what I had read no interest in its contents. Not long after this a lady whom I was attending asked me if I would not like to read Professor George Bush's reasons for accepting as true the revelations contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Well, I thought to myself, if the gentleman who lent me "Heaven and Hell," if my patient here, who is a very intelligent woman, and Professor Bush, whom I had understood was a very learned man, believe that Swedenborg's writings contain truths good and useful, it may be well for me to read the pamphlet then before me. So I took the book home with me and commenced reading it. About that time Rev. George Field commenced the delivery of a course of lectures on Creation and the first chapters of Genesis, treating the subject from the standpoint of Swedenborg's writings. I attended his lectures, which added very much to my interest, and I read Bush's reasons with care. Then I obtained "Heaven and Hell," and read it carefully through with the greatest interest. When a small boy I remember very well listening with fear and trembling to a discourse delivered by a clergyman, on "God is angry with the wicked every day," in which the speaker dwelt upon the fearful sufferings which the Lord had in reserve for the wicked in a hell of fire and brimstone, where they were to be tortured forever and ever.
When I came to read Swedenborg's "Heaven and Hell," I found a very different and more rational doctrine taught—that heaven consists in loving the Lord and the neighbor, or in religious obedience to the divine commandments; and that hell consists in loving one's self and the world supremely, or sensual and selfish gratification, without regard to use; that either heaven or hell is within us, according to the character of our ruling love; that the Lord casts no one into hell, but does all He can, without interfering with man's freedom, to prevent men from going to hell; if they go there, they go of their own free choice, among their like, where selfishness in some form rules the hearts of the inhabitants; they would not and could not be happy among those who are ruled by love to the Lord and the neighbor; or by obedience to the divine commandments. The spiritual world is a more real world than this; therefore, in that world the motives, thoughts, and intentions of men cannot be hidden as readily as in this world; consequently, there is a great gulf between heaven and hell. One is opposite to the other. When love to the Lord and to the neighbor rules in the hearts of all the inhabitants, there is no need of penal laws or punishments, for each one is a law unto himself, and all are striving to do good to each other and to all; consequently, unity, peace, and harmony prevail.
How different from this is hell, where selfishness prevails; where the love of dominion over others, or the love of vain show, the love of acquiring unfairly that which belongs to others, the love of riches for the sake of being rich, and of selfish and sensual gratification without regard to use, rules in the hearts of all the inhabitants. We know that such perverted passions make a hell hot enough here; and, as death does not change the character of a man's ruling love, they will make a hell hot enough hereafter. But the Lord, in His mercy which endureth forever, by His angels governs the hells as well as the heavens, and does not permit vindictive punishments. All punishments are for the benefit of evil doers, to restrain and prevent them from doing evil to others and themselves, and from sinking to greater depths of wickedness; we may, therefore, safely leave the inhabitants of that world in His care.
No man or woman can read "Heaven and Hell" attentively, carefully, and prayerfully without great benefit. It is clearly shown that, to escape hell, an evil man has but to repent, to look to the Lord and shun evils as sins against Him, and that the Lord is no respecter of persons, but that He gives to every man the ability to do this, if he is willing. When we examine ourselves carefully in the light of the Sacred Scriptures, and discover an evil, if we shun that evil as a sin against the Lord, He keeps us in the effort to shun all evils, and enables us more clearly to see other evils to which we are inclined. Here is an open door for approaching the Lord, free to all; there is no mystery about it. If an evil man is to be reformed, he must repent or face about and commence a life of shunning evils as sins against God; otherwise, there will be no radical change, but a miserable shuffling from one evil habit to another. Even if a man shuns one evil habit, like the smoking or chewing of tobacco, because it injures his health and is likely to destroy his life, and not because it is a sin, and without the acknowledgment that it is a sin, he is almost sure to seek as a substitute some form of intoxicating drinks—opium, strong coffee, or tea. We make a great mistake, as Christians, if we try to substitute coffee- or tea-houses for saloons; not that the effects of coffee and tea are as pernicious as intoxicants, but they are unnecessary, and often diseases and great suffering result from their use. We should strive to show men and women, in the light of this day, what substances are unmistakably injurious to health and endanger life, and strive to lead them, by precept and example, to shun their use as sins against God.
After reading "Heaven and Hell" I read the "True Christian Religion," which is the last work that Swedenborg published, containing the essential doctrines of the New Christian Church, or the New Jerusalem now descending from God out of Heaven, "making all things new." In this work it is clearly shown that God is one in essence and in person, and that in the Lord Jesus Christ that one God is manifested to men. God is love. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was, with God and the Word was God." Here we have the Father or Divine Love, the Son or Divine Wisdom, and the Holy Spirit or Divine Proceeding, flowing from the Father because He is a being of infinite love, wisdom, and power, through the Son, a trinity in unity. The Divine Being is no more three persons than a man is three persons, because he is created in the image of God and has affection or love, an understanding, or thoughts, words, and acts that flow from his love through his understanding out toward his fellow men. All the doctrines of the New Christianity are based upon the Sacred Scriptures and appeal to our highest reason; and we are to receive them because we see them to be true and in strict harmony with the Word when the latter is correctly understood.
But I have neither time nor space to discuss these doctrines here. I will simply say, that when we come to see clearly that there is but one God whose name is one, who was manifested in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that whoso seeth Him seeth the Father, then a number of false doctrines which proceed from and cohere with the doctrine of a tri-personal Deity will disappear like mists before the rising sun; and we shall be prepared to see and understand the rest of the beautiful and rational doctrines taught in "The True Christian Religion," and the mystery of Babylon and all man-made creeds will disappear before this new revelation from our Lord Jesus Christ.
After reading the "True Christian Religion" I read the work on Divine Providence, which gives such a clear view of the Lord's providential care over men that it strengthens and encourages the earnest seeker after truth wonderfully. It is a book which should be read by every Christian man and woman.
Next, "The Angelic Wisdom Concerning the Divine Love and Wisdom" throws a flood of light on the origin of the material universe and all created things. In this work we are clearly shown that the Lord is Love itself, because He is Life itself: and "that angels and men are recipients of life;" and "that all created things in a certain image represent man," and "that Love is the life of man."
But Swedenborg's "Apocalypse Revealed" was one of the most satisfactory works I ever read. It opened up to me a new world of thought, of expectation, hope and joy. The reading of this work and the first volume of his "Arcana Celestia" satisfied me that the Sacred Scriptures are divine or a special revelation from God to man, and differ from all merely human writings as much as a living man differs from a statue; for they are filled with a Divine spirit. The Lord says: "My words are spirit and life."
The Sacred Scriptures are written in accordance with the law of correspondence between spiritual and natural things. The spiritual is the cause, the natural is the effect; and effects must correspond to their causes in every particular. The Lord is the sun of the spiritual world and the creator of all things: consequently our natural sun corresponds to the spiritual sun, or the Lord. From the Lord, or the spiritual sun, love and wisdom proceed, and give life to man's spiritual body; from the natural sun flow natural heat and light which enable the natural body to live; natural heat and light therefore correspond to spiritual heat and light, or to love and truth, which are heat and light to the spirit of man. Through the natural clouds and atmosphere which surround the earth we receive natural heat and light from the natural sun, as we receive spiritual heat and light or love and truth from the Lord through the literal sense of the Sacred Scriptures; Consequently the clouds of heaven in which the Lord was to come are the literal sense of his holy Word, unfolding its spirit and life and manifesting the Father clearly to His children. The sun which was to be darkened was not the natural but the spiritual sun, or the Lord obscured to man's spiritual perception. When men in their creeds separated the Lord into three persons, and framed doctrines in accordance therewith, which, in their estimation, would enable them to reach heaven by believing certain dogmas, instead of by a life according to the Divine Commandments, then was the sun indeed darkened in the minds of men. Then a true faith or knowledge of the Lord was destroyed and the moon became as blood. A true faith reflects the light or wisdom of the Lord upon man, as the natural moon reflects the light of the natural sun. Water corresponds to truth upon the natural plane of the mind, for it cleanses the natural body as truth cleanses his spirit; it also circulates throughout the natural body, conveying nourishment to all the structures of the body as truth circulates through the spiritual body, conveying that which is good and true to strengthen and develop the spiritual body. It is owing to this correspondence that water is used in the ordinance of baptism, for it performs the same office for the natural body that truth does for the spiritual body; it cleanses and conveys nourishment; and therefore baptism by water signifies that man is to be regenerated by receiving and living according to the truth. It is also the Christian sign—a sign that one baptized is of the Christian Church, or professes the Christian religion.