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With the discovery of gunpowder, the art of printing, and the liberty of conscience, came experimental methods in medicine. But it was not easy to strangle belief in the efficacy of the royal touch, the saving service of a martyr's bones, and the curative virtues of water draw from a holy well. Pilgrims to Mecca drink from a stream that arises in the city and is polluted with sewage. But the water has been blessed by Mohamed; hence his followers think it wholesome and healing. From that pestilential rill starts cholera, that spreads through pagandom and christendom, slaying millions in its meanderings.


This suggests that we should favor well organized and efficient Boards of Heath, and not be opposed to them as some of us have been. We want no partisan legistation in this matter. There should be no favoritism in the creation of such bodies, and the rules adopted should be just and equable. Too often petty tyranny had been exercised by State Boards. We protest against "class legislation" of all kinds and forms. In Tennessee, Texas and some other States, all health officers must be allopathic; but in the northwest a more liberal policy prevails. Governor Crittendon, of Missouri, has set an example of liberality in a late speech on "Medical Codes," which should be followed by several Excellencies of eastern commonwealths. He predicted that the "non-intercourse" feature of the American Medical Association will be consigned to everlasting oblivion. “One human life," his Excellency says, "is worth more than all the prejudices of all the schools from the day of Esculapius to the present time." Those are memorable words, and coming from such a distinguished source they will carry an influence in the right direction that has never been felt before.


A young man should never engage in the study of medicine until he has canvassed the impulses of his heart and decided whether he is a philanthropist or not. Physicians seemingly work against their own interests. They obtain a livelihood by

treating the sick, yet they are ever striving to keep people sound and well. If it were not for doctors our legislators would not be able to formulate sanitary measures. We can not cure all diseases, nor can we stay every epidemic, yet we do as much as ought to be expected of us, considering the frail material we have to deal with. Besides, we are not alone in failures. The farmer, if any value can be attached to his everlasting complaints, is never sure of good crops, though his avocation is reckoned among the surest to reward honest toil. Prolonged drouths and myriads of grasshoppers upset the best laid schemes of husbandmen. The hunter often fails to secure game, and the fisherman is proverbially in bad luck. Insurance companies do not always declare dividends, and banks have been known to go into liquidation. If we engage in a suit at law our attorney does not always win the case. In fact, we ought to see at the start that only one side can litigate successfully; often both sides lose, the lawyers, through coincidence or agreement, having consumed everything, leaving absolutely nothing for the unfortunate litigants.

A clergyman is not always sure of pleasing his congregation. He is likely to be too young or too old, or too something else; and there are more schisms in theology that there are in medicine. Even the Society of Friends has a Hicksite faction.


There is a prevailing belief among the younger in the profession of medicine that so much has been attained in the field of discovery that little is left for them. If the notion were based upon truth there would not be much to encourage a man to delve in a barren field, or in an exhausted mine. But I can assure the timid and the faint-hearted, that in the next ten years greater progress will be made in medicine and surgery than has been accomplished in any previous decade.

None but the cowardly and the lazy will concede that the books are closed, and that nothing new or valuable is to be hewn from the future. The physiological methods coming. into vogue will soon overthrow much that has been looked upon as settled. Only drones desire to be let alone; they despise

progress because they have to work to keep up! They prefer to believe in the infallibility of the "fathers." I am not one of those optimistic individuals who believe the medical Messiah has come, and that a medical millennium is at hand. But we are enjoying a season of liberal competition which favors advancement. We entertain good will toward all medical men, except vagrants and mountebanks. Let every man have the doctor of his choice, whether big pills or little pills are prescribed. In the great change which is everywhere apparent in the practice of medicine, he is wise who chooses the golden mean and avoids extremes. We do not commend Bouillard, who boasted that he had shed more blood than the First Napoleon; nor the dispenser of the millionth dilution of inanity.


We aim to be Eclectic in the true and best sense of the word. There may be differences or shades of difference among ourselves, yet all strive to be liberal and selective, and we concede the largest liberties to others-to those who differ from us. It is our pride that we are not dogmatic. But in our pretensions it is fit and proper that we examine ourselves, to see whether we are as generous and liberal as we claim to be. I have occasionally met a fraternal practitioner who could not see himself as others saw him, and who held a competitor in utter disgust, when it was evident that the ill-feeling grew out of an existing competition. There are several kinds of strabismus besides that of squinting; and color blindness is only one kind of visual imperfection. The worst state of sightlessness is alleged to be met in those determined not to see the willfully blind. If a physician be so biased that he cannot behold anything good outside his own dogmatic school, he had better pray for a more liberal spirit, and a wider range of vision.

I wish physicians, in addition to their many good qualities, had a few that seem peculiar to lawyers. The latter may sell their storm and rage, "Iras et verba locant," as the Roman poet, Martial, has declared concerning them, yet they are

friendly in regard to their professional interests. Judge West, the blind jurist of Ohio, was reflecting upon himself and his profession, when he asked a witness, who happened to be a lawyer, what his avocation may have been before he became a lawyer and followed some honest employment.


I have alluded to the physiological method of investigating disease, and wish I could make the subject plain. But as the essence of vitality can never be expressed in words it would be idle to attempt to expand upon the topic. We can dissect and display organic structures, and observe vital manifestations-the phenomena of living things and compare them with disordered tissues and phases, yet never comprehend the living principle of the humblest creature. By the aid of lenses the animalcule can be viewed, but its spiritual individuality can not be seen.

When there is a proper co-ordination of organ and function in a living being, a state of health is present and enjoyed, but as soon as the harmonious relation is disturbed by an extrinsic or intrinsic force or influence, the vital phenomena are modified -perturbed and become pathological. A morbid condition is a thwarted or perverted state whose mission was to be physiological. Health, then, is natural and normal, and disease is an abnormity which may be potent enough to maim or kill. The conservative and recuperative activities tend to overwhelm a morbid process, but may prove incompetent without the aid of assistance in the shape of judiciously selected remedies which act as correctives of morbid states and tendencies.


To select the best remedial agent or agency after the nature of a disease has been ascertained is a work of time spent in experimental efforts. If a medical man would make progress in his age and generation he must labor methodically and with a purpose always in view. He must love his profession with a depth of affection as great as that of Jacob for Rachael. He must be willing to toil twice seven years for the tempting

prize. Success in medicine does not depend as much upon the style or mannerism of the doctor as is generally supposed. A peculiar garb or odd way may catch the eye of the gullible, but sensible people want a physician of education, refinement and candor. A practitioner of medicine who can command the respect and the patronage of the discriminating and judicious need not be concerned about his income, for such patients pay bills.

The great stumbling block in the way of medical progress consists in the fact that drugs have principles and properties ascribed to them which they either do not possess, or only so to a degree not worth mentioning. Now, to test all kinds of medicines, to find their relative and essential worth, is a labor too great to be accomplished by one man or a single generation. A physician who has experimented long enough to be a reliable observer has only time to prove a few agents. The presumptive, in an unwarranted haste to cover much ground, have contributed more confusion than real good. And until we resolve to go slow in this matter we shall make little valuable headway. The stupid and conceited mediciner who concocts a villainous mess and imagines, because a patient survives after taking it, the compound is either valuable or in the remotest degree scientific, is a victim of a cherished delusion. Progress can never be made with compounds.

The surgeon enjoys the best opportunity to attain accuracy, both in diagnostics and therapeutics. He must make a nice diagnosis, or disgracefully fail; and he must prescribe with precision or fail of his purpose. His remedies must possess positive qualities, hence he deals in specifics. If he have a malignant ulcer to cure, he cannot dawdle with placebos. If a constitutional vice' is to be eradicated before an inflamed joint will get well, the surgeon must employ remedies that manifest activity. He will lose his patient if he trust to feeble vital powers and feebler medicines. It is said that the best physicians have little of the surgeon in them, but I do not believe it. My understanding of the matter is, that there should be more of the surgeon in the average physician. There should be in him more acuteness in diagnostic powers,

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