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plan of treatment of rheumatism in the ankles is that of cutting open the back of the heel, scraping away the muscular tissues down to the bone, filling the cavity with cayenne pepper and then stitching up the skin. Gangrene. is by no means an infrequent sequel to such procedure.
It is stated by medical missionaries in China that occasionally a native physician finding himself unable to cope with a case of illness of a parent, will order a soup made from the flesh cut from the arm of a son or daughter. It is hard for us to realize what must be the pain inflicted by such an operation, conducted without an anæsthetic and in the roughest and most pitiless manner.
In delirium from fever, the sufferer in Northern India is believed to be possessed by a demon, and is put in an outhouse and chained hand and foot to a stone block.
In Tibet the approach of a small-pox epidemic produces a frenzied fear which is met by terribly summary methods of extinction by burning the patients alive, or hurrying them over the edge of rapid torrents, or by the slower and more painful process of starvation on a mountain top to which they have been carried. "It is the glorious work of the missionary physician to overthrow these barbarous systems of medical treatment . . and to substitute for them the scientific methods, the skill and the suavities of . . . Western Medicine.
To our medical sisters is the special honor given to enter the domestic Bastilles of the East with healing and light, and to make an end by their skilled and beneficent methods of the barbarous practices of native midwifery, and of the many remediable sufferings of their own sex.'
If you would seek to measure the power of Christianity, look at and compare the treatment of the sick before
A Powerful Apologetic of Christianity.
Christ came and where to-day He is not known, with that of countries where His influence has been felt for generations. We would commend the study of this subject to any who wish for a new line of apologetics which will assuredly strengthen their faith in, and magnify the office of, the principles brought into the world through the love-manifestation of God in His Son, Jesus.
We would not seem to claim that institutions for treatment of the sick were unknown till the advent of Christianity. Far from it. Notably in India, during the Buddhist ascendency, about 300 B. C., hospitals were founded. In that country, as well as in Arabia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, there was constant association of the healing art with religious functions. But with a few notable exceptions their methods were a strange medley of superstitions and incantations, with but little admixture of rational treatment. And in the best examples of history we see but a faint foreshadowing of pure altruism and sacrifice for others, which finds so exalted a place in Christian Medicine.
"Did Athens with three-fourths, and Rome with three-fifths, of her population in slavery build hospitals for the sick, the lame, the blind, the insane, the leper? Did these humanitarian feelings and customs of benevolence arise in India or China or Japan, with their highly praised, elaborate system of morals? Among Pagan nations there has been high culture, art and eloquence, but little humanity. Greece and Rome had shrines for numberless divinities, forty theatres for amusement, thousands of perfumery stores, but no shrine for brotherly love, no almshouse for the poor. Millions of money were expended on convivial feasts, but nothing for orphans or for homes for widows. In all my classical reading,' says Professor Packard, I have never met with the idea of an infirmary, or hospital, except for sick cats (a sacred animal) in Egypt.'"*
Dr. Döllinger says: "Among the millionaires of Rome there was not one who founded a hospice for the poor or a hospital for the sick."
The sympathies of the heathen have never extended beyond the class, or at widest the nation; but those of Christianity are as wide as the human race. Christianity alone has established hospitals for an alien race on the simple ground of a common human brotherhood."+
Christianity was but in its early centuries when Fabiola, a Roman lady of ancient and noble lineage, founded *"The Growth of the Kingdom of Cod." Sidney Gulick. p. 265.
+"Life of Peter Parker, M.D." 1896. p. 345.
the first famous Christian hospital. This hospital was situated some distance from the city, in a healthy location. Its fame, we are told, spread throughout the Roman Empire" from the Egyptians and Parthians to the cities of Britain." Fabiola sold her very large patrimony and founded a convalescent home in connection with the hospital. "She constituted herself a nurse, the first of her order, and was in the habit of bearing the sick about, and of bathing their sores on which others would not look. No less generous of her person than of her purse, she braved discomfort that would have discouraged others and seemed to feel that in caring for the wounds of her patients she was caring for those of her Saviour. The same devotion is praised also in the case of the Empress Flacilla, who went herself to the hospitals, took care of the sick, prepared their food, tasted their drink, and performed for them all the duties of a menial; and when they sought to turn her from her purpose, she replied: 'Let the Emperor distribute his gold; this I will do for them on whose behalf he holds his Empire.'"* It is only on the banks of the stream that flows from the throne of God that there grows the tree whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.
Look at the treatment of the insane in these Cru-Ity to lands and compare it with that in Syria, China, Arabia or Persia. In the latter country, the poor lunatic is chained, his feet fastened in the stocks, is constantly beaten and half starved with the idea. that if badly treated the devil will the sconer leave him. And then, as a last resource when the friends have grown tired of even this unkind care of their relative, the lunatic is given freedom in the desert. His hands are tied behind his back and he is led out into the desert and is never heard of again."
We believe we are right in stating that there is not a single asylum for the treatment of the insane by modern principles in the whole of Syria and Persia, though probably before the year has passed there will be one established at Lebanon. Mr. Waldmeier, to whose earnest advocacy, together with that of two eminent asylum *"Hospitals and Asylums of the World," Burdette, Vol. III., p. 34.
physicians, this first asylum will be mainly due, records that the condition of the mentally diseased in Syria defies description. "A young fellow of twenty-three years became insane with acute mania. Of course, he was chained and actually walled up in a cave. Through a hole they used to throw him sometimes a few dried figs and some bread. He became just like a wild beast; his nails grew long like claws, and he used to tear the rats and mice which were in that abode into pieces to satisfy his hunger. He did more that would be unseemly to mention. He was relieved by death at last, having been in this fearful state for four years.' Another patient in a different part of Syria was put in iron chains and given in charge of two merciless fellows, who beat him until relieved by death.
"The Muhammedans have a place at Nablous for those who have lost their reason, and this place is called El Khudr, the patron of which is the prophet Elijah, who shows his power in casting out devils from the madjaneen. If there is any Muhammedan who is madjanoon, they bring him to El Khudr at Nablous. There he is put at once into a horrible position; his arms and feet are put around a pillar, and as they are not long enough to meet they are fastened together with chains. In this cruel position the poor sufferer sits naked, day and night, on the ground, deprived of the use of his arms and feet. A little food is given him by the man who has the oversight of the place. Of cleanliness we cannot think here; the filth defies description. A Muhammedan sheikh comes from time to time and reads to the insane portions from the Koran, and implores the prophet Elijah to cast the demon out from the man. Then the sheikh binds amulets around his arms and feet as charms and bleeds him in different parts of the body." In this Bicêtre of the East no Pinel has yet arisen to unchain the maniac and inaugurate more rational lines of treatment.
The writer will never forget a conversation he had one morning on the steps of a hotel in Jerusalem concerning the care of the insane. The proprietor was speaking with the earnestness and conviction of one who himself had come into contact with the terrible lack of proper pro
vision for the care of such cases. A friend in a comparatively good family had become mentally afflicted and no place suitable could be found for his reception. "Surely," he said to us, “if Christians believed what they say they believe, they would seek out and care for those who have no man to care for them." Care for those who have no words rang through our Was not this exactly the
man to care for them "-the thoughts for weeks afterward.
purpose for which Christ came? They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick.
If any reader would urge the objection that such work would be useless for the extension of the Kingdom of God, we would give a two-fold reply. Firstly, if this is a plain and imperative duty toward humanity, who of us is hardy enough to deny its religious importance, both as an act of obedience to the laws of the love-life, and as a spectacular demonstration of that life before others? Secondly, we would remind such objectors that many forms of insanity are showing with modern treatment a recovery ratio varying from forty to sixty per cent. Would it not be worth while to do this work for the sake of that proportion of cases whose recovery will be assured and who, therefore, will come as legitimately into the field for evangelizing efforts as any other sick or diseased in these lands? It is instructive to us to remember in this connection the example of Jesus Christ toward those who were mentally unsound in His day.
Not only is there cruelty in these dark places Malpractice. of the earth, but there is abundant evidence of what, in civilized communities, is indictable criminal malpractice, as well as pure cruelty and neglect. "It is not unusual in polygamous households for discarded or uncared for wives to bribe the midwife to inflict such an injury upon the favorite wife as shall render her incapable of further child-bearing." Mrs. Bird-Bishop states that during her travels in Asia she was asked no fewer than 200 times for drugs which would take away a favorite wife. We know that abortion-mongers are by no means infrequent in the great cities of Christian lands. Yet here at least they have to pursue their craft secretly, because of the pressure of a growingly healthy public