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"Question: Are the supplies of drinking water sufficient and of good quality?
"Answer: From the remotest period no one has ever died of thirst.
Question: General remarks on the hygienic conditions of your city.
"Answer: Since Allah sent us Muhammed, His prophet, to purge the world with fire and sword, there has been a vast improvement. But there still remains much to do. Everywhere is opportunity to help and to reform. And now, my lamb of the West, cease your questioning, which can do no good either to you or to any one else. Man should not bother himself about matters which concern only God. Salem Aleikum!"
The medical missionary stands in a position of peculiar importance toward these things. He possesses the requisite professional knowledge, and, moreover, what is equally important, he has the confidence of the people. Who can help so well or with such authority as the physician who is already held in high esteem for his work's sake? The single act of vaccination has been the means of preserving thousands of lives. In Korea it is estimated by the native faculty that about 50 per cent. of the deaths are caused by smallpox. The doctors at a single mission hospital in China are stated to have vaccinated 25,000 patients in one year.*
In many parts of the East where a desert touches a piece of fertile ground, the sand is constantly drifting and making barren much soil which is capable of productiveness. Sometimes for a little while there is promise of fertility and then again comes the sand-drift, choking up life. But if there be some outjutting rock which will arrest the sand, then at last on the lee side of the rock there is a chance of some seed bringing forth a harvest of a hundred fold. The epidemics of disease in these lands are much like the sand blasts. They sweep across a land, stifling the life of helpless thousands and creating a sense of panic and fatalistic superstition. The missionary phy
*The remarkable success of vaccination in these countries, where in the majority of cases the ins nitary conditions remain as before, is surely a striking commentary on the statement made by the opponents of vaccination that the reduced mortality from smallpox is due to merely improved sanitation.
sician has been able again and again to arrest, in at least some measure, this drift and to stand as an hiding place from the wind and a covert from the tempest,
the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." He has been able to instil confidence in place of fear and to secure the adoption of suitable measures for meeting the epidemic and preventing its spread.
The comparative immunity of native Christians against such diseases as compared with other natives, was specially noted in connection with the plague in India in 1898. Careful, regular, cleanly and right living demonstrated its influence over health in a most noticeable manner.
The consideration of the high death rates in Oriental cities furnishes food for reflection. The annual mortality of infarts and of women in labor is a call pathetic enough to stir our hearts as well as our brains. "Even in the City of Calcutta the infant death rate under one year of age in 1894 was 402 per 1000 and in 1893 it was 415." (Christian Missions and Social Progress. Dr. Jas. S. Dennis. Vol. I., page 220.) The death rate of infants under one year of age in the United States in census year ending May 31, 1890, was 225.9 per 1000 of total deaths, or almost half the proportion obtaining in Calcutta.
"The mortality of London has been reduced to about 20 per 1000 per annum. The mortality of most Oriental cities is over 45 per 1000, or more than double that of London." *
Considering the vastly reduced mortality to-day of surgical operations and the safe character of ordinary obstetric procedures it is probable that modern medical science under favorable conditions could remove or prevent more than half of the disease and pain suffered by peoples of mission lands. As they number more than half the population of the world, it will be seen what an immense burden of the world's physical woe might thus be lifted! Oh! for more men and women to stand and break the great drifts of sickness which blow from the deserts of disease; for men and women who will be a shadow of a great rock to their brothers and sisters in a weary land,
*Medical Missions at Home and Abroad. March, 1892. Page 86. See also Stu dent Volunteer, Nov., 1895, p. 28, for interesting statistics.
who are scorched with the burning heat of fever and tossed by the tempests of pain!
The law of the Kingdom is that to whom Preparation of the much has been given, of him shall much be required. Noblesse oblige is true of princes in knowledge as well as princes in rank. To-day the responsibility of the profession is greater than on the day when organized foreign missionary enterprise had its beginning. The past century has wrought wonders in Medicine as well as in every other branch of science.
In every age the instincts of brotherly love toward the - sick made demands which could not be denied by the followers of the God of Love. There was a challenge as well as a gibe enshrined in Lucian's famous words concerning Christians. "Their Master," said he, " has persuaded them that they are all brothers." This fraternal feeling was naturally manifested in an especial degree toward those who were sick and suffering, though the means and requisite knowledge possessed at that early date' were but scanty for the alleviation of any but the simplest maladies.
Christian physicians of this age have vastly greater powers for demonstrating their brotherliness in this direction than had their predecessors. To the ignorant and superstitious the achievements of hospital surgery seem little short of miraculous. Without question they perform a somewhat similar function to that of the miracles wrought by Christ in the early days of Christianity. They call attention and by their very nature make the recipients inclined to listen to the teaching with which they are accompanied.
They soon learn that a religion of which such work is the fruits cannot be altogether bad; that a religion that the foreign physician believes and that prompts him to work among them under such disagreeable conditions, and do for them things that their relatives are seldom willing to do, must have some reason in it. In short, they hear the Gospel more regularly, and in a state of mind produced by leisure, by freshness and by the spirit of the
place, better calculated to produce deep and lasting impressions than is usually the case at the church."
A hundred years ago Medical Missions to the heathen might have been organized. Great good would assuredly have resulted. But it would have been comparatively difficult in many lands to have demonstrated the superiority of Western Medicine over many of the methods in use among these peoples. Of course there would have been superiority observable and distinctly so; but not of the spectacular nature which to-day is easy and which is such a power in breaking down prejudices and winning confidence. However superficially the history of Christianity be reviewed the impression is left vividly upon thought that for every great onward movement there has been a singular preparation of the world and of the agents through whom the world was to be impressed. The political conditions of the world's great powers at the advent of Christianity was a remarkable illustration of this. The preparation in this present century for world-wide missions is seen in the drawing together of all parts of the globe through rapid transit, railroad and steamship, telegraphy and postal systems, and the speedy propagation of thought by enormous hourly outputs from the printing press. Associate these material things with the revival of interest in foreign missions, exemplified by the concerts of prayer, foundation of missionary societies, rising interest among young people and the dedication of thousands of students and others to the cause of foreign missions, and it will be seen how the two forms of preparation meet at a focal point where they become capable of working in harmony for a great and widespread movement for the progress of the Kingdom of our Lord.
Just such a duplex preparation is seen in the world to-day for the wide establishment of Medical Missions in heathen lands.
A very brief survey will enable us to compreTechnical hend the wonderful technical armament Preparation which has become the property of the medical profession during this century of missions.
We have already alluded to one discovery which has so illumined the century-the discovery of the protection
afforded against smallpox by vaccination. In our judgment, that one item of knowledge would be an almost priceless gift to bestow upon the rest of mankind. While it is to Jenner that we are indebted for this discovery it was many years before the scientific principles upon which its protection was based were clearly defined. Pasteur's splendid work on low forms of vegetable life not only put vaccination on a sure footing, but gave enormous impulse to an entirely new and very important department of science, which has shed light on scores of morbid processes, previously little understood. It was a stride of incalculable importance which was made when it was discovered that a large number of acute diseases were due to the presence in the body of some minute parasitic vegetation-germs or micro-organisms. This was but the beginning of still greater triumphs in the science of Bacteriology, or the study of these microscopic organisms.
The great complementary discovery to the above fact was made when it was found that many of these very virulent organisms manufactured a material which at last became inimical to their own existence. Not only has it thus been possible to identify the actual morbific agent of a disease, but also to single out and apply the remedial product in the form of "anti-toxins."*
To give but one example (and that perhaps the most striking) of the reduction of deaths through this new method of treatment, we would instance the use of the diphtheria anti-toxin. This has only been before the profession as a whole since the fall of 1894. The reduction of mortality through its use has been one of the modern triumphs of therapeutics. In some hospitals the number of deaths occurring has been considerably less than onethird the mortality previous to its use. That is to say, that out of every 100 persons who formerly would have died, sixty-six lives are now saved. Research along similar lines has yielded results of varying degrees of value in the treatment of cholera, bubonic plague, hydrophobia,
This is an exceedingly rough and popular statement of the facts, and is not scientifical y precisely the case in many 'nstances
+ Medical readers may be referred to very interesting and instructive articles in Annual of Gynaec and Pediat., No 7, 897, by F. L. Morse, and Brit Med. Journal, Jan. 28, 1899, p. 197.