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and tuberculosis. It is even claimed already that it has yielded light on the origin of cancer, though this latter claim has by no means been established as a scientific fact.*
But perhaps the greatest contribution that Bacteriology has made to the realm of practical Medicine has been its surgical aspect. The work of Pasteur, Tyndall and Lister is now almost classical and finds its popular expression in the term "listerism." These scientists each contributed to the others' work, which led Lister at last to the discovery that the inflammation of surgical wounds was due to the fermentative processes of these minute organisms. That discovery made, it was but a step to the finding that certain chemical solutions were poisonous to these germbodies. Lister found that by using solutions of certain germicidal chemicals the putrefactive changes could be controlled or abolished. Such a discovery has done nothing less than revolutionize the whole of surgical procedure. Lord Lister, it has been stated, has probably, by means of this discovery, saved more lives and mitigated more suffering than any man living in this or any past generation. This seems excessive tribute, and yet when one compares the frightful death rate in the past in serious operations with that of the present day, one realizes it is probably the statement of an actual fact. The enunciation of antiseptic and aseptic principles has not only widened our scope, but has permitted the entrance into surgical fields unthought of in our fathers' time.
The safety and brilliancy of cranial and abdominal operations lies as a heavy hand of responsibility upon us to devote our securer knowledge and safer manipulative skill to this supremest and noblest service of God among those to whom we can be an agent of physical salvation and a messenger of spiritual hope. Many injuries no longer form a noli me tangere to the surgeon which before were cause of intense anxiety as to whether he was justified in attempting surgical alleviation. But even this priceless boon could not have been fully appropriated, if
*See Practitioner, April, 1899, for latest views of American and British authorities +"Eighty per cent of all wounds treated" in Nussbaum's clinic in Munich "were attacked by hospit 1 gangrene. Erysipelas was the order of the day to such an extent that its occurrence could almost have been looked upon as the normal course.' (Deutsche Zeitschrift für Chirurgie. 1877.)
there had not also come to mankind the discovery of anæsthetics in this century. We hardly know which is the greater gift; their benefits seem to interact one upon the other, and each of these twin discoveries is indispensable to modern surgery. Yet perhaps the palm is to be accorded to the sister of sleep. It is now easy for the surgeon to conduct his investigation into regions which would have been impossible but for the benign influence of the "deep and painless slumber" induced by chloroform or ether. And we would give the palm the more readily to the discovery of anaesthetics when we gratefully remember its special service to motherhood in the 66 hour of trial."
The use of chloroform is always a wonder in a Medical Mission hospital. The performance of painful procedures without the patient feeling anything, is a new token to a Chinaman of the wonderful power of the foreign doctor.
This century has been rich in its inventiveness, which has made the discovery and investigation of disease far more definite and exact. The stethoscope has been a sixth sense to the physician in his knowledge of chest and heart diseases, and even now its capabilities are annually being enlarged and improved upon. The ophthalmoscope is to the surgeon what the photographic plate is to the astronomer-a piercing eye which can see further and find more than could unaided vision. The laryngoscope and clinical thermometer are other outstanding products of scientific Medicine.
The discovery of oxygen at the close of the eighteenth century and the demonstration of its relation to the blood, the manufacture of quinine, strychnine, iodides, bromides, and a score of other "ines" and "ides" have all been of the past one hundred years.
The work of Buffon, Cuvier, Hunter, Owen and Darwin in natural history has laid a sure foundation for biological data and the principles deducible from them. The first sanitary commissions were instituted in 1838 and 1844, and from those commissions went out impulses for betterment of the public health of the people which have been felt in nearly every civilized land.
'Nursing, from time immemorial, the tending of
the sick as a work of pure charity, has been carried on by religious communities. It is within our own times that the science and art of nursing have risen to their high standard, combining the highest motives with the highest efficiency, thanks to the completeness and the discipline of hospital training and to the advanced teaching of the physician and surgeon. To Miss Florence Nightingale's noble service is this specially due."
The treatment of the insane has been humanized since Pinel began his investigations in France. It was strange how long even in Christian lands the superstitions remained as to those mentally afflicted being possessed by evil spirits, or at least being " uncanny " and to be dreaded and treated with cruelty. Even physicians publicly advocated such treatment. Happily a party possessing such opinions no longer exists among the members of the profession to-day, and we can ask with Hans Breitmann, "Vhere ish dot barty now?" without fear of its discovery in any corner of our land.
We have enumerated but a very few of the advances of Medicine in this century. It would have been a pleasant task to review it with some fullness, believing as we do that we are but recording events which conspire together in making this era the most favorable ever known for the prosecution of Medical Missions. This, then, is our heritage to-day! What are we doing with it? We are to-day as men holding ten talents of latent power, and God does not expect from us the smaller services of twotalent men. Whether we stay at home or abroad, we are weighted with responsibility to invest all for the glory of God, Who bestowed them.
Never before in the history of Medicine has the Christian physician had at his command such immense resources. Are the benefits of these resources to be confined to about one hundred million people of America and Europe? Are the sufferings of two-thirds of the world's population to go untended? Is maternity to be a dreaded nightmare to our sisters in India and China, Persia and Africa, when the women of our own lands are tended with care and considerateness? Are thousands to lose their sight each year because there are no surgeons at hand to couch cataracts?
The answer to all this is far deeper than the mere claims made upon us because of the wonderful preparedness of the profession. Once more we may say that the answer spells itself out in love to God. When the fire from off the altar of love touches our lips, shall we not be constrained to cry, " Here am I ; send me "?
Spiritual Preparation of
The preparation of the profession is not technical alone; it is spiritual. For many generations there have been men who illumined the profession not by their medical work alone, but because they stood enrolled as humble followers of Jesus Christ. The names of Haller and Boerhaave, Cheselden and Paré, Sydenham and Abercrombie, and in later days, Simpson, the discoverer of chloroform; Sir Andrew Clark, "the prince of physicians and one of the noblest of men," and a host of others, will be remembered for their deep personal faith as well as their scientific attainments.* To-day, however, this spiritual phalanx is vaster and stands more compact in the army of medical practitioners than ever before.
A man of great experience and keen insight told the author that it was hard, forty years ago, to find Christian doctors in England; now they are numerous. The spiritual awakening among medical students is even more remarkable. Thousands are to-day enrolled in Christian associations in medical colleges in North America and Europe. This has practically been entirely the growth of the past fifteen years. The medical students who have decided to become foreign missionaries during the past eight years may be counted by hundreds.
What does this preparation, both technical and spiritual, mean? Does it not mean that the Spirit of God would lead forth a band of men and women who have studied in the schools of Western Medicine, into a fuller, larger, holier and nobler service, in lands whose need sorely cries out for helpers and healers, and whose spiritual darkness requires the rising of the Sun of Righteousness if the black clouds of ignorance, superstition, cruelty and sin are to be rolled back and a fairer day is to dawn?
*We have purposely omitted names of any living physicians. It would be easy to compile a very long list of such.