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effects of Mrs. Winslow's syrup, which the religious papers, as messengers who profess to stand upon" great primal truths in their distribution," introduce to the homes and confidence of Christian families. We commend to the careful reflection of the Editor the following extract from the City Inspector's last report, in regard to patent medicines and their effects upon the mortality of children :
"A very large number of children are killed annually, in this city, by patent medicines. They are exhibited without any knowledge of their properties, or their power to allay the symptoms for which they are given. I ask, how many hundred infants are destroyed by the various vermifuges alone that are advertised?-given to them with the idea that they are affected with worms, when, in reality, nothing of the kind exists in a large majority of cases. The symptoms that are taken to be indicative of worms are often those of teething, or the incipient stages of hydrocephalus or tabes-mesenterica, etc., which, by judicious treatment, might be cured. These nostrums never fail to coincide with the disease and aggravate the symptoms."
Editors of religious papers should ponder this statement, and estimate how many of the 15,000 children who died last year in this city are chargeable to their account? We do not desire to be hypercritical in these remarks; our only purpose is to call the attention of religious journals to the fearful responsibility which they assume when they prostitute their columns toward the furtherance of the low, vulgar, and immoral objects of advertisers of nostrums. They well know
that this class of persons especially seek the columns of religious papers, because their malicious falsehoods are thus clothed with a certain respectability, and are received by Christian families as indorsed by the paper in which they appear. But however desirable it may be to have a reform in this regard, we shall not see the day when religious principles will so far triumph over the power of money, as to make professing Christians, in the daily walks of business, reject with scorn the latter, to save untarnished the former. The character of the advertisements which fill the religious papers would justify the belief that the only question which proprietors ask of advertisers is, "How much will you pay?" We submit to this and all religious papers the following advice: "Now, if quack advertisements must go to the homes of Christian families, we say, let them be taken there as quack advertisements, and not by a messenger who professes to stand upon 'great primal Christian truths' in their distribution. We can not think that the time has come for a living Christianity' thus to assert itself."
PAST AND PRESENT.
HAT we have fallen upon evil times seems to be the settled conviction of some of our medical brethren. We never fail, when we meet them, to be entertained with their repinings at the low state of medicine in these degenerate times and the consequent prevalence of empiricism. Some of our older physicians, of this class, have been heard uttering pious benedictions upon the early communities in which they practised their profession, and predicting for the rising generation of medical men, lives of unrequited toil, and life-long contentions with the evil genius of medicine. A veteran practitioner was lately bemoaning the unwillingness of his patients to submit to bloodletting, and attributed this fatal prejudice to the influence of the prevalent systems of quackery. Another, in the meridian of life, ambitious of a wide consultation business, with many a vain regret, deplored the strict rule of ethics which debarred him from cropping in the flowery fields of illegitimate practice. A third, encountering in his families the baneful influences of unbelief, was half tempted to become everything to every one, to retain and extend his busi
We think, indeed, that many a one is led, at times, to believe that our age is about the most trying upon which he could have fallen. He sighs involuntarily for a return of that period when the good physician was held in equal veneration with the Gods. It flatters his professional pride, galled and chafed by daily contact with the rude and inappreciative age in which he lives, to recall the language of inspired wisdom: "Honor the physician with the honor due unto him, for the most high hath created him because of necessity. * * Give place and honor to the physician, for God hath created him; let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him." How his heart warms toward Herophilus, who called physicians, "The hands of the Gods ;" and how he honors the great Homer, who affirmed "That one physician is far more worthy than many other men." He regrets that his lines had not fallen in the pleasant places of the past-among the intelligent Abderians of whom it is said, when Hippocrates came to their city to cure Democritus of his madness, not only the men, but also the women and children, and people of every age, sex, and rank, went forth to meet him, giving him, with a common consent, and loud voice, the title of tutelary deity and father of their country; or among the Athenians who celebrated plays to his honor, and placed upon his head a crown of gold, and finally erected his statue for a perpetual monument of his piety and learning. He will note
many other periods in the history of medicine when it would seem far happier to have lived than at the present; when physicians appear to have been held in higher public estimation, and empiricism had far less influence. But the student of history, who penetrates beneath the surface of events, with due discrimination contrasting the spirit of the past with that of the present, finds much to commend the latter to his esteem, and to nerve him to greater effort and vigilance. He learns that the grossest forms of quackery prevailed universally among the people of the past, and that Hippocrates, Galen, Parè, and others, had to contend, life-long, against its widespread popular influence. He learns, too, that all the great names which adorn the history of medicine derive their chief lustre from lives of probity, self-sacrifice, and devotion to the highest interests of their profession. In vain he searches for evidence that they ever made their profession subservient to the interests of worldly honor or gain; or by evil associations, directly or impliedly, recognized charlatanry in any form. To such a student these are the repinings of selfish or shallow men, who pursue their profession from motives the most grovelling and unworthy. The present has its trials, as had the past; but it will require little penetration to discover that the degeneracy of our times does not show itself so much in the prevalence of empiricism or the credulity of the people, as in the ignorance, the cupidity, and the