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that it is a matter of daily occurrence to him who has eyes to see. To the Jews our Lord was only an illiterate carpenter's who blasphemously claimed to be God, but to whom, as he says, by the Spirit was given sight, he was seen in his true light; so now to those whose spiritual vision has been cleared by striving to follow the "footsteps of His most holy life," even although stumbling and miserably falling again and again, unselfish devotion to duty, the abnegation of self and pelf that physical health may be given to others, the resistance of temptations, which peculiarily beset a doctor, are recognized to be instigated by the Spirit of Christ working in many a man, and just in the measure that any physician recognizes and fulfills his professional duties as being done unto God and not unto and for men, is he a Christian.
Whose spirit, when the natural desire for ease or rightful relaxation says, Enough has been done in acquiring knowledge or caring for the sick," replies "No, you work not for yourself but for others, your standard should be Christ's, the utmost for others, even if it costs life itself"? Who, when the question arises, "Shall I peril reputation or practice by calling assistance, thereby running the risk of another being considered my superior in skill," sternly replies, "Get thee behind me, Satan,' for no such motive can be allowed for one instant to stand in the way of another's good"? Who, when his patient is in perilous straits, knowing that all his own skill has been exhausted in vain, that help cannot be obtained from others, yet confidently trusts that if a way of escape be possible, in some manner guidance unto it will be vouchsafed him, not by miracle or interference with natural laws, but by means of the latter ; or, if failure must ensue, calmly feels that all has been done that was possible and the result has been over
ruled by a higher power? Who, when professional disappointments and failures seem about to crush him to the earth, feels that he can bear all because in some way it must be for his or others' good? The physician who is a Christian; and he attains this ideal I have outlined, just in proportion as the spirit of Christ is his. When disease, against which the physician can have no more protection than the layman, is to be met, not in public, not when thousands will applaud the heroic deed, but in his everyday work among his pauper patients, when no human being can know whether the duty is manfully done at all risks, or cowardly fled from, does the Christian physician do anything but think shame of himself if he falters? When self-interest, reputation, money or position are to be balanced against some questionable practice; when some slanderous remark is uttered or some misapprehension exists as to another physican's conduct, which, if left uncorrected, would, must, do his fellow harm and himself good, what does the Christian physician do? Manfully strives to turn a deaf ear to worldly sophistry, to ward off the slander, to correct the understanding. When in the wrong-and who is there that never errs ?—he is willing to acknowledge this, and, when possible, repair the damage.
The timid is made strong by feeling that he has an Almighty arm to rest upon for support and guidance; the naturally reckless man has his rashness restrained by a solemn conviction of the rights of others and by the knowledge that he must some day give an account of the deeds done in the body.
Some will say we never hear of all this; far otherwise, we know of just the reverse! Sneers, back-biting, open attacks upon one another among physicians, and some of them
professing Christians. Unfortunately this cannot be denied, yet why is it? Because these men are Christians in name only, not in deed. Their Christianity is left with their prayer-book and their Bible at home, only of use in the church, on one day of the week. This explains this deplorable display of the evil side of human nature, not that true Christianity does not and cannot prevent such things.
Again, the physician as a Christian is fitted to have confided to his care those who are dearer to us than life. To him we are compelled to turn in difficulties which no other man ever dreams of. His advice and his relations to us are different from those of all others of our fellow men, and surely such a man should possess a standard, and be actuated by motives which will enable him to rise above earthly temptations. To how many of us physicians are freely confided secrets which only the Romish confessional can wring from human lips, and which, if not handled in a truly Christian spirit, would wreck the happiness of whole families! Think of the endless opportunities for good or for evil so constantly opened to the physician. Who, so often as he, can condone the sin, make light of or nullify its physical results and so help on in the downward course, or, unknown to all but God and his patient, show sin in its true colors, make virtue the more attractive because the safer, and give a helping hand to one ready to perish. Aye, ready to perish, but not bound to die morally and spiritually, if-ah there is the trouble-if, not only the word in season, but the act in season, renders the word possible of fruition.
The reproof of the clergyman only causes mental revolt and an effect the reverse of that intended, or too often falls with but little weight upon ears accustomed to pastoral
rebukes, because regarded as mere perfunctory dicta, the necessary professional attitude towards evil doing. The same words come with telling force from the doctor's lips, from the fellow layman, who professes to be on, and is expected to occupy no higher moral or spiritual plane than his fellows. This, too, from one who has helped his hearer or his listener's dear ones, who has won at least a right to an indulgent hearing, as our Lord did, first doing a physical good as an earnest of a possible spiritual healing. Christ went about doing good, physical good, healing all manner of bodily infirmities, and then he taught spiritual truths; let the followers of the good Physician go and do likewise.
This method of proving, and then teaching Christianity, old as our Lord's time, well recognized by many in the socalled dark ages, is again coming into vogue for the heathen abroad. Why not employ it for the heathen at home?
Must, then, the doctor go about first prescribing and then preaching? Far from it! Let him strive to live the life of Christ. Let him boldly denounce sin, or error when it confronts him, not seek it out for attack. While not talking cant, when religion is the topic of conversation, quietly let it be seen on which side he stands, but avoid worthy controversy. Let it be clearly seen that he first thinks of others' good before his own, and in nine cases out of ten both his patients and the public will recognize that he is actuated by other motives than those of worldly policy; will by observation or inquiry learn what is the main-spring of his actions, and he will preach daily that best of all sermons, a good life.
Are there none but Christians who in any measure fulfil the ideal which I have attempted to delineate? No fairminded man can deny that irreligious men, nay infidels, at
times are noble examples of uprightness and morality. But they are this only in virtue of what they have unconsciously imbibed from the Christian atmosphere in which they have lived, and in which all our literature has been produced. It is as absurd to deny this influence as for one of us to contend that we do not owe our physical lives to the oxygen of the air we breathe, because we do not recognize its presence and do not understand its properties, nay choose in our wilful ignorance to deny its actual existence. Of course these remarks are not intended to apply to the ancient heathen examples of eminent morality and uprightness, yet these men reached such moral altitudes by virtue of their belief in the existence of something more than this physical universe.
Will every or any Christian physican be perfect? Will he always live up to his convictions? Does any worldly man? No! Spiritual, like natural maturity, is a gradual process, so that although the Christian may fall, yet shall he rise again, and if he strives to become as a little child he shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, not only hereafter, but here, and shall at the end hear the welcome words, "Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful in a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
In conclusion, let me endeavor to correct some misapprehensions under which irreligious men seem to labor. No true Christian plumes himself upon being more righteous than his brother-sinners. It is quite the reverse. Instead of thinking himself better, he knows he is worse, for his sins are against light. That which he is striving to do, his real working rule, despite what worldly men may say he ought to do and to be, is "If, by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the