In the August number of the London Monthly Homoeopathic Review. Mr. Pope's reply is a mere repetition of a negation-argument, whereas I had asked for a more explicit and positive definition of the position he assumes.
Where I spoke of Mr. Pope and his friends, I did not mean to imply that he officiously thrust himself forward to express, not only for himself but for others, views for which he alone can be held responsible, but I addressed myself to him and such Homoeopathicians as, like himself, assume that name under the same erroneous views and false conceptions. By his own statement Mr. Pope includes among his friends Dr. Hempel, who assumed to define Homoeopathy under solemn oath at Toronto, C. W., on the 8th day of April, 1859. His testimony went for naught, the prisoner, in whose favor he testified, was found guilty and confessed his Crime before he was hung. So much for the personal explanation.
A remedy can never, under any circumstance, aggravate the disease; nor can a remedy ever cause a disease. There is the same great and important difference between a natural and a medicinal proving creating a change of sensational and even functional disorders, that there is between a progressive disease and the symptoms caused by the remedy administered in the largest or smallest dose to cure the natural disease. Both the symptoms of the prover and the symptoms generally termed “medicinal aggravation” cease of themselves, and if this“ medicinal aggravation” occurs, in a curable case after the administration of the smallest possible dose, and it does often occur, this phenomenon is a certain and positive indication that the remedy was rightly chosen, and the improvement will follow without the slightest doubt: this improvement will not follow should the remedy be not rightly chosen - not homoeopathic - and the progressive disease will further develop itself in spite of repeated or larger doses. -The remark that the “unchecked progress of disease” frequently follows the higher and highest dilutions is perfectly gratuitous, and if Dr. Cockburn reports to have seen sharp aggravations follow unmedicated globules he does not state what followed - the sharp aggravation was then undoubtedly the unchecked progress of disease and not what is understood among Homoeopathicians under homoeopathic aggravation.
That Dr. Hering does not mean under “rule,” or as it should read “rules,” the law of cure, the axiom similia similibus curentur, is self evident. A law can never be a rule. A rule is the manner, the means, by which the law is applied. In the preface above referred to, Dr. Hering says “We may differ in regard to the theoretical explanation of the law similia similibus curentur.” What can be theoretically explained cannot be a rule and still less a practical rule; therefore it is self evident that Dr. Hering could not refer to the law of cure, or the axiom expressing that law as a “rule.”
In the last paragraph of the same preface, Dr. Hering says, “There will always be a large number of physicians who either do not understand, or will not learn, how to select for each particular case the only proper medicine, and such always find it more comfortable to employ massive doses. There will always be, perhaps, as large a number on the other hand, who will, by and by, know how to hit the nail upon the head, and they will learn to prefer the high potencies.” I hope that Mr. Pope who quotes this same preface as an authority to sustain his position, does not mean to adopt this comfortable system of practice. Dr. Hering obviously alludes to those physicians who employ massive doses, as men who think more of comfort then of troubling themselves to understand or seek for the proper medicine adapted to each particular case. “The dynamization theory may be true or false, and Homoeopathy remain unaffected.” Such is the opinion of Mr. Pope. On this point we differ entirely. The dynamization theory is true and essential to Homoeopathy, true in theory and proved so in practice. This theory, is now, and will remain, the test by which we know the true Homeopathician from the pretender.
“The truth of Homoeopathy does not depend upon the provings of Carbo vegetabilis being correct or otherwise,” says Mr. Pope. I called his attention to the provings of Carbo vegetabilis as the point (time) when Hahnemann in his onward course developed before and communicated to his pupils, this dynamization theory which he had for years kept prudently to himself, awaiting further proofs of the correctness of the discovery. To doubt the correctness of this theory is to give proof of a shaken and weak faith in the experimental provings above mentioned. Mr. Pope acknowledges “that some symptoms at any rate, said to have occurred from persons taking it in some form or other, are correct,” and adds that “he is not aware how the symptoms were obtained.” It is to be regretted that Mr. Pope knows no more about the history of Homoeopathy. In the introduction to Carbo vegetabilis Hahnemann says, “A considerable quantity of Charcoal in the crude condition can be swallowed without causing a change in the sensation.” The inference from this remark must be, that the provings were not made with the crude substance, and when Hahnemann in the next following sentence continues, “only by rubbing the charcoal, as also other medicinal substances, apparently inert in their crude condition, with a non-medicinal substance, as sugar of milk, and by dissolving this preparation and by potentization (shaking) of the solution, the hidden, and in its raw condition, latent, so to say slumbering, dynamical medicinal power is awakened and becomes alive, while the material external disappears,” he gives utterance to the dynamization theory. If, as Mr. P. further says, “some drugs by prolonged trituration develop power to effect the human organism,” why do not all have the same power, and if not all, which of all? and, if to any extent, where is the limit?
Mr. Pope claims that the man who practises giving crude drugs is a Homoeopathician and, as the inference, that the man who gives potencies, and above all high potencies, is not a Homoeopathician. Both, certainly, cannot claim to belong to the same school, as it becomes evident by the very explanation consequent upon the attack, illiberal and unprovoked as it is, made by Mr. Pope and his friends on the followers of the immortal master, Hahnemann, that this very question of the dynamization theory forms the barrier between the Homoeopathicians and the pretenders. As to Mr. Pope's logic - It is admitted that crude drugs cure according to the law of cure. It is asserted and proved that Hahnemann after he became convinced that he had found the true and only law of cure, did also, after becoming more intimately acquainted. with the effects of medicines on the human organism, find it necessary at first to diminish the quantity of medicine, and later discovered the dynamization theory which opened a new era in the cure of formerly incurable diseases. The law of cure and these practical rules were the foundation of Homoeopathy. Mr. Pope stands at a great distance from these developed truths and claims to have as good, nay a much better right to be a Homoeopathician then those who have accepted the practical rules of the master; he claims the right to ridicule and, if possible, to expel men who have become convinced, by experiment, that Hahnemann's practical rules, one and all, are correct; he claims the right to deny the correctness of these rules without having made the experiment, to make which, indeed, he clearly proves by his own confession that he lacks the requisite knowledge. Mr. Pope says in answer to my declaration “high potencies cure where the low do not,” perhaps they do, but the cases illustrating this assertion are marvelously few, and, were they legion, would not effect the argument at issue. Dr. Eidherr's reports, of marvelously many cases, remains a closed book to Mr. Pope; and why? If such proofs are not admitted, all argument ceases. If Mr. Pope will not condescend to give the world one single case well stated, in which he has selected the truly homoeopathic remedy, and has then administered a high potency according to the homoeopathic (Hahnemannian) rules and, the case remaining unchanged, has then given with success the same remedy in its crude state, this one solitary, only single case would be the beginning as an offset to the evidences fast accumulating on the other side. Mr. Pope's word is not doubted; he and his friends may think they have seen what they state, their observation may turn out to be an optical illusion, and we must insist on knowing what he or his medical friends profess to have seen so that they may be able to establish their claim as proper judges and witnesses of and in the question at issue. But while we have his own admission that there are cases known establishing my above assertion, and while the cases of Mr. Wilson's cure of a dangerous pneumonia by Lycopodium 200, and other cases of the kind, and Dr. Eidherr's report remain on record uncontroverted, and not one single stubborn fact is quoted proving the contrary, I shall insist upon it that “high potencies cure where lower ones do not.” I defy Mr. P. and his friends to prove to the contrary, how can it be true that crude drugs cure as well as potencies? I repeat again that no one ever, and in any way, has denied that crude drugs when applied according to the homoeopathic law of cure, have cured diseases. But it it is true, as Mr. P. says, and I hold him to his own declaration, London Monthly Hom. Review, Vol. 8, p. 8., “It is further necessary that the amount of drug given to cure be less than that required to produce disease.” I ask, does Mr. Pope know how the provings of the known drugs were made? how the most characteristic and thereby valuable symptoms which guide us in the selection of the truly curative remedy have been obtained? Has he ever investigated the comparative value of the symptoms produced by crude drugs and those produced by potencies? He certainly cannot have done so! Sulphur, for instance, would give him a good opportunity. He would see what were the results of the provings with the crude substance, the lower potencies, the thirtieth potency, and which of the symptoms produced by any of these doses guide him in the selection of Sulphur as a remedy. If he then finds that he is now guided by the Sulphur symptoms obtained from the thirtieth potency, he can no longer administer the crude drug, but by his own admission must give less then was required to produce disease. If he will follow this rule only, we will say, under Lachesis, or Natrum mur., or Lycopodium, or Silicea, or Carbo animalis and vegetabilis, or Arsenicum met., or Lachnanthes tinctoria or any other proved remedy, he will collect sufficient material and will be compelled against his will to prove my proposition correct, his logic erroneous and his assertions unfounded.
When I further say, “that in every instance in which a lower potency has even relieved, not cured a case to which a higher potency of the same remedy had been given without success, this relief had proved to be only the palliative effect, not the curative action of the remedy” - I mean this and and take no round-about way of saying anything else. I meant further - but did not wish to be rude, depending on the expected good sense of Mr. Pope, who would see at a glance, that I do mean; that when he and his friends assert that they have cured a case with a low potency (or as he has it, “ crude drug”) where a high potency of the same remedy had been given without effect, this assertion or statement is erroneous, such boasted cure invariably, will and must, has been, and ever will be, but a relief. As these boasted cures do not exist, of course they cannot see daylight. Give us one case.
Mr. Pope says he has given his definition of Homoeopathy on the eighth page of the Review, and that he cannot be more explicit, for which I am very sorry indeed. The historical development and the consequent fundamental laws with their practical rules are so plain that there should be no dispute about them among the followers of Hahnemann, who all, of course, acknowledge them; nor can one rule be set aside without disturbing the harmony of the whole structure.
If Mr. Pope would read the Organon, Hahnemann's Materia Medica and Chronic Diseases, and then make the experiment as taught by the master, he may correct the definition and we might continue the argument.
When Mr. Pope says in the next paragraph “I find no fault with Mr. Wilson for imagining that Lycopodium200 cured a case of pneumonia all but moribund before that marvelous agent was, through the medium of aqua pura, introduced into the patient's organism,” I am inclined to think that Mr. P.'s imagination is too fickle. The case in question has been discussed in the reviews, both in England and the United States, and the evidence is so overwhelming against Mr. Pope and the men who think as he does, that as a last resort the truthfulness or the case is denied. There is scarcely a case on record on any of our medical journals that is so full of corroborating evidence as that of Mr. D. Wilson, and so full of instruction. The experiment convinced Dr. Bayes that he had assumed a wrong position and he acknowledged it. The experiment must decide.
Mr. Pope objects “to the arrogance and presumption which demands for those, for those only, who credit such extraordinary - I had almost written supernatural - assertion, the exclusive right to a title for which they can show no special or peculiar claim.” Mr. Pope, who has proved himself a stranger to Homoeopathy, its Materia Medica, its fundamental doctrines and the literature or the day, is certainly very polite in expecting the followers of Hahnemann who, he ought to remember, are on the defensive only to retire leaving the field to himself and his friends. But what he still more objects to is “that with so much remaining to be done in sifting the Materia Medica, [So much remains to be done in sifting the Materia Medica.” By what persons and when has the Materia Medica been sifted already, and what, remains to be sifted? We cannot strike out one solitary symptom. The question of sifting Materia Medica has been fully discussed and Dr. Roth's propositions have been well sifted in the Vierteljahrschrift - vide the Chesimove.] with the urgent call for accurate translations of original provings, with the need so frequently expressed, for an examination of the relations borne by well proved medicines to clearly defined forms of disease, with the whole superstructure of the science of therapeutics waiting its erection on the foundation laid by Hahnemann,“ or in fewer words he demands,
The first demand has been made, and the necessity for it has been proved by the very men whom he and his friends oppose and prosecute - his friends are more anxious to have a Repertory from the imperfect material before them.
The second demand is an absurdity. Even the progressive physiological school teaches the duty of the physician is to treat the sick and not to treat disease. Homoeopathy has enlightened these progressive opponents on that point, and positively teaches that we must select for each individual case the truly curative remedy according to the law of cure.
The English reading homoeopathic practitioners should thankfully receive the reviews of the shamefully false and erroneous translations of our works, by men who are competent to make them. If Mr. Pope were a reading and enquiring disciple of Hahnemann, he would know that, for the last decennium, the short comings, the willful perversions, errors, and omissions of Hempel as a translator have been published and proved. Does Mr. Pope know where to find in the British homoeopathic literature the confessions that the old disciples of the master cured more diseases than the present homoeopathic physicians, such as call themselves so, do.
That the present discussion has been productive of more evil to the progress of Homoeopathy, as understood by Mr. Pope, is an unlooked for acknowledgment, but we are glad of it. The class of physicians who think, write and practice like Mr. Pope and are termed his friends, Hempel included, are well aware that the attacks made by them, in private, on the Hahnemannians remained deservedly and with propriety unnoticed by the true Homoeopathicians, who solely relied upon the results of their practice. Taking this silence as an evidence of weakness, they resorted in their blind opposition even to the journals and text books (vide Hempel's Materia Medica). If argumentative answers were offered, they were treated as the great truths of the great master are treated by the Allopathists, with ridicule. Vide the London Monthly Review, Vol. 8, No.5, p. 296).
The present discussion has been productive of the extension and proper comprehension of true Homoeopathy. Should this discussion be carried on in the same spirit in which Drs. Dudgeon, Pope, Hempel and others have carried it on, their victory, if victory it be to be allowed to have the last word must end in a thorough defeat. I did not complain that Hempel, while under solemn oath, testified that he gave one-fifth of a grain of Arsenic in cholera - but I quoted his testimony and repeat it as before: “In homoeopathic treatment, I have given as much as one-fifth of a grain of Arsenic in the Asiatic cholera, and have repeated that dose from twelve to fifteen times in forty-eight hours. The patients have done well and recovered.” The judge and the jury paid no attention to this testimony which was a contradiction to all scientific experiments, to all the accumulated testimony collected in medical jurisprudence, to all the works of Toxicology, but above all to the testimony deposited by Hahnemann in his Chronic Diseases, and particularly in his introduction to Arsenic.
I have attended cholera patients, never lost one. I have seen cases of poisoning by Arsenic, and have diligently studied its effects, but must lament the gross ignorance of Mr. Pope who, for a moment, can see a similarity in the symptoms characteristic respectively of cholera and Arsenic.
My time is too valuable to enlarge further on the subject; if I have proved to Mr. Pope the necessity of reading first the standard works on Homoeopathy, of learning and applying the practical rules of the master before he again asks the question “Who is a Homoeopathician?” I shall consider myself well rewarded for having defended the cause of Homoeopathy. I might almost hope that my efforts might be successful did I not find Mr. Pope, who writes for the party that has adopted the offensive, so utterly devoid of the knowledge of the history and literature of Homoeopathy. And here while I take leave of Mr. Pope I must at once express my utter abhorrence of the manner in which he slanders our immortal master on the first page of his paper. For it is a slander to say that Hahnemann adopted the extremely infinitesimal doses partly in consideration of the dispensing monopoly of the German apothecaries. Hahnemann knew no fear, he threw down his glove before the mighty and influential opposition, he never yielded one iota to interest and prejudice, and the great and good master lived long enough to see his disciples promulgate his newly discovered art in all countries of the globe. Homoeopathy, progressive, will finally overcome, and is now overcoming, all and every effort to destroy it by assimilating it with false and err oneous teachings of the opposition, by the allopathic school and the pseudo-Homoeopathicians.