The present volume is a republication of essays originally contributed to the British Journal of Homoeopathy, with which the author was for many years connected editorially. All matter of a merely controversial character has been omitted in this selection, except, in so far as the whole spirit and philosophy of the new school is, in its practical and theoretical tendencies, opposed to the old. The antagonism is implied and latent; it is of that kind which demonstrates the truth, not by showing some particular proposition to be false, but by establishing a true generalization, whose scope is instantly seen to annihilate all previous errors. Negative and destructive criticism leave nothing but chaff in the sieve of the controversialist. He gets for his pains the diseased and useless member he amputated; his faith and his science, are but the residuary side of a dilemma. The way in which a tree gets rid of its old leaves is the right method of philosophy: building up new ones underneath them; refusing its principle of life to the old, they cannot live long on the air and the gun alone. So an effected system cannot long hold its place with nothing but outward custom and conservative instinct for its support.
Before going farther we cannot help speaking of the excellent paper and printing of this volume. The paper is of the substantial English quality, a very clear white, of very fine fibre, on which the large distinct type stands out in bold relief. An unmistakably English book. The eye runs along the lines of the page as easily as it scans the trees of a well-set orchard. As your eye rests upon them you seem almost able to read the whole page with one sweeping glance. It is a book therefore to be commended to the weak-eyed-an excellent collyrium, soothing and agreeable to the eye, at the same time a stimulating tonic for the mind.
The able author shows a large fund of general knowledge and observation, quite beyond the merely professional and technical. He is not unaware of the illustrations which may be drawn from every branch of science, and even morals and metaphysics, for the elucidation of the problems of medicine. Of the great primary law of Homoeopathy he affirms that it “presents many striking and interesting analogies with some of the most important doctrines that have recently been advanced by the greatest writers in the various fields of physics, ethics, and psychology.” His recognition of the increasing demands upon the profession incline him to the most catholic and generous views of all other systems. No man can rest content with the meagre results of a bigoted empiricism, but he most equip himself with the noblest theories and the most comprehensive study.
And the physician has an ever-inviting, ever-enlarging field of study and observation in each new patient. “The objects of his endeavors are the most obvious to the senses, and at the same time the highest, the most simple and the most complicated.” As the law of Hahnemann is more and more seen to be coincident with certain laws of nature in many other departments, its developments, its application and its relations, become more and more interesting subjects of investigation.
Here is the novel “Counterparts” just now exciting so much attention, whose whole philosophy is established on a kindred law. This great principle which Hahnemann applied to Therapeutics seems in its various manifestations to be almost as universal as gravity. One can scarcely cast an eye into literature or science without discovering its track. So that the intelligent and observing layman is in possession of enough information of this kind to make the laws and the practice of Homoeopathy welcome to him.
From its broad and elegant treatment of subjects, this collection of essays would be interesting and instructive reading for the general public; especially the chapters on Diet, Mesmerism, and Sir H. Hollands 'Medical Notes and Reflections.' The closing chapter, a notice to that wonderful man, Samuel Brown, who died in his prime, will be read with new interest. It shows perhaps better than anywhere else the literary capacity of Dr. Russell. And in this connection we cannot forbear remarking with what clear, condensed power of statement he is gifted. Take this simple example; “Habits may be said to represent for the individual the maximum of attainment with the minimum of effort.”
The first article of the volume; “Young Physic,” is one that has probably excited the most remark, and been most generally read. It is a thorough and masterly review of Dr., now Sir, John Forbe's article, 'Homoeopathy, Allopathy and Young Physic,“ since published in a book form with the title of “Nature and Art in Disease.” He shows that what medicine stood in need of was not a Bacon, but a Newton. And such was Hahnemann. He shows the prevailing scepticism in the old schools of medicine, so that its professors, like the old Roman priests, can scarcely look each other in the face without laughing, or worse, cannot meet their patients without a “constant exercise of hypocrisy, and a constant sacrifice of principle.” In short that the whole tendency of the prevalent and fashionable system of medicine is loading its disciples to this sad and impotent result. The greater their experience the more positive their conviction that they can do nothing.
We heartily recommend the work to all professional and non-professional readers, as one from the perusal of which they cannot but derive much good. In a future number of the REVIEW we may make some extracts from the article on Pneumonia comparing it with other essays on the same subject.
The publishers announce at the close of the volume, a 'Life of Hahnemann' by the same accomplished author. This, as we learn, is to be extended into a “History of Medicine.” Should the perspicuity, erudition and careful research which mark the present volume be continued in the forthcoming work, it will be highly valuable to every physician of whatever school.
By WILLIAM HITCHMAN, M. D. F.L.S. 8vo. pp. 184-Phil.; Radde-1859. The writer of this Essay has for the last fifteen years, given close attention to this fatal disease and the reader will bear witness to the fact.
It would be impossible in a short notice of this book to enter largely into the nature of phthisis, and the peculiar character of tubercular deposition. We purpose to call attention to the plans he suggests for the prevention of this destroying and subtle enemy, preventing the blasting of parental hopes, and endeavoring to promote the perfect blossoming of promise and of joy.
He refers the causes of Phthisis to two distinct heads “the remote and exciting, or those which excite and induce the constitutional predisposition. and those which determine the local deposition of tuberculous matter after such predisposition is established”.
Here we have the grand total, which if fully understood and appreciated, and acted on by the public, will vanish from our lists of mortality, the large figures which weekly stand opposite the name of Consumption.
“The principal causes which induce consumption are hereditary transmit lion, improper diet, both as regards quantity and quality, deficiency of pure air, exercise, clothing and cleanliness, excessive labor and affections of the mind.”
How boldly these facts stare us in the face, in our daily walks, the impart air of badly ventilated rooms, the languid frame of oar fashionable belles lolling in ease on cushioned sofas, ordering the carriage to ride to the corner of the block, instead of the quick elastic walk, the jaded and anxious faces of our merchants, as they gaze hourly, day after day on the pages of the ledger and day-book, these exhaust the nervous force, and deprive the system of that power by which its orderly functions are maintained. Much might be said on this head, but space will not allow.
A word in reference to the prevention of consumption as regards parents, he says “it is not at all necessary that parents should be the subjects of consumptive disease, in order to transmit the consumptive constitution to their children. it must be remembered that a deranged state of the health from depressed nervous power in the parents, will render offspring predisposed to the disease before us.”
The rules of management and conduct which it is absolutely necessary for every prudent mother to pursue during pregnancy is also of great weight and hinted at in this work; and here allow us to call attention to a work by A L Fouteret- (Hygiene physique et morale de l'ouvrier dans les grandes villes on general, et dans la ville de Lyon on particulier) his remarks on marriage and excessive Sexual indulgence and gratification, bear directly on the subject of depressed and exhausted nervous power, on which the author of this work on consumption lays much stress
This it is which lays the foundation for Scrofula,' and thus our fashionable society and so called civilized country, nourish this viper, which gnaws at the core of life; fair outside but blasted within.
Dr Hitchman's remarks in regard to the prevention of consumption in children are good; the sublime platform of Hygienic treatment is worthy of profound attention, allowing the innocent child to breathe the fresh air of heaven, bathing his young frame in the airy sea, good generous diet, regularity in all things, and this aided by proper homoeopathic dynamics, thus we strike at the point and blast in the bud the fatal seed, and instead of a scrofulous. and feeble child, we have a vitality strong and vigorous.
“Well ventilated school-rooms, plenty of exercise, good diet, and not over taxing the mental organization to gain a gewgaw or Bubble called a Prize,” he says, ” the parading of a ladies boarding school in pairs, resembles a funeral procession; and all the requisites for the production of consumption may be found in a large proportion of ladies boarding schools, a girl of a fine and delicate organization cannot under such a regimen for a lengthened period escape consumption, “a good warm bath should form a necessary appendage to every boarding school and every girl should enjoy the benefit of occasionally conjoining; with it her habitual practice of cold sponging.”
Physical exercise is of the utmost importance, and here one fact should be commended, and urged upon our young men, the necessity of out door exercise, the game of base-ball affords fine sport and healthy action of the whole system; and we rejoice to see so many entering into this National game; in the physical exercise recommended to females, “tight lacing and all tight dressing is utterly incompatible, and of course must be discarded.” a perfectly healthy female requires no stays as a means of support, this practice which is productive of much evil and frequent deformity, especially at that unfortunate era, when the girl is taken up to be manufactured into a lady.“
“If girls were properly, exercised in the open air and strengthened by the various hygienic means which are within the reach of all, and which nature points to us as best, stays would not be necessary before the body is fully matured, and would even then be scarcely wanted, except to satisfy an imaginary requirement.” Such remarks abound in this work and should lead parents and guardians to profit by their perusal:
Under the head of General Treatment he is profoundly impressed with the great ” therapeutical law in the universe of physic“-in homoeopathy is that great truth, that quantity does not cure, but the correspondence of drug action with morbid phenomena in the organization, that causes the molecule to become a powerful dynamic remedial agent.
He says “I regard homoeopathy, in its absolute, fundamental, deathless principal, as the sublime and veritable exponent of a true and philosophical natural relationship, subsisting between the pathogenetic effects of each medical substance upon the healthy organization, and its beneficial or curative influence upon the sick, when these morbid phenomena arise from idiopathic or other causes.”
Our author closes with a note on the Rationale of the action of homoeopathic medicines. “a dynamic theory, one which regards homoeopathic remedial agents as forces acting upon nervous matter, or nerve globules and blood-globules, in obedience to a general law of natural affinity.'
A NEW AND COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF MATERIA MEDICA AND THERAPEUTICS. Arranged upon a Physiologic Pathological Basis, for the use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine. BY CHARLES J. HEMPEL, M. D. 8vo. pp. 1202. Philadelphia and New York. Radde, 1859.
In his present work Dr. Hempel has published the lectures on Materia Medica, given by him in the Homoeopathic College of Philadelphia, which, since his connection with that institution, have been so deservedly popular, and, as we have heard many students remark, instructive.
It was with no little pleasure, therefore, that we hailed the advent of this addition to our literature, and, supposing the Professor to be ” up with the times,” we expected on opening the book, to find in the long list of remedies the names of those recently proven and now coming into general use; but the author, while he speaks of those whose pathogenesis is but little known, entirely ignores others that have repeatedly been proven, and whose pathogenetic action has been confirmed by their curative effect. The first five lectures are devoted to his “ Introductory,” in which he gives a sketch of Homoeopathy and its founder, dividing his remarks under several heads, “The Fossil, the Transition, and Prophetic Period of Homoeopathy.” He avows his hostility to the deluge of symptoms with which our Materia Medica is flooded; speaks of the “abominable absurdities which are taught” in the North American Journal; takes occasion to express, to the students, his views of the above mentioned periodical; dabbles a little into theology; indulges in a few personalities, always out of place in a scientific work; and concludes his introductory remarks by speaking of the preparation and administration of medicines.
Entirely discarding the symptomatical arrangement of former writers, Dr. Hempel has followed more the arrangement of Pereria and other old school authors. For instance; when speaking of Aconite, he gives a number of cases of poisoning thereby; then, in form of a synopsis, he gives us the toxicological effects, which he follows by a list of symptoms obtained by provings on the healthy. He next states when the remedy is indicated in what he calls the “Inflammatory,” Cerebro-Spinal,“ Orbital, “Auricular,” “Facial,” “Pharyngeal,” “Chylo-Poietic,” “Pulmonary,” “Urinary,” “Sexual,” and other “groups.”
The author has endeavored by this plan to render our Materia Medica more comprehensible to the student than the old system of arrangement by symptoms. The success of his plan is attested to by the many students of the college. This arrangement will answer very well for persons commencing practice to gain an insight into the history and use of our medicines; but we think it will prove of but little benefit to the practitioner as a reference in ascertaining the action of a remedy on any particular part.
HINTS TOWARD PHYSICAL PERFECTION:-or, The Philosophy of Human Beauty; showing how to acquire and retain Bodily Symmetry and Vigor; secure Long Life; and avoid the Infirmities. and Deformities of Age. By D. A. Jaques. pp. 244: New York-Fowler & Wells.-1859.
This is one of the many eminently practical and useful works issued by these publishers. The author presents no principles or facts hitherto unknown, but endeavors rather to show more clearly the practical application of those already established by scientific investigations; thereby rendering them more inviting to the many, and hastening the day when the belief in the possibility of the moral, intellectual and physical salvation of the race, shall be a part of the living faith of humanity. The author treats under the various heads -Structure of the Human Body, Temperaments, Laws of Human Configuration, Embryology, Childhood, Effects of Mental Culture, Social Conditions and Occupations, direct Physical Culture, Practical Hygiene, Womanhood, Secret of Longevity, External Indications of Figure. &c. &c.
Dr. Oehme has not aspired to a large work for “families and medical students; but has aimed to be as brief and concise as possible, avoiding all technical terms. He commences his book by a short sketch of Hahnemann, followed by a short dissertation on the Homoeopathic Law of Cure, the administration of medicines, diet, &c.
Every housewife has some family medicine, something for almost every ailment likely to occur in a family, something which has been repeatedly given without being known to fail, a knowledge of which has been handed down from mother to daughter, and as Homoeopathy has not yet become traditionary we think these family works, large or small, intended to do good, provided they do not profess, in their small compass, to teach the whole art and science of medicine, whereby any one can fearlessly combat any and every disease.
A popular journal with the above title has just been commenced at Springfield, Mass., under the editorial charge of J. M. Bussell, M. D., and D. White, M. D. The former gentleman is proprietor of the “Surgical Hospital” at Springfield, and has charge of the Department of Surgery. Dr. White, formerly of St. Louis, edits the Medical Department.
The two numbers before us are well got up, and if they are a criterion by which we may judge of the future conduct of the journal, we think it will prove of service in disseminating, among the laity and others, facts concerning Homoeopathy and the other subjects on which it treats.
A pamphlet with the above title has been received from Dr. E. A. Guilbert. As a notice of the proceedings has already been published in a former number of the REVIEW, we shall make no further mention of them here, but pass on to what appears under the title of “Appendix,” at the back part of the book. Here let us enquire of the Secretaries or those who have charge of the printing of these pamphlets, why the papers read before the Society, Scientific Reports, &c., composing in fact the Transactions, are always published in the back of the book instead of the front? The transactions are of interest to the profession and should form the bulk of the work, while the mere record of what was done, what committees reported and what did not, who were elected officers, and the order of procedure possesses but local interest, the proper place for which is at the end.
The first paper published is the Annual Address of Dr. John T. Temple, in which he gives a sketch of his twenty-five years experience in the West, the advancement of Homoeopathy there, and his firm belief in the universality of our therapeutic law. The report of Dr. A. R. Bartlett, on “Medical Education and Organization,” is a short but interesting article, urging the formation of Medical Associations where the members can meet and exchange views. Dr. R. Ludlam reports on the “Endemic and Epidemic Diseases of Illinois,” a Subject on which he has already written and published much. The Committee endeavored to obtain a history of the sanitary condition of the State of Illinois daring the past year, and publish not a very successful result. Dr. A. E. Small reports on “Physiology and Pathology.” Dr. E. A. Guilbert reports in favor of topical applications, and in his report on that subject gives several cases where topical medication has proved efficacious. Dr. Guilbert also publishes a report on “Anaesthesia.”
We wish the example of our Western friends would be followed by those here, and instead of having meetings where little or nothing is done to benefit the members or advance the cause, we could have such evidence of the utility of meeting together as is shown in the pamphlet before us. Although the list of contributors is not large, the few that have written have given to the profession some very valuable essays.
The reports of the dignified bodies known as State societies are received by the masses beyond all suspicion;-scientific in the true sense of the word-and therefore communicating reliable information; there are however so many assumptions of science by ignorant and unscrupulous men that it will be well to examine even these high authorities, to watch their movements, who though licensed to practice medicine may occasionally venture upon practices of an illicit character prompted by the prestige of high recognition, being in name the Medical Society of the State.
Our remarks are justified by an examination of the document, whose title we copy above, and to which we shall content ourselves by a brief reference in the hope that the facts presented by our friend in calling attention to a gross Allopathic misrepresentation may prompt a watchfulness on the part of Homoeopathic Physicians for these stiletto-stabs and the exposure of each detection.
At pages 147 to 153 are reports of a case of fracture of the cervical vertebrae &c. and of Statistics of obstetric practice &c. &c. with remarks by A. VanDyek, Oswego N. Y. and one of the remarks made is thus:
“One of these two cases (of craniotomy) I found a homoeopathic physician in attendance, an impacted head and convulsions. The labor had continued twenty four hours; The patient was apoplectic, and died a few hours after the delivery.”
The impression is here given that a homoeopathic physician had continued for twenty-four hours an ineffectual attendant upon the case and in despair recourse was had to an allopath. The facts in the case are mis-stated both in form and substance. The homoeopath was called as a friend of the family about an hour before the allopath, who was the family physician and lost a previous wife of this woman's husband. On his examination he pronounced labor not commenced and not until about four hours after could he discover dilatation; chloroform was administered and the woman was bled several times, from the depletion there was no recovery of vital force, the use of forceps being deemed impracticable the allopath asked the homoeopath if craniotomy was not the only resource left, and in this answer the homoeopath gave his only advice in any manner effecting the case. The first call was made at four in the morning the homoeopath was sick and unable to attend the case and the allopath was called and arrived about an hour after-the case was not even examined by the homoeopath-the travail was apparent at about 9 or 10 A. M. and the woman was dead by 9 P. M. less than 12 instead of 24 hours, the homoeopath was in the house but had no part in the case whatever-thus the time, the circumstance and cause of death are all mis-stated and in such form as to cast the charge of death on homoeopathy. There is a curious case of Nigrities reported at page 289 presenting a good illustration of the grope-in-the-dark operation of allopathic practice concluded with a wild stare of astonishment at the result of doses of camphor, opium and calomel stimulated by brandy-sling, administered to a patient whose pulse was too frequent to be counted, and barely perceptible-cold surface and sore abdomen-this death however was “duly licensed”
The Vice-President's address is a strange instance of contradictory symptoms in a physician on the one hand, by elaborate statistics of practice showing his abilities, and on the other his neglect of those abilities in the disregard of the more healthy statistics of the world's progress which had he examined them would have saved him the humiliating assertion that Homoeopathy is rapidly sinking into neglect. H. L. D.
In the work before us, Dr. George A. Redman, a graduate of one of our Homoeopathic Colleges, narrates what he calls a collection of facts, which have occurred during his experience as a medium. He prefaces his remarks with a short sketch of his earlier history. Born at Boston in 1835, at the age of 14 years he removed to the western part of this state, about the time the phenomena, known as the “Rochester Knockings,” were first made known to the world. Having previously heard the raps and experienced curious sensations, he became very much interested in these phenomena as something very wonderful, and was told at one of these sceances that he would become a medium, and was much delighted and surprised to find a short time afterwards that in his presence, tables and other artistes of furniture would go through performances similar to those witnessed in the presence of professed mediums. From this he goes on to state many instances, records of which he has always made at the time, and now after an experience of ten years, when his wonderful power has about left him, and the cares of practice are becoming great, he publishes these to the world.
These phenomena are but a repetition of what we hear every day, and to answer the numerous enquiries by saying humbug, is too much like applying that epithet in former times to Homoeopathy and the facts daily recorded in reference to its success. Dr. R. has made no attempt to explain the wonderful things, he states; but leaves them as they occurred for others to draw their inference.
|The AMERICAN HOMOEOPATHIC REVIEW Vol. 01 No. 12, 1859, pages 565-574
|Book-notices; A CONTRIBUTION TO MEDICAL LITERATURE, By J. RUTHERFORD RUSSELL; CONSUMPTION, ITS NATURE, PREVENTION AND HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT, by WILLIAM HITCHMAN; A NEW AND COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF MATERIA MEDICA AND THERAPEUTICS, Arranged upon a Physiologic Pathological Basis, for the use of Practitioners and Students of Medicine, BY CHARLES J. HEMPEL; HINTS TOWARD PHYSICAL PERFECTION by D. A. Jaques; THE HOMOEOPATHIC DOMESTIC PHYSICIAN AND TRAVELLERS' MEDICAL COMPANION By Dr. FRED. GUSTAVE OEHME; THE HOMOEOPATHIST; PROCEEDINGS OF THE ILLINOIS STATE HOMOEOPATHIC MEDICAL ASSOCIATION AT ITS FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING; TRANSACTIONS OF THE MEDICAL SOCIETY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, for the year 1858; MYSTIC HOURS or Spiritual Experiences By G.A. REDMAN
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