With the present number, which completes the sixth volume, the publication of the American Homoeopathic Review will be, for the present, suspended. The Editors anticipate full occupation in the labors which will devolve upon them by reason of their connection with the Homoeopathic Publication Society, the plan and purposes of which have already been laid before the readers of the Review. They abandon, for a time, the field of journalism, with the less reluctance, in as much as they have had the pleasure of welcoming within the past year no less than three new homoeopathic periodicals, which promise to be ably conducted and well-supported and to supply to the profession every need within the compass of a medical journal, quite as well, to say the very least, as this Review could aspire to do.
In another part of this number will be found a historical sketch of the Review. We propose here a word only upon the spirit in which we have aimed to conduct the discussion of those points of doctrine and practice which are distinctive of Homoeopathy.
That we have labored by theoretical argument and by the practical method of clinical reports to explain and enforce the necessity of strictly individualizing cases; of studying the characteristics of remedies, as they are found most frequently in apparently trifling subjective symptoms, or in the conditions and concomitants of symptoms; of adhering to the single remedy, eschewing alternation and every form of poly-pharmacy; of seeking to give in each case the smallest dose of medicine that was competent to effect a cure - of this direction of our labors these volumes bear witness.
We have not forgotten that all medical men, save a few recently, have been brought up at the feet of allopathic Gamaliels, as, indeed; was our own case. It would be unreasonable to expect that a physician should pass, by one step and by virtue of one experiment, from a belief in Allopathy to the full measure of a Homoeopathician. The conversion, to be worth anything, must be gradual and the change must be one of many successive steps. The readers of the Review must have comprised all degrees of minds, from that of the enquiring Allopath to that of the convinced and enthusiastic expert in Homoeopathy. And it was reasonable to expect, as we did, that every exposition would meet with criticism and enquiry of a kind appropriate to the mental condition of each degree of readers. It has been our aim to satisfy this kind of criticism and so to elucidate, by argument and by clinical example, each position assumed by us, as both to stimulate our readers to experiment and to show enquirers how these experiments should be instituted and conducted.
Surveying. now the field we are about to leave, we find, both in this country and in England, a large body of anxious resolute investigators busily at work on these very points of doctrine and practice to which we have given our labor.
On all sides come up demands for a Materia Medica which shall give us trustworthy characteristic symptoms of remedies. Subjective symptoms are receiving some share of the attention to which their great value entitles them. The subject of alternation is being reviewed in a broad and liberal spirit. The style of clinical reports has greatly improved. And whereas, ten years ago, to advocate the use of high potencies in any way was to expose oneself to serious suspicions of unsound judgment, now these potencies are being extensively used and experimented with on all sides and, as a first fruit, we have already a few generalizations from the practical standpoint, tending to show that, in diseases of certain organs a high potency is required, while, in diseases of other organs, low potencies of the same remedy are alone efficacious. These generalizations may not endure the test of a longer experience, but the spirit in which they are made and received is the only one from which we can look for progress in our school.
We presume to claim no instrumentality in this change of spirit, method and opinion among Homoeopathicians. We simply note the fact with earnest rejoicings, and bid our colleagues God speed and farewell!
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 06 No. 11-12, 1866, pages 401-403
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