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from matter altogether, as matter is ordinarily understood. Here the universe makes appeal to our attuned senses, through a medium of air alone; through mere energy in motion, manifesting as vibration. Brought into realization, have we not here a fine and wonderful thing, which yet is a most familiar experience? Have we not climbed fast and far? But we may make one more step yet, nor stand above our reassuring experience of every day. We climb the round of sight, Here we have energy emancipated from solid, from liquid, from atmospheric media; here we have as a medium only that mysterious thing called the ether; as far above the air as that is above the liquid, or that above the solid. Here we stop, or do we stop? Would it not be more rational, more logical, to say not, here we stop, but here we for the moment pause? Are we prepared to say that at the sense of sight there ceases arbitrarily this wonderfully, subtly, exquisitely graded ascent, up which we have thus far been led? Has life energy lost its power of further, higher manifestation? Has humanity no senses by which that life energy in higher manifestation can be apprehended? Let us imagine a form of life which has not yet, in its evolution, mounted above the first round of our mystic ladder, whose sole sense is that of touch.
If it could be conveyed to such forms, that beyond touch there was capacity for taste, for smell, for hearing, for sight, what answer do you fancy that creature possessed of but the one sense of touch would make to these assertions of its own latent powers? Do you suppose it would make a widely different answer from that made by many of us, when we are asked to consider the possible existence of
, a sixth sense, a seventh, a thousandth sense which mount above our five senses, as they mount above each other?
Thus far in our talk, I have spoken to you largely as a physician to physicians. Now for a few moments, let me speak to you as a homeopathist to homeopathists. Let us, for a little, turn to our own special corner of the medical field, and talk of family matters. What are we, as homeopathists, contributing to the work of the medical field at large? What are we doing to justify our claim to be therapeutic specialists? We cannot escape these questions; and it is better that we should ask them of ourselves and of each other, than that the world outside our corner should ask them of us.
What are we giving to the field at large? We are giving what we have long given and we are giving it with the confidence in its worth only the testing of years can bring. We are giving remedies for whose efficacy we have scientific warrant. We are giving remedies whose worth we have tested by scientific methods, and tested for
ourselves, and which can be proven as to their pathogenetic powers, by any scientist curious to do so. In this respect alone we justify our right to continued existence as homeopathists. The drug-giving physicians of other corners of the field can bring no such claim as ours. They know no law under which remedies can be administered for the cure of the sick, other than that of loose empiricism. The drugs and combination of drugs that they employ, are not only chosen as the result of their own study of their properties, but are used by them many times in total ignorance by the prescriber, of the very names of the drugs he is administering. Is this an incredible statement? You have only to read carefully one week's contribution to your mail by the pharmacists who make a specialty-and how many of them do not-of “elegant, ethical and synthetical pharmaceutical preparations” for the cure of everything under heaven. The component parts of these specifics they shyly refrain from mentioning, yet despite that fact, they present ardent testimonials from physicians of unimpeachable standing, as to the power of the specifics. Reflect on this and you will not find my statement incredible. Ponder Dr. Billings' statement, which I have already quoted, on the non-reliability of every drug but two, in use by the allopathic school to-day, and then ponder the fact, demonstrated by a study of their magazine literature, of the number of drugs they habitually employ, and I think you will admit the need as crying to-day as ever before, of therapeutic specialists who know what drugs they employ, and what the properties of those drugs are, as proved by their action on the healthy body, and under what law they can be administered, to secure an all but uniform result. We may say, indeed, to secure a uniform result, when we subtract an occasional temperamental idiosyncrasy of the patient, and certain occasional errors of diagnosis of the physician; such errors as the failure to recognize a condition that calls for special treatment outside the domain of drug-giving at all; for instance a headache directly due to eye-strain.
We have not outlived the world's need of us. We have not outlived the need of our continuing as therapeutic specialists. Nor are we departing, as is sometimes woefully claimed, from our faith in homeopathy and its laws, because we have in our ranks many specialists who treat exclusively given diseases, and treat them largely by means outside the domain of drug-administration. There are few if any of these our specialists who do not use the homeopathic remedy as the most valuable adjunct of their treatment as a whole. In a series of questions I recently addressed to many of our specialists, with this aspect of my subject in mind, and which were fully and
courteously answered, many interesting and germane points were brought out. The question, for instance, as to whether in their specialty they found the homeopathic remedy of practical use, elicited a universal and warm assent. The general opinion is well epitomized in the following quotation from the reply of a well-known specialist in diseases of the eye and ear:
“Since I began practicing, I have constantly depended upon my drugs to aid me in the treatment of my patients. Perhaps I do not depend on the drugs alone, but I do feel they are of the greatest importance in many eye-and-ear conditions, and I would be greatly handicapped if I did not have their aid. This is particularly the case in intra-ocular diseases; i. e., iritis, choroiditis and the various conditions of the retina and the optic nerve. Here the homeopathic specialist has everything to give his patient, while his allopathic confrere has to depend only on general lines of treatment of a dietetic and hygienic nature."
So much for what homeopathy is doing for its specialists. What are its specialists doing for homeopathy, is a question of germane interest. This also has suggestive answers. For one thing, they are fighting the battle of homeopathy on the material side, by compelling recognition of the fact that homeopathists are capable of as telling work in special fields as are their old-school confreres, and thus enlightening prejudice on the score of our limitations. For another thing, they are sifting and specializing our materia medica, of which more presently, for they are making more use of, and consequently doing more to establish in a month the powers of our drugs having special symptoms, eye and ear; skin; kidney symptoms, for example, than the general practitioner would be likely to do for such drugs in a year. For yet another thing, as was pointed out in one of the answers I received, homeopathic specialists have enlarged our knowledge of the use of homeopathy through the publication of numerous text-books relating to their specialties, which deal fully with remedies homeopathic to the disease they specially treat. Thus homeopathy ministers to our specialists, and they to it. A good and cheering record! Thus far our outlook has been all cheer. Not so much can be said, perhaps, when we have asked ourselves the questions: What progress has homeopathy made, on its therapeutic side, in the last quarter century? Is homeopathy making any progress in worth commensurate with its progress in success I need not answer these questions, but it is my duty to ask them. It is also my duty earnestly to urge that our history be made to furnish more optimistic answers to them, when they are asked a quarter-century hence. I am sure that nothing can help forward a consummation so hoped for by us all, than the carrying out of some plan for the founding of an Institute for Drug-Proving. Its work will be living work; it will be vitally necessary work; and it will be our own work, by right of sacred inheritance. Not a recruit under our homeopathic banner but can do his share toward that work. In the governing body of that Institute we must enlist representatives of every specialty. Every specialty, through its representative, must glean from every drug proved those symptoms which suggest its usefulness in that specialty. These symptoms it must be his special province to verify by test and counter-test. Thus he will be greatly serving homeopathy, and adding greatly to the power of homeopathy to be of service to him and to his patients. Even we general practitioners, though painfully conscious, sometimes, of standing as the future dodos of the medical profession, soon to be of interest only to the student of extinct species, will have our share of that great work, by chronicling the triumphant emergence from the sharper tests of this new scientific day of our own old standbys, in the few unfashionable, homely, and as yet unspecialized ills that remain for our endance. We shall point out to a world that still eats green apples, how colocynth is equal to autumnal emergencies, and how aconite still holds its own in measles, a formidable rival to the common or domestic saffron tea. Nor is it alone the ministrants to differing varieties of disease, who must claim equal representation in the new Institute of Drug-Proving. This must embrace as well representatives of every differing shade of homeopathic medical opinion, who may, in the large toleration born of these new days, work together in amity. The gruesome spectre of the "potency question ” as a war issue, may surely now at last, be relegated to our family tomb. The advocates of the highest potencies, can hardly be unwilling to submit their claims to some other tribunal than that of the uncontrolled clinical test, since by that tribunal to-day the most numerous honorary diplomas are granted to quack proprietary preparations. The scoffers of aforetime, at the powers of the infinitesimal, are remaining if not to pray, at least to ponder in chastened soberness, lessons in the power of the infinitesimal, as manifested in the germ theory, and the X-Ray; and to read thoughtfully that recent report of the United States Department of Agriculture, which states that the application of a solution containing one part of copper sulphate to seven hundred million parts of water, is sufficient to affect the growth of certain seedlings when applied to their roots, and that experiments with infinitesimal dilutions of this same substance (1 to 50,000,000), promise to give a treatment of water-supplies that shall
make the workers on the Panama Canal practically immune from the diseases that, it was proclaimed only a few brief months ago, could not fail to cost that enterprise a million lives before it saw completion. With the recognition of the necessity of scientific control-tests on the one side, and the recognition on the other side of the unwisdom of crying “impossible!” to anything because we cannot at once determine its method of working, the two hitherto opposed factions of our therapeutic faith should find it easy to work together to noble and abiding result, and in a spirit wholly fraternal.
Once more, fellow children of our great Institute, I bid you welcome to its councils. I welcome you as therapeutic specialists, united in loyalty to a family cause.
I welcome you as physicians united by a greater bond, and to a wider issue.
As specialists may we grow in expert skill, by these our common deliberations.
As physicians may we grow in wider usefulness.
As men and women may we grow in tolerance, and earnestness, and human kindness!
Upon adjournment the thousand guests entered heartily upon the social pleasures provided so generously by the Local Committee. The usual officers' and President's reception was dispensed with. Just why we do not know-but there seemed to be no one to lead the flock-and besides that the crush was so great that it was next to impossible to get through from one room to the other.
The ball, however, was not dispensed with. It came off in a very complete and satisfying way. It was decidedly a success, and reflects great credit on Supt. Daniel H. Arthur, of Gowanda State Hospital, the very efficient chairman of the Committee on Entertainment.
And the sessions of the days following. We wish it were possible to give even a general idea of what was done in scientific consideration of things Homeopathic, Surgical, Gynecological, etc., etc., but alas that is not to be. The writer was the Registrar and he worked-yes-actually worked. In fact, so closely was he confined to his desk that the Institute provided for next year a clerk whose duty shall be to clerk, and the Registrar is to have freedom to further the interests of the Institute along other lines.
In a general way we can say that there has seldom been a meeting of our great national body where more conscientious work was done. The sectional societies were alive and active. They held their meetings as per schedule, the discussions being full and interesting, and productive of great good without any doubt.