Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/754

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734 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

jected to his method of treating the subject that no a priori argu> ment can suffice in the forum of reason where practical tests and ma- terial results may be had, by any one so in love with the truth as to seek it, by going frankly to eminent homoeopathic physicians and obtaining permission to study their treatment in a given number of cases, and, with a mind disabused of prejudice, carefully examining and noting each case and giving the results of such observations. There would then, at least, be some facts which would give currency to the alloy of mere argument.

There is certainly no more reason, viewed from a logical stand- point, why the inducing of symptoms or sufferings different from those produced by disease should prove more efficacious in cure than a remedy which produces similar symptoms. It may be so ; but the mere assertion does not establish it. The question is one of fact ; it does not belong to the domain of reason. However absurd the theory of one school may appear to a disciple of the other, the question re- mains, Which system cures ?

It is asserted that infinitesimal doses, a decillionth part of a grain, can not cure. This statement is based upon the assumption that a dozen, or twenty, or more grains, given by the allopathic school in sin- gle or quickly repeated doses, are necessary to effect a cure, and that so given they do cure, which is to assert that allopathy is the only true standard and measure of cure, and that any material deviation therefrom is error. But, if the premise be denied, the conclusion fails.

Of the uncertainty of cure by allopathic remedies, let one of the most eminent of that school speak that man of attainments and abil- ity, Sir John Forbes. In his work entitled " Nature and Art in Dis- ease," a solemn legacy to his younger brethren, he says :

" And yet what is the character of the results obtained under this system " (homoeopathic) " of imaginary medication in the cure of dis- eases ? When fairly weighed do not these results exhibit, if not quite as large a proportion of cures as ordinary medicine, still so large a proportion as to demonstrate at once the feebleness of what we regard as the best form of art and the immense strength of Nature in the same office. . . .

" The favorable results obtained by the homoeopaths or, to speak more accurately, the wonderful powers possessed by the natural re- storative agencies of the living body demonstrated under their imagi- nary treatment, have led to several other practical results of value to the practitioners of ordinary medicine. Besides leading their minds to the most important of all medical studies, that of the natural his- tory of diseases, it has tended directly to improve their practice by augmenting their confidence in Nature's powers, and proportionately diminishing their belief in the universal necessity of art, thus check- ing that unnecessary interference with the natural processes by the employment of heroic means, always so prevalent and so injurious. It

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