( Being a reply by Dr. Farrington to an article of Dr.P.Dudley, published in the Hahnemannian Monthly of February 1872 under the above caption.)
To play the part of instructor, demands that the teacher shall have carefully ascertained the truth of what he would impart.
One’s judgment is always based on the store of ideas already incorporated in his mind. If, by meditation, he would create new ideas, they must be limited and qualified by the extent and importance of the parental ideas, already accumulated; hence, how easy, with the beginner, whose ideal stock is necessarily meagre and whose eager spirit seizes on every new thought, to impart fallacies which, received and appropriated, make a fearful basis upon which to erect his future temple of knowledge!
I can recall a medical acquaintance, whose early days had monopolized the study of Ammonia. This was the superstructure. Mention to him, a perplexing case of Pneumonia or Croup, Cholera or Dysentery, and after long and deep thought his invariable answer would be “Have you tried Carbonate of Ammonia?”
This is the basis of hobbyism, No true scientist ever rides a hobby. Each new truth shines with a fresh lustre which delights but never dazzles him. He has a long-prepared niche for it; his orderly system missed a something which he knew must be forthcoming, and which once seen was recognized as the missing link.
There are some in the ranks of Homoeopathy whose names at once recall their favorite medicine, so inseparably united have they become. Scarcely a work of the “Great Translator” but makes us feverish with a multitude of Aconite notes! Never teach hobbyism.
But this one-ideaism is not the worst result of a false education. It is rather the result of a paucity of knowledge. But let the student of medicine be invited to listen to medical discussions, such as monthly engross our various societies, and if truth be not there taught, will he not suffer a worse fate than hobbyism? What is the grand cause of the reckless, meaningless theorizing of the day if it be not a false basal education? Begin wrong and the gap between right and wrong widens with each onward step. Let us say with Hahnemann, “TOLLE CAUSAM”
Quite recently, a society meeting of physicians and students was called upon to listen to an article on “Homoeopathy Misapplied”. Its tenets seemed to me too unscientific to disturb even a student’s mind; and yet; on leaving the hall, one of them remarked: “I liked that lecture very much”. The author, a gentleman of education and integrity, was thoroughly in earnest, and no doubt thought he was promulgating the truth.
So did the student think; the latter, because he knew no better; the former, because his collegiate impression of Homoeopathy was incorrect.
His tenets are, however, in the light of modern science, false. He seems to know nothing of molecular action, direct and indirect action, and disease itself. He asks, speaking of post- parturient haemorrhage: “Will Ipecac. or China coagulate healthy liquid blood?…. Will Belladonna or Sabina, or Crocus contract and retract a broken vessel which has already contracted and retracted so much as is consistent with the laws of its own health?” Now, how can such a sentence be answered unless the interrogator first study the manner of Nature’s cure of haemorrhage and still more, how medicines act?.
But errors of one’s own invention may be nursed and libitum if the remain respectfully at home, but when one’s aspirations make him a critic of Hahnemann, whose pure teachings, not comprehended, are misjudged, patience ceases to be a virtue.
MISAPPLIED HOMOEOPATHY BY HAHNEMANN is a phrase as shocking as it is false, and its author deserves unmitigated censure. Poor Hahnemann, how could he so misunderstand his own discovery as not to see with our learned author, that his cures of frost- bite and burns were not Homoeopathic! strange, too, “that so many of his followers in our day should have made the same mistaken application”!