Continuing the conversational style I have almost unconsciously drifted into, let me presume the pathologist asks: “How can your method ever result in a tangible, fixed therapeutics? Are you not doomed always to remain in the speculative?”

“No” the Hahnemannian answers, “we rest on terra firma as well as you, even if we are not so anxious to measure out precisely where shall be our footing. Our method develops an objective therapeutics.

“How? “To illustrate, the world-renowned Aconite owes its febrile usefulness to the method of Hahnemann. When Hahnemann first prescribed it, he knew little or nothing of its power to cause and cure synochal fever. He selected it from concomitant symptoms guided by the rule of characteristics, and lo soon it becomes an invincible fever-remedy. It does not clearly appear from the provings of Hepar that the drug can hasten the formation of pus; boils were developed, unhealthy sores suppurated but the power of the drug over pus was deduced from such symptoms as intolerance of pain, parts feel sore as a boil etc.

“But” it is rejoined, “now that these objective and pathological facts are determined, are they not of paramount importance, and is it not Homoeopathy to use them? “It certainly is Homoeopathy, but whether or not it is always pure Homoeopathy is another question. The same process of deduction that gave these facts existence still rules. Aconite is doubtless similar to synochal fever; indeed, experiments since Hahnemann’s time have proved that it can cause chill, fever, and sweat; but to be the similimum in a given case Aconite requires also the peculiar mental anguish and restlessness so distinctive of it, and not the quiet and torpor of some other inflammatory drugs.”

Are not such subjective symptoms as you refer to incomplete, and when fully developed into their pathological ultimates do not the latter become all-sufficient as indications? They certainly are incomplete in the sense that they are not ultimated; but since they originate the ultimates they do not cease their activity when the latter appear; they still hold the superior position of cause to effects; and besides, they represent disease changes of a more interior character than do their ultimates disease changes which be it ever, remembered, may ultimate in more than one way; hence, they are of a more universal value”.

In this connection, I cannot do better than quote the words of an Allopath, Dr. Andrew Clark, who, while learning a wholesome lesson for himself is unwittingly re-teaching many a delinquent Homoeopathist what has long since been practically forgotten. I quote from the Hahnemannian Monthly of October, 1884:

“We are so much concerned with anatomical changes; we have given so much time to their evolutions, differentiations, and relations; we are so much dominated by the idea that, in dealing with them, we are dealing with disease itself, that we have overlooked the fundamental truth that these anatomical changes, are but secondary, and sometimes the least important, expressions or manifestations of states which underlie them. It is to these dynamic states that our thoughts and inquiries should be turned: they precede, underline, and originate structural changes; they determine their character, courses and issues; in them is the secret of disease; and if our control of it is ever to become greater and better, it is upon them that our experiment must be made”.

While, the, I admit that the law of Homoeopathy is elastic enough to give me quite a range of treatment, it is clear to me that my duty demands my earnest endeavour to employ, whenever I can, the purest and highest method of applying that great boon to humanity the Law of Similars.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.