Every action that goes on within it, every thought and exertion of the mind, every breath, every pulsation of the heart, every act of digestion, assimilation or elimination requires the use of power and the expenditure of force. What and whence is this power? What is it source and nature? Chemists, physicists and biologists in their respective fields, are not able to answer these questions.

Question: “What is the chief end of man?.

Answer : To glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.

So runs the first paragraph of the old Westminister Shorter Catechism, which some of us never heard of and others have forgotten since we were children. The first paragraph is all I remember, and that stuck by me, chiefly, I suppose, because I never understood just what “glorify God” meant, and I could not see how I could “enjoy Him forever” when He was always regarding me from His place up in the skin with a stern face and searching eye, ready to punish me for every little mistake I made and finally burn me up in the flames of hell if I wasnt good all the time.

After a while I gave it up and tried not to think about it any more, because it took all the pleasure out of life and kept me in a constant state of terror. God was then an imaginary person, entirely external to me and to the world I lived in.

It was not until long afterward, when I had come to think for myself, that I began to realize I did not even know God, to say nothing about understanding and enjoying Him. Then began a search which lasted until middle age before I really found Him. I wanted to know Him, to be able to identify Him, to recognize Him in some form or relation that I could lay hold of and understand.

For a long time–many years–I was obliged to say “No” when asked by ministers, evangelists or religiously solicitous friends during “revival seasons” if I had “found God.” I could not truthfully answer otherwise, even when I had attained to a seemingly pretty clear intellectual concept of the being and attributes of the Deity. It seemed to me that merely hearing and knowing something about God was not really either finding or knowing Him. I kept on hoping that the time would come when I should be able to say that I had really found Him and come to know Him–or, perhaps, that He had found me.

Ultimately the time did come and I realized then not only what the first paragraph in the catechism meant, but that it embodied a great fundamental truth. I came to see that the most important thing in the world is to be able to find and identify God; to be able to see the Divine in every act and every relation in life; but above all to be able to identify that which is essentially divine in ones self and co-operate with it; for there must be something recognizable in us which links and identifies us with the Supreme Being.

Here is the way I ultimately made that identification: Here am I, said I to myself, a living being, an individual, a sensate thinking, feeling, willing, reasoning person. I have a mind and I have a body. With my mind I perceive, I think, I reason. With my body, obedient to my will, I exist and function in all my relations as a man. My body, from varying points of view, is an organism, a mechanism, a chemical laboratory, a dynamo, an instrument, a tool, a workshop; but in that workshop and in every department of it power is being used intelligently, force is being applied purposefully and effectively to accomplish its ends.

Every action that goes on within it, every thought and exertion of the mind, every breath, every pulsation of the heart, every act of digestion, assimilation or elimination requires the use of power and the expenditure of force. What and whence is this power? What is it source and nature? Chemists, physicists and biologists in their respective fields, are not able to answer these questions. The power evidently is one, the forces many. In this most scientists agree, but they all, or nearly all, fail or refuse to identify by discoursing learnedly of chemical and physical actions and reactions of ions and protons, of “energy” and “force,” which latter two “weasel words” they wrongly use synonymously, to the confusion of many, in their attempts to avoid any admission that involves the recognition or acceptance of the idea of the Supreme Being.

Life is the fundamental power or principle which rules not only the individual organism, but the whole universe. Life is a real thing, an entity, a being, the original source and sum of all the forces in all realms of existence. Life is in God and of God, for Life is God and God is Life. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of man”.

As this truth gradually became clear to me I saw a great light in which was revealed to me my exact relation to the Supreme Being. I saw that the life which I have is a part of His Life, one and inseparable. I live because He lives in me. The power that is in me is mine only by virtue of my participation in the Divine Life, for there is but one life, one power, one energy in all the universe. In identifying this power I identified God, identified myself with Him, and thus came to a realization of what it means to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.

Was not this substantially the same identification made by the “Great Physician,” Son of Man and Son of God, when He said, “I and my Father are one,” and thus brought life and immortality to light?.

Beginning in the last week of March, this year, a severe attack of lobar pneumonia with pleuritis suddenly laid me low, and afforded me an opportunity again to test the validity of certain medico-theological theories of mine in a decidedly intimate and personal way. Nothing equals the personal test in its power to convince one of the truth or falsity of ones pet theories, previously tried out only on others. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating of it.” “Physician, heal thyself”.

It is good for a physician to be withdrawn from the world occasionally even if it be by serious illness–indeed, one may say, especially by serious illness; because that, if realized, brings one squarely and forcibly face to face with the “Eternal Verities.” It may, or should lead to a serious re-examination of ones ideas, beliefs, theories, principles and mode of practice.

During March and April of this year pneumonia took rather more than its usual toll of victims. Among them were many distinguished men and women. In the majority of fatal cases death came quickly–three or four days from the beginning of the attack. The deaths of two noted men , Joseph Pennell, the artist, author and critic, and Henry Miller, the actor, manager and producer, came home to me with peculiar poignancy. Pennell was my fellowtownsman, Miller a New Yorker. I had followed the career of both men with special interest, not only because of their prominence in their chosen professions, but because both men were of my own age, born the same year.

Pneumonia seized all three of us, but I alone survived. Why, I wondered? Some reason besides that of chance must have existed. During my convalescence I had time and the inclination to ponder over his question–and many other things.

My attack came suddenly without premonitory symptoms other than a sense of lassitude for a day or so. I had been working harder than usual during the winter and there had been some extra strain and loss of sleep shortly before. I felt tired, but not more so than I had been many times before without serious consequences. Sunday, two days before my attack, I spent in subways and railroad trains, (favorite resorts of pneumococci and their friends) travelling to and from a New Jersey city and making three difficult examinations, thus losing my usual weekly rest. On Monday I was fatigued, but did my usual days work.

During the evening I felt chilly and depressed, but slept all night. On Tuesday morning I rose as usual, but soon felt so tired and sleepy that I laid down and slept off and on all day. I ate nothing and my wife observed that my eyes “looked strange.” I slept heavily all night, roused occasionally by thirst. On Wednesday morning I woke with severe pains in the chest. These increased rapidly until breathing became almost impossible. I was in agony, with the sense of suffocation and impending death. I realized fully then that I had pleuro- pneumonia and that I was in great danger. I was not frightened, although (I was told afterwards) I presented that appearance as I gasped and struggled for breath.

My state of mind at this time, and during the following three days was peculiar. I was only dimly conscious of my surroundings, but keenly alive within. I had the sensation of double personality, very strong and clear–always an ominous symptom in serious illness. It was as if my ego, my inner self, was detached and standing apart, calmly looking at the contortions and struggles of my body.

Perhaps it actually was. Inwardly there was not the slightest feeling of distress or fear; but, on the contrary, a feeling of perfect confidence and peace, with a peculiar sense of exaltation or exhilaration, much like that of the first stage of ether anesthesia, which I have experienced. I had a feeling of interest, or curiosity, as I watched apart, wondering how long it would last. By an effort of the will I could recall myself for short periods and function normally as an individual.

My long-time friend and surgeon, Dr. J. Hubley Schall, had been sent for when the pains began. I remember jesting with him (as well as I could with my scant breath) about the absurdity of sending for a surgeon to treat a case of pneumonia. (Schall ordinarily takes no medical cases and pretends to know nothing about materia medica; but I know that he carries a lot of it packed away in his long head. He was taught in “Old Hahnemann” of Philadelphia by Charles G. Raue and Joseph C. Guernsey in the long ago, and no student of theirs ever got away without some good working knowledge of materia medica.).

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.