I HAVE been asked to undertake editing “THE HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” and I have done so with enthusiasm and with a heavy heart: with enthusiasm because I am an enthusiastic believer in the new art of healing and with a heavy heart because I am aware of my shortcomings. I am succeeding my friend, Dr. John H. Clarke, for whom I had the greatest admiration as a man of science, a practical physician, and character. Everyone who knew and admired Dr. Clarke will under stand my hesitation in taking his place in the editorial chair.
“THE HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” was established in 1865, and has been directed by distinguished physicians, Doctors Ruddock, Shuldam, Compton Burnett, Clarke, and Wheeler. My hesitation to accept the editorship was increased by the fact that I am a layman. However, I am the son of a distinguish physician, I have taken a great interest in medical matters, and I have written some exceedingly successful medical books which have had the approval of leading medical men and which have been translated into many languages.
Besides, some of the greatest homoeopaths were laymen, such as Freiherr von Boenninghausen and G.H.G. Jahr, who organised homoeopathy by creating the well-known repertories and other handbook on which modern Homoeopathy is founded. I have no desire to compare myself with these truly eminent men. I wish only to point out that there is a precedent for my action.
Unfortunately, it must be stated that homoeopathy is declining and is in danger of dying out. A few months age the British Homoeopathic Journal published Dr. C. Granville Heys Presidential address, delivered to the British Homoeopathic Congress, in which he stated:. In 1901 there were over three hundred homoeopathic physicians in the British Isles, between seventy and eighty of them being in London alone. there were seventy-nine homoeopathic chemists, of whom seventeen were in London, and eighty-two cities and towns in the country had from one to ten practitioners each. Where are these now? Many of these cities and towns have no homoeopathic practitioner and so their dispensaries have ceased to function. You say this is a gloomy picture i have drawn. It is? But it is also a true one and, being so, let us face the facts.
For many years there has been a shrinkage of the number of homoeopathic doctors and homoeopathic chemists. According to the reference books, many large towns have not a single homoeopathic doctor. The whole of Ireland has only a single homoeopathic physician. Many homoeopathic hospitals and dispensaries have been closed. Others have lost, or are losing, their homoeopathic character. Dr. Hey stated:.
Unfortunately some of these institutions are under-staffed by homoeopathists, and the crying need is for more men who are convinced homoeopaths. Failing these, the hospitals will become staffed by non-homoeopaths and so be lost to homoeopathy. within the last two years four of our large northern towns have been deprived by death of their only homoeopathic physician, and as yet no young men have come forward to take their places. Our greatest need at the present time is for more homoeopathic doctors.
The position disclosed by Dr. Hey is lamentable and very disquieting. However, I am afraid that I cannot entirely agree with his interpretation. Every economist knows that the demand creates the supply. There would be more homoeopathic physicians if there was a keen demand for homoeopathic treatment among the public.
Hahnemann, meeting with the hostility of the medical profession, found it necessary to popularise the new art of healing by appealing to the people. He was an excellent journalist. That may be seen from his Lesser Writings. Many of his disciples and successors lectured and wrote with a view to spreading the new gospel of health, and among the greatest popularisers of homoeopathy was Dr. Clarke J H.
Some decades ago the benefits of homoeopathy were widely known through the lectures and writings of distinguished homoeopaths who did not disdain to address the people. Formerly, thousands of ladies treated their children, guided by little text-books and employing medicine chests filled with homoeopathic remedies, which were stocked by scores of homoeopathic chemists. Popular interest in homoeopathy has almost died out. The few homoeopathic chemists who have survived do not stock medicine chests for popular use. It is difficult for a layman to discover a homoeopathic physician or a homoeopathic chemist;s shop. Homoeopathy is dying out largely because it has become a secret science.
If the new science of healing is to be saved, we must create an interest in it among the people. A keen and widespread demand for homoeopathic treatment will cause doctors and medical students to turn towards homoeopathy. I shall endeavour to direct this journal in accordance with its great tradition and with the great tradition bequeathed by the founders of homoeopathy from Samuel Hahnemann to John H. Clarke, and I hope that both medical men and laymen will give the journal the encouragement and support which it needs. During nearly seventy years “THE HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” has endeavoured to make homoeopathy known to the people. It has always welcomed the support of laymen and it will continue to give hospitality to the views of both medical men and laymen.
Perhaps the change in editorship may mark a new era in the history of British homoeopathy. The publishers have shown their desire to popularise the new art of healing by reducing the price of the journal to 6d., without reducing the printed matter. I hope that the readers of “THE HOMOEOPATHIC WORLD” will help the publishers and editor in their efforts to advance and popularise the art of healing and the science of health.
“The expression, I cure this or that, heart so often on every side, is not a nice one. We cure hams! Disease gets well while we look on and assist as best we can.” DR. SIR J. GOODHART.
“If great alteration in diet and in the mode of living have to be made, it would be better if the physician first sees how far he could remedy the disease by this change alone, before he prescribed any medicinal remedies.” HAHNEMANN.