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The Physician enjoys many opportunities of doing good, and so rendering himself, “ a beloved physician;" for this purpose we shall offer our advice.
Zaccuth, the Portuguese, who, among many other works, composed "A history of the most eminent physicians,” after he was settled in Amsterdam, submitted to circumcision, and thereby evinced, that for the thirty preceding years of his life, he had only dissembled christianity at Lisbon ; yet, because he was very charitable to poor patients, he was highly esteemed: we now apply ourselves to those whose love to christianity is, we hope, “ without dissimulation.” From them may be expected a charity and a usefulness, which may entitle them to a remembrance in a better history than that of Zacutus Lusitanus ; in that a book of life,” in which a name will be deemed far more valuable than any which are recorded in the “ Vitæ Illustrium Medicorum”-The lives of illustrious physicians.*
By serious and shining piety in your own example, you will bear a glorious testimony to the cause of God and religion. You will glorify the God of nature, and the only Saviour. Your acquaintance with nature will indeed be your condemnation, if you do it not. Nothing is so unnatural as to be irreligious. “Religio Medici," (the religion of the physician) has the least reason of any under heaven to be an “irreligion." They have acted the most unreasonable part, who have given occasion for that complaint of christians, 66 Where there are three physicians, there are three atheists.”+ It is sad to reflect, that when we read about the state of ļhe Rephaim in the other world, the physicians are, by so many translators, carried into it. It is sad to reilect, that the Jews should imagine they hwe reason to say, “The best of the physicians go to hell.”! For this severe sentence, they assign the fol
lo wing cause, ,- for he is not warned by diseases; he fares sumptuously, and humbles not his heart before God. Sometimes he is even accessary to the death of men, when he neglects the poor, whom he might
A sad story, if it be true ! Gentlemen, you will never account yourselves such adepts as to be at a stand in your studies, and make no further progress in your inquiries into the nature of diseases and their remedies. "A physician arrived at his full growth” looks dangerously and ominously, Had the world gone on with merely an Esculapius, furnished only with a goat whose milk was pharmacy, and a dog, whose tongue was surgery, we had been in a miserable state. You will be diligent, studious, inquisitive; and continue to read much, to think more, and to pray niost of all: and be solicitous to invent and dispense something very considerable for the good of mankind, which none before you had discovered : be solicitous to make some addition to the treasures of your noble profession. To obtain the honour of being a Sydenham may not be in your power ;t yet to do something” is a laudable ambition.
By the benefit they expect from you, and by the charms of your polite education and manners, you are sometimes introduced into the familiar acquaintance of great men; persons of the first quality entertain you with freedom and friendship: probably you become, under the oath of Hippocrates, a kind of confessors to them, (indeed for several ages, the confessors were usually the physicians of the people.) What an advantage does this furnish you with for doing good! The poor Jews, both in the east and west parts of the world, have procured many advantages by means of their countrymen, who have risen to be physicians to the princes of the countries in which they resided. Sirs, your permission sto feel the pulse” of eminent
* Non enim metuit a morbis ; vescitur laute, nec fringit cor suum D20; aliquando etiam interficit homines, quando pauperes quos posset, non sanat.
Non cuivis homini contingite
persons may enable you to promote many a good work : you need not be told what: you will soon perceive excellent methods, if you will only deliberate upon it: "What proposals may I make to my patient, by attending to which, he may do good in the world ?” If you read what Gregory Nazianzen writes of his brother Cæsarius, a famous and respectable physician, you will doubtless find your desires excited to act in this manner. You know how ready the sick are to hear of good proposals ; and how seasonable it is to urge such upon them, when the commencement of recovery from sickness calls for their gratitude to the God of their health. And for persons also who are in health, you may find, "Seasonable times to drop a
Physicians are frequently men of universal learning: they have sufficient ability, and sometimes opportunity to write books on a vast variety of subjects, whereby knowledge and virtue may be greatly advanced in the world. The late Epic poems of a Blackmore, and Cosmologia Sacra of a Grew, are recent examples : mankind is much indebted to those learned physicians ; their names are immortalised ; they need no statutes, nor need they mind the envy of a modern Theophrastus. A catalogue of books written by learned physicians, on various subjects, besides those of their own profession, would in itself almost make a volume. In the great army of learned physicians who have published their labours on the 6 word which the Lord has given,” and for the service of his church, and of the world, I humbly move, that the incomparable Zuinger and Gesner may appear as fieldofficers. A city Tưuris were too mean a present for physicians of such distinguished merit. I propose them to imitation, that many may follow such exampies. You know that Freher has brought on his theaire, nearly five hundred famous physicians, with some account of their lives and works; there are very few Britons among them, and none at all that lived to the end of the former century. What a vast addition
* Molissima tempora fandi,
aight there be since made to that “ list of honour, iroin the British nations ! May an excellent ambition to be enrolled in it, excite those who have ability, to " do worthily !"
Physicians have innumerable opportunities to assist the poor, and to give them advice gratis. It was noble saying of Cicero, “A man cannot have better fortune than to be able, nor a better temper than to be willing, to save many.
But I will set before you a higher consideration than that, with which a pagan Kirker was ever acquainted. Sirs, the more charity, compassion, and condescension with which you treat the.poor, the nearer will you approach to the greatest and highest of all glories :--an imitation of your
adorable Saviour. You will readily say, “Why should I esteem that mean, which reflected honour on Christ ???ť In comparison of this consolation, it will be a small thing to say to you, that your coming among the poor, will be to them like the descent of the Angel of Bethesda. We will not presume to prescribe to you what good you shall do to the poor; but beg leave to enter an objection against your taking any fees on the Lord's day, because the time is not yours, but the Lord's.
When we consider how much the lives of mer are in the hands of God; what a dependence we have on the God of our health, for our cure when we have lost it; what strong and remarkable proofs we have had of angels, by their communications or operations, contributing to the cure of the diseases with which mortals have been oppressed; and the marvellous efficacy of prayer for the recovery of a sick brother who has not sinned a "sin unto death :"-what better thing can be recommended to a physician, who desires to “ do good,” than this—to be a man of prayer. In your daily and secret prayer, carry every one of your patients as you would your own children, to the glorious Lord our healer, for his healing
* Nil habet fortuna melias, quam ut possis, neque naturit prestintius quam ut velis, servare plures. † Quod decuit Christum, cur mihi turpe putem?
mercies : place them, as far as your prayers will do it, under the beams of the " Sun of Righteous
And as any new case of your patients may occur, especially if there be any difficulty in it, why should you not make your particular and solicitous application to Heaven for direction !-"Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself, nor is it in man that walketh to direct his steps ; nor in man that healeth to perform his cures." Hippocrates advised physicians, when they visited their patients, to consider whether there might not be something supernatural in the disease: “Divinum quiddam in morbo.” Truly, in
some sense, this is always the case, and should be so considered. What a heavenly life might you lead, if your profession were carried on with as many visits to Heaven, as you pay to your patients ! One Jacob Tzaphalon, a famous Jew of the former century, published at Venice, a book entitled, “Precious stones.” There are several prayers in the book, and among them a pretty long one, “For physicians when they go to visit their patients.” That expression of the Psalmist, “Thou hast made me viser than mine enemies,” may be read, “ Thou hast made me wise froin mine enemies.” “We ought to learn, even from an enemy ; Fas est, et ab hoste." Surely christianity will not, in her devotions, fall short of Judaism !
We read that 66 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop; but a good work maketh it glad. Á cheerful heart doeth good like a medicine ; broken spirit drieth up the bones.” Baglivi is not the only physician who has made the observation, "That a great many of our diseases, either arise from a weight of cares lying on the minds of men, or are thereby increased. Some diseases that seem incurable are easily cured by agreeable conversation. Disorders of the mind first bring diseases on the stomach; and so the whole mass of blood gradually becomes insected: and as long as the mental cause 'continues, the diseases may indeed change their forms, but they rarely quit the patients.” Tranquillity of mind will do wonderful things towards the relief of