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blem it has to grapple with. But medicine has not learnt this lesson for itself alone. There is another living frame on which men also aspire to act the physician's part—the frame of the social organism. And is it not obvious how much our errors may teach men here ?-how strongly they tend to succumb to the illusions which deluded us; to take no account of the untold reactions of the living frame, and look only at the immediate results they can secure-victims, like us, of their own success; rushing to meet every evil with some mechanic remedy ; as if this great life, which man's heart and soul work out for themselves, were a mere dead mechanic thing?
They do but follow in our steps, falling under the same temptations; but therefore should ours be the eyes to see for them.
Only one more remark. In the very depths of the soul we see that the laws of life prevail. Not less than the intellect, the conscience also owns them; and because the moral progress is a life, it also has bent itself, and surely will ever bend itself, to hear what the study, not only of man's bodily constitution, but of his bodily infirmities, has to tell.
The future shall be like the past. Of old, there stood before a Man, on the one hand, a law, forbid
ding Him to labour on the Sabbath, enforced with all divine authority as interpreted by the reputed wisdom and godliness of his age :—this law on the one hand; and on the other a poor lame man's sorrow. The Man before whom these two claims cameGod's, as all men said, and his fellow's—chose which He would heed: and He gave us a new law. He cured the body; and mankind, never ungrateful, never unknowing of their friends, have called Him the Physician of the soul.
The needs of man interpret the laws of God. And who stands so close to the needs of man as you will, gentlemen, to whom, in their very direst need, all will cling ; to whose voice sick hearts will listen as if it were the very voice of God declaring judgment or mercy ; the very skirts of whose garments, if only a heart beats beneath them, faint hands will be raised to touch? Closest to the very sources of the life of the human soul you will stand; it is the physician's place. Of the highest law he is made interpreter.
Thus in the limitless extension of the knowledge which our art demands we may see a proud meaning, a proud prophecy. In stretching out its hands on every side it does but take possession of its own dominion; it does but establish channels through which, into every department of life, even those which
seem the most remote, it shall diffuse a vivifying and re-creating power.
These are dreams, doubtless. Every achievement by which man's life has been enriched was a dream once. Only the facts are greater and grander than the dreams, and contain in them the germs of still greater facts to come, which to our eye are evils, and keep us looking to a future still; so that our very discontent is proof of the wealth of our possession. A harvest is not the less rich because a larger seedtime seems to absorb it all. Every good that becomes a fact was once a dream. But no dream ever became a fact except by steps that were no dreamthrough patient, quiet labour, content to bring, day by day, that one day's work, asking no question but that it should be what it pretended. By what minute and tedious dissections Hunter made into a certainty his dream of a great unity of life through all the animated world; by what painstaking and protracted experiments Jenner confirmed the dream of a protection against small-pox; by what ungrudging labour of observation and comparison did our own Bright and Addison establish the pathology of the diseases that bear their name, and give a new precision to the healing art! Such as these are the steps by which man's dreams have become his proud realities; and your steps, gentlemen-true steps, in all reality, remote though they may seem, to more than I have dared to image forth-are the diligent study of the humble sciences that lie immediately before you.