1872 The Lancet  
935 in insanity, some portion of the organism-not the intellect in se-is diseased. Again, it seems to me to be great bosh to talk about moral sentiments in the way that some of our men of science talk of them, as the outcome of mere matter. That mind is evolved out of matter is sufficiently difficult of conception; but that our moral sentiments are so manufactured, seems to me the height of absurdity and utterly inconceivable; for morality implies responsibility to a higher existence than our
more » ... n, and that higher existence can never be the outcome of mere matter, because, substantially, all matter must have the same dignity, and can never pretend to difference in hierarchical degree and order, so to speak. It is fortunate for us that Almighty God does not hand over His world to be governed by our great evolutionist philosophers and the lesser swells who follow their lead; if He did, we should find ourselves in an inextricable chaos! The wide spread of their doctrines in Italy, Germany, England, and elsewhere is a very black sign of the times, because they naturally lead to hatred of revealed religion, and so become most powerful auxiliaries in the great anti-Christian army now everywhere marshaling its forces. The thought sometimes occurs to one that this neopaganism may require its Dioclesian over again, and that our boasted refinements may demand once more the Christian's blood ! And, after all, -what are these new theories put forth by evolutionists and others that they should unsettle any man's faith ? Matter, say they, existed before mind; mind is matter's last, highest, and best product; from inorganic matter, inorganic chemistry, and physical forces, they tell us, organic and organised matter and vegetable life were produced ; and that, from vegetable life, by a gradual process of evolution, animal life, and, finally, mind resulted; that matter shapes and determines mind, which, accordingly, is sane or insane, active or sluggish, as matter is in one state or another; that mind is a phenomenon, a function, a force, associated with and dependent on matter; that nerve-cells and fibres are the latest and highest forms of matter, and that mind is the highest and last and best of a series of forces commencing with mere physics and culminating in thought and a rational soul! On the other hand, it may be urged that mind is, sui generis, differing in nature and origin from all mere attributes and properties and forces of matter, and in a sense independent of, whilst associated with it. To my own mind the evolution theory of life presents far greater difficulties than the old creed, that "God made man and breathed into him the breath of life" ; in other words, that God Almighty was before all matter, in time, behind it, as men of science say, and that He created, fashioned it, and endowed it with life. No amount or kind of matter could ever, per se, generate intellect, will, moral sentiment; these are God's gifts, man is responsible to the giver for their use, and the highest act of man's reason is the acknowledgment that H in Him we live and move and have our being." I do not see how, on the evolutionist and materialistic view, we can explain many facts and phenomena of daily occurrence : e.g., the triumph of mind over matter at the hour of death; the fact that, with a body in extremis, the mind is often clearer, brighter, more active than ever; that with matter at its worst we find mind at its best; also the fact that hard students work best when seedy and below par, not when in rude robust health. How, too, can we explain the fact that the will can prevent an epileptic seizure, and that the mind can and does often constrain and drag along a reluctant body ? P Then what is the relation of grief, hope, fear, encouragement, good and bad news, to matter-to the body ? ? Is not the immaterial here acting on the material, mind upon matter ? P Again, if the doctrines of materialists were true, one would expect to find extensive and palpable disease of brain in insanity, whereas, in fact, this organ is in the worst cases often, to all appearance, sound. On the whole, therefore, I think the theologians and the despised scholastics and followers of St. Thomas Aquinas have the best of it, and that the evolutionists and materialists have failed to establish their new doctrines. Some of them, however, I am happy to see, do admit that mind, being the last developed and the highest of all the forces of nature, may possibly be final and eternal ! Yours truly, SIR,-The following short notes of a case of abscess emptied by the aspirator may be considered worth publishing by way of illustrating one of the uses of this instrument. On August 25th last I was consulted respecting a delicate boy, aged nine years, who for some months previously had been under the treatment of a hospital surgeon for 11 a swelling" in the thigh. Various local applications had been steadily used without effect. The swelling was situated in the front and lower-fourth part of the femur, evidently under the deep fascia. It was elastic to the touch and free from either pain or tenderness. To prevent fright and struggling, I first introduced the finest needle of Dieulafoy's apparatus almost before the patient was aware of anything being done, and then attached the barrel. Nearly three ounces of pus were quickly removed. The thigh was next strapped round to bring the walls of the sac together, and the patient sent to the seaside for two weeks. On his return I prescribed iodine for some remaining thickening, which soon disappeared. The boy has been quite well for some time. The advantages of aspiration over cutting in such a case as this are too obvious to require pointing out. I am, Sir, yours obediently,
doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(02)56182-1 fatcat:tguo5nrzvfacjme5yse5cewday