The services of Boerhaave to the progress of medicine can hardly be overestimated. He was the organizer and almost the constructor of the modern method of clinical instruction. He followed the methods of Hippocrates and Sydenham in his teachings and in his practice. The points of his system that are best known are his doctrines of inflammation, obstruction, and ‘plethora.’ In the practice of medicine he aimed to make use of all the anatomical and physiological acquisitions of his age, including microscopical anatomy.
In this respect he differed from Sydenham, for the latter paid but little more attention to modern medicine than to ancient dogma. In some respects he was like Galen, but again differed from him, as he did not wish to reduce his knowledge to any definite system. He spent much time in studying the medical classics, though he valued them from an historical standpoint rather than from an authoritative standpoint. It would almost seem that the great task of Boerhaave’s life a combination of ancient and modern medicine, could not be of any real permanent value, and the same might be said of his Aphorisms, in which he gave a summary of the results of his long experience. And yet it is an indisputable fact that his contributions to the science of medicine form one of the necessary factors in the construction of modern medicine.”
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These extracts represent the principles of that bright constellation of Master Minds who have gone before us and guided our footsteps through tedious and tentative wanderings into the pathway of Truth. May their undoubting, united testimony act as a reassuring, convincing influence which will carry the reader back to the very fountain head of Medical jurisprudence, through the medium of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the highest accepted authority and criterion of authenticity in the English speaking world; for, at the same time it will also provide a positive and perfect safeguard and assurance of the solid basis and absolute authenticity of my methods and teachings besides indicating definitely the source and direction whence they are derived and establishing their classical trend and legitimate purpose.
In order to bring the entire system of regeneration under review, I shall here endeavour to present in condensed form all the essential points in my teachings. The reader will thus be enabled to picture to himself his body, with its vital organs, clearly as in a mirror; he will become familiarized with its composition and twelve principal tissues, as well as with the sixteen elements of which they consist.
Man is a unit, and the human body an accumulation of millions of separate cells, which are centres of life and which, in different groupings and combinations, form the various organs that render existence possible.
This existence is the natural sequel of the existence of former human beings. They generated the life that is to be transferred by us to other living beings.