The great black-winged angel was being desperately beaten back, however, by the rising generation of doctors, young, hearty, industrious, ambitious graduates of the American universities. How bitterly vaccination was fought even by ministers of the Gospel. Small wits caricatured it, but what a world-wide human benediction it proved. I remember being in Edinburgh a few weeks after the death of Sir James Y. Simpson, and his photograph was in every shop window, in honour of the man who first used chloroform as an anaesthetic. In former days they tried to dull pain by using the hasheesh of the Arabs. Dr. Simpson’s wet sponge was a blessing put into the hands of the surgeon. The millennium for the souls of men will be when the doctors have discovered the millennium for their bodies.
Dr. Bush used to say in his valedictory address to the students of the medical college, “Young gentlemen, you have two pockets: a large pocket and a small pocket. The large pocket is for your annoyances and your insults, the small pocket for your fees.”
In March, 1888, we lost a man who bestowed a new dispensation upon the dumb animals that bear our burdens—Henry Bergh. Abused and ridiculed most of his life, he established a great work for the good men and women of the ensuing centuries to carry out. Long may his name live in our consecrated memory. In the same month, from Washington to Toledo, the long funeral train of Chief Justice White steamed across country, passing multitudes of uncovered heads bowed in sorrowing respect, while across the sea men honoured his distinguished memory.
What a splendid inheritance for those of us who must pass out of the multitude without much ado, if we are not remembered among the bores of life. There were bores in the pulpit who made their congregations dread Sundays; made them wish that Sunday would come only once a month. At one time an original Frenchman actually tried having a Sunday only once every ten days. A minister should have a conference with his people before he preaches, otherwise how can he tell what medicine to give them? He must feel the spiritual pulse. Every man is a walking eternity in himself, but he will never qualify if he insists on being a bore, even if he have to face sensational newspaper stories about himself.