Imágenes de páginas

the extent of his labours, as well as of the stir and excitement the exercise of his miraculous power produced over a wide extent of country. What a glimpse of those ever-memorable times is presented in the last three verses of the fourth chapter of Matthew! where, as in a vision, are seen multitudes from places near and remote crowding to him, carrying, we may conceive, their sick, blind, and lame on beds, couches, and in other modes peculiar to that age and country, amongst whom are groups from regions beyond the Holy Land, of neither the Jews creed nor kindred, but all welcome to him who, in assuming our common nature, revived the law of universal brotherhood.

* And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those which had the palsy; and he healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.'

Nor is the policy of affording at every mission-station medical and surgical assistance to those who are the objects of Christian instruction a whit less clear than the duty. We have heard a missionary of thirty years' experience in India, and who commenced a mission in one of the then recently ceded districts in the Carnatic, declare that, but for the attention he was at some pains to render the sick, he knew not how he could have gained the confidence and ultimately the affection of the natives, their peculiar circumstances having filled them with suspicions and hostile feelings in reference to all Europeans. It was his opinion that nothing would more promote the success of missions among the Hindus, by disarming their prejudices, and allaying the fears which they are so apt to entertain of their conquerors, than this description of aid, bestowed in a patient, kindly, disinterested spirit. But on this part of the subject it is needless to dilate.

Assuming, then, that every mission station (and in Hindustan and Ceylon those in connexion with Protestant churches alone, chiefly English and American, number probably two hundred*) ought to possess one or more practitioners of medicine, the question comes—of what class should they be, European or native? If the latter, of course converts, trained for the purpose. There are strong arguments in favour of medical missionaries being from Europe-in particular, because of that union of steadfastness of character with energy in action which they are supposed pre-eminently to possess, rendering them more worthy of trust than converted natives. But there is this difficulty—å difficulty that has never been surmounted, of finding any considerable number of able, properly educated Europeans willing to devote their lives to the self-denying, or rather, it should be said, self-sacrificing, and beyond conception arduous, duties of a medical missionary. It is true we have noble examples of this in the Chinese mission, but these, be it observed, are not numerous, nor ever in the nature of things likely to be so. For it must be understood that when speaking of European medical missionaries we do not mean dabblers in physic-persons who may have added to their theological training a course or two of medical lectures, or a few months' attendance at an hospital, but men who have devoted years, and less will not suffice, of unremitting attention to the acquisition of professional knowledge and skill.*

* The principal stations and sub-stations together must number several hundreds.

No doubt a missionary groping his way by the help of common sense and a smattering of knowledge, drawn from Buchan or Graham, or the medical articles in the Encyclopedia Britannica, may do, in comparison of the native quacks and dealers in amulets and charms, some good, attract crowds of patients, and gain a vast reputation. But something more than this ought to be secured when we aim at the twofold object of curing diseases and impressing the more intelligent natives with a just sense of the superiority of our skill, especially of the surprising resources of European surgery. Now, this being granted, we contend that mission stations will never secure an adequate medical staff, which supposes at least three personsone for medicine, another for the surgical department, and a third for dispensing, unless we look to native agencyin a word, to the professional training of native Christian converts, the males for physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries, and, what is of almost equal importance, the females for midwives and nurses. It is gratifying to know, from recent authority of the highest character, that the Hindu youth have remarkable aptitude for the acquisition of European science, and that a

Besides the twelve or thirteen medical missionaries, from America and Europe, settled in China, there are, we believe, eight medical missionaries of various grades employed in Palestine and Syria, in connexion with the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews, the American Board of Missions, and Syrian Medical Aid Asscciation. We know of no others in the missionary field. NO. XII.


number have already been trained in the Calcutta Medical College and Hospitals, to whom, as the reader may possibly have gathered, is now chiefly committed the working of the Government Charitable Dispensaries. From Colonel Sykes it appears, and the information to most of our readers will be new, the Calcutta Medical College, with auxiliary male and female hospitals,

Has its European professors of anatomy and midwifery, surgery, medicine, botany, chemistry, and materia medica; and to the European it presents the unexpected and singular feature of turning out accoucheurs, surgeons, and anatomists, from the castes of Brahmins, Boyddows, bankers, oilmen, writer-castes, and Mahommedans, as well as Christians. The natural as well as religious repugnance which must have been overcome in these castes, bears strong testimony to the changes that can be effected even in rooted predilections, when operated upon through the medium of the understanding.'

The successful students are appointed sub-assistant-surgeons to the several charitable dispensaries founded by Government, to regimental hospitals, and to native regiments. In the year 1842-3, there were thirteen of those dispensaries, and the year following the number was seventeen. What addition has since been made we are unable to say. The annual report of the Medical College of Bengal for session 1846-7, (the twelfth year of the institution,) is now before us, and furnishes a list of thirty-seven sub-assistant-surgeons to dispensaries, educated at the college in the English class, (in which the instruction is conveyed in the English language,) and ninety native doctors, employed chiefly in connexion with native regiments and with hospitals, who had been educated in the secondary, otherwise called the military, or Hindustani class; and fourteen Ceylon sub-assistants; making in all 111 native medical men sent forth to practise since the establishment of the college. Concerning the zeal and success with which the studies are pursued, both in the English and Hindustani departments, the annual reports of the college supply varied convincing evidence, which our space does not permit us to produce-except in regard to the pursuit of anatomy by dissection of the body, carried on seemingly to an extent scarce rivalled in London or Paris. To Dr. Goodeve, a name that will be immortal in India, is the honour due of having been the first to establish the practice of human dissection by native students, as well as the first hospital for the reception of native females. In 1837, sixty bodies were anatomized; in 1844, five hundred and eight. The whole number since the period before mentioned to

[ocr errors]

March 1847, was 3369; and this in the centre of Asia, in spite of the prejudices of caste, which have existed through thirty centuries ! The number of native students in the college at the close of the late session was 75 in the English class, and 119 in the Hindustani class; of which aggregate of 194, there are 114 Mussulmans, chiefly from the north-west provinces ; 42 Hindus, including eleven Brahmins; and the remaining 38 Ceylon students, and native Christians.*

Colonel Sykes, in his paper on the Charitable Dispensaries in India, before referred to, supplies abundant evidence of the humanity and ability of the native sub-assistant surgeons. Besides those in Bengal, there are a number of dispensaries (eleven or twelve) in the Presidency of Madras, though, not as the former, under native, but European surgeons. In the public letter authorizing their formation, however, is this important suggestion—On the establishment of these hospitals

ample opportunity of instruction should be afforded to such ' native students of medicine as may be in a condition to avail

themselves of such an advantage.' In Bombay Presidency, too, there are dispensaries (of the number we are not informed) placed as those in Madras, under European surgeons. When to these promising institutions in the provincial towns, we add the hospitals and dispensaries of the three presidential cities and the medical college in each,f there surely can be nothing visionary in assuming that the way to the attainment of a competent native medical staff, on the part of every mission station in Hindustan and Ceylon, is fairly open. It is no part of our design, in this article, to enter upon details; we have no detailed plan to propose for general adoption. We present a number of important facts, lay down certain principles, endeavour to obviate objections, and suggest the course that may be, as we believe, successfully pursued. But we have perhaps too imperfect knowledge of the wants of a mission station in India, as well as of the description of persons, among their converts, whom the missionaries would find it expedient to select for the medical profession-to do more than this. Thus much, however, is obvious--in selecting natives of either sex, converts only ought to be considered eligible. Of native medical men, educated in the new colleges, there will probably in a few years be an abundant supply; from which, (were no other qualification requisite than professional competency) choice might be made. But such a course is not even to be thought of. Whatever the intellectual ability, unless the moral character of the Hindu be purified and restrained by the true religion, he is unfit for the society of a Christian settlement. The first experiment of the kind that might be ventured would probably be the last.' It is, however, reasonable to assume that the same description of persons now chosen for catechists, assistants, teachers, assistant schoolmasters, &c., would equally answer, regard being had to natural aptitude and disposition, for physicians and surgeons; and these, where the locality rendered it convenient, might be put apprentice to a provincial dispensary; or be sent at once to study in one of the presidential cities; while for the duties of midwife and sick-nurse the native female schools would afford an ample supply of proper candidates. *

* For students not of the English class, text-books in medicine, anatomy, and surgery, have been prepared in the Hindustani language. The London Pharmacopæia circulates in a Bengali, Gregory's Outlines of Chemistry in a Hindustani, dress. Also, the letter-press accompanying an Atlas of Anatomical Plates, has been written in, or translated into, the same language. There is, besides, for the use of the military class, which is composed chiefly of Mussulmans from the north-west provinces, a good general library of European books, which have been translated into the Urdu by the Vernacular Translation Society of the northwest provinces. † Stat. Jour. vol. x., p. 22.

Besides the Bengal Medical College in Calcutta, there is a Medical College or Seminary, for the benefit of the natives, in Madras, and another in Bombay. As to the extent of the operations of either we have no information.

Should any one be still tempted to doubt the natural ability of the Hindus for the medical profession, we gladly refer all such to Colonel Sykes' elaborate statistical papers on the Educational Institutions of India ; in which they will discover proofs, such proofs as few could expect, sufficient to dissipate all doubts on the subject. The truthfulness and purity of the Hindu character in both sexes, even in promising converts, is a matter about which there may be room for misgiving; but in respect of mental ability and manual dexterity, supposing proper culture, there can be none whatever. We only wish the Colonel's educational papers might find a larger body of readers than the somewhat select circle who patronize the Statistical Society's Journal; for they well deserve perusal, especially by the friends of missions, as furnishing extremely valuable information, not elsewhere to be found, on the condition of that countless population whose spiritual and temporal welfare so many Christian societies are seeking to promote.t

* The able Hindu physician, Moodoosoodun Gupta, in his evidence regarding the establishment of a school of midwifery, says, in allusion to the female scholars of a well known eminent missionary, in Calcutta, * I think Mrs. Wilson's female pupils will be anxious, some of them, to be admitted students of midwifery. Hindu Promen have no objection to Christian or Mussulmanee midwives, if skilful, to act as midwives only.'- Appendix, p. 88.

† In the last annual Report of the Medical College of Bengal, appears a highly interesting lengthened account of the progress of the four Hindu medical students

« AnteriorContinuar »