« 上一页继续 »
and, but for the direct and powerful the captivity it was restrained, so that truth assistance of the Court, they never could might spread; and, during the half of the have overcome the resistance to their first century, only as much was allowed as settlement. Hence the subjection of was useful to separate the chaff from the Western Asia to Babylon laid the foun- wheat, and scatter the seed in other lands. dations of a power competent to force a It is in the combination and co-operation quiet settlement; and the accession of the of second causes like these that we disPersian dynasty to the throne, but a few cover the best proofs and illustrations of years before the termination of the cap- a Divine providence. "Whoso is wise tivity, converted that power, at the very and will observe these things, even they time it was needed, into an agent favour- shall understand the loving-kindness of able to the execution of the Divine pur- the Lord.'
G. B., C. pose in the restoration of the Jews. Again, it is observable that the spirit of propagandism appears to have animated
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.* all the governments of the East. During the Assyrian empire it is seen at its rise,
JOHN REID, M.D. in all its progress, and at its fall. In Chaldea we see the image of its power. on
It has often struck us as wonderful that the plains of Dura, converted into an
scepticism and religious indifference effigy on its folly; and mark it lingering,
should so frequently accompany scientific like a belated ghost, till the dawn of the
research and intellectual culture. It is Persian dynasty, when it vanishes like'a
far from being a rare thing to see men of dream of the ages of darkness and blood.'
eminence and genius, whose profession or But even this slight exception proves the
delight is to study the works and wonders general rule ; for Darius is easily per
of nature, entirely devoid of true piety, or suaded to issue a decree forbidding the
at least whose greatest attainment in this polytheists to pray to any of their gods
respect is an amiable disposition and for a certain time. At the rise of the
formal morality, the natural results of conGrecian power, the spirit again revives,
stant contact with the purity and beauty of and though the Jews were tolerated for a
those objects they examine. What a season, yet they also fell under the scourge
proof this of the necessity for a divine reof the Syro-Grecian princes. Under the
velation, and the defective character of Maccabean dynasty, though Judas, the
mere natural religion. Men have wanWallace and the Tell of his country, suc
dered for years amid the works of God, cessfully battled for the right to worship
without recognising, or at least acknowthe God of his fathers, yet, in succeeding
ledging, loving, and obeying the great reigns, the same rights were denied to
Creator of them all, till affliction comes, or others. The reluctant Jews were com
till, by the dispensations of providence, pelled to circumcise their children, and
death and eternity are pressed unresistingly John Hyrcanus forced the Edomites and
upon them; they desire no closer acquainItureans to embrace Judaism, persecuted
tance with the Divine Being than through the Samaritans, destroying their temple
the works of his hands. It is only in exand subverting their worship, and left the tremity that they are driven to his Word, Jews the most bigoted opponents and
and through that to himself, when they are bitter persecutors of every religion but themselves astonished at their former contheir own. It is, therefore, a remarkable
duct, and amazed at that goodness and fact that the Romans were the first con
forbearance which pardoned such gross and querors who allowed every nation to ob
blind neglect. The following biography serve their own religion; and though
presents a vivid illustration of this general Christianity was the first they persecuted,
yet strange truth. May its perusal lead still their sword was sheathed until the
many to the fountain of true happiness, success of the new religion had paralyzed
and convince all that only in Christ does and prostrated the power of the old. Had this fountain reside! the power of the Jew been equal to his John Reid was the sixth child of Henry bigotry, Christianity would have been Reid and Jean Orr, and was born at Bathcrushed in its cradle. But God so ordered gate, in Linlithgowshire, on April 9, 1809. it that 'the fulness of the times' should, His father was a man of great shrewdness with its other adaptations, be also a time and sagacity, who, in spite of many disadof toleration, and it was the prevalence of vantages, raised himself to a position of rethis principle in other lands which gave a pute and comparative wealth among his shelter to the Chaldeans when Judea was townsmen. He was a farmer, and also too hot to hold them. In all the previous dealt largely in cattle, and his success was periods of history, intolerance has been such, that he was able to secure for his allowed full scope, for it was well that one
* Life of Dr John Reid. By George Wilson, error should suppress another. Only at M.D. Edinburgh : Sutherland & Knox.
children, and especially for the subject of After profiting for some years by the inthis Memoir, a much better education than structions received at the Bathgate school, it had been his own fortune in early life to he was transferred to the University of enjoy.
Edinburgh at the age of fourteen. No marvellous tales are told of John For the first two or three years of his Reid's youthful days—so far, at least, as residence in Edinburgh, he attended the intellectual precosity is concerned. He literary classes, and was chiefly engaged in was a quiet, healthy, rather heavy-looking the study of Greek and Latin, and, to a child, affecionate and very obedient. In- less extent, in the acquisition of mathe. fant schools were unknown in the begin- matics, for which, however, including arithning of the century, and John's first in metic, he had no great liking. He was structions were received in the midst of a under the guardianship of the Rev. Peter circle of little girls, who were learning to Learmonth, now of Stromness, who writes sew. I had some conversation with the to me thus in reference to his pupil :—'Envenerable dame who, forty years before, | dowed with talents of a very superior order, presided, along with a sister, over this sew | he early attained habits of close and perseing-school. She had known John Reid vering study. He was an excellent scholar, from his very birth, and received him as a and his attainments varied and extensive pupil before he was able to walk. She | for his age. That he did not appear among thought him gentle in his manners, singu the foremost, nor attain high academical larly docile, and fond of books,-above all, honours, arose, I am confident, more from a of a folio copy of Ralph Erskine's works. modest diffidence in himself, and a want To his parents he was specially dutiful and of that ambition which has elevated to a obedient. It is remembered in his family high and distinigushed position, scholars that on one occasion he had incurred of far inferior talents and acquirements.' punishment for some boyish offence. A What induced John Reid'to select medisister advised him to run away, but he cine as a profession is not precisely known. went up to his mother and submitted to His first inclinations, or rather, perhaps, chastisement. Such incidents would not those of his friends in his behalf, were tobe worth recording, did they not illustrate wards the Church, but he was induced, the earliest indications of two of the most chiefly, I believe, by the influence of Dr strongly marked features of John Reid's Weir of Bathgate, to turn his attention to mature character. The incipient biblio- Medicine, and from the moment when he mania, which made the child prefer the entered on its study, he devoted himself tall folio to any smaller volume, grew with to it with the greatest ardour. His medihis growth, and became ingrained in his cal studies commenced in 1825, and were nature. In latter life he was a great reader, formally prosecuted till 1830, when he as well as a considerable writer of books. nominally ceased to be a student, and acbut he retained almost to the last a love quired the titles of surgeon and physician. for a book merely as a book, and, next to From the wide circle of subjects included his relatives and friends, he named his li in the round of medical study, he ultibrary as the object from which it cost him mately selected anatomy and physiology as the sorest pang to part. His filial obedi- his favourite pursuits, but at first he took ence also ripened with his years. Through- great interest also in medicine as a practiout life the will of his father and mother cal art. was in all minor matters his law, and long On August 1st, 1830, his student life may after he had reached an age when even be said to have ended. On that day, along dutiful children think more of loving than with one hundred and six other candidates, of obeying their parents, he continued to he was publicly invested with the title of yield them a cheerful submission on every | Doctor, point which did not interfere with his own | Before he received his degree, he wrote conscientious convictions. Till his strength to his father (27th July 1830), informing totally failed him, he wrote at frequent in- him that he had some faint hope of an aptervals from his deathbed to his mother, pointment in the navy. He had no wish and to her, his only surviving parent, his for a permanent connexion with the naval latest letters were addressed.
service. 'I should like,' writes he, to reAt school John Reid was not remark. main above three years. I think I would able for great quickness or vivacity, nor, be very much the better of such a situation in spite of his health, strength, and courage for that time. I would see a little of the was he a ringleader in the sports of the world, and even the name of being in the playground. What he cared to learn he navy would be of great advantage to me mastered by patient study, and retained afterwards. Names go a great deal in a firmly, but his schoolfellows did not antici person's favour in our profession. pate for him the distinction which he after He was not destined, however, to tread wards attained, and a certain shyness and the quarter-deck; and too honest and indereserve, which did not desert him in latter pendent to remain idle, he became a clerk, life, led to his keeping by himself.
or assistant-physician, in the clinical wards
of the Edinburgh Infirmary. Writing to with students from all quarters, that it his mother, November 29, 1830, he says, over-tasked the strength and energies of its 'I like my clerkship very much, and I
superintendents, Dr Knox and Mr Ferguscould not be under a more agreeable mas son. Proposals accordingly were made to ter than Dr Alison.'
Dr Reid, whose anatomical skill was alAt this period the mind of Dr Reid al | ready conspicuous, to become a partner in ready showed its love of original research,
| the School, which ended in his accepting which was evinced by his constant pursuit
the offer made to him. of anatomical and chemical investigations After discharging, for three years, with at the Infirmary, and in his own rooms, in unequalled ability and success, the duties connexion with the cases which were under of Anatomical Demonstrator, Dr Reid his care.
was unexpectedly and reluctantly sumIn the autumn of 1831, Dr Reid set out moned, by the unanimous call of his brethfor Paris, to profit by the advantages of its ren in Edinburgh, to undertake the higher medical schools. He visited Dublin first, duties of Lecturer on Physiology in the but stayed there only a few days.
Extra-Academical Medical School. He crossed from thence to Liverpool, His introductory lecture was grave and and visited Manchester and London, reach earnest-in keeping with the character of ing Paris in October, where he devoted the author and the expectations of his himself with the greatest ardour to his friends, and full of the promise which his favourite studies.
future progress amply realized. He returned to Edinburgh in 1832, The duties of lecturer occupied Dr Reid where he had not long to wait before he only during the winter session; i.e., from found professional employment. In the November till the close of April; so that antumn of 1832, cholera was devastating although a considerable portion of the Great Britain, and fell with special se- summer and autumn months was dedicated verity upon the inhabitants of Dumfries. to the improvement of his lectures, a large The resident medical men soon found period of time could also be devoted to themselves unable to cope with the rapid special scientific study and to original reincrease in the number of their patients, search. In both, Dr Reid largely and and four physicians, of whom Dr Reid was successfully engaged. The first fruits of one, were sent to their aid from Edinburgh. his diligence and ability appeared in a The risks and horrors of this disease, | very elaborate paper on the Anatomy and which his Parisian experience had made so Physiology of the Heart, which was written familiar to him, did not deter him from in great part in 1836; and in an experiproceeding to the plague-stricken city ; mental investigation into the functions of nor did an attack of inflammation, whilst certain important nerves, of the first part resident there, which greatly increased his of which an epitome was read by the peril, induce him to desert his post. All author at the meeting of the British Assomen fond of their callings are profession ciation in September 1837. ally courageous, even though in other re In the spring of 1837, a formidable lations timid and cautious. But to pro attack of bleeding from the lungs interfessional daring Dr Reid united, as the rupted his lectures, and placed his life in mournful sequel will most amply show, | imminent danger; but in a few months a rare amount of personal courage. He
he recovered, and in the succeeding winter arrived in Dumfries in the first week in session delivered his second course of October, and continued there for about a
academical lectures, and the first course month.
of popular lectures already referred to. He left Dumfries in the end of October,
In the summer of 1838 he resumed his and spent the next two months chiefly at
| inquiry into the functions of the nerves, Bathgate, seeking in vain for professional
and read a paper on the subject at the employment, and anticipating nothing bet
meeting of the British Association at ter when employment should come, than to
| Newcastle in the autumn of that year. enter upon the dull drudgery of a country
| An attack of illness disabled him from Doctor's life, which for him, as we have
lecturing at the commencement of the seen, had no charms. Of this period of
| ensuing session, and a friend took his unwilling idleness he always spoke with
I place for some weeks: but he was able to regret, almost with horror. His sister
resume his duties before Christimas. remembers him, after an unsuccessful deavour to find a sphere of labour, lying
In the spring of 1838 he was appointed
Pathologist, and, in the succeeding year, upon the sofa, sad and gloomy, for two
superintendent to the Royal Infirmary days. The new year brought an unex
of Edinburgh, the duties of which required pected and most welcome deliverance from
him to reside in the Infirmary; and he this condition.
early paid the penalty exacted from nearly Early in January, 1833, the large and flourishing School of Anatomy in Old Sur
all who spend the greater part of the geons' Hall, Edinburgh, was so crowded |
day in an Hospital containing fever wards. A severe attack of typhus fever laid him disease which, in spite of the advancement aside for some time, but his strong consti of medicine, is still almost synonymous tution bore him comparatively easily with protracted, unappeasable torture, and through this illness.
painful, lingering death. Dr Reid's reputation was now such as Some period elapsed before the true to entitle him to promotion to some aca- nature of the affection of the tongue was demic appointment, and on the occurrence put beyond doubt. There can be no quesof a vacancy in the Chair of Anatomy in tion, however, that from the first, Dr Reid St Andrews, he was elected Professor. looked with some anxiety on what so great
He was at this period in the prime of a pathologist knew to be a suspicious malalife, athletic and vigorous. Even a casual dy, trifling though it might appear to an observer would have been struck with his unprofessional eye. It is remembered by tall, strong figure, lessened a little in sta- those who were about him at that time, ture, but not rendered ungraceful, by a that so early as December 1847, he freslight stoop, such as studious men acquirequently consulted the looking glass to by long leaning over microscopes, or books, watch the progress of the complaint, and or the work of their scalpels ‘His counte- himself applied caustic to the diseased nance was not less conspicuous, with its part. He was careful, nevertheless, not fresh, ruddy complexion, its long locks of to betray his suspicions to any of his black hair, of a southern darkness of shade, relatives, although the ulceration visiits broad elephantine forehead, and small bly spread. At length, in the spring of bright black eye. The prevailing expres- 1848, it was so sensibly worse, that he sion of his face was compounded of | proceeded to Edinburgh and consulted his strength, earnestness, firmness, and good medical friends. His appearance awakened temper.
graver apprehensions than they cared to He could wear at will, and sometimes think aloud, or almost to express to each involuntarily put on, when deep in thought other. But there was yet hope, and Dr or intensely occupied, an air of great stern Reid, provided with a gold shield to proness and severity, but these were not con- tect the tongue from the irritating contact genial to his nature; and when his features of the teeth, returned to St Andrews, changed, it was more frequently by the and submitted faithfully to the regimen corners of the mouth rising into a smile, and prescriptions recommended to him. or the lips parting for a hearty laugh, than They were of no avail in retarding the by the brows knitting into a frown. He progress of the complaint, and as soon as was in his thirty-third year when he be the close of the winter session of 1847-48, came Professor, and every one anticipated | relieved him from his more pressing for him a long and famous career.
University duties, he prepared to try new On first October of the latter year, Dr measures. Reid married Miss Ann Blyth of Edin- In May 1848, he proceeded to Edinburgh, and from that time, as the comforts burgh, and had interviews with his former of a happy home gathered round him, and fellow-students and attached friends, Drs especially after he became a father, he James Duncan and Simpson, who deligrew quite reconciled to St Andrews as a berated with anxious and affectionate care place of permanent residence, and again on his case. By their advice, in comdevoted himself to original inquiry, which pliance with his own suggestion, he refor a considerable period had been laid solved to try the effect of change of scene, aside. In 1848, he collected into one and total silence for a week or two, and if volume the greater part of the Researches these failed to be of service, to proceed to which, during the preceding thirteen London and consult the surgeons there. years, he had contributed to various peri- | Keswick in Cumberland was selected as odical Journals : these, according to Dr the place of his retirement, and that he Heugh, contain more original matter and might as much as possible be spared the sound physiology, than will be found in necessity of speaking, he went alone, leavany work that has issued from the British ing his wife and children behind him. Press for many years.
He afterwards thought that he suffered in We now come to the most interesting these objects of affection than he gained
some respects more from the absence of part of this remarkable biography-viz, the
by the enforced silence, and he was never conversion of Dr Reid, an event which
again willingly separated from them. must be considered the most momentous
Within a few weeks of the first appearof his life, though it was brought about
ance of the malady in his tongue, a prethrough much suffering.
sentiment of approaching death had darkIn the month of November 1847, a ened every faculty and desire. I call it a small blister appeared on his tongue, presentiment, without seeking, meanwhile, which before long opened into an ulcer, to justify the term. It was partly, no betraying the symptoms of cancer-a doubt, only a logical inference from the
physical symptoms of a disease, in relation
himself all throughout (although he be
tient. But in its profound intensity it than a dying man. He was always thus laid hold on something more than the in the condition of one preparing to die, mere logical faculty, and hid the whole and never far enough removed from the soul within an atmosphere of solemn awe, great crisis in his moral history which lay to which the dread of suffering, or the ani- behind him, and the final struggle which mal fear of death, contributed very little. lay before, to sit down and trace the deAgainst submitting to these, the stoical velopment of his feelings at the period, and courageous spirit of Dr Reid rose in when first in his life he could say, the instinctive defiance; but he surrendered darkness is past, and the true light now his heart to a feeling which, with rapidly- shineth. increasing distinctness he came to realize, For a brief space he appears to have as a message from God bidding him inake been too much staggered to think whence ready to depart. The mere presentiment help could come. But in his travelling began to overshadow him in St Andrews, trunk his wife had been careful to place a and deepened in gloom in Edinburgh, but Bible, and one of his earliest letters to her it did not acquire the character of a re- was full of gratitude for the thoughtful ligious emotion till he went to Cumber- | kindness. This Bible was his daily comland; and he rarely referred to it till a later panion in his lonely walks. He studied period. On his way to the Lakes, he spent | it with an intensity such as he had never a night in Edinburgh with his sister, Mrs displayed in the study of any book before. Taylor. He scarcely spoke a syllable; He studied it as a book which only those and his countenance wore such an expres- who have the guidance of the Holy Spirit, sion of cheerless gloom, that his despond- who inspired it, can understand; and he ing, almost despairing look, haunted her was earnest in prayer to God for the gift through a long night which it rendered of His Spirit. Nor did He who loveth to sleepless. It equally pained another near be entreated, forget His promise to give relative who, like Mrs Taylor, believed it the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. to betoken an agonizing mental struggle. Within some three weeks at farthest, a When he returned from England this peace, composure, contentment, and joy, painful look was gone, nor did it ever re which John Reid had never known in the turn, although the probability of a fatal most healthful and prosperous season of issue to his malady had much increased, his past life, pervaded his soul, and his and his physical sufferings were daily be- heart began to fill with the perfect love coming more severe. The wan expression, that casteth out fear.' It was the old and which bodily exhaustion, and nights ren- wondrous, but true tale. For years he dered sleepless by unquenchable agony, had been doubting the wisdom of prayer, imprint upon the countenance, and the holding it to be presumptuous for an inpeculiar indescribable aspect which is occa- dividual to look for special favour from sioned by malignant disease, were after- God-arguing concerning the irreconcilwards seen too plainly on the sufferer's ability of free will and predestination, the face. But the despairing look which is dilemma of liberty and necessity, and the begotten of the conflict between the like theological problems. He had built heart crying 'Peace! peace!' and the round his soul outworks of doubt which conscience replying.There is no peace!' he could not unbuild, nor any other man was never witnessed on John Reid's noble take down for him ; but at one breath of countenance again. Keswick was the God's Spirit they fled away, and no place scene of a great spiritual change, in which, was found for them. He came to God so far as the mightiest objects that can fully realizing for the first time that . He interest mankind are concerned, all old is, and that He is a rewarder of those that things became for him new. It would be diligently seek Him; and God filled him very satisfactory, merely as the solution with good things, and sent him not empty of a curious psychological problem, much away. There was not explained to him inore from its value as a moral example, how to the Ruler of the universe, prayer could we explicitly trace the steps by does not clash with foreknowledge; and which he passed from the sceptical, critical he knew no better than he did before how
the intellect as the only needful weapon, exists with man's finite individuality; what he had so long walked by Sight, to that the bond is which reconciles predestination higher region of things Invisible, in which and free will, or what the link which rehe was hereafter to walk by Faith. Had solves necessity into liberty. He does he long survived the transition, he would not, probably, even now know how to reprobably have dwelt upon the steps that concile these mysterious opposites; perled to it. But although there was a tem- haps he never will, nor any other child of porary recovery of health, he regarded man. But he was made certain that God