Doctors Sermon Illustrations

Doctors Sermon Illustrations

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Making Things Better

A rich man sent to call a physician for a slight disorder. The physician felt his pulse, and said, "Do you eat well?" "Yes," said the patient. "Do you sleep well?" "I do." "Oh, then," said the physician, "I must give you something to take away all that."

Madame de Villecerf, who was brought to death in the flower of her age by the unskilfulness of her surgeon, comforted him thus: "I do not look upon you," she said, in dying, "as a person whose error has cost me my life, but as a benefactor, who hastens my entry into a happy immortality. As the world may judge otherwise, I have put you in a situation, by my will, to quit your profession."

Willie Law, a half-witted man, was the descendant of an ancient family, nearly related to the famous John Law, of Lauriston, the celebrated financier of France. Willie on that account was often spoken to and taken notice of by gentlemen of distinction. Posting one day through Kirkaldy, with more than ordinary speed, he was met by Mr. Oswald, of Dunnikier, who asked him where he was going in such a hurry. "Going!" says Willie, with apparent surprise, "I'm gaen to my cousin Lord Elgin's burial." "Your cousin Lord Elgin's burial, you fool! Lord Elgin's not dead," replied Mr. Oswald. "Oh, never mind," quoth Willie; "there's six doctors out o' Edinbro' at him, and they'll hae him dead afore I get there."

Physicians in China

Caleb Colton, nephew of the late Sir George Staunton, gives in a recent publication the following anecdote:—"My late uncle, Sir G. Staunton, related to me a curious anecdote of old Kien Long, Emperor of China. He was inquiring of Sir George the manner in which physicians were paid in England. When, after some difficulty, his majesty was made to comprehend the system, he exclaimed, 'Is any man well in England that can afford to be ill? Now, I will inform you,' said he, 'how I manage my physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is committed: a certain weekly salary is allowed them; but the moment I am ill the salary stops till I am well again. I need not tell you that my illnesses are usually short.'"

Zimmerman, who was very eminent as a physician, went from Hanover to attend Frederick the Great in his last illness. One day the king said to him, "You have, I presume, sir, helped many a man into another world?" This was rather a bitter pill for the doctor; but the dose he gave the king in return was a judicious mixture of truth and flattery: "Not so many as your majesty, nor with so much honour to myself."

Montaigne, who is great upon doctors, used to beseech his friends that if he felt ill they would let him get a little stronger before sending for the doctor.

Molière, when once travelling through Auvergne, was taken very ill at a distance from any place where he could procure respectable medical aid. It was proposed to him to send for a celebrated physician at Clermont. "No, no," said he, "he is too great a man for me: go and bring me the village surgeon; he will not, perhaps, have the hardihood to kill me so soon."

Louis XIV., who was a slave to his physicians, asked Molière one day what he did with his doctor. "Oh, sire," said he, "when I am ill I send for him. He comes; we have a chat, and enjoy ourselves. He prescribes;—I don't take it, and I am cured."

General Guise going over one campaign to Flanders, observed a raw young officer, who was in the same vessel with him, and with his usual humanity told him that he would take care of him, and conduct him to Antwerp, where they were both going, which he accordingly did, and then took leave of him. The young fellow was soon told by some arch rogues, whom he happened to fall in with, that he must signalise himself by fighting some man of known courage, or else he would soon be despised in the regiment. The young man said he knew no one but Colonel Guise, and he had received great obligations from him. "It is all one for that," said they, "in these cases. The Colonel is the fittest man in the world, as everybody knows his bravery." Soon afterwards the young officer accosted Colonel Guise, as he was walking up and down the coffee room, and began, in a hesitating manner, to tell him how much obliged he had been to him, and how sensible he was of his obligations. "Sir," replied Colonel Guise, "I have done my duty by you, and no more." "But Colonel," added the young officer, faltering, "I am told that I must fight some gentleman of known courage, and who has killed several persons, and that nobody"—"Oh, sir," interrupted the Colonel, "your friends do me too much honour; but there is a gentleman (pointing to a fierce-looking black fellow that was sitting at one of the tables) who has killed half the regiment, and who will suit you much better." The officer went up to him, and told him he had heard of his bravery, and that for that reason he must fight him. "Who?—I, sir?" said the gentleman; "why, I am the apothecary."

Dr. Moore, author of "Zeluco," used to say that at least two-thirds of a physician's fees were for imaginary complaints. Among several instances of this nature, he mentions one of a clothier, who, after drinking the Bath waters, took it into his head to try Bristol hot wells. Previous, however, to his setting off, he requested his physician to favour him with a letter, stating his case to any brother doctor. This done, the patient got into a chaise and started. After proceeding half way, he felt curious to see the contents of the letter, and on opening it, read as follows:—"Dear Sir,—The bearer is a fat Wiltshire clothier: make the most of him." It is almost unnecessary to add that his cure was from that moment effected, as he ordered the chaise to turn, and immediately proceeded home.

Sir Charles Wager had a sovereign contempt for physicians, though he believed a surgeon, in some cases, might be of service. It happened that Sir Charles was seized with a fever while he was out upon a cruise, and the surgeon, without much difficulty, prevailed upon him to lose a little blood, and suffer a blister to be laid on his back. By-and-bye it was thought necessary to lay on another blister, and repeat the bleeding, to which Sir Charles also consented. The symptoms then abated, and the surgeon told him that he must now swallow a few bolusses, and take a draught. "No, no, doctor," says Sir Charles, "you shall batter my hulk as long as you will, but depend on it, you shan't board me."

Gin versus Medicine

The celebrated Dr. Ward was not more remarkable for humanity and skill than for wit and humour. An old woman, to whom he had administered some medicines proper for a disorder under which she laboured, applied to him, with a complaint that she had not experienced any kind of effect from taking them. "No effect at all?" said the doctor. "None in the least," replied the woman. "Why, then you should have taken a bumping glass of gin." "So I did, sir." "Well, but when you found that did not succeed, you should have taken another." "So I did, sir; and another after that." "Oh, you did?" said the doctor; "aye, aye, it is just as I imagined: you complain that you found no effect from my prescription, and you confess yourself that you swallowed gin enough to counteract any medicine in the whole system of physic."

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