D. S. (David Samuel) Margoliouth.

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it. IIow far the critical spirit is already
advanced and diffused, so that the Bible
is regarded as a book with a human and
I an imperfect side, and containing errors
' that can be removed with better knowl-
edge, is shown by the fact that the Eng-
lish translation of two hundred and fifty
years' standing has been lately attacked
by a body of able and learned revisers,
who, after eleven years of labor, have
just given us a corrected edition of the
New Testament. This is a great step
in the direction of rationalism. It con-
cedes that the Scriptures must he sub-
jected to the tests of reason, and this
concession is due entirely to the mod-
ern scientific movement, which de-
mands higher standards of proof, and
more inexorable questioning as to what
is true.

The revisers of the Xew Testament
have fairly and formally entered the
critical wedge, hut the driving it home
is to be no holiday affair. Professor
Robertson Smith, one of the most
learned, able, and candid of Biblical
critics, having undertaken to treat the
history of some parts of the Old Testa-
ment in a great encyclopedia, was met
by his church and silenced in his pro-
fessorship in the Aberdeen University.
But the world gains by tliis act of in-
tolerance. Professor Smith left the
college halls and went out to give a
course of popular lectures upon the



critical history of the Bible, which were
attended by crowds of eager listeners.
The lectures are collected in a volume
that at once becomes a text-book of
modern Biblical criticism. The true 1 prejudiced people, the anti-vivisection


Of all the forms of hostility to sci-
ence indulged in by narrow-minded,

scientific ground is here openly and
broadly taken, and it is generally ad-
mitted that Professor Robertson Smith's
book represents authoritatively tlie
scope and objects and method of the
critical school which has been growing
during the last half-century. It has
thus at length become the benign office
of Science to bring its methods to the
responsible task of throwing a better :
light on the origin, history, and true
character of the Christian oracles than
has been derived from uncritical tra-
dition. Xor does the critical attitude
taken by Professor Smith at all com-
promise his Christian position. He is
no skeptic, trying to undermine the
Scriptures. lie holds to their essential
truth, but recognizes tliat on earth and
in time, and among ignorant, selfish, and
prejudiced men, truth is liable to be ob-
scured. Professor Smith is in no sense
an enemy of the Bible, as the follow-
ing passage from his lectures sufficient-
ly attests. He says :

The Bible is a book of experimental re-
ligion, in which the converse of God with
his people Is depicted in all its stages, up to
the full and abiding manifestation of saving
love in the person of Jesus Christ. God has
no message to the believing soul which tlic
Bible does not set forth, and set forth not in
kire fonnulas, but in living and experimen-
tal form, by giving the actual history of the
need which the message supplies, and by
showing how the holy men of old received the
message, as a light to their own darkness, a
comfort and a stay to their own souls.

But a majority of the Free Church
of Scotland think that this is insufficient,
and demand that he shall cease his crit-
ical studies. A large minority, how-
ever, see plainly that it is neither pos-
sible nor desirable to arrest the great
inquiry that is now so far advanced and
so securely established.

movement is unquestionably the most
ridiculous. Vivisection is cutting the
living; surgery is, therefore, human
vivisection. The human person is lia-
ble to a thousand accidents and dis-
eases, which can only be relieved by
vivisection. The surgeon, with his cut-
ting instruments of innumerable shapes,
operates boldly upon the living system,
inflicting pain that pain may be relieved,
saving damaged organs,restoring health,
and prolonging life. There is, indeed,
no art practiced by man that is so
valuable and important as that of hu-
man vivisection — and this, moreover,
everybody knows.

But human vivisection, pursued for
its beneficent purpose, is a difficult and
dangerous practice. It requires the most
accurate and thorough knowledge of the
organization of the human body, and ex-
tensive experience in working upon it.
In its early stages, when little was known
of the living system, it was a dreadful,
barbarism, a manipulation of torture,
and, in serious cases, more liable to in-
jure than to benefit. The province of
surgery has ever depended upon knowl-
edge and experience, and it has become
successful in proportion as knowledge
has increased and the opportunities of
practice have been enlarged. Modern
surgery has advanced with the most
rapid strides, and at every step has
made humanity its debtor. And this,
also, everybody knows.

Yet, from the beginning, men have
combined to hinder the development of
this art upon which so much of human
welfare depends. For thousands of
years the dissection of the dead human
body — the only source of knowledge to
the surgeon — was held a horrible thing
by the multitude, was denounced as
sacrilege by the Church, and was for-
bidden by the state.



In recent times it has been discov-
ered that there is a unity of method and
law running through all forms of or-
ganic life, such as was never suspected
in former ages. This was a great step
in the progress of science, and a great
opening for the physician and surgeon,
as the whole realm of inferior life was
at once made tributary to the devel-
opment of the physician's art — that is,
the human vivisector, who had been
hitherto greatly cramped and embar-
rassed by the difficulties and limited
scope of his operations, could now cdr-
ry on his inquiries more thoroughly and
comprehensively by experiments upon
the lower animals. It was a grand pos-
sibility, and, broadly considered, forms
the most important step in the prog-
ress of medical and surgical science and

But, here again, ignorance and prej-
udice have, even in our day, combined
to hinder the use and extension of
knowledge vital to human benefit. As
the human body was once forbidden to
be dissected, so now it is forbidden to
vivisect the lower animals. Anti-vivi-
section societies are formed, and anti-
vivisection legislation is sought and has
been obtained to defeat the work of the
experimental physiologist. The anti-
vivisectionists express great sympathy
for the poor dumb animals, and assume
to be their protectors. The sympa-
thy is commendable, the function as-
sumed a most f)roper one, and the field
for the exercise of both boundless, so
that these friends of the suffering ani-
mals can exhaust all their energies in
protective work, without meddling with
the physiologists.

But these stupid zealots deny that
there is any use in vivisection, or that
any good has ever come from it. They
profess to know more about the mat-
ter than the physiologists and sur-
geons, and demand that Government
shall stop the practice entirely. We
have now a fresh illustration of what it
it is tliat they would suppress. A malig-

nant case of cancer of the stomach, such
as have hitherto resisted all remedies,
has been cured by a surgical operation
which could never have been success-
fully performed but for long appren-
ticeship in vivisection. A large fibrous
cancer had grown over the pyloric ori-
fice of the stomach through which the
food passes into the intestine, which
was nearly closed, and must soon have
killed the patient. The stomach was
opened, the cancerous tumor removed,
a new orifice prepared, the intestinal
tube sewed fast to the stomach, and
the patient recovered. The oi)eration
was performed by Professor Theodor
Billroth, of Vienna, and his account of
it was translated by the United States
Minister to Austria, Hon. John A. Kas-
son, and sent to the " New York Trib-
une," from which we copy it. Profess-
or Billroth says :

The removal of the frequently occurring
carcinoma of the stomach, against which all
internal remedies have been applied in vain,
by the aid of surgery, has long been the sub-
ject of debate. Seventy years ago, a young
physician, Karl Theodor Merrem, published
a pamphlet in which he demonstrated, by
experiments made upon three dogs, two of
wliich survived the operation, tJiat it w.os
possible to cut out the pylorus and to join
the duodenum with the stomach. He went
even so far as to propose this operation in
cases of human beings suffering with incura-
ble carcinoma of the pylorus. In tliose days
the conviction that the processes of life, their
Lntemiption and their equalizj\tion, were es-
sentially the same in the human body and
that of animals, bad not obtained sufficiently,
nor had the operative technique advanced lar
enough to cause the significance of these ex-
periments to be fully appreciated and to ren-
der the application of the physiological result
upon the human body possible. The l)est
siu-geons of France, England, and Germany
have in the course of this century discussed
the best methods of joining wounds of the
stomach and the intestines. Since the dis-
covery by Lembert of the only true principle
upon which tliLs operation can be carried out
Buecessfully, satisfactory results became of
more frequent occurrence. But the excision
of diseased parts of the intestines was not at-
tempted until about ten years ago. In 1671



I demonstrated the possibility of cutting out
sections of the oesophagus in lai^e dogs, and
that the wound healed, leaving the oesopha-
gus slightly contracted but easily to be dilated.
Czemy was the first to carry out this opera-
tion successfully ujion a human being, llis
experiments to extirpate the larynx led to my
successfully removing a human larynx ob-
structed by a cancerous growth. In 1877 I
succeeded in performing tlie operation of gas-
teroraphy, which proved that no anxiety need
be entertained as to the gastric juices of the
stomach interfering with the scar-tissue so as
to bring about its solution.

I have stated this for the benefit of those
who are of the opinion that my operation is a
reckless experiment on a human life. Such
an opinion can not be entertained for one
moment. The operation of cutting out parts
of the human stomach has, like any other
new operation, been prepared anatomic-phys-
iologically and technically by myself and
my assistants. Every surgeon, having any
experience in experiments on animals, and
similar operations upon the human body, ar-
rives at the conclusion that this operation
must and will succeed. Pean, the Paris sur-
geon, was of the same opinion. lie attempted
the removal of a cancerous pylorus, about sLx
centimetres in diameter, in the case of a pa-
tient verj' much reduced by suffering, and
who died four days after the ojieration. His
method of operating, and especially his choice
of catgut as sewing material, did not seem to
me a good one. He has not attempted to re-
peat the operation, so far as I know, and no
other surgeon has ventured to undertake this
by no means easy task.


The few cases which came imder my no-
tice in the course of the past year did not
seem to me to be projier ones for a first op-
eration of this kind. It was only recently
that the case of a woman was presented to
me where the diagnosis of a cancerous pylorus
was certain. After a few diiys of observation,
the patient assenting, I made up my mind to
undertake the operation. The woman, about
forty-three years of age, and mother of eight
children, was taken sick — very suddenly, it
would seem — in October, 1880, with vomit-
ing. The symptoms of cancer of the stomach
with stenosis of the pylorus soon showed
themselves. The only thing she was able to
retain for any length of time was sour milk.
The preparations for the operation consisted
in accustoming the patient to peptonized in-
jections, and the cleansing of the .stomach
by the well-known method of Injection and

I pumping. The room, specially prepared for
I the occasion, was heated to :;-t° K<»aumur, and
I the narcotic administered by one of my assist-
ants, every one of whom seemed to be con-
' scious of the importance of the undertaking.
No interruption and not a minute of unneces-
sary delay occurred. The movable tumor,
lying a little to the right, seemed to be of the
size of an ordinary apple. A diagonal in-
cision about eight centimetres long was made
over the tumor, which proved to be a knotty
and infiltrated cancer of the pylorus, occupy-
ing more than a third of the lower portion of
the stomach. Separation of the adhesion to
the omentum and the transverse colon fol-
lowed ; then the division of the large and
small omentum. Every vessel was tied be-
fore being cut, the loss of blood being very
small. The tumor was turned out over the
abdominal walls, and a cut was then made
through the stomach, one centimetre beyond
the mfiltrated part, at first only backward,
then in tlie same manner through the duo<le-
num. The attempt to put together the edges
of the cut parts showed the possibility of join-
ing them. Six stitches were taken through
the edges, but the threads were not yet tied,
and only used to retain the edges in position.
A further cutting through the stomach was
then made diagonally from the upper and
inner to the lower and outer side, but always
at a distance of one centimetre from the in-
filtrated portion of the coating of the stom-
ach. The next thing done was to join the
diagonal cut upward, until the opening was
small enough to fit the duodenum to it. A
complete separation of the tumor from the
duodenum was effected next by an incision
one centimetre on the other side of the in-
filtrated portion, and parallel to tlie cut
through the stomach. Then the duodenum
was introduced into the opening left in the
stomach. About fifty stitches were taken
with Czcmy's carbolized silk. The whole
was cleansed with a two per cent, carbolized
solution. The stitches were then examined,
and a few more added where tliere seemed to
be weak spots. The whole was replaced in
the abdominal cavity, the outer wound closed,
and the bandages applied.

The operation lasted about one hour and
a half. No weakness, no vomiting, and no
pain seemed to be apparent after the opera-
tion. The patient was given ice only in the
first twenty-four hours, then peptonized in-
jections with wine ; on the followinsr day, at
first every hour only, then every half-hour, a
tablespoonful uf sour milk. The woman slept
the greater j>art of the night, with the aid of
a small injection of morphine. The only food



taken for some dnys after the operation con-
sisted of sour milk, one litre a day, as an at-
tempt to nourish the patient with broth did
not seem acceptable to her. The peptonized
injections were dispensed with, as they pro-
duced flatulence and colic. Injections of wine
three times daily were therefore substituted.
The patient, upon her own request, was a few
days later removed to the general ward, and
she has since been discharged from the hospi-
tal, cured. The excised part measures at the
greater curvature {horribile dictu !) fourteen
centimetres, and it is with difficulty only that
I am enabled to pass a goose-quill through
the pylorus. The shape of the stomach is
changed little by the operation. It is only a
little smaller than fonnerly.


General Physiology of Musclks and
Nerves. By Dr. J. Roskxthal, Pro-
fessor of Physiology in the University
of Erlanpen. (" Interaational Scientific
Series," No. XXXII.) New York : D.
Appleton & Co. 1881. Pp. 32-t. Price,

Professor Rosexthal has well con-
formed to the theory of the " International
Scientific Series " in the preparation of this
work. It was designed to consist of mon-
ographs on special subjects, and not of
complete scientific treatises. In tills way
particular subjects may be more fully ex-
pounded than they are in the text-books,
while yet the form of publication is popu-
lar and convenient. If any one, for exam-
ple, looks in the manuals of physiology for
a statement of the relations of muscles and
nerves, he will find that the information, if
not scanty, is still most incomplete. Yet
such are the interest and importance of the
subject, that many would like to consult a
more adequate presentation. Professor Ro-
senthal's volume will meet their require-
ments. It goes over the whole ground of
the recent researches into muscular and
nervous action, and is, moreover, the first
attempt to deal with it in a popular and
methodical way.

But few men could have been found as
well prepared for the execution of his task
as Professor Rosenthal. The problem of
muscles and nerves has occupied his life.
He worked for many years in connection

with Professor Emile Du Bois-Reymond, the
celebrated Berlin physiologist, to whom the
present volume is dedicated. Broadly cul-
tivated in the physiological field, and long
disciplined in the experimental research of
nervo-muscular relations, he has been ena-
bled to give weight and authority to his ex-
position of the subject.

On general and obvious grounds, no sub-
ject is more important than this, and we
can think of none that should more deeply
interest all classes of readers. Man is a
being endowed with great capacities of ac-
complishment by virtue of the agency of
muscles and nerves. They are the means
of his pleasures and the sources of his
pains. One would think that he might be
concerned to understand something about
them ; and, if he has any sense of the rela-
tive values of different kinds of knowledge,
that he would place the understanding of
his own mechanism first, and desire a thor-
ough acquaintance with all that is positively
known concerning the conditions of mus-
cular and nervous exercise. The topic, be-
sides, is one of profound intellectual inter-
est. Nothing is more wonderful than the
working of that higher organic mechanism
by which power in the living being is ex-
erted and controlled. There is nothing so
subtile, so curious, so marvelous, as that
incessant interaction of the muscular and
nervous systems which is involved in all the
familiar activities and operations of the hu-
man body. The strange thing is how it has
been so finely and fully elucidated. Many
things, of course, remain still mysterious
and unsettled, but we have a large body of
well-established facts and principles that
have been most difficult of determination,
and which forms one of the great monu-
ments of skillful, persevering, and success-
ful scientific labor. Physics and chemistry
are generally spoken of as the experimental
sciences, but physiology is also now in the
highest sense an experimental science,while,
for delicacy and difficulty of operation and
consummate contrivances for dealing with
obscure and complex phenomena, the phys-
iological laboratory has precedence of all
the workshops of experiment. Professor
Rosenthal's book is filled with elegant illus-
trations of physiological instruments and
apparatus, and there are many exquisite



diagrams to show the interactions of the
nervous and muscular parts, as it is now
proved that they take place.

We have here no space for the details
of the book, but may refer to ouc of the
most delicate and interesting of the ma-
chines employed, which is a device for the
electric measurement of the muscle-pulsa-
tion. By its use the infinitesimal periods
of time consumed in these pulsations are
magnified and represented side by side in
a wavy line, so that their durations can
be compared and measured by a standard.
The continued strain of a muscle is shown
to be a chain of these tiny pulsations which
decline steadily in strength as each pulsa-
tion exhausts a certain amount of material
corresponding to the carbon removed from
its place under the steam-boiler by combus-
tion. The modern view that the power
generated by muscle is due to the hydro-
carbonaceous matter oxidized, instead of the
nitrogeneous element of muscular structure,
is clearly brought out.

It has long been a question in what way
the nerves are mechanically or structurally
related to the muscles, or what is the nature
of the ultimate connection. Of course this
was a microscopical problem upon which
further light was constantly thrown as the
instruments reached higher powers, and ob-
servers became more skilled in their use,
and more experienced in guarding against
errors. As was natural, different views
were entertained by different able observ-
ers, and, as was equally natural, sharp con-
troversies followed. How the case stands
at present may be gathered from the fol-
lowing statement from Chapter XV : " If
we trace the course of the nerve within the
muscle, we find that the separate fibers,
which enter the muscle in a connected bun-
dle, separate, run among the muscle-fibers,
and spread throughout the muscle. It then
appears that the single nerve-fibers divide,
and this explains the fact that each muscle-
fiber is eventually provided with a nerve-
fiber — long nerve-fibers even with two—
although the number of nerve-fibers which
enter the muscle is generally much less than
the number of the muscle-fibers which com-
pose the muscle. Till the nerve approaches
the muscle-fiber, it retains its three charac-
teristic marks — the neurilemma, medullary

sheath, and axis-cylinder. AVhcn near the
muscle-fiber the nerve suddenly becomes
thinner, loses the medullary sheath, then
again thickens, the neurilemma coalesces
with the sarcolemma of the muscle-fiber,
and the axis-cylinder passes directly into a
structure which lies within the sarcolemma
pouch, in immediate contact with the actual
muscle-substance, and is called the terminal
nerve-plate.'^ There are some differences
here in different classes of animals, but
" the essential fact is the same in all cases :
the nerve jxisses info direct contact with the
muscle-substance. All observers are now
agreed on this point. Uncertainty prevails
only as to the further nature of the terminal

The Old Testament in the Jewish Church :
Twelve Lectures on Biblical Criti-
cism. By W. Robertson Smith, M. A.
New York : D. Appleton & Co. 1881.

Probably no subject which interests so
many people and interests them so deeply
is so little studied or understood as the
history of the Bible. In these three king-
doms there are every Sunday between fifty
and sixty thousand clergymen of various re-
ligious bodies discoursing upon it, a very
much larger number of persons teaching it
in Sunday-schools and day-schools, an over-
whelming majority of the population read-
ing it, more or less, and looking to it as the
guide of faith and practice. Yet not one
man in a thousand, even in the educated
classes, knows anything about the respec-
tive dates of the different books of the Bible,
the mode in which they were preserved and
received into the canon of Scripture, or the
views entertained by scholars as to their
authorship. This ignorance is deepest and
most widespread as regards the Old Testa-
ment. Wonderful progress has been made
during the last fifty years in the criticism of
the numerous writings which make it up. It
is not too much to say that we have gained
more knowledge on the subject within that
period than all the labors of all Biblical
scholars succeeded in amassing during the
two thousand years that preceded. Yet
the bulk of the English cultivated public,
which learned at college at least all that is
known about the Servian Constitution and
the Twelve Tables, which has a fair idea



of the issues of the great Homeric contro- i scholarship contributed, with their theories
versy, has no idea of the frer^h light that as to the nature and value of Scripture, to
has been thrown on the books which are [ lead them away from a critical interprela-
read under the name of Moses, or the tion of the text ; how even Jerome was
character and historical position of such j obliged, when making his famous transla-
men as Samuel, David, or Isaiah. Oriental j tion, to lean upon Jewish rabbis ; how it
scholars, a very small class in England, I was only among the Jews that the knowl-
have been so much occupied in study as to j edge of the old language was preserved

Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 50 of 110)