leurs forces executives sont les memes que dans les corps
bruts. The chemist may indeed reproduce the substances of which
a bone consists, but can never make the bone with its specific form
and characteristics (ib. 320). "La force vitale", dit Claude Ber-
nard, "dirige les phenomenes qu'elle ne produit pas; les agents
physiques produisent des phenomenes qu'ils ne dirigent pas" (Revue
des deux mondes, 15 nov. 1878, 307).
Kneller, Christianity. 21
322 ix. PHYSIOLOGY.
tains in being and in motion. Claude Bernard held that
in the same way the physiologist must be allowed to explain
the phenomena of life in terms of physical and chemical
forces, although life itself and thought, which direct and
control these phenomena, lie outside his province." *
Another authority expresses himself in precisely the
"One last word: This pitiless physiologist, this champion
of absolute determinism did not suffer himself to be misled
into a denial of the truths of metaphysics. He believed
himself to be conscious of, and dependent on, a Something,
that did not fall under the scrutiny of science. He recog-
nised a twofold order, a twofold kingdom of knowledge. In
the one the experimental method held sway, and produced
the richest results ; in the other, pure reason and reflection
were to be relied upon. In the one, determinism is absolute
lord and master; in the other, reflection and introspection
meditate on their characteristic problems, suggest solutions,
and throw a little light on the sublime questions of our
origin and destiny. . . . We have already quoted the last
page of his book in which he characterises the truths of
metaphysics by the bold term 'the sublimities of ignorance'
(sublimites de 1'ignorance). These sublimities cast their glow
over the face of him who was the greatest experimentalist
of his age, and it shone transfigured with the image of God,
lacking which the countenance of man is a poor and light-
less mask." 2
To give these expressions their full weight we must
add just one word. When Bernard saw that death was
at hand, he sent for a priest and "had the happiness
of ending a life, consecrated to the service of science,
by a Christian death" 3 .
1 Comptes rendus LXXXVI, Paris 1878, 402.
2 Revue des deux mondes, 15 nov. 1878, 310.
3 Ce qui nous cause plus de joie que tous ces honneurs (at his
state funeral), c'est 1'assurance que cet homme de bien a eu le bonheur
MARIE JEAN PIERRE FLOURENS. 323
Another master of Physiology, renewed for his re-
searches into the functions of the brain, and for his
contributions to the Anatomy and Physiology of the
brain was Marie Jean Pierre Flourens (f 1867).
Despite the Catholic ring of his name he was a Prote-
stant. He was a vigorous critic of materialism, and de-
voted special papers to a refutation of the materialistic
theories of Gall, Spurzheim, and Broussais. We quote
a passage from his work on the unity of the human
species. The physical identity of the various races of
man, as established by Blumenbach and Tiedemann, does
not content him. We must, he maintains, re-inforce it
by a consideration of another order.
"Even on the physical side of our organism, that which
we can see and touch is not the most essential. 'The organs',
says Bossuet, 'do not find their real essence in that which
we see and touch. They really consist in the co-ordination
of inconceivably delicate parts . . . the minuteness of which
only the mind can conceive.' But what a huge step it is
from even the most delicate of physical organs to mind!
Physiology teaches us only one thing: the correspondence
which exists between the development of function and the
development of organ.
"The moment we touch on the veritable human function,
intellect, we leave two sciences and step into a third, Psycho-
de terminer par une mort chretienne une vie entitlement consacree
a la science. Quoique les medecins dont il etait entoure, lui fissent
illusion eux-memes sur la gravite de son mal, et qu'ainsi le pretre
a ete appele un peu tard , le malade jouissait de sa pleine con-
naissance a 1'arrivee du ministre de Dieu, et il a temoigne, par ses
reponses et surtout par la maniere affectueuse dont il lui serrait la
main, avec quelle reconnaissance il acceptait les secours de la religion
(Etudes religieuses , philosophiques , historiques et litteraires XXII,
Lyon-Paris 1878, 445). Cf. the reference in the Revue des deux
mondes, 15 decembre 1878, 840; Allgemeine Zeitung, Augsburg
324 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
logy. Psychology has a characteristic province of its own.
The activities of the mind can be understood only by the
active mind. Spirit discloses its nature only to spirit.
"In the province of Psychology we can now draw the line
of demarcation between instinct and intelligence; between
intelligence as it exists in animals, and as it exists in man.
This line is sharply and clearly denned. But between man
and man, between race and race we can discover no more
than grades, varieties, nuances. Man alone possesses a con-
ception of a moral order and a conception of God, and
these are the natural possession of all men. In relation to
both, the intelligence of humanity is at one with itself. This
unity of intelligence is the last and conclusive proof of the
unity of the human race." l
Flourens had been for some time a free-thinker, but
he returned to the Christian faith and fold 2 .
"His mind became clouded (through weakening of
the brain) in his last moments. He was unable to say,
like Goodsir, on his death-bed : He is only a half-formed
anatomist whose thought does not reach beyond the
changes of the physical organism. But he had often
given expression this physiologist who so resolutely
denied the possibility of localising the soul to such
a thought before his last illness came upon him." 3
Flourens derived much assistance from the work of
an English scientist, Sir Charles Bell (f 1842). Bell
1 P. Flourens, Recueil des eloges historiques lus dans les
seances publiques de 1' Academic des sciences, 3 e serie, Paris 1862,
2 Apres s'etre montre d'abord, comme c'etait la mode du temps,
penseur libre et independant , il fut un des premiers a revenir &
1'orthodoxie ; et sa science avail fini par etre parfaitement d'accord
avec la foi (Les Mondes XV, Paris 1867, 637).
8 v. Marti us in Sitzungsberichte der konigl. bayr. Akademie I,
Miinchen 1868, 464.
CHARLES BELL. 325
stands among the pioneers of Nerve-Physiology *. Haller
had declared that he knew no afferent nerve that was
not also an efferent nerve, but Bell showed that precisely
the opposite is the case, and that the same nerve never
fulfils both functions. The interest aroused throughout
all Europe by this discovery was extraordinarily great.
It is related of the French physiologist Roux, that when
Bell entered his lecture-room, he dismissed his pupils,
saying that they had done enough for the day, they
had seen Charles Bell!
The great English savant was of a profoundly religious
disposition. We have already made his acqaintance as
author of one of the Bridgewater Treatises, and co-
editor of Paley's Natural Theology 2 . In his lectures
he was fond of drawing attention to the evidently pur-
posive structure of organisms. On his private life his
religious belief showed the most beneficent influence.
"All his friends echoed from their hearts the judgment
of Lord Cockburn : 'If ever I knew a good and happy
man it was Sir Charles Bell.' 'He had too deeply-
rooted a belief in that Providence, which rules the
world, to fail ever in thankfulness for his lot in life.' " 3
One of his oldest friends , Lord Jeffrey , wrote on
his tombstone the inscription: "Sacred to the memory
of Sir Charles Bell, who after unfolding with unrivalled
sagacity, patience, and success, the wonderful struc-
ture of our mortal bodies , esteemed lightly of his
greatest discoveries, except only as they tended to
impress himself and others with a deeper sense of the
1 Flourens, Recueil des eloges III, Paris 1852, 47 159.
2 V. p. 37 224.
3 Dictionary of National Biography IV, London 1885, 156.
326 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
infinite wisdom and ineffable goodness of the Almighty
Creator . . ." l
The name of Louis Pasteur (f 1895) has almost
as a great a claim to be included in the history of
Physiology as in that of Chemistry. He is universally
recognised as a discoverer of the very first order. Pasteur
began his scientific career in 1 848 with a series of disco-
veries with regard to crystals; he showed the inter-
relation between the crystalline form of certain bodies
and their retention of light, and helped to found Stereo-
scopy. As early as 1 860 he had formulated the funda-
mental ideas of this new science. He also analysed
with great success the composition of wine and grape-
acids. In 1875 1876 he was engaged in investigating
the chemistry of fermentation. But it was his discovery
in 1877 tnat certain diseases are due to the presence
of minute organisms - - bacteria or bacilli - - that first
won for him a world-wide renown. He followed up
his discovery of bacteria by discovering further that in
certain circumstances these agents of disease can be em-
ployed for therapeutic purposes. The experiments, by
which in 1862 he demonstrated the untenability of the
hypothesis of spontaneous generation 2 , attracted universal
notice, as also his studies of the diseases of wine and
beer, and of the silk-worm. Alike theoretically and
practically his discoveries were of inestimable value.
The art of surgery was directed by them towards a new
and brilliantly fruitful development ; and Huxley did not
1 Encyclopaedia Britannica III 9 , Edinburgh 1875, 54 2 -
2 Pouchet, the obstinate opponent, who was fighting against him,
was no materialist. On the contrary "il avait en horreur le mat6ria-
lisme meme alors que ses ecrits semblaient 1'affirmer" (Les Mondes
XXX [r8 7 3] 2).
LOUIS PASTEUR. 327
exaggerate the practical worth of Pasteur's researches
when he declared that they would more than compen-
sate France for the war indemnity of five milliards which
she was compelled to pay to Germany *. In point of fact
the great scientist saved the silk-industry of France from
destruction. It was estimated that in the ten years before
Pasteur came to the rescue this industry alone had suffered
losses reaching in amount to 1500 millions (francs) 2 .
Pasteur's place among the masters of science is cer-
tain beyond cavil, and equally certain is it that he was
till the end a faithful and fervent Catholic. In his later
years he was in the habit of approaching the sacraments
very frequently 3 : "He gave up his soul to God at the
last, clasping in his hands his little copper cross, and
repeating fervently a confession of faith and hope." It
is related that a student once asked him how it was
that, after so much reflection and research, he could
remain a believer. "It is just because I have thought
and sought so much" replied Pasteur, "that I believe
with the faith of a Breton peasant. If I had thought
more and studied more I would have come to believe
with the faith of the Breton peasant's wife." 4
Pasteur made open profession of his belief on the
occasion of his reception into the French Academy. He
had been elected successor to Littre, the great Positivist,
and had, according to custom, to pronounce a memorial
1 ReneVallery-Radot, La vie de Pasteur, Paris i 901 ; D u-
claux, Pasteur, histoire d'un esprit, Paris 1898; J. F. Boutet,
Pasteur et ses eleves, Paris 1898.
2 Couette in La science catholique X, Arras 1896, 182.
3 Van Tricht in Revue des quest, scient. XXXIX, Louvain
1896, 385 387-
4 Revue des deux mondes, 15 octobre 1895, 9 X 7-
328 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
speech on his predecessor. He censured Positivism for
the open contradiction of its principles involved in its
manner of dealing with the idea of God. Positivism
professes to found itself on the actual undeniable facts
of experience, but brushes aside this most positive and
undeniable of all facts, namely, that humanity as a whole
has always believed in God and found its support in
"The great and obvious gap in the system is its refusal
to give any recognition to that greatest of all positive ideas,
the idea of the Infinite.
"What exists on the other side of the starry heavens?
New stars and new heavens. Be it so ! And out beyond
these, what is there ? This is a question which the human
mind finds itself drawn by an irresistible influence to for-
mulate; it will never cease to ask it. Do we imagine it
possible to come to a final term in space or in time? But
the stage at which we would come to a stop is merely a
vast something, greater than anything that has gone before,
but yet finite; the mind perceives this, and the perception
raises at once the old riddle, which is neither to be solved
nor ignored. It is of no use to say: Out beyond there,
there is time, there is space, magnitude without limit. It is
impossible to rest content with such phrases. The mind that
confesses consciousness of the idea of the Infinite and no
mind can fail to be conscious of it accepts more of the
supernatural than is contained in all the miracles of all the
religions. For the idea of the Infinite has two characteristics ;
it imposes itself on the mind, and it baffles the mind's effort
to comprehend it. When this idea takes possession of the
intellect, nothing remains but to go down humbly on one's
knees. In a mood of almost oppressive reverence and
fear, one comes to beg forgiveness for reason: the whole
mechanism of the mind threatens to leave its accustomed
grooves; one comes near the sublime folly of Pascal. And
this Positivist idea, this root-idea, Positivism brusquely dis-
misses without even assigning a reason. ..."
J. B. CARNOY. R. TH. H. LAftNNEC. 329
Renan was chosen to reply to Pasteur's inaugural
address. The scene had the air of a deliberately arranged
trial of arms between the earnest savant and the brilliant
dilettante. "In this clash of the crystal with the iron
vessel it was assuredly not the latter that came to grief",
wrote Melchior de Vogue 1 .
A biologist of considerable note died on Sept. io th 1899
in the person of Jean Baptiste Carnoy, Teacher
at the University of Louvain 2 . He was the founder
of the new science of Cytology or Cellular Biology,
which takes for subject-matter the cell as such; that
mysterious structure which forms the ultimate basis alike
of animal and of plant life. He was one of the first
to discover the reticular structure of protoplasm. Carnoy
established a review of his science, La Cellule, and an
Institute at Louvain which bears his name.
Carnoy was not only a Catholic but a priest. Before
his appointment to the position of teacher he had been
for eight years cure in a small Belgian parish, and had
shown the most ardent zeal for souls ; during the whole
course of his professorial career he never failed to begin
his lectures with the sign of the cross.
To these names we might add a long list of others,
distinguished in the history of medicine, but we limit
ourselves to one or two. Rene Theodore Hya-
cintheLaennec (f 1826), was the first to employ
auscultation and percussion in the diagnosis of pulmo-
1 G. G i 1 s o n , Eloge funebre de J.-B. Carnoy, in La Cellule
XVII, Lierre-Louvain 1899, I xxxiv. L. Gedoelst, Les progres
de la Biologic cellulaire, in Congres scientifique international des
Catholiques tenu a Paris II, Paris 1888, 543555.
2 J- J- Walsh in The Messenger XXXVIII, New York 1902,
330 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
nary disease. His profoundly religious attitude of mind,
maintained in an atmosphere of indifference and scepti-
cism, was well known to his contemporaries. A story
is told of him which illustrates this in a striking and
slightly humorous fashion. He was travelling with his
wife from Paris to Brest, when their carriage came into
collision with another, and the occupants were thrown
out on the road. There was naturally, a scene of
great confusion, but in due time things were put in
order again. Then Laennec opened his lips for the
first time. He said to his wife: "We left off our Rosary
at such and such a place"; and they calmly resumed
it as if nothing had happened 1 .
"Like so many other masters of medicine, like Ri-
viere, Baillou, Winslow, Bonnet, Baglivi, Morgagni,
Boerhaave, Haller, he was led by his study of the human
frame, the marvellous adaptation of its organs to one
another and to the external world, to admire and love
the Creator of such marvels. His mind was at one with
that of his friend Bayle." 2
Laennec describes his discovery with characteristic
simplicity. Hitherto, he says, two methods of investi-
gation have been employed in the investigation of pulmo-
nary disease, the application of the hand and of the
ear. There are many cases in which neither is success-
ful. For himself he has chanced upon a third and
"In 1816 I was consulted by a young person who was
labouring from the general symptoms of a diseased heart.
1 Traite de 1'auscultation mediate . . . par R.-Th.-H. Laennec. Nouv.
edition . . . augmentee d'une notice hist, sur Laennec. Bruxelles
2 Ante 4.
R. TH. H. LAfiNNEC. 331
In her case, percussion and the application of the hand (what
modern doctors call 'palpation'), were of little service be-
cause of a considerable degree of stoutness. The other
method, that namely of listening to the sounds within the
chest by the direct application of the ear to the chest
wall, being rendered inadmissible by the age and sex of the
patient, I happened to recollect a simple and well-known
fact in acoustics and fancied it might be turned to some
use on the present occasion. The fact I allude to is the
great distinctness with which we hear the scratch of a pin
at one end of a piece of wood on applying our ear to
"Immediately on the occurrence of this idea I rolled a quire
of paper into a kind of cylinder and applied one end of it
to the region of the heart and the other to my ear. I was
not a little surprised and pleased to find that I could thereby
perceive the action of the heart in a manner much more clear
and distinct than I had ever been able to do by immediate
application of the ear.
"From this moment I imagined that the circumstance might
furnish means for enabling us to ascertain the character not
only of the beating of the heart, but of every species of
sound produced by the motion of all the thoracic viscera,
and consequently for the exploration of the respiration, the
voice, the death rattle, and perhaps even the movements of
fluid effused in the pleura or pericardium. With this con-
viction I forthwith commenced at the Necker Hospital a
series of observations from which I have been able to de-
duce a set of new signs of diseases of the chest. These are
for the most part certain, easily perceptible, and calculated,
perhaps, to render the diagnosis of the diseases of the lungs,
heart and pleura as decided and circumstantial as the in-
dications furnished to the surgeon by the finger or the probe,
in the complaints wherein these are of use." l
1 Ami de la religion XXXI, Paris 1822, 118; cf. XLII , Paris
1824, 42: Comme Pascal il s'aneantissait devant la grandeur de
Dieu etc. For Halle's importance cf. G. Cuvier, Recueil des
eloges III, Strasbourg-Paris 1827, 345 360.
33 2 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
Gaspard Laurent Bayle (f 1816), of whom men-
tion has been made, was one of the first physicians
of his day. He made invaluable contributions to the
study of cancer and phthisis. J. N. Halle (f 1822),
one of the pioneers of hygienic science, was, as a notice
from a Catholic pen puts it, "a man of note, not merely
in respect of intellectual achievement, but also in respect
of his religious principles" *. During the Revolution he
displayed magnificent courage; he defended Lavoisier
before his judges, and found a way to reach the sick
in the prisons and convey medical aid to them. To
these names we may add those of G. Dupuytren 2
(f 1834), W. Hufeland (f 1836) a Christian much
honoured in Germany, and Dominiquejean Larrey
(f 1 842), organiser of the modern system of army surgery.
He made an end of the cruel practice of abandoning the
wounded on the field of battle. He was a benefactor
not merely of his own country but of the whole world,
for the French system of ambulance corps was adopted
by all civilized nations. Napoleon I. left Larrey in his
will a legacy of 100000 francs characterising him as
"the most virtuous man I ever knew. He left in my
mind the image of the really good man". His edi-
fying death showed to all the world that the great
benefactor of so many wounded and dying soldiers
shared the faith of the simplest and most humble-minded
Christian 3 .
1 Journal historique et litteraire I, Liege 1834, 439.
2 Ch. W. Hufeland , Esquisse de sa vie et de sa mort chre-
tiennes par A. de Stourdza, Berlin 1837; extract from Rev. ger-
manique 3 serie X, Paris 1837, 34 54.
3 A peine instruit de la grdvite du mal qui le saisissait, . . . M. le
baron Larrey a voulu confier sa vie a Dieu et recourir aux sacre-
JOSEPH HYRTL. 333
Other names that should at least be mentioned are
those of Joseph Claude Recamier 1 (f 1852); James
Young Simpson 2 (f 1870), the first to make use of
chloroform in surgery; WilhelmBaum 3 (f 1883);
Richard Von Volkman n 4 (f 1889); Jules Emile
Pean 5 (f 1898); Joseph Hyrtl (f 1894).
Hyrtl was born in 1810 at Eisenstadt in Hungary,
in 1836 he became a University teacher at Prague,
and in 1845 at Vienna. He published an immense
number of papers on points and problems of Anatomy,
and a text-book of his science which ran to twenty
editions and was translated into many foreign languages.
When, in 1865, the fifth centenary of the University of
Vienna was to be celebrated, Hyrtl was elected Rector.
It was in the fitness of things that the greatest name
in science at Vienna should be prominently associated
ments de 1'Eglise qu'il a regus avec cetle foi des camps qui ne con-
nait ni examen ni incertitude. Ami de la religion CXIV , Paris
1 P. Triaire, Recamier et ses contemporains, Paris 1899.
2 Lexikon der hervorragenden Arzte aller Zeiten X, Wien und
Leipzig 1887, 416.
3 Allgemeine deutsche Biographic XLVI 252 253.
4 "Zur Idealitat seines Wesens gehorte . . . vor allem seine wahre
Frommigkeit, welche ohne Prunk und ohne Bekenntniseifer doch aus
defer Uberzeugung von der Erlosungskraft des Christentums entsprungen
war und die Welt seiner Gedanken auch in seinem Berufe und seiner
Forschung durchdrang und belebte ; ein neuer Beweis ftir den alten
Satz, dafi die halbe Wissenschaft von Gott hinweg, die ganze zu ihm
fiihrt. Es war ihm aber mit stiller Aufnahme des Christentums nicht
genug, sondern er empfand und verfolgte den Drang, das Verhaltnis
zwischen Wissen und Glauben wiederholt zu durchdenken und beide
in sich selbst harmonisch zu verbinden." FedorKrause in Leo-
poldina XXVI, Halle 1890, 44.
5 Cosmos, 5 fevr. 1898, 163.
334 IX. PHYSIOLOGY.
with the celebration. Hyrtl took up the office of Rector
on October I st 1864 and chose for the subject of his
Inaugural Address: "The Materialistic Theories of our
It was certainly not the first pronouncement made
by men of science against materialism. But the condem-
nation by a man of Hyrtl's reputation of this favourite
child of the modern mind, delivered amid all the pomp
and solemnity of the public fete, attracted unusual
attention, and aroused a storm of controversy in the
Liberal Press of Vienna. We can understand the violent
and angry abuse heaped on Hyrtl by his critics if we
read his speech. He thrust materialism bodily aside as
unscientific, and protested against the procedure of those
who sought to make science responsible for this "extra-
vagant expression of a system of thought that has
allowed itself to be betrayed and benighted on a
"To sum up..." said Hyrtl 2 , "I cannot understand what
scientific grounds have justified the resurrection of the old
materialistic theories of Epicurus and Lucretius, or have assured
to them a universal and permanent empire over the human
mind. Observation and experience speak no more in their
favour to-day than they ever did; the exact methods of
modern science, so properly eulogised, have not led to any
discovery that makes materialism easier of acceptance. It
is now what it was then, a speculative hypothesis and no
"cognitio certa ex principiis certis", to use the Roman orator's
1 Reprinted in Allgemeine Biicherei, herausgeg. von der oster-