William Dealtry.

The laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society online

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men from destruction, from wasting their fortunes, from
sickness and pain, from throwing away their lives, health,
time, and substance.

"The method of compounding medicines can never be
reconciled with common sense. Experience shows that
one thing will cure most disorders as well as twenty. Then
why add the other nineteen to swell the apothecary's bill.
Nay, possibly, on purpose to prolong the distemper, that
the doctor and he may divide the spoil." *

These are a few of Mr. Wesley's remedies, some of which
he tried on himself successfully :

For an ague. Go into the cold water bath before the
cold fit. Never bathe on a full stomach. Go to bed and
sweat after the bath,

Asthma. Take a pint of cold water every night when
you lie down. Vomit by taking a quart of warm water.
The more you drink the better.

Hooping- Cough. Use the cold water bath daily.

Cholera Morbus, or flux and vomiting Drink two or three
quarts of cold water, or a drink of vinegar and water.

A Cold. Drink a pint of cold water, or add a spoonful
of molasses. Tried.

A Colic. Drink a pint of cold water. Tried.

* Sentences here and there are taken from Mr.W's book j the words are his.


An Inveterate Cough. Wash the head in cold water every
morning, or use the cold bath.

The Dropsy. Use the cold bath daily after purging.

A Fever. Drink a quart of cold water in the beginning
of any fever. It is safe and sure. Lie down when taken.

Weak Eyes. Wash the head daily with cold water.

The Measles. Drink only thin water gruel, or milk and
water, or toast and water.

The Rheumatism. Use the cold water bath with rubbing
and sweating.

A Sprain. Hold the part two hours in very cold water.

The Scurvy. Live on turnips for a month, or an entire
milk diet for six months, or lemon juice and sugar.

A Sore Throat. Take a pint of cold water and lie down.

For Worms. Use the juice of lemons.

A Flux. Use the cold bath daily, and drink water from
the spring largely, taking nothing else till it stops.

Consumption has been cured by cold bath. A consump-
tive man was advised to drink water gruel without sugar or
salt. In three weeks he was well. Use as a drink cold water
and new milk. To each quart add two ounces of sugar.

A middle-aged man drank five quarts of cider every day,
and was cured of a dropsy, supposed to be incurable, in a
few weeks. A farmer, aged seventy, was given over to die.
Being desperate, he drank three quarts of cold water every
twenty-four hours. His whole food was sea biscuit. For
sixteen days he seemed worse; then he had watery dis-
charges for a week, and was soon well.

The Gravel. Eat abundantly of spinage, or drink largely
of warm water sweetened with honey, or peach-leaf tea, or
infuse an ounce of wild parsley seeds in a pint of white wine,
for twelve days. Drink a glass of it, fasting daily, for three
months. To prevent its return, breakfast on agrimony tea.


It cured me [Mr. Wesley] twenty years ago, nor have I
had the least symptom of it since.

Mr. Wesley says: "A prejudice prevails, that fruits are
noxious in a dysentery. Whereas, ripe fruits, of whatever
species, especially summer fruits, are the real preservatives
from it. They thin down the thick bile. Ripe fruits are
the true solvents of it. They may bring on purging, but
such as guard against dysentery.

" We had an extraordinary abundance of fruit, in 1759,
and in 1760, and scarcely any dysenteries. Whenever dys-
enteries prevail, I eat less meat and more fruit ; and sev-
eral physicians adopted this caution with the same success.
I have seen eleven patients in one house with the dysentery,
of whom nine ate fruit and recovered. The grandmother
managed a child her own way, with burnt wine and spices,
but no fruit. She conducted herself in the very same man-
ner, and both died.

u In a country seat near Berne, in 1751, the flux made
great havoc, and the people were warned against the use of
fruits. Ten out of eleven persons ate plentifully of plums,
and not one of them was seized with it. The poor coach-
man alone rigidly observed that abstinence, and took a ter-
rible dysentery.

"This distemper had nearly destroyed a Swiss regiment,
in a garrison, in the south of France ; the captains then
purchased a vineyard, where they carried the sick soldiers,
and gathered grapes for them. After this not one died, nor
were any more attacked with the dysentery.*

* In 1866, the cholera prevailed in Cincinnati. Said a shop-mate to the
writer, "I am sick, I will go home." He had the cholera j his mistaken
friends gave him brandy and pepper. I prepared him, aided by another, for his
coffin. Around my home three died with this disease. I had the diarrhea
come on me, I took two lemons and a bunch of grapes. I have not much
faith in the physician's skill. I had once a diarrhea when many were dying


"A clergyman was seized with a dysentery, which was
not mitigated in the least by any medicines he had taken.
By mere chance he saw some red currants. He took a fancy
to them, and eat three pounds in two hours in the morning.
He became better that very day, and the next day was en-
tirely well.'*

"In modern times it is the fortune of an unlettered peas-
ant to work marvels in the healing art, and to deprive it of its
air of mystery. The name of Priessnitz belongs to history.
He is remembered by those whom he has restored to health,
and taught to avoid suffering by his water-cure. He has
been the means of working out a great change in the pre-
venting and the curing of diseases. Future generations
will bless the peasant philosopher for his untiring labors.
His birthplace was on the mountains of Grafenberg, in
Silesia, in Austria. At twenty he managed a small farm,
and was capable of great exertion. During the latter part
of his life his drink was water. Most of his reflections and
observations are directed by common sense.

"The first idea he had of the healing power of water was
from a man in some iron-works, who used it for burns and
injuries. He began to reflect on health and disease. He
noticed that the ruddy-faced and bare-footed plowman did
not complain of head or stomach aches, and he was unac-

with this disease. I invited a physician to heal me. He gave me " blue-mass,"
which, he said, made me worse. He paid me eight visits, and gave me many
medicines. Then he left me, saying, "I must take laudanum." Another doctor
gave me twenty doses of rhubarb and morphine. I was as weak as a child.
The thought came into my mind, if I would live like a child I should get up
again. I made a vow I would throw the medicines away, and live a week on
milk. I was, at the end of the week, able to work. Another time I was a
great sufferer from this very painful complaint, and I cured it by drinking
daily a quart of cider. I was well in a week. The idea was obtained by
reading a newspaper. The theory of this disease is the digestive organs need
repairs. The juices of fruits help wonderfully.


quainted with anxiety or the blues; and that after being
wet for hours, he did not take cold or shiver. He also
observed those who had gone through the dissipations of
Vienna, or who had passed a studious life in warm rooms.
He also observed the dairy-maid, the seamstress, and the
fine lady, who seldom walked. From these contrasts he
formed his notions of health, life, and disease. He began
practicing on the injuries and slight ailments of his neigh-
bors, applying his compresses, warm or cold, according to
the state of the inflammation. To this he added sponging
different parts, and sometimes the whole body, with water,
with plain diet, and water drinking at the same time.

" In the midst of these trials a wagon went over him,
and broke some of his ribs. Two practitioners of the vil-
lage gave him no hope of recovery. He took the resolution
of trying his own plan. He recovered very rapidly. His
cure made a sensation, after such an unfavorable opinion.
Many now applied for advice, and he made many cures. It
gave him an opportunity of studying the phenomena of dis-
ease, and the different effects produced by water. From this
he formed a theory, and contrived new modes of applying
his remedies to gain certain results.

"The powerful aid of sweating dwelt on his mind, and
he contrived the plan of enveloping his patients in blankets.
This answered his views, when properly used and followed
by a bath. This was not attended with any debility and it
relieved the internal organs, and the constitutional powers.
He was puzzled how to treat the critical phenomena,
which took place during the water treatment, and here the
water-cure has gained by being thrown on its own resources.
Had he been licensed to use medicines, in many of his di-
lemmas he probably would have resorted to them, instead
of finding out a surer and safer plan of treatment the di-


versified modes of using water. He was also dissatisfied
with his imperfect plan of treating fevers and inflammations.
By continual reflection, he arrived at the process of envel-
oping in the wet sheet, the crowning discovery of the water
cure. With the aid of this valuable remedy, he was able
to modify his treatment as he pleased. He soon discovered
its powerful effects, when used in the treatment of chronic

"All this however did not go on smoothly, or without
obstacles. He was denounced as an unlicensed and dan-
gerous impostor. He was fined, and his treatment was sus-
pended. Confident in the goodness of his cause, and backed
by numerous patients, he appealed against the sentence, and
it was set aside. Priessnitz and his system became impor-
tant. It attracted the attention of the government at Vienna.
A commission of medical men went to inquire into the new
water-cure. Old Baron Turkheim, at the head of the med^-
ical department was at the head of this, a man of spirit, and
learning. On his return to Vienna, at the medical society,
he was asked 'what he thought of the new charlatanism/
He replied, 'Priessnitz is an honest man, and no impostor,
and his mode of treatment is superior to ours. Believe me,
gentlemen, we have much to learn from this countryman.'
This made the sages of Vienna angry at the founder of the
water-cure. Those who left their care and went to this
water-cure returned with perfect health.

"The commission analyzed the water to discover its
mystic virtue ! They found it was spring water! They ex-
amined the sponges with great care, to see if they contained
any secret remedies. He was now taken under the protec-
tion of the government, and a policeman was stationed at
his hospital, to note the number of the patients, and repor.t
the deaths, and other results of the treatment. Up to 1841,


he had treated 7,219 strangers, and there had been thirty-
nine deaths.* Some of these died before commencing the
treatment, and were in a dangerous condition. This peas-
ant doctor made $750,000. Nobles and the sons of kings
were among his patients. "f

There was a ship from Africa, laden with blacks, des-
tined for Cuba. They overpowered the crew, and com-
pelled them to steer for home. This ship was picked up
on the coast of Connecticut. It was resolved by some
good people to send these Mendians back to Africa. Mr.
George Thompson of Ohio became their missionary. In
his "Observations on Africa," he says: "To take medicine
is unnecessary. In the most violent attacks of fever, pure
water, well administered, is more salutary than the whole list
of medicines. Rightly applied, it relieves pain in the head,
bowels, and limbs ; it purges or vomits ; it strengthens, en-
livens, and invigorates; it carries safely through the fever.
All persons going to live in Africa, should acquire the true
principles of hydropathy.'

General Havelock, in India, could get no relief from his
chronic sickness. The English physicians in that country
could do him no good. When he went to England, none
could help him there. He then made a pilgrimage to the Si-
lesian peasant's hospital to be cured. In a letter to a friend
he says-: U I can hardly describe to you how much I have
already gained by these potations and immersions. * * * * I
am to devour eight pounds of grapes per diem." His bi-
ographer adds: "What with the grapes and hydropathy to-
gether he rallied yet more sensibly, and became compara-
tively a vigorous, healthy man." J

* Among 100 well persons three die in a year. A good test of Mr. P's skill.
3?fThe practice of Water-cure, by Dr. J. Wilson. Fowler & Wells, 1855.
J Life of Wm. Havelock, by Rev.Wm. Brock. Carter & Brother, 1858


Volney, in his travels in the United States, says : "I have
been attacked with an habitual flux in Georgia, in conse-
quence of fatigue. In whatever climate it originates, it
yields to no remedy. No astringent was of any use to me,
not even rhubarb and ipecacuanha was of any service to me.
I took doses of opium. The relief was momentary. Where
plums grew, by eating this excellent fruit I was relieved for
that season ; and no sooner was I obliged to abandon this
fruit, the disease prevailed again. The cold bath I found of
some benefit to me." *

Thomas Jefferson said: "A physician was one who put
medicines, that he knew but little about, into a human stom-
ach that he knows nothing about." Such were his prejudices
against this class, that he was unwilling for his young rela-
tives to enter the profession.

Says the "-Democratic Review : " IC Among the allopathic
medicines in common use, we have the parafyzers, aconitic
and hemlock ; the convulsive*, strychnia and prussic acid; and
the delirafacients are henbane, stramonium, and the deadly
night-shade seven poisons of the most virulent and sud-
den in the whole kingdom of nature. Using these, we can
only wonder that the virus of the rattlesnake, or the saliva
of hydrophobia was not added to the list, and dealt out
to suffering invalids on the authority of formal receipts.
Next to these we have the less active, but still powerful
poisons, opium, cinchona, digitalis, scammony, gamboge,
hellebore, croton oil, colocynth, and a long list of vegetable
poisons, as if the whole vegetable kingdom had been ran-
sacked ; and when any substance was found, fetid to the
smell, nauseous to the taste, and deadly in its action, it fol-
lows that men must take it for medicine for health."

*A view of the climate and soil of the United States, by C. F. Volney.
Page 309. Conrad, publisher. Philadelphia, 1804.


The " Scientific American " tells us that a blister made in
the hand by a hoe, or some other implement of industry,
will cure sickness. This seems to have been a remedy of
Mr. Lyman Beecher, to work away the symptoms of sick-
ness, by working on some land. This seems to be true. If
we become indolent, and keep on the sofa, we shall be sick.
Oliver Goldsmith was a literary physician, a class, people
think, are not good at healing. At one time he sent a sick
person a round box, labeled to be taken as often as necessi-
ties require it. It contained ten pieces of gold.

It can not be denied that mankind need a class to be so
skilled that they can amputate a limb, sew up an artery, or
trepan a dented skull. This is no evidence that physicians
should be so numerous. Select one or two in a town, and
give them all the custom, who will make you well quicker,
and, perhaps, charge you less. Dr. Abernethy had a large
practice to make $100,000 a year. People had to be brief
when they came to him. A lady showed him her finger
He said "a poultice." She came again and showed it
and said, " Better ; how much do you charge ?" The reply
was, " Nothing ; you have the art of holding your tongue."
He used to tell some to earn sixpence a day, and live on it.

Bulwer said a physician "was one who relieved you of
your money, not of your malady." In his " Confessions
on the Water-Cure," which contains a description how he
was cured by water when the physician failed, he says :
"A little reflection taught me the learned professions are not
disposed to favor innovation on that which is sacred in their
eyes. A physician can not be expected to own that a Si-
lesian peasant can cure with water the diseases that resist
an armament of phials. I threw physic to the dogs." *

* The reader is referred to the books of Fowlers & Wells, hydropathic pub-
lishers, city of New York, for that knowledge to enable him to cure himself.


The advent of Jesus Christ into the world is the most re-
markable event in its history. At the present time, fully a
fifth of the human race believe in his name. He was full
of kindness, benignity, and devotion to men. His object was
to benefit them on earth and in heaven. His career was an
extraordinary one. His death was very painful. He was the
victim of prejudice and superstition. He came to level the
galling distinctions of human society ; to make the painful
inequalities of life to cease; to add what was lacking in the
Jewish law ; to make the moral laws of man complete. He
showed how absurd was the Jewish law of retaliation. In its
place he gave the law of kindness and forbearance. He
came to give men light for their darkness, happiness for
their fears. Men desired immortality. He showed them it
could be obtained, and there was an inheritance beyond the
grave. He upbraided mankind for their wickedness, lux-
ury, and superstition. In him there was no hypocrisy or
dissimulation, no sin or vice, no desire to be rich.

That he was a reformer, may be inferred from the lan-
guage of his commission: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon
me ; because he hath chosen me to preach the Gospel to the
poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach
deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the
blind, and to set at liberty them that are bruised. " [Luke,
ch. iv., v. 1 8.] For this kindness to the human race, men
should adore and love him. There have appeared many re-
formers who loved the human race, and gave them noble
precepts for their moral conduct. The precepts of Jesus
are nobler than them all.

Plato wrote the scheme of a republic, in which the law
should watch over the equal distribution of the external in-
struments of unequal power, honors, property, etc.

Confucius said: "If a state is governed by the principles


of reason, poverty and misery are the subjects of shame ; if
a state is not governed by the principles of reason, riches
and honors are the subjects of shame."

Diogenes devised a noble and worthy plan of opposition
to the system of master and slave. He said : "It is in the
power of each individual to level the inequality which is the
topic of the complaint of mankind. Let him be aware of
his own worth, and the station he occupies in the scale of
moral beings. Diamonds and gold, palaces and scepters,
derive their value from the opinion of mankind. The only
sumptuary law which can be imposed on the use and fab-
rication of these instruments of mischief and deceit, these
symbols of successful injustice, is the law of opinion. Every
man possesses the power, in this respect, to legislate for him-
self. Let him be well aware of his own worth 'and moral
dignity. Let him yield in meek reverence to any worthier
or wiser than he, so long as he accords no veneration to the
splendor of his apparel, the luxury of his food, the multi-
tude of his flatterers and slaves. It is because ye value and
seek the empty pageantry of wealth and social power that
ye are enslaved to its possessions. Decrease your physical
wants ; learn to live, like the beasts of the forest and the
birds of the air, so far as nourishment and shelter is con-
cerned ; ye will not need to complain that other individu-
als of your species are surrounded by the diseases of sub-
serviency and oppression."

Jesus of Nazareth saw that the majority of men were in
poverty and ignorance, gratifying the luxury of many at the
expense of their comfort. These few did not try to govern
their own evil passions. They sought to gain majesty, rank,
wealth, and power over the weaker part of men. It was for
these proud ones that these precepts were given, to bring
them to a better feeling, to teach love and kindness to men.


He opened his mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed
are the poor in spirit : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after right-
eousness : for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peace-makers : for they shall be called the
children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness*
sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute
you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for
my sake.

How grand ! How noble ! How sublime are these pre-
cepts ! A belief in them makes men love and pity their
race, and not trample upon them, nor regard them as beasts
of burden to ride into power, or stepping stones to ease and
leisure. The eloquence of Jesus was directed to the en-
slaving vices of mankind that have made them miserable
for ages. Nations had warred against nations, they had em-
ployed the ingenuity of men for destroying property, and
lives. Instead of one grand community, mankind were di-
vided into many, each so organized that they could ruin
one another. To carry out these plans required that mill-
ions of sensitive beings should suffer agony and want.

How much superior are these precepts to the meaning-
less, inexplicable code that councils make for us to square
our lives by, and which needs an interpreter. Men are
destitute; and were law-makers, interpreters, and judges to
do something else, some misery would disappear. It is only
during the past four hundred years that men have had a


printed code to refer to. The time was when the decis-
ion of the magistrate was common law. He was supposed
to be full of piety, justice, and wisdom. An analysis of law
cases show that they are the disputes of men worth millions
with those worth nothing ; those worth four thousand with
those worth forty dollars, or some other extreme. If the
usages of society were different, or the laboring man was
more enlightened, the future creations of labor would be re-
tained more by those who make them. The inequalities of
life cause endless lawsuits, which will cease when the poor
possess more.

Crimes and wrongs are on the increase in this Republic.
Legislation is an attempt to provide against the mistakes of
men, and to assign penalties for injuries ; it destroys as
much as it preserves. The command of Jesus Christ is,
u Love your enemies ; bless them that curse you, that you
may be the sons of your Heavenly Father." If men would
obey this command, be forgiving and forbearing they would
be happier and better.

An Athenian soldier accidently set fire to the city of Sar-
dis. It was burned to the ground. The Persians retal-
iated on Athens. They assembled successive expeditions
on the most extensive scale. Athens was burned to the
ground, the territory was laid waste, and every living thing
destroyed. The Persians desisted when not able to do any
more mischief. Alexander retaliated by destroying Persia.
If men would be forgiving, how much happier the world
would be. If the sums or the time that is spent in war,
were employed in promoting the welfare of man, how dif-
ferent would be human society !

" Be ye perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect." If
men will obey this sentence, it is better than volumes of
laws. To understand the whole moral duty of man, the


Decalogue must be studied, of which one single precept,
strikes at the root of all wrongs: "Thou shalt not covet."

The followers of Christ after his death, or "They that
believed, were together, and had all things common; and
sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men,
as every man had need. And they continuing daily with
one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house
to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of
heart, praising God." [Acts, ch. 2., v. 45].

This was a severe blow to pride, to ample possessions, to
costly food and raiment, and to magnificent rooms. No

Online LibraryWilliam DealtryThe laborer; a remedy for his wrongs; or, A disquisition on the usages of society → online text (page 20 of 33)