The following Lectures were delivered at the Hahnemann Hospital during the sessions 1852-3. At the request of several of those who heard them, I have consented to their publication ; and in order to render them more worthy of being presented to my colleagues and those desirous of obtaining a knowledge of the history and developments of Homoeopathy, I have carefully revised the original manuscripts and made considerable additions, so as to render them as complete as possible, and bring them up to the date of publication. I have endeavored to lay before the reader everything of interest and importance connected with the progress of Homoeopathy, in a theoretical and practical point of view, that has appeared in the literature of our own and of other countries. I have given as succinct and correct an account as I could of the views and statements of the principal writers on Homoeopathy, and this I was generally enabled to do at first hand, having access to a pretty extensive homoeopathic library. Where I have been unable to refer to the original sources, I have availed myself of the abstracts contained in some of the German journals and works on Homoeopathy, more especially the last work of the late Dr. Griesselich, whose resumes of the opinions of others I have found wonderfully correct in almost every case where I have compared them with the originals.
I trust this little work may prove of use to the homoeopathic student, if not by any originality of the views put forward in it, at least by presenting him with a tolerably accurate coup d’œil of the various steps in the progressive development of Homoeopathy, and that, besides showing him the right directions in which the homoeopathic art must be developed and perfected, it may serve to warn him from the false paths pursued by many of the nominal adherents of Homoeopathy, which only lead to extravagance and the abnegation of all science.
For the imperfections of the work I must crave the reader’s indulgence. The subject is a large and a difficult one, and it is far from improbable that I may have been mistaken in many of the conclusions I have drawn, and of the opinions I have expressed, however careful and conscientious I have been. Haply, some one more competent to execute the task I have essayed may hereafter write a better treatise on the homoeopathic system, and profit by my very failings and errors to render his work more perfect and worthier of the importance of the subject.
In the meantime, and until a more complete treatise shall appear, I believe that the English homoeopathist will find in the following pages many things bearing upon the theory and practice of Homoeopathy which will be novel, and, I hope, interesting to him.
LONDON, December, 1853.