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Daily experience and observation testify, that, both through function and sympathy, the digestive organs are closely and powerfully connected with the heart, lungs, and brain. Without a sufficient amount of sound and well matured chyle, wholesome blood cannot be prepared in the quanity required for the uses of the system. And without such a stock of blood, neither vivification nor nourishment can be competently effected, and the brain, in common with other organs, must fail in its functions. Be the substance and nature of the vital principle, what they may, and from whatever source that principle may be derived, the arterial blood possesses it, and implants it in the solids of the body. Hence, other things being alike, the higher the pitch to which the vitalization of the blood is carried, the higher is the vitalization of the whole system; and, as far as consists with health, the greater the accumulation of arterial blood in any particular portion of the system, the higher is the vitality of that portion, and the more vigorous is its action. And this is as true of the train and whole nervous system, as of other organs. That the brain therefore may possess the fullest amount of vitality, and the amplest power of action, of which it is susceptible, it must be supplied with as large an amount of well arterialized blood, as comports with its health. To express myself in plainer and more definite terms; what is true of every other organ, is equally so of the brain. To bestow on it the utmost power and activity of which it is susceptible, an actual orgasm, or state of vital erection must be produced in in it, by a thorough impregnation of it with arterial blood. The correctness of this position is easily proved. Passion, as already observed, consists in a state of the highest cerebral excitement that can co-exist with health ; and it is the source of consummate mental energy and action. Let, therefore, a

dog, a cat, a buck, or any other animal, be suddenly killed, during a paroxysm of rage, and its brain be examined, and the organ will be found almost as deeply injected with blood, as if it were in a state of actual inflammation.

To produce in the nervous system then, including the brain, the highest degree of power and activeness, of which it is susceptible, the work must be commenced in the chylopoetic organs. Those organs must be supplied with a suitable amount of wholesome and nutritious food. And care must be taken, that the amount be kept within the bounds of temperance. Thus will the organs, besides being invigorated themselves by salutary and natural exercise, produce, for the formation of blood, the necessary quantity of well-prepared chyle. For the conversion of this into wholesome blood, the lungs, in addition to a due degree of exercise and excitement by talking, declaiming, shouting, singing, and other forms of muscular action, must be liberally supplied with fresh and unvitiated atmospherical air. The same general muscular exercise that gives strength and activity to the lungs, produces a similar effect on the heart, and qualifies it for a vigorous circulation of the blood. And by such circulation the brain is injected with arterial blood sufficient in amount to invigorate it and prepare it for the extension of its influence, in return for what it has thus received from them, to the lungs, heart, and digestive organs, in common with all other parts of the body.

Such are the mutual influences and dependencies of the three leading groupes of organs of the body, by means of their functions. Their connexions by sympathy are equally stable, and their influences on one another, through that channel, more prompt and powerful in their immediate effects, Where one individual perishes from derangement of the func

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tional influences of those organs, (that of hemorrhagy alone excepted,) thousands perhaps perish by the action of their sympathies. And the same is true in relation to recoveries and cures.

The number of diseases removed by sympathy is immeasurably greater than the number successfully treated through the medium of function—but when both are brought into action, the influence is the greater, and the issue the more speedy, certain, and salutary.

But I have not yet stated fully and circumstantially what I mean by the phrase, “the action and influence of the nervous system.” A few remarks to that effect therefore will now be in place.

This subject presents itself in several different divisions and bearings, and might be somewhat extensively considered under each of them, though my observations at present respecting it must be brief. It stands equally related to health and disease; and, in each of those conditions of the system, is connected alike with the operations and phenomena of the body and the mind. It is equally concerned moreover with the production, prevention, and cure of disease.

In health the range of nervous influence is co-extensive with that of the body itself. In every part of the system it is manifested and felt. Its most striking manifestation, as respects the body, is made by muscular motion, voluntary and involuntary. More or less however it is concerned in every form of vital action-I mean in the system of man, and in the systems of those animals that most nearly approach him in organization and character. In vegetables, and in many of the lower tribes of animals, a system of nerves exerts no influence, because it has no existence in them. In man however, and in other grades of animated nature where that system is developed, its influence takes part in digestion and chylification, absorption, nutrition, the arterialization of the blood, calorification, sleeping, waking, and dreaming, secretion, excretion, and growth. Were this statement contested, its proof would be ready; and, as part of it, the following may be received as satisfactory and conclusive. Destroy or paralyze the nerves belonging to any part of the body, and the processes just specified are impaired or extinguished in it.

In disease the nervous system is deeply involved in apoplexy, palsy, epilepsy, St. Vitus's dance, hysteria, tetanus, hydrophobia, colic, and every other form of convulsive and spasmodic affection. In these complaints it is chiefly the brain, spinal marrow and cerebro-spinal nerves that are concerned. They at least are most obviously and strikingly concerned. And in all febrile diseases, whether slight or severe, the ganglionic nerves are necessarily deranged. There is reason to believe, that in every complaint, some portion of the nervous system is primarily assailed, as constituting essentially the out-posts of the body. Nor is it less true that all curative articles make their first impression immediately on the nerves, especially the ganglionic nerves, which are instrumental in the production of organic susceptibility; and the impression passes to other parts of the system chiefly by sympathy.

In its connexion with the mind, the nervous system, especially the brain, both prevents and produces a variety of diseases. That organ, as has been heretofore observed, is the immediate instrument of the mental affections. And in protecting the system from certain complaints, and also in their production, some of those affections have great influence. Thus, during the prevalence of yellow fever, oriental plague, Asiatic cholera, and other epidemics, habitual timidity predis



poses to those maladies, and a paroxysm of fear very often excites them. And calmness, firmness, and steady resolution are among their most efficient preventives. The operation of hope, by producing habitual cheerfulness, and a belief in the probability of escape, is also a very valuable safe-guard, unless it give rise to a want of precaution, leading to uncalledfor and perilous exposure. Hence, during the devastation of pestilential epidemics, those individuals (and for the honor of our race they are númerous) who calmly and fearlessly mingle with the sick, and minister with kindness and assiduity to their wants—such persons I say very generally escape the malady; while the fearful and the agitated, who shut themselves up in their own dwellings, shrink from the approach of a nurse or a physician who has visited in the house of sickness, turn pale at the sight of a herse or a coffin, and are startled by the sound of a funeral bell—these tremblers are far the most uniform subjects of attack. The reason is plain. Fear debilitates their systems in all respects, and very especially in their prophylactic powers. To such an extent is this true, that the heroic philanthropists, here alluded to have been often supposed by the multitude, and always by the most credulous portion of it, to be in possession of some protective medicine or talisman, or to be under the immediate protection of Heaven. But, as respects either reputed source of safety, the supposition is not only groundless, but superstitious and silly. The prophylactic charm is altogether mental. It is a compound of calmness and prudence, temperance, resolution, cheerfulness, and active engagement. I say “active engagement;" for, on such occasions, action is infinitely preferable to inaction. The former strengthens the system in all its powers; while the latter enfeebles it. And those who are engaged and interested in business, have no leisure to listen

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