old, to have wrapt up their Secrets in Symbols and Enigmatical Expressions, either because they believed that Mankind would reverence most what they least understood, or because they wrote not from Benevolence, but Vanity, and were desirous to be praised for their Knowledge, though they could not prevail upon themselves to communicate it.

In 1722 his Course both of Lectures and Practice was interrupted by the Gout, which, as he relates it in his Speech after his Recovery, he brought upon himself by an imprudent Confidence in the Strength of his own Constitution ; and by transgressing those Rules which he had a thousand Times inculcated to his Pupils and Acquaintance. Rifing in the Morning before Day, he went immediately, hot and sweating, from his Bed into the open Air, and exposed hiinself to the cold Dews.

The History of his Illness can hardly be read without Horror: He was for five Months confined to his Bed, where he lay upon his Back without daring to attempt the least Motion, because any Effort renewed his Torments, which were so exquisite that he was at length not only deprived of Motion, but of Sense. Here Art was at a Stand, nothing could be attempted, because nothing could be proposed with the least Prospect of Success; at length having, in the fixth Month of his lllness, obtained fome Remislion, he took fimple Medicines in large Quantities, and at length wonderfully recovered.

Succos prejjos bibit nofter herbarum Cichoreæ, Endivice, Fumaria, nafturtij aiquatici, Veronica, aquaticæ latifolia, copia ingenti : Simul diglutiens abundantissime gummi férulacea Afiatica.

His Recovery so much defired, and so unexpected, was celebrated on January 11, 1723, when he opened his School again with general joy and publick Illuminations.

It would be an Injury to the Memory of Buerhaave not to mention what was related by himself to one of his Friends, that when he lay whole Days ' and Nights without Sleep, he found no Method of

diverting his Thoughts to effectual as Meditation upon his Studies, and that he often relieved and

mitigated the sense of his I orments, by the Re• collection of what he had read, and by reviewing *thole Stores of Knowledge which he had reposited

in his Memory'

This is perhaps an Instance of Fortitude and steady Composure of Mind which would have been for ever the Boast of the Stoick Schools, and increased the Reputation of Seneca or Cato. The Patience of Boer. baave, as it was more rational, was more lasting than theirs : It was that Patientia Chrijliana, which Lipfius the great Master of the Stoical Philosophy, begged of God in his last Hours, it was founded on Religion not Vanity, not on vain Reasonings, but on Confidence in God.

In 1727 he was seized with a violent burning Fever, which continued so long that he was once more given up by his Friends.

From this Time he was frequently affli&ted with Returns of his Distemper, which yet did not fo får subdue him, as to make him lay alide his Studies or his Lectures, till in 1729 he found himself so worn out, that it was improper for him to continue any longer the Professorships of Botany and Chymistry, which he therefore resigned April 28; and upon his Refignation he spoke a Sermo Academicus, or Oration, in which he aflerts the Power and Wisdom of the Creator, from the wonderful Fabrick of the human Body ; and confutes all those idle Reasoners who pretend to explain the Formation of Parts, or the animal Operations, to which he proves, that Art can produce nothing equal, nor any Thing parallel. Une Instance I shall mention produced by him of


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the Vanity of any Attempt to rival the Works of God. Nothing is more boasted by the Admirers of Chymistry than that they can, by artificial Heat and Digestion, imitate the Productions of Nature. Let 6 all these Heroes of Science meet together,' says Boerhaave, • let them take Bread and Wine, the • Food that forms the Blood of Man, and by Alli• milation contributes to the Growth of the Body: • Let them try all their Arts, they shall not be able from these Materials to produce a single Drop of

Blood.' So much is the most common A&t of Nature beyond the utmost Efforts of the most extended Science.

From this Time Boerhaave lived with less publick Employment indeed, but not an idle or a useless Life; for besides his Hours spent in instructing his Scholars, a great Part of his Time was taken up by Patients, who came when the Diftemper would admit it, from all Parts of Europe to consult him, or did it by Letters, which in more urgent Cases, were continually sent to inquire his Opinion, and ask his Advice.

Of the Sagacity and the wonderful Penetration with which he often discovered and described at the first Sight of a Patient, such Distempers as betray themselves by no Symptoms to common Eyes, such wonderful Relations have been spread over the World, as, though attested beyond doubt, can scarely be credited. I mention none of them, because 'I have no Opportunity of collecting Testimonies, or distinguishing between those Accounts which are well proved, and those which owe their rise to Fiction and Credulity.

Yet I cannot but implore with the greatest Earneltness such as have been conversant with this great Man, that they will not so far neglect the common Interest of Mankind, as to suffer any of these Circumstances to be loft to Pofterity. Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the Industry of others, by calling that imposible, which is only difficult. The Skill to which Poor's haave attained by a long and unwearied Observation of Nature, ought therefore to be transmitted in all its Particulars to future Ages, that his Successors, may be alhamed to fall below him, and that none may hereafter excufe his Ignorance, by pleading the Impoflibility of clearer Knowledge.

Yet fo far was this great Mafier from presumptuous Confidence in his Abilities, that in his Exa-mination of the Sick he was remarkably Circumftantial and Particular. He well knew that the Ori.. ginals of Distempers are often at a Distance from their visible Effects; that to acquiesce in Conjecture, where Certainty may be obtained, is either Vanity or Negligence, and that Life is not to be facrificed either to an Affectation of quick Discernment, or of crouded Practice, but may be required, if trified away, at the Hand of the Physician.

About the Middle of the Year 1737 he felt the first Approaches of that fatal Illness that brought himn to the Grave ;' of which we have inserted an Ac. count, written by himself, September 1738, to a Friend at London, which deserves not only preserved, as an historical Relation of the Disease which deprived us of fo great a Man, but as a Proof of his Piety and Resignation to the Divine Will. ,

Æras, labor, corporisque opima pinguetudo, effecerant ante annum, ut inertibus refertum, grave, hebes, plenitudine turgens corpus, anhelum ad moius, minimis, cum sensu fuffocationis, pulfu mirifice anomalo, ineptum evaderet ad ullum motum. Urgebat præcipue fubfiftens prorsus et intercepte respiratio ad primi fomni initia : unde fomnus prorsus prohibebatur cum formidabili strangulationis molestia. Hinc hydrops pedum, crurum, femarum, fcroti, præputii & abdominis. Que Vol. II,




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tamen omnia fublata. Sed dolor manet in abdomine Cum anxietate summa anhe.itu fuffocante, & debilitate incredibili. Somno pauce, eoque vago. Per fomnia turbatiffimo. Animus vero rebus ageridis impar. Cum tris lector fellus, neque emergo. Patienter expectans Dei julla, quilus rejigno data, quæ fola amo, et hom noro unice.

In this last Illness, which was to the last Degree lingering, painful, and afiliative, his Constancy and Firnnels did not forsake him. He neither intermitted the neceflary Cares of Life, nor forgot the proper Preparations for Death. Though Dejection and Lowness of Spirit was, as he himself tells us, Part of his Diftemper, yet even this, in some Mea. fure, gave way to that Vigour which the Soul re: ceives from a Consciousness of Innocence.

About three Weeks before his Death be received: a Visit at his Country-house from the Rev. Mr. Schultens, his intimate Friend, who found him fitting without Doors, with his Wife, Sister, and Laughter. After the Compliments of Form, the Ladies withdrew, and left them to private Conversation; when Boerhaave took Occalon to tell him what had been, during his illness, the chief Subject of his Thoughts. He had never doubted of the . fpiritual and immaterial Nature of the Soul, but declared, that he had lately had a Kind of experimental Certainty of the Distinction between corporeal and thinking Substances, which mere Reason and Philofophy cannot afford; and Opportunities of contemplating the wonderful and inexplicable Union of Soul and Body, which nothing but long Sicknefs can give. This he illustrated by a Description of the Effects which the Infirmities of his Body had upon his Faculties, which yet they did not so op. press or vanquish, but his Soul was always Master


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