It is interesting to notice in the histories of our Lord the prominent place given to the care of the sick. "When he first sent out the apostles, it was to heal the sick as well as to preach. Again, when he sent out the seventy, their first command was to "heal the sick," and next to say, "the kingdom of God has come nigh unto you." The body was to be healed first, in order to attend to the kingdom of God, even when it was " brought nigh."

Jesus Christ spent more time and labor in the cure of men's bodies than in preaching, even if we subtract those labors with his earthly father by which family homes were provided. When he ascended to the heavens, his last recorded words to his followers, as given by Mark, were, that his disciples should "lay hands on the sick," that they might recover. Still more directly is the duty of care for the sick exhibited in the solemn allegorical description of the last day. It was those who visited the sick that were the blessed; it was those who did not visit the sick who were told to "depart." Thus are we abundantly taught that one of the most sacred duties of the Christian family is the training of its inmates to care and kind attention to the sick.

Every woman who has the care of young children, or of a large family, is frequently called upon to advise what shall be done for some one who is indisposed, and often in circumstances where she must trust solely to her own judgment. In such cases, some err by neglecting to do any thing at all till the patient is quite sick; but a still greater number err from excessive and injurious dosing.

The two great causes of the ordinary slight attacks of illness in a family are, sudden chills, which close the pores of the skin, and thus affect the throat, lungs, or bowels; and the excessive or improper use of food. In most cases of illness from the first cause, bathing the feet, retiring to a warm bed, and some hot aperient drink to induce perspiration, are suitable remedies.

In case of illness from improper food, or excess in eating, fasting for one or two meals, to give the system time and chance to relieve itself, is the safest remedy. Sometimes a gentle cathartic of castor-oil may be needful; but it is best first to try fasting. A safe relief from injurious articles in the stomach is an emetic of warm water; but to be effective, several tumblerfuls must be given in quick succession, and till the stomach can receive no more.

The following extract from a discourse of Dr. Borne, before the London Medical Society, contains important information: "In civilized life, the causes which are most generally and continually operating in the production of diseases are, affections of the mind, improper diet, and retention of the intestinal excretions. The undue retention of ex-crementitious matter allows of the absorption of its more liquid parts, which is a cause of great impurity to the blood, and the excretions, thus rendered hard and knotty, act more or less as extraneous substances, and, by their irritation, produce a determination of blood to the intestines and to the neighboring viscera, which ultimately ends in inflammation. It also has a great effect on the whole system; causes a determination of blood to the head, which oppresses the brain and dejects the mind; deranges the functions of the stomach; causes flatulency; and produces a general state of discomfort."

Dr. Combe remarks on this subject: "In the natural and healthy state, under a proper system of diet, and with sufficient exercise, the bowels are relieved regularly once every day." Habit "is powerful in modifying the result, and in sustaining healthy action when once fairly established. Hence the obvious advantage of observing as much regularity in relieving the system, as in taking our meals." It is often the case that soliciting nature at a regular period, once a day, will remedy constipation without medicine, and induce a regular and healthy state of the bowels. "When, however, as most frequently happens, the constipation arises from the absence of all assistance from the abdominal and respiratory muscles, the first step to be taken is, again to solicit their aid; first, by removing all impediments to free respiration, such as stays, waistbands, and belts; secondly, by resorting to such active exercise as shall call the muscles into full and regular action;* and lastly, by proportioning the quantity of food to the wants of the system, and the condition of the digestive organs.

"If we employ these means systematically and persever-ingly, we shall rarely fail in at last restoring the healthy action of the bowels, with little aid from medicine. But if we neglect these modes, we may go on for years, adding pill to pill, and dose to dose, without ever attaining the end at which we aim.

" There is no point in which a woman needs more knowledge and discretion than in administering remedies for what seem slight attacks, which are not supposed to require the attention of a physician. It is little realized that purgative drugs are unnatural modes of stimulating the internal organs, tending to exhaust them of their secretions, and to debilitate and disturb the animal economy. For this reason, they should be used as little as possible; and fasting, and perspiration, and the other methods pointed out, should always be first resorted to."

When medicine must be given, it should be borne in mind that there are various classes of purgatives, which produce very diverse effects. Some, like salts, operate to thin the blood, and reduce the system; others are stimulating; and others have a peculiar operation on certain organs. Of course, great discrimination and knowledge are needed, in order to select the kind which is suitable to the particular disease, or to the particular constitution of the invalid. This shows the folly of using the many kinds of pills, and other quack medicines, where no knowledge can be had of their composition. Pills which are good for one kind of disease might operate as poison in another state of the system.