A treatise on the virtues and efficacy of a crust of bread: eat early in a morning fasting, to which are added some particular remarks concerning the great cures accomplished by the saliva or fasting spittle, ... By Nicholas Robinson, ...


A TREATISE ON THE VIRTUES and EFFICACY OF A CRUST of BREAD, Eat early in a Morning FASTING, To which are added Some particular Remarks concerning the great CURES accompliſhed by the SALIVA or FASTING SPITTLE, as well when externally applied, as when internally given, in the SCURVY, GRAVEL, STONE, RHEUMATISM, and divers other diſeaſes, ariſing from Obſtructions.

With ſome critical Obſervations concerning the RECREMENTS of the BLOOD; demonſtrating, that when regularly ſecreted, they both contribute to preſerve the Life of Animals and keep them in Health.


Member of the Royal College of Phyſicians, and Phyſician to Chriſt's Hoſpital, London.

Neque enim, ulla alia Re, Homines propius ad Deos accedunt, quam Salutem Hominibus dando.



DUBLIN: Printed by JAMES HOEY, at the Mercury in Skinner Row, next Door to the Tholſel.


Diſcovering the great efficacy of the recrements of the body, to the digeſtion of our food, the circulation of the blood, and the ſecretion of the alimentary fluids.


I AM ſenſible that few phyſicians have examined thoſe recrements of the body with that attention, accuracy, and diligence, that a point of ſo great importance requires; and though they are many and divers, yet they all contribute their ſhare to the maceration, attenuation, and digeſtion of our aliments in the mouth; to the greater liquidation of the chyle in the ſtomach and inteſtines; to the more perfect fuſion of the blood in the veins and arteries; and the better ſecretion of the various juices, ſeparated and collected in the different folliculi or receptacles, ſituated in the various organs of the body, and which are ordained by nature, to ſerve very great, and important uſes in the animal oeconomy.

Theſe recrements are diſtinguiſhed from the excrementitious diſcharges, as the latter are thrown out of the body, and of no further uſe in ſupport of the ſeveral reſpective parts of the animal, and which therefore are called the excrements: while the former ſerve many great and neceſſary purpoſes in life; ſo that I queſtion whether any animal circulation, ſecretion, or excretion, could be carried on, without the aſſiſtance of theſe recrements; for all the motions of the chyle, blood, and animal juices, would ſtagnate and ſtand ſtill in an inſtant, were it not for the ſaliva, bile, pancreatic juice, and divers other fluids ſecreted from the arterial blood: And as theſe ſecreted fluids are the main principles that ſupport the life [Page iv] of animals; ſo in the moſt noxious, venomous, and poiſonous creatures, where the great miſchief is done by a bite, and the infuſion of a poiſonous fluid into the wound, as is done by the viper; then, upon reflection, we diſcover that there muſt neceſſarily be a counter poiſon, generated and ſecreted ſomewhere in the body itſelf, to preſerve this noxious animal from the force and deadly effects of its own poiſon.

But of all the various ſeparations and ſecretions, I know none of ſo much conſequence to the body, as that ſecreted liquor, we call the ſaliva, or what is generally meant by the faſting ſpittle, as will more clearly appear when we come to ſpeak of its effects and conſequences upon the bodies of rational animals; for without this ſecreted fluid, we could neither chew our victuals, nor ſwallow our food into the ſtomach, nor digeſt it, after it was there; ſo that all the motions of the body will grow dry, ſtagnate, and be at perpetual reſt, were not our ſeveral aliments mixed, attenuated, and ſufficiently diluted in the mouth, by the penetrating ſalts of the ſalival fluid, before they are ſwallowed down into the ſtomach.

And though of late, we have heard of mighty feats being done by the virtues of crude mercury, tar-water, and divers other quack medicines, ſold up and down this town, with royal patents, and dignified titles; yet I queſtion, whether in the gravel, ſtone, gout, and rheumatiſm, there ever yet was, or at this time is; or in times to come ſhall be diſcovered a medicine more valuable in the foregoing diſeaſes, than what I now offer for the benefit of mankind.

And the patient may aſſure himſelf, that, if theſe rules and cautions, laid down in the following pages, are but rightly purſued, and duly executed, they will mightily contribute, not only to preſerve him in health, but alſo prove extremely efficacious to reſtore that invaluable bleſſing, whenever over powered by the force of a diſeaſe. And, in all theſe caſes, I find little occaſion for the uſe of medicine, provided the patient eats his cruſt punctually in a morning faſting, and is obſerving of the air, diet and exerciſe I have ſet before him.


1.1. SECT. I. Of the Virtues of a Cruſt of Bread, eat early in a morning faſting, with its force and efficacy in relieving the ſcurvy, gravel, ſtone, gout, rheumatiſm, and various other diſeaſes


I AM now going to ſpeak of a remedy ſecond to none, in the cure and relief given in the foregoing diſeaſes: It may indeed ſerve other intentions and purpoſes as far as I know, but in the gravel, ſtone, gout, and rheumatiſm, I know it to be the beſt and ſureſt remedy hitherto diſcovered; and if you join faſting to this noble medicine, I know none more efficacious: Would you know this valuable ſecret, it is abſtinence: I ſay abſtinence;—but by the word abſtinence, I do not mean a mere negative remedy, as if faſting was to do all the work herſelf, by ſuffering nature, in due courſe of time, to reſolve the obſtructions, and, at her leiſure, to digeſt off the viſcid juices and corrupt humours; for abſtinence is only neceſſary as an aſſiſtant, both to improve the operation, and enable the Cruſt of Bread, eat early in a morning faſting, to exert its virtues with more ſalutary effects: For all medicines operate beſt upon an empty ſtomach, and few purging medicines are adviſed, if they are greatly efficacious but that they are preſcribed to be taken in a morning early, and the firſt thing that the patient does; and he is often adviſed not to eat till two or three hours after.

I chuſe to expreſs myſelf, in the vulgar manner of ſpeech, becauſe the viſible relief given in the gravel or ſtone is uſually aſcribed to the Bread alone, and not to any other aſſiſtant remedy mixed with it in the mouth, or in its paſſage to the ſtomach, and ſo into the blood: For it is a truth, eſtabliſhed by conſtant obſervation and experience, that divers perſons, by eating a Cruſt of Bread in a morning early, and faſting two or three hours after it, have received great relief in the gravel; others have declared, that under the ſtone their ſevereſt ſymptoms have been mightily mitigated; and ſome again, under the moſt painful ſymptoms of the gout and rheumatiſm, have found their pains greatly relieved by adhering to this remedy, and applying chewed bread, well moiſtened with the [Page 6] faſting ſaliva, warm to the gouty parts: And I do not ſpeak theſe things of two or three people only, that have accidentally been thus relieved, but of hundreds, nay, I may ſay thouſands, that within my own knowledge, have received great benefit from this invaluable and ſalutary medicine.

Now to examine the main point, and enquire upon what principles this great relief is given; for if we conſider the Bread itſelf, this concrete can have no efficacy, at one time more than another; if the efficacy, I ſay, proceeds from the intrinſical principles of the Bread; for then a Cruſt eat at five or ſix in the afternoon, or at a proper diſtance from our meals, muſt produce the ſame effects upon the urinary paſſages; upon the obſtructions of the joints and membranes of the muſcles, that it does, when eat in a morning faſting; and therefore we are to conſider whether this virtue and efficacy, ſuppoſed to be lodged in the bread, may not more properly be owing to ſome other aſſiſting cauſe, than to the piece of Bread itſelf; for we know very well, that the matter of fact is ſo, viz. That a Cruſt of Bread, eat early in a morning faſting, does produce theſe good effects in the aforeſaid diſeaſes; and if we ſearch into the virtues of Bread, and conſider what ingredients there is in a Cruſt, we ſhall not diſcover any virtues in the Bread, more than to nouriſh the body; for the pureſt wheat, when changed into never ſo many different forms, only produces a more elegant nouriſhment: This is the prime law of its nature, and therefore we cannot ſuppoſe that the Bread itſelf can contain any powers capable of producing theſe principles of diſſolution of the gravel, attenuation of the phlegm, and mitigation of the painful ſymptoms of the ſtone; and therefore I muſt conclude, that the Bread itſelf does not contain any principles powerful enough to accompliſh that great relief, that is often received from eating a Cruſt of Bread in a morning early; for then its great efficacy would ſenſibly appear, from the great quantities we eat of this aliment, in our ſeveral meals, at morning, noon, and night: And hence I infer, that the good that is known to enſue from eating the Bread, muſt be the reſult of ſomewhat that accompanies the Bread, and that we can conceive to be nothing but the faſting ſaliva, which leads me to ſpeak of the origin, ſecretion, and compoſition of this fluid, or what [Page 7] we vulgarly call the faſting ſpittle; as it is a fluid that ſerves divers great and important purpoſes in the animal

1.2. SECT. II. Of the origin, ſecretion, and compoſition of the Faſting ſaliva, as the fluid that firſt mixes with the Bread, in the mouth; in its paſſage through the gula; and in its deſcent into the ſtomach, as the ſole cauſe of the foregoing ſalutary effects.

I Obſerved in the firſt ſection, that few phyſicians had ſufficiently examined the recrements of the body; and ſo far looked into the myſteries of nature, as to conſider for what purpoſes and uſes in life, they were ſeperated and ſecreted into their proper channels and receptacles; for we daily perceive, that the ſaliva, the pancreatic juice, and the bilioſe humours, are three liquors ſecreted from their reſpective organs, that ſerve great and eminent purpoſes in the animal-oeconomy: and as the ſaliva, or what we call the ſpittle, is the laſt and moſt conſiderable of the ſecretions, ſo I think it will be proper to examine the nature, properties, and conſtituent principles of a fluid, that is often the cauſe of conſiderable changes and alterations in life.

Now the three grand recrements of the body, viz. the ſaliva, bile, and ſeed, are three principles, that not only preſerve life and health in the individuum; but the laſt ſecreted fluid is that ſacred balſam, that has continued the ſpecies from the beginning of the world to this time, and which will ſo continue it, to the lateſt period of nature; and therefore methinks they deſerve a more particular enquiry, than what I perceive phyſicians, hitherto, have been pleaſed to beſtow upon them: however, I ſhall in this little tract only proceed to examine the recrements of the ſaliva, the principles of the juices ſecreted in the ſtomach, and the properties of the bile, as ſubjects the moſt proper at preſent for my enquiry; and ſhall poſtpone the laſt to a more convenient opportunity.

However, before we proceed to diſcover the powers, efficacy, and operation of the Faſting Spittle, I judge it highly neceſſary that, in the firſt place, we proceed to examine the origin, ſecretion, and compoſition of this noble fluid, as it is ſeperated from the arterial blood: becauſe [Page 8] upon theſe principles moſt of its active powers, in a great meaſure, will be found to have their dependance.

The ſaliva, or what we call the faſting ſpittle, is originally ſecreted from the arterial blood by two complex glands, called the parotides, which, according to Steno and Nuck, two accompliſhed anatomiſts, lye at the root of the ear, one on each ſide of the neck: Theſe glands ſecern the groſſer ſaliva; and by means of a number of little ſmall tubes, ariſing from the inner coat of theſe glands, convey the ſecreted liquor into one common duct, which, ne [...] the third upper grinder, opens into the mouth, whereby the jaws, tongue, and all the inner parts of the lips, are moiſtened with this viſcous, ſecreted ſpittle.

But, beſides theſe two large ſecretory glands, that furniſh out the groſſer ſecretions for moiſtening the mouth in general, there are diſcovered by later anatomiſts divers other minute, conglobate glands, that ſecrete a finer, thinner, and more attenuated fluid: Theſe have their roots in the polate, tongue, gums, and lips, all whoſe membranes are perforated with little ſmall tubuli, that let into the mouth a fine, thin, volatile ſaliva, ſomewhat more attenuated than the former: However, all theſe fountains of the ſpittle are ſo commodiouſly ſituated, that they muſt neceſſarily, upon cloſing of the lips, preſſure of the jaws, and combining or compreſſing of the cheeks, ſqueeze out a good quantity of their contents into the mouth, for the ſeparating, moiſtening, and diſſolving of the aliments we take for the ſupport of life.

And this is the reaſon, why theſe glands diſcharge the greateſt quantities of their ſecreted liquors, during maſtication, or when we chew our food: becauſe then there is not only the greateſt preſſure upon theſe organs, but, at the ſame time, all the parts of the mouth are put into greater motions and compreſſions, than at any other time whatever, for to make the experiment if you pleaſe to grind cloſe the teeth, and, at the ſame time, compreſs your cheeks with the lips, you will readily perceive a larger diſcharge of ſaliva to rouze from theſe reſpective glands, than when the ſame lye ſtill, are at reſt, and under no compreſſion.

But, of all remedies preſcribed, we ought not only to attempt to know their origin, nature, and production, but alſo to endeavour to penetrate into the principles, powers, and [Page 9] properties they conſiſt of, whereby we ſhall be better enabled to diſcover their manner of action, and the different efforts they exert upon the various organs of the animal oeconomy.

As to the ſaliva, when all the different ſecretions are intimately mixed in the mouth, and formed into one uniform, attenuated, frothy humour; the mixture then appears from experiments, to conſtitute a fine, thin, volatile, ſilver-coloured fluid, and which is ſecreted from the arterial blood in the caroted arteries, and called the ſaliva or ſpittle.

Upon examination, it appears to be a compoſition of ſalt, oil, and ſulphur, diſſolved in a pretty large quantity of a ſine, thin, attenuated phlegm, very nearly reſembling the conſiſtence of ſoap water, to which it is very nearly related by the virtues of its qualities.

Under a ſound ſtate of health, it is without ſmell, perfectly inſipid, or if it has any taſte, it may properly be ſaid to reſemble the white of an egg: To the touch it is extremely viſcid; eaſily mixes with oil, and therefore is oleoſe; it readily evaporates with the leaſt force of fire, and therefore contains a large portion of volatile parts; and in its nature is mightily penetrant and abſterſive, and therefore will deſtroy even the ſpericity of the mercurial globles themſelves, whoſe round figures are ſo difficult to deſtroy, unleſs you apply ſalts, fire, ſulphur, or ingredients of an unctions, adheſive nature.

1.3. SECT. III. Of the properties, virtues, and ſalutary effects of the faſting ſaliva, when externally applied to old aches, pains, recent cuts, wounds, old ulcers, corns, ſore eyes, and gouty nodes.

IF we conſider the faſting ſaliva alone, and as it is ſecreted from the ſalival glands ſituated in the jaws and mouth, we ſhall perceive divers great and remarkable effects to ariſe from its application; for this ſaliva may moſt properly be called the noble Balſam of Nature, as it is a ſurer relief, in moſt caſes, where outwardly applied, than what moſt people will eaſily be led to believe, that have not themſelves tryed its efficacy: I do not deſire to be too ſanguine upon the virtues of the faſting ſaliva; [Page 10] but ſhall only beg leave of the reader, to lay down what I know to be matter of fact; and then ſhall proceed to give a detail of divers very ſurprizing cures, that one Mrs. Beſtock, at Nantwich in Cheſhire, has done to vaſt numbers of people, in that neighbourhood, by the outward application of the faſting ſaliva, vulgarly called the faſting ſpittle.

I am intimately acquainted with a gentleman, that every ſpring and fall was accoſted with a very trouble ſome ſcorbutic tetter; he had taken mercury in all ſhapes, adviſed with ſeveral phyſicians, and by their advice had applied mixtures, ointments, and waters, preſcribed for tettery humours, but without ſucceſs: At laſt, he was adviſed to apply the faſting ſaliva every morning, which, in a fortnight's time, effectually cured him.

Nor do I know a better medicine for troubleſome corns. A perſon of ſome diſtinction had a corn on the off ſide of his foot, that ſo ſhackled his limbs, as almoſt to reduce him to the ſtate of a cripple: He employed the corn-cutter without effect; for every time it was cut it both bled and pained him very much: theſe are uſual accidents that happened from a nerve and vein, that entered into the compoſition of the corn, and whoſe ſenſibility and cavity were not totally deſtroyed by ſo hard a body He had made uſe of plaiſters, balſams, ointments, lotions, and all manner of applications, but to no manner of purpoſe: He then accidentally aſked a gentleman's opinion, and was adviſed every night to ſoak his feet in warm water and bran, and the next morning to apply chewed bread, well moiſtened with the faſting ſpittle, by way of pultice, which, in a little time, perfectly relieved him; for the corn, in leſs than a week, tumbled out by the roots, and he has heard no more of it ſince. The like happened to a gentleman that was adviſed to apply the chewed bread, mixed with the faſting ſpittle, to a gouty node, which mightily relieved him, and has kept his feet eaſy ever ſince.

In thoſe hard excreſſences we call warts in the hands, face, and divers other parts of the body, it is an infallible cure, if conſtantly uſed. It alſo mightily aſſiſts in relieving ſore eyes, eſpecially thoſe whoſe eye-lids from hard drinking, are red, angry, and inflamed: In theſe caſes, if you do but lightly touch the parts affected, with this noble balſam, every morning, you will find great relief. And [Page 11] we know, by certain experience, that in all cuts, recent wounds, and accidental hurts, that the faſting ſaliva is a ſovereign remedy: and its penetrant diſſolving abſterſive qualities are ſo great, that if it be ſufficiently rubbed with mercury, vulgarly called quick-ſilver, it will mortify that mineral, and deſtroy the ſpericity of its globles, though one of the moſt active bodies in nature.

But the great cures done by one Bridget Boſtock, at Nantwich in Cheſhire, by the external application of faſting ſpittle, would ſurmount all credit, and ſcarce gain belief, had we not ſufficient atteſtations, from ſeveral authentic letters, that put the matters of fact above all diſpute; for in a letter from a perſon of undoubted character, he tells us; ‘"that this old woman, all her lifetime, made it her buſineſs to cure her neighbours, and people that lived near her, of ſore legs, and other diſorders. But her reputation of late, ſeems ſo wonderfully encreaſed, that people come to her from all parts far and near. A year ago ſhe had, as I remember, about forty under her care: When I went to London ſhe had one hundred in the compaſs of a week; and they encreaſed ſo faſt, that, by the time I came back, which was not above three weeks, ſhe had above eight ſcore: and this day five weeks one hundred and ſixteen; Sunday ſe'ennight my wife and ſelf went to Bridget's houſe, and were told by the perſons that kept the door, and let the people in by fives and ſixes; that they had that day told ſix hundred to whom ſhe had adminiſtred: She at length grew ſo very faint, for ſhe never breaks her faſt till ſhe has done, that at ſix of the clock in the evening ſhe was obliged to give over her operations, though then there were more than ſixty perſons to whom ſhe had not adminiſtred. On Monday laſt ſhe had ſeven hundred, and every day at preſent near that number.’

‘"She cures the blind, the deaf, and the lame of all ſorts: Numbers of people have received great benefit, in the rheumatiſm, king's-evil, hiſteric fits, falling ſickneſs, and ſhortneſs of breath: She alſo mightily relieves the dropſy, palſy, leproſy, cancers: and, in ſhort, almoſt every diſeaſe mankind is ſubject to, except the French pox, which ſhe will not be prevailed by any means to meddle with."’

[Page 12]

But here I muſt beg leave ſo far to interfere with this old woman, as to declare, that in chancres, which is a very ſtubborn ſpecies of the venereal diſeaſe, and which often affects the glans penis, and baffles the utmoſt efforts of the phyſician and ſurgeon, without a ſalivation: that there is not a ſurer remedy, than every morning to touch the part with the faſting ſaliva of a man or woman turned of ſeventy or eighty years of age: And if you extinguiſh a little crude mercury in the ſaliva, the efficacy will be ſo much the more conſiderable and certain.

But to return from whence I digreſſed: ‘"You will be deſirous to know what medicines ſhe uſes to procure ſuch mighty relief; and I muſt tell you, that all the means ſhe uſes, are only to ſtroke the part with faſting ſpittle, and praying for them; it is hardly credible to think, what cures ſhe daily performs, and without you were here to ſee them, it muſt appear romantic and incredible: for ſome people grow well while in the houſe; others while on the road, and all find themſelves better after they are got home. She is about ſeventy years of age, and takes no money for her cures, though offered her; in ſhort, the rich, the lame, the blind, and the deaf, all pray for her, and bleſs the great good ſhe does; and the poor daily come to her in cart-loads. I am, Sir, &c."

This letter, I am well aſſured, comes from a perſon of great veracity and integrity; and therefore I think deſerves ſome animadverſions, as the cures the author ſpeaks of, are many of them very ſurprizing, and divers out of the common road of external applications: However, to make ſuitable remarks on theſe cures, we muſt firſt obſerve, that Bridget Boſtock is ſeventy years of age; that all was done (beſides her prayers) by the force of the faſting ſpittle; as to her prayers for a bleſſing upon her endeavours, I ſhall not preſume to ſay any thing, becauſe we are aſſured in holy writ, that perſons of leſs piety, virtue, and charity, than this old woman ſeems to be miſtreſs of, have been enabled to work miracles; and therefore we can never be certain how far God Almighty interpoſes his finger in aſſiſting the relief of divers diſeaſes: But in moſt of theſe caſes, except the dropſy, I will be bold to ſay, that the means this good woman uſed for the recovery of theſe people, were equal to the effects that enſued; and in the dropſy [Page 13] there are two remedies may be uſed, that will infallibly cure that diſeaſe, provided it does not ariſe from a rupture of the lymphaticks, in which caſe there can no relief be given, but by tapping the patient, and that only a tranſient relief, or the patient is not greatly advanced in years. Thus far I could not but remark in caſes ſo particular in their aſpect, and which were relieved by ſuch a ſimple remedy as I am now treating of.

1.4. SECT. IV. Of the vehicle moſt proper to convey this ſovereign remedy into the ſtomach, in order to facilitate its operation and ſalutary effects, upon the various viſcera, organs, and fluids of animal bodies.

HITHERTO we have conſidered the faſting ſaliva alone, and as it is applied to the external parts of the body; I am come now to ſpeak of its ſalutary effects, when it is mixed, combined, and aſſociated with the fine fluid ſecreted from the glands of the oeſophagus or gula, in its deſcent into the ſtomach; when it is combined with the ſtomachic juices ſecreted from the villous coat of that important organ; and the improvements it acquires, as a diſſolvent, after it is got out of the ſtomach into the inteſtines, and there thoroughly mixed with the bile and pancreatic juices.

And it plainly appears, from the obſervations we have made in the firſt ſection, that the bread is little or nothing concerned in producing theſe good effects, we ſo ſenſibly perceive to enſue, upon eating a Cruſt of Bread, in a morning faſting; nor can the virtues that follow, upon eating that concrete, be properly aſcribed to the bread itſelf; for it never could be ſwallowed, did not the faſting ſaliva mix with it, and convert it to a pulpous ſubſtance, and thereby fit it for digeſtion; for no dry aliments ever could be ſwallowed, without a proper portion of the ſalival fluid, nor do I conceive, that any other liquid menſtruum would ſerve the intentions of nature ſo well as the ſaliva: And this is the reaſon, why the greateſt number of ſalival glands are placed in the mouth, and conſequently the greateſt quantity of ſaliva ſeparated from theſe glandural meſhes, during maſtication, or the time we are chewing [Page 14] of our food; for then there is not only the greateſt preſſure and motion in all the parts of the mouth, but the muſcles of the jaws, cheeks, and lips, are more forcibly compreſſed, contracted, and put into motion, than at any other time: for theſe glandular bodies, the fountains of the ſaliva, are ſo commodiouſly ſituated, that they muſt neceſſarily, upon any preſſure of the cheeks, or cloſing of the jaws, ſqueeze out their contents into the mouth; and, to make the experiment, let any perſon grind cloſe his gums and teeth, and at the ſame time, ſtraitly compreſs the muſcleſs of his cheeks and jaws, and he will readily perceive a larger diſcharge of ſaliva to flow into his mouth from theſe compreſſions, than is uſual for the ſame glands, at any other time; which plainly demonſtrates how much the action of theſe muſcles contribute to influence the diſcharge of theſe ſalival glands.

But if the relief given does not conſiſt in the virtues of the bread itſelf, but in the ſecretion of the recrement, called the Faſting Spittle, then you will ſay; to what end and purpoſe ſerves a piece of bread, eat early in a morning faſting: To this I anſwer; to very great and good purpoſes every way: For, in the firſt place, there is no other ſubſtance we know of, that can ſo properly be eat in a morning faſting, as a Cruſt of Bread, or that the ſtomach will ſo readily receive and digeſt as that concrete: Secondly, of all other aliments, it is the moſt proper vehicle to imbibe and collect the Faſting Saliva; and therefore, of all other vehicles, it is the fitteſt to be employed upon theſe occaſions, as it beſt mixes with the ſaliva: Thirdly, the force from the teeth, neceſſary to divide a Cruſt, and break its coheſions, will more readily ſqueeze out the ſaliva from the ſeveral falival glands.

Theſe are the reaſons I offer in preference to a Cruſt of Bread: and therefore I judge that no other concrete will ſo readily ſerve the purpoſe, as a Cruſt of Bread, unleſs it be what we call the captains biſcuits, which they carry to ſea for their own eating: Theſe are ſtill preferable to bread, as they are ſtill harder than a cruſt, and more deſtitute of all foreign mixtures, as they are free both from leven and yeſt. But as theſe ſometimes may be difficult to be had, ſo I judge a piece of bread, in general, the beſt vehicle we can ſubſtitute, in order to convey the faſting ſaliva into the ſtomach. And hence it clearly appears, that the virtue and [Page 15] efficacy that reſults from eating a Cruſt of Bread, does not ſo properly ariſe from the bread itſelf, as the chewing and mixing it with the Faſting Spittle; and therefore, to improve this fine liquid, volatile ſoap, and exalt its virtues, I adviſe you, having eat nothing over night for ſupper, about five of the clock in the morning, to eat one ounce, or an ounce and half, of either wheat or rye bread, which in chewing, will take up full half an ounce of the faſting ſaliva, to reduce it into a proper, ſoft, pulpoſe ſubſtance, and which, when well chewed and moiſtened, will be eaſily ſwallowed; and when you have got it down into the ſtomach, then leave the reſt to nature, and, if you can, go to ſleep. And it is adviſeable that you eat nothing for two or three hours after: Which leads me to ſpeak a few things of the conſequences of its being got into the ſtomach, and of its mixture with divers of the ſecreted juices, in the ſtomach and inteſtines.

Now this courſe, if ſteadily purſued for a month or ſix weeks, will prove of great efficacy in divers diſeaſes, that have obſtructions and ſabulous concretions for their parent, as the gravel, ſtone, gout, and rheumatiſm. Nor is it leſs efficacious in tumours of the liver, ſpleen, and divers other organs; in all which caſes, it is known to give great relief.

1.5. SECT. V. Of the improvements the Faſting Saliva receives from its mixing with the ſtomachic, the bilioſe, and pancreatic juices in the ſtomach, inteſtines, and parts adjoining; and in particular, of the nature, properties, and conſtituent principles of the bile, as the greateſt diſſolvent in nature.

BUT after this ſine, thin, ſaponaceous fluid, we call the ſaliva or ſpittle, has left the mouth, and before it gets down into the ſtomach, it receives conſiderable improvements from a fine, thin, attenuated, volatile fluid, ſecreted from a number of glands, ſituated in the head of the gula, which ſtill renders it more penetrant and abſterſive: It ſtill acquires more force and energy from its mixture with the ſtomach juices, diſcharged from the various glands, whoſe orifices form the velvet coat of this important organ: Theſe ſupply the ſtomach with a ſine, [Page 16] thin, clear, ſpumoſe fluid, that taſtes a little ſaline and acid, but is very active and volatile in its properties.

This is ordained by nature to penetrate the foods, break their coheſions, and help forward their digeſtion for the nouriſhment of the body: And here a very fair opportunity offers itſelf for me to ſpeak of the principles of digeſtion, and to diſcover how theſe important changes are brought about; that convert our aliments into nouriſhment, but this would be foreign to my intention, and be a means of rendering the diſcourſe tedious, as my avow'd deſign is brevity, and only to take a view of the ſecreted fluids, as far as, in their courſe, they join with the Faſting Saliva, in order to exalt it into a fine, ſaponaceous liquor, proper to relieve the body of its inſirmities.

Thus it appears how much the Faſting Saliva is improved in its nature, properties, and action, from the lubricating lymph of the gula, the ſtomachic juices, and the chylous fluid, all continually digeſting in the ſtomach; continually ſecreting from their reſpective glands, and continually flowing over the pilorus into the duodenum, where they mix and unite with the bilioſe and pancreatic juices, which greatly improve this noble, active medicine, and by their tumults, conſſicts, and conquaſſations, render it the moſt penetrant, abſterſive, and diſſolving medicine we know of in nature.

And becauſe I have mentioned the bilioſe juice as an ingredient in this fine, volatile, diſſolvent medicine, you will permit me here a little to examine into the nature, properties, and ſecretion of the bile, becauſe it is a liquor, that will be found to have very conſiderable effect and conſequences in the various organs of the animal oeconomy.

The liver is the organ ordained by nature for the ſeparation, ſecretion, and ultimate perfection of the bilioſe humour; and I ſhould immediately proceed to examine the principles and mechaniſm of this important organ, but that Malpigius, that accurate anatomiſt, and our learned countryman Dr. Gliſſon, have ſo fully exhauſted this ſubject, that they have left but little, that is new, to be ſaid by thoſe that come after them: And as I am only to obſerve the nature of ſecretion, the principles of the bile, and the uſes and purpoſes for which it is ordained to ſerve in life, ſo I judge that the courſe of the veſſels, their various ramifications, and their aptneſs for the ſecretion of this [Page 17] humour, will furniſh out every thing neceſſary to be known upon this ſubject.

However, I think proper here to obſerve, that the modus of ſecretion of the bile in the liver, is different from the humours ſecreted in all other parts of the body; for in all other parts the ſecretions are uſually made from an artery, but in the liver nature has inverted that order, and makes uſe of a vein: and therefore the vena porta is appointed for this important office: this vein receives the blood from the ſpleen, from the meſenterick arteries, and from almoſt all the organs ſituated in the lower belly: this ſanguineous fluid moving much ſlower in the vena porta, than it would have done in an artery of the ſame ſtructure and mechaniſm, is the ſole cauſe why the bilioſe ſalts are ſo readily diſpoſed to attract each other, and form a fluid with that viſcidity, neceſſary to give conſiſtence to the bile; and for this end and purpoſe the vena porta and biliary veſſels are incloſed in one common ſheath or capſule: they enter the liver on the concave ſide, and are equally diſtributed through all its ſubſtance; ſo that wherever there is a branch of the one, there, upon good inſpection, you will be ſure to diſcover a branch of the other: and therefore each lobe, and each gland of that lobe, whether on the convex or concave ſide, receives the ſame veſſels, viz. A vein, nerve and artery, called arteria hepatica, to convey the nouriſhment for the uſe of the liver.

The porta receives the blood from the neighbouring parts, which is very ſharp, by reaſon of the cloſe union of the bilious ſalts; for the lymph that kept them aſunder is ſeparated from the blood by the glands of the ſtomach, inteſtines, ancreas, and meſentery: and therefore, if this ſharp, deterſive, ſaline bile, did continue to circulate with the blood, it muſt frequently occaſion vehement fevers, colliquative fluxes, heart-burnings, and ſevere cholic pains, but theſe miſerable effects are often prevented by a ſoft olious fluid, that tempers theſe ſharp, keen ſalts, and blunts their acrimonious effects, both upon the inteſtines and parts adjoining.

In the ſecretion of the bile, we are to obſerve, that the vena porta hepatica terminates in little ſmall glandular folliculi, that ſecrete the bile from the blood; from theſe ſmall glands the billous humour is received into the [Page 18] extremeties of the pori biliarii, as they inoſculate with the extremeties of the vena porta, and which, by their unions, form one trunk, called the ductus hepaticus: this trunk empties part of the gall into the gall bladder: from the gall bladder ariſes the ductus cyſticus, which uniting with the ductus hepaticus, form one common trunk, called the ductus communis cholidocus that conveys the gall into the duodenum, near its curviture, that forms the beginning of the jejunum; ſo that only part of the gall flows into the veſica felea, by the cyſtick duct, while the other part is conveyed into the inteſtines by the ductus communis cholidocus, that opens into that organ by an oblique inſertion.

The bile ſeems to be a groſs, thick, viſcid, oleous phlegm well impregnated with ſalts of various kinds, as ſweet, bitter, acerb, muriatic, and bitter ſweet; all which are blended and intimately mixed in a ſmall quantity of viſcid phlegm: in this fluid, more than any other of the body, the oil and ſalts greatly predominate; for an ounce of black gall contained in the fund of the veſica fellea yields oil and ſalts, of each three drams; of phlegm only two drams.

If you examine the gall in the liver, in the pori biliarii, and gall bladder, you will find it of a different conſiſtence, colour and bitterneſs, in all theſe three different ſituations; for the gall in the liver, or glandular folliculi, is of a pale green, more fluid, ſaltiſh, and leſs bitter; that in the cyſtick duct more viſcid, leſs bitter, but greatly partaking of ſacharine ſalts: that in the gall bladder appears of a deep poracious green: and laſtly, that in the fund, inclining to a blackiſh hue, and which is more viſcid, leſs ſalt, but contains more of the bitteriſh twang.

I could not but be thus particular upon the nature, principles, and ſecretion of the bile, becauſe our great maſter Hippocrates avers that the ingredients of bile are generated with the firſt principles of life; and when it happens to be viteous, redundant, or defective, fails not to become the parent of moſt diſeaſes that any way can affect the conſtitutions of animal bodies, eſpecially thoſe that are hot, fiery, and inflammatory: and tho' every conſtitution muſt neceſſarily generate bile, yet a tenſe, ſpringy conſtitution, or a conſtitution with very [Page 19] elactic fibres, muſt neceſſarily have this humour in the largeſt proportion, and theſe liable to generate much bile, are very prone, ſpring and fall, to fall into looſeneſſes, fluxes, and the cholera morbus, which is what we call a bilious vomiting, accompanied with a looſeneſs, where great quantities of yellow, green, black ſtools are diſcharged.

1.6. SECT. VI. Of ſome other ſovereign properties of the bile; as it both promotes the digeſtion of our aliments, aſſiſts the circulation of the blood, and helps forward the glandular ſecretion in every part of the body.

BUT I have not yet done with the bile: for it is a ſecreted humour, of that vaſt ſervice and uſe in the animal-oeconomy, that I very much queſtion whether either health could ſubſiſt, or life itſelf be continued without its aſſiſtance; for this bile, I am ſpeaking of is a ſecretion ſo univerſal, that I do not know one ſingle ſpecies of animals deſtitute of this noble ſecretion; for man, beaſt, reptiles, and the various claſſes of the fiſh kind, all have bile; and, in all theſe different ſubjects, it is the bittereſt humour in the whole body; which is a ſtrong argument with me of the neceſſity of bitter medicines in divers caſes of diſeaſes, eſpecially when they are properly applied.

Now the bile is ſo copious a ſubject, and affords ſo many experiments to enlarge upon, that I could write a very large volume on the principles, nature, and virtues of the bile alone, without exhauſting the ſubject: and we find by experience, that all people of a hot, choleric, dry conſtitution, are inordinately ſubject to be hot, furious, and paſſionate, in proportion as they generate a greater or leſſer quantity of bile: however, I will not ſay, that any one of the ſecreted liquors or recrements are the ſole cauſe of life and health; yet this I will aver, and am able to demonſtrate, that neither health nor life can long ſubſiſt, where the recrements of the ſaliva and bile are for any conſiderable time obſtructed: and it is the obſervation of all naturaliſts, that the bile greatly differs in its own nature; for in the [Page 20] larger animals it is leſs acid and ſharp, than in thoſe that are little; in beaſts than in birds, and in birds than in fiſhes, and in fiſhes, than the various tribes of inſects: however, in man we diſcover the moſt tinging bitter bile, that is in any animal whatſoever; for it is ſo intenſely bitter in this animal, that one drop will communicate a bitteriſh twang to two ounces of water; and the ſame quantity will tinge half a pint of the ſame fluid with a fine, beautiful, paliſh green.

But to be a little more explicit, and particular upon this ſubject: as it is a point of ſuch importance to the health and lives of animals, I lay it down as a principle, not to be conteſted, that life itſelf depends upon a regular and uninterrupted circulation of the blood and fluids through the ſeveral organs of the animal-oeconomy: this conſtant and equal motion of the blood is kept up by the circulation of the bile, that every where deſtroys the tenacious, thick, viſcid particles of phlegm, that renders the blood roapy, ſtagnant, and apt to furr up the minuteſt arteries.

This bilious humour, from its inciding, penetrant, and diſſolving qualities, not only aſſiſts the circulation, but alſo is greatly concerned in promoting the ſeparation of the chile from the faeces, or matter of our ſtools, aſſiſts its paſſage into the lacteals, and then cuts, divides, and corrects the thick viſcid ſlime, that often adheres to the coats of the ſtomach and inteſtines: blocks up their ſecretions, and is a frequent cauſe of very ſevere cholic pains.

But amongſt all the ſalts of the bile, which are both volatile and fixed, there is a peculiar eſſential ſalt, endued with a very ſweet property; theſe eſſential, ſacharine ſalts, more readily join with the chyle in the inteſtines than any other; and this is that ſalt, that gives to the chyle both its ſweetneſs and taſte, and that whiteneſs it obtains after it has paſſed the venae lacteae primi geneſis: this ſacharine ſalt alſo gives to the urine of thoſe that labour under the diabetes, that ſweet taſte we often diſcover in thoſe that, for any conſiderable time, have been ſubject to this diſeaſe.

If we proceed farther in our enquiries, we ſhall diſcover by experiments, that the bile of animals abſterges like ſoap, and renders oils miſcible with water: as to [Page 21] its virtues, it penetrates, attenuates and reſolves all obſtructions in every part of the body, and affects roſins, gums, and other tenacious bodies, by a diſſolution of their texture; whereby they are brought to mix with any fluid they are applied to: this bile or gall is neither alcalious or acid, but ſeems a combination of various ſalts, oils, and ſulphurs, diluted in a pretty large quantity of phlegm; and there is no queſtion to be made, but that the principal uſe of the bile is to ſeperate attenuate, and ſheath the aſperities of the chyle by its oils and ſulphurs; to blunt the acids by its oleous corpuſcles, and to aſſiſt the circulation of the blood in the veins and arteries, by its ſtimulating powers: It alſo proves a ſtimulus to the inteſtines, and thereby facilitates the deſcent of our excrements, and without which we ſhould be perpetually coſtive and ſeldom go to ſtool.

As the bile is the hotteſt and ſharpeſt of all other humours in the body; ſo in its circulation, it every where irritates the fibres of the veins, nerves, and arteries; and thereby keeps up the circulation of the blood, and frees the glands from obſtructions; ſo that without the circulation of the bile, and conſtant ſecretion of this bilious humour, the circulation of the blood would be languid, the ſecretion of the ſeveral humours ſtand ſtill, and life itſelf be extinct; for there is no other power, that we know of in nature, capable of keeping up the blood's motion, ſave the bile: and therefore, in the blood, theſe bilious ſalts are ſet at ſuch a diſtance from each other, as only to irritate the veins and arteries to a degree, as may keep the blood in motion, and help forward the ſecretion of the ſeveral reſpective humours to their deſtined ends and purpoſes of life; but as the ſtomach and inteſtines are compoſed of more ſolid coats, ſo, to make any ſuitable impreſſions upon their viſcid, ſlimy ſecretions, there was a neceſſity for a more active, volatile, inciding humour: and therefore, as the bile came to be ſecreted into the vena porta of the liver, it was deprived of its fluidity, that a greater quantity of its various ſalts might be concentrated into a ſmaller portion of phlegm; for by this means its ſalts are ſo nearly collected, that they form a thick viſcid, ſaline, bitter humour, whoſe office is to ſtimulate the inteſtines, [Page 22] keep up their periſtaltic motions, and help forwards the deſcent of the excrements, and without which they would be apt to ſtagnate in the inteſtines, and create obſtinate coſtiveneſs and ſevere cholic pains; ſo that the bilious ſalts ſerve ſeveral ends and purpoſes in life; for as they exiſt in the blood, ſo they aſſiſt the circulation; as they are ſecreted in the liver, and flow into the inteſtines, the more fine parts help forwards the ſeparation of the chyle, and its ſecretion into the lacteals, while a groſſer portion of the bilious ſalts mix with the excrements, and facilitate their deſcent; and without which the animal itſelf neither could well ſubſiſt under a ſound ſtate of health, or continue in life for any conſiderable time.

After ſo much ſaid concerning our enquiries into the nature, principles, and ſecretion of the bile, I ſhall only obſerve on the fluid ſecreted from the pancreas, that it is a fine, thin, lymphatic liquor, whoſe office, when mixed and incorporated with the ſaliva, ſtomachic juices, and bile, ſerves to dilute and attenuate the chyle, and facilitate its motion into the lacteal veſſels; which leads me to treat of the eſſicacy of the ſaliva, when duly mixed, properly incorporated, and perfectly united with the foregoing liquors, whereby they arrive at the higheſt perfection their ſeveral natures are capable of; and of whoſe effects and conſequences, in divers diſeaſes, we ſhall treat in the following ſection.

1.7. SECT. VII. Of the operation of the Faſting Saliva, when inwardly taken, and mixed with the pancreatic and bilious juices, in the ſcurvy, gravel, rheumatiſm, and divers other diſeaſes incident to obſtruct the blood, and vitiate the ſecretions in the internal habit.

WE have now ſeen in the fourth ſection what this faſting ſpittle will do alone, and when outwardly applied in divers external diſeaſes: I come now to ſpeak of its effects and virtues, after it is mixed with divers ſecreted liquors, in its paſſage from the mouth, till it becomes a ſecreted liquor into the mouth again. If the faſting ſpittle, after the bread has been well [Page 23] moiſtened with it in the mouth, is charged into the ſtomach, it then, in its paſſage, meets with the lubricating lymph of the gula, which, from its ſpirituous, active qualities, very much improves the faſting ſaliva: and after its deſcent into the ſtomach, there the ſtomachic juices are continually ſecreting from their reſpective glands; continually mixing with the ingeſted ſpittle conveyed into the ſtomach with the meat we eat, till digeſted into a thin, light, volatile ſpume or froth, they, from their lightneſs and tenuity of parts, flow over the pylorus into the inteſtines, where all theſe various fluids of the ſaliva, of the ſecreted liquor iſſuing from the glands of the oeſophagus and ſtomach, are united in the duodenum, and intimately combined with the bilious and pancreatic juices, diſcharged from their reſpective pipes, into one uniform maſs or ſoap.

And having brought the faſting ſaliva through a courſe of digeſtions to mix with the bile, and pancreatic juice in the inteſtines; it appears to me, from the very nature and properties of the bilious humours thus new-modelled, from the acceſs of the various ſecretions, that we have generally confined the gall and pancreatic juices to anſwer very imperfect purpoſes of life; as if they were ſecreted for little elſe, but by their bitter and acid ſalts, to diſſolve our aliments into the ſtomach and inteſtines, to facilitate the deſcent of the foeces, and give the depurated chyle a paſſage into the lacteals. But upon a more attentive view of things, we ſhall perceive that the bilious humour ſerves very great and important ends of life in the animal-oeconomy; for were this liquid, volatile, animal ſoap, of a very active, cleanſing, penetrant and abſterſive nature, by the largeneſs and union of ſalts of various natures, as of bitter, ſweet, ſalt, acrid, alcalious, and muriatic, all combined into one ſubſtantial fluid; it will neceſſarily happen, that ſuch a uniform liquor will be able to diſſolve all manner of viſcous humours, and ſabulous concretions, that furr up the mouths of the lacteals, obſtruct the paſſage of the chyle, and diſpoſe all corrupt humours to diſcharge by ſtool, urine, and inſenſible perſpiration.

This fluid the ſaliva, by the improvements it receives, as above deſcribed, being admitted with the chyle into [Page 24] the lacteals, attenuates, diſſolves, and liquiſies any furr or coaculum, that may ſtick or adhere to the coats of the lacteals, or obſtruct in the veſſels of the receptaculum chili, or ductus thoracicus: for the fine, thin, depurated chyle contains globles of a larger ſize, than any to be found in the blood itſelf: and therefore are apter to ſtagnate in theſe fine, white tubes, called venae lacteae primi & ſecundi generis, than in the veſſels of any other parts of the body.

Therefore if it enters the lacteals, and gets into the blood, it purifies that fluid, diſſolves all preternatural lentours, ſcours the glands, and cleanſes their emunctories, whereby the veins, nerves, and arteries, are cleared of all embarraſſing obſtructions, and the courſe of nature carried on with the greateſt harmony and accord.

In the kidnies, ureters, and bladder, it is known to encreaſe the ſeparation and ſecretion of the fluids in the urinary paſſages; ſo that a man may obſerve himſelf to diſcharge more urine after he has eat his cruſt in a morning faſting, than at any other time of the day: again, this noble fluid, by its oleous and balſamic qualities, abates pain, and aſſwages the inflammation of the parts, as is very uſual where either much gravel or large ſtones have frequently paſſed theſe ſeveral organs: as this fine, balſamic, liquid, compound ſoap is endued with ſoft, oleous and balſamic properties, whereby it may ſheath the aſperities of the acrimonious ſalts, and attemperate all ſharp humours; ſo it abounds alſo with ſharp, acid, inciding ſalts, both volatile, eſſential, and fixed; whereby it attenuates, breaks, and diſſolves, all ſabulous concretions, rectifies the intemperature of the blood, that may intercept the motion of the fluids in every part, and carries its virtues to the extremeſt organs of the body: nor does it only contribute to deſtroy the moſt ſtubborn diſeaſes, but alſo mightily ſerves to preſerve the body in health; for where the circulation of the blood, the ſecretion of the juices, and diſcharge of the excrementitious foeces and fluids are conſtant, regular, and uniform: there the health is in the higheſt perfection a man can poſſibly arrive at, in this imperfect ſtate of nature.

1.8. SECT. VIII. Of the force and efficacy of faſting and abſtinence, under the operation of this fine, penetrating, abſterſive, animal ſoap.

[Page 25]

I Do not preſume here to treat theſe ſubjects of ſaſting and abſtinence as a divine, who intends, by his advice and counſel, to mortify the body or ſoul, and better the conſcience; but as a phyſician, who is deſirous to preſerve the ſtrength, health, and motions of the body of his patient, ſteady, uniform, and regular.

Every one muſt be ſenſible, what great things have been promiſed from quickſilver, tar-water, Mrs. Stevens's medicines, and divers other quack pills, powders, and elixirs, in the gravel, gout, dropſy, and various other diſeaſes: but I declare, that if the advice I offer for the benefit of mankind, be but carefully obſerved, and punctually put in practice, that many will not only receive great relief, but an entire exemption, from the moſt obſtinate and ſtubborn diſeaſes.

For we ought ever to conſider, that nature is always on the ſide of health, and continually ſtriving to reſtore the conſtitution, whenever borne down by the force of a diſeaſe; ſo that ſeldom can any-obſtructions happen to the body, but that repletion or gorging more than nature can digeſt, is the cauſe; and which, when often repeated, brings on indigeſtions in the ſtomach, windineſs or flatulencies in the bowels and inteſtines; a corruption of humours in the blood, and various obſtructions in different organs of the habit: theſe are the parents of moſt diſeaſes, that are incident to affect us in life; for what is the ſcurvy, but a thick, viſcid, ropy blood, unable to paſs the fineſt ſtrainers of the ſeveral organs; and how comes it by theſe properties, but by the indigeſtions of our aliments? The ſame we may obſerve of cholic pains, the aſthma, and dropſy; their original cauſe undoubtedly ariſes from indigeſtions; nor is the generation of gravel and ſtone leſs owing to the ſame cauſes; for when our foods eſcape the force of the ſtomach, not thoroughly digeſted, they never after can receive the aſſimilating power from any after impreſſions the ſubſequent organs can lay upon them, but become [Page 26] the cauſe of various obſtructions in the ſmall organs of the body: hence ariſe wind in the ſtomach, pains in the inteſtines, rheumatiſms in the limbs, and ſchirrous tumours in the liver, ſpleen, and divers other parts.

Now, under theſe circumſtances, to bring nature home to herſelf, the firſt thing muſt be to preſcribe abſtinence from all fleſh meats, for the compaſs of a week, if the diſeaſe be recent; three weeks, or a month, if the ſame has been of any long continuance: this will give nature time to recover herſelf; what I mean by nature recovering herſelf is that there are certain reſtitutive powers in every organ and fibre of the body, whereby nature, when any organ is obſtructed or oppreſſed, ſtrives to recover its former tone. And this ſelf-reſtoring power is partly the effects of the fluids, and partly lodged in the organs themſelves, and the mechaniſm that conſtitutes their powers of force and motion.

Now in any great preſſure, from a load of foods charged into the ſtomach, there is nothing that gives ſo ſure a relief, as faſting and abſtinence; for theſe vacations from aliments, enables the fibres of the ſtomach, vicera, and other organs, to reſolve the obſtructions, to break the coneſions of the blood, and enables nature to root out the moſt ſtubborn diſeaſes, by flinging their cauſes off by either ſtool, urine, or inſenſible preſpiration, or ſometimes a profuſe ſweat: nor can there be a more noble, ſafe, and efficacious remedy to rid us of either ſtone, gravel, or gout, than what I now offer for the relief of mankind; that is abſtinence, faſting, and a Cruſt of Bread eat early in a morning faſting; or rather the faſting ſaliva charged into the ſtomach, by the aſſiſtance of a piece of bread: and in theſe caſes, it is neceſſary that we take nothing of aliments for two or three hours after.

Give me leave here to recapitulate, as briefly as I can, the virtues of one of the greateſt diſſolvent medicines in nature; and at the ſame time one of the ſafeſt, that ever was communicated to mankind; a remedy that, if ſteadily purſued, will cure both the gout, the gravel, the ſtone, the aſthma, and dropſy. Would you know this invaluable ſecret,—It is abſtinence.—I ſay abſtinence; the moſt effectual cure in all diſeaſes: but by [Page 27] the word abſtinence, I do not mean a mere negative remedy, as if faſting was to do all the work, by ſuffering nature, at her leiſure, to attenuate the fluids, reſolve the obſtructions, and digeſt off the obſtructing matter: nothing like it; for we have given you the form of this medicine above, told you the ingredients, and whereof this excellent remedy, ſo aſſiſting to nature, is compoſed; and muſt leave yourſelf to judge of its efficacy and operation.

However to make ſome pertinent reflections upon this ſubject, I beg leave to obſerve, that after the whole quantity of chyle is digeſted into the ſtomach, and conveyed into the inteſtines; thereupon the faſting ſaliva, the lubricating lymph of the gula, the fluids ſecreted from the fine velvet coat of the ſtomach, are all continually ſeparating from their reſpective glands; continually digeſting in the ſtomach, and continually flowing over the pylorus into the duodenum; there they are mixed, united, and intimately combined with the pancreatic and bilious juices, and which, by their conflicts, tumults, and conquaſations, produce a moſt fine, thin, attenuated fluid: this fluid being admitted into the lacteals, reſolves the obſtructions of the meſentery glands, every where ſeated near the lacteals; attenuates, diſſolves, and liquifies any furr or coagulum, that may adhere, or ſtick to the ſides of the lacteals, and prevent its entrance into the receptaculum chili, or ductus thoracicus. In a word, this fine, volatile, ſaline fluid, from the various ſecretions mixing with it, becomes a univerſal diſſolvent; and is intended and ſeparated by nature, to break the coheſions of the obſtruent matter, that may cleave to the coats of the veſſels in every part of the body: and from this natural obſervation, we may learn the great benefit of frequent faſting, not only to preſerve the body under a ſound ſtate of health, but alſo how mightily ſerviceable it is in relieving divers diſeaſes; and how efficacious it is in the gravel, ſtone, rheumatiſm, and divers other diſeaſes, that have obſtructions for their parent.

You ſee now, that, after all, we diſcover this to be no imaginary medicine, formed upon the negative principles of faſting and abſtinence, as if they were to do all the work themſelves, but on the ſolid grounds of [Page 28] the faſting ſaliva, combined and united with the liquors ſecreted from almoſt every organ of the body, whereby it is impowered to diſſolve all unfriendly coheſions in the blood and animal juices; force open, break down, and unbind thoſe ſtubborn obſtructions, that impede the motion of the fluids, in their firſt paſſages; ſo that there is ſcarce a nerve, vein, artery, or gland, in the whole animal oeconomy, but what muſt neceſſarily receive ſome benefit, from the daily operation of this fine, liquid animal ſoap.

1.9. SECT. IX. Of the air, diet, exerciſe, and other requiſitorial rules, neceſſary to be obſerved, in order to facilitate the operation of this liquid ſoap, I eſteem a moſt invaluable remedy.

THUS we have diſcovered the operation of this noble and moſt ſovereign remedy in the ſcurvy, gravel, rheumatiſm, and divers other diſeaſes; which leads me to ſpeak a few things of the air, diet and exerciſe, neceſſary to be obſerved, in order to facilitate the relief it gives in the moſt ſtubborn diſeaſes.

But before we can expect to accompliſh all theſe fine effects, enumerated in the foregoing pages, I hold it highly neceſſary that a proper air, a regular diet, and a well adjuſted exerciſe, ſhould be enjoined the patient: as to the air, which is the firſt thing we ought to conſult about, I judge it highly neceſſary, that the patient ſhould ſojourn in a ſoft, free, open air, on a ground rather riſing; in a place free from woods, ſens, or high mountains, that may intercept the pure, balſamic properties of this healthful, enlivening fluid, the air. By all means, if he is ſubject to either the gravel, aſthma or rheumatiſm, let him avoid living in great cities, which are pernicious to thoſe incident to the foregoing diſeaſes; and therefore my advice is, that he take the medicine in the country, if poſſible, as the goodneſs of the air will aſſiſt its operation: but if his buſineſs calls him to the city, and he cannot poſſibly ſtay in the country, he muſt not, by any means intermit the medicine, but purſue its uſe a month or ſix weeks in the beſt manner [Page 29] he can, without intermiſſion; from which, in moſt diſeaſes, that are lodged within the compaſs of the circulation, he will receive conſiderable benefit.

Having done with the air, the next thing to be obſerved, is the patient's diet: and I chuſe to begin with his diet in the morning, becauſe there are ſeveral nice circumſtances, neceſſary to be adjuſted, in order to facilitate the operation of this ſovereign remedy, we call the faſting ſpittle. And therefore I adviſe the patient to eat his breakfaſt about ten of the clock in the morning: and, under a fit of the gravel, I would adviſe him to drink three or four diſhes of tea, made either of mallow flowers, or, if the ſeaſon does not permit them to be had, let him uſe the mallow leaves, ſweetened with honey, with a ſlice or two of bread and butter, as the beſt breakfaſt he can have.

An hour or two after breakfaſt, let him exerciſe; and of all exerciſes, I prefer that on horſeback; but if the weather happen to be hazy, and not promiſing, he may then, for two or three hours, take the air in a chariot, cloſe chaiſe, or coach. When I ſpeak of exerciſe, I always ſuppoſe the patient is entirely free from any pains of the gravel or ſtone.

After his return, if he finds himſelf refreſhed, he may take a walk in the garden, or about the houſe, or buſy himſelf for the remainder of the time between that and dinner, in his ſtudy: but above all things, let him take care he does not habituate himſelf to drink wine, or any thing that is ſtrong, in the morning, before dinner; for many, by that means, have deſtroyed their appetite, and for ever after ſpoiled a good digeſtion; ſo that whatever they have eat at noon, has turned to wind and crudities, and ſubjected them to ſevere cholic pains.

When he ſits down to his great meal, or dinner, I permit him to eat of every thing, ſo it be not too ſalt; for ſalts, of all kinds, are undoubtedly ingredients of both the gravel, ſtone, and rheumatiſm; and theſe ingredients furniſh out the cauſe of frequent fits in theſe diſeaſes: and therefore the young, of all animals, are to be choſen, as they conſiſt of the lighteſt ſalts, and ſuch as are eaſily diſſipable by urine, ſweat, and perſpiration; and ſeldom concrete, as they are not endued [Page 30] with that degree of attraction as are the ſalts of older animals.

Between dinner and ſupper, I would not adviſe him to touch any thing, unleſs a diſh or two of tea or coffee, with a ſlice of bread and butter; for the great point is ſo to order the air, diet, and exerciſe, as to be able to bring all the motions of the animal organs to a due temperature, and then we ſhall greatly promote the operation of this ſalutary remedy, and render its virtues highly efficacious.

His ſupper I would adviſe him to take about ſix or ſeven in the evening, and by no means later; and as milk is phlegmatic, ſo, if he pleaſes, he may take half a pint, or more, of white wine whey, with a ſea biſcuit; or, if it pleaſes him better, he may take a ſlice of new cheeſe, and drink a few glaſſes of old port, or a pint of fine, ſoft ale, with about ſix ounces of the cruſt of a French role or minchet.

After theſe things are done, I adviſe him not to eat any thing till about ſix, ſeven, or eight of the clock the next morning, which is the time of his taking the grand medicine: this conſiſts of half an ounce or ſix drachms of the faſting ſaliva, preſſed or ſqueeſed out from the ſalival glands into the mouth, by the preſſure of the jaws and teeth, in eating an ounce or ten drachms of the cruſt or heel of a loaf made of the pureſt wheat; for the cruſt occaſions ſo much the greater preſſure from the teeth, whoſe greater force occaſions a greater diſcharge of this ſalival fluid, and which will anſwer all the purpoſes we declared in the preceding ſections.

And, though of late years, we have heard of mighty feats done by crude mercury, tar water, and other quack medicines, ſold up and down the town, ſupported by royal patents, and dignified titles: yet I queſtion, whether in the gravel, ſtone, and rheumatiſm, there ever yet was diſcovered, or at this time is diſcovered, or any remedy, in future times, ſhall be diſcovered, that in its virtues and efficacy, comes up to this invaluable medicine, I now offer for the benefit of mankind: and the patient may aſſure himſelf, that if theſe rules and cautions and ſome others, that does not properly come within the narrow compaſs, I here have ſet myſelf, are [Page 31] but rightly purſued, they will not only mightily contribute to preſerve him in health, but alſo be extremely efficacious, to reſtore this invaluable bleſſing, whenever overpowered by the force of a diſeaſe: and in all theſe the patient will find little occaſion for taking of medicines, provided he is obſerving of theſe rules, and careful, every day, to adjuſt his air, diet, and exerciſe.

Now, though I will not pretend, like our modern quacks, to cry up this medicine, as a univerſal catholicon, and promiſe the world, that it will never fail to cure all diſeaſes it is applied to; yet I will boldly venture to declare a ſolemn truth, that no quack can, with juſtice, affirm in favour of his medicine: that it never was known to do any harm to man, woman, or child, notwithſtanding the many thouſands of people, that have experimentally made uſe of it.


Explanation of the abſtruſe Terms uſed in the foregoing Treatiſe.

  • RECREMENT, a ſuperfluous matter in the blood or body.
  • Secretion, the ſeparating one fluid from another.
  • Alimentary, nouriſhing.
  • Fluid, a ready flowing.
  • Maceration, the digeſtion of certain ingredients.
  • Attenuation, a thinning any thing.
  • Liquidation, making moiſt or clear.
  • Chyle, a whitiſh juice into which the food is converted by digeſtion.
  • Fuſion, a melting or ſolution.
  • Folliculi, the gall-bladder.
  • Excrementitious, of the nature of excrements.
  • Excretion, a putting forth of the excrements.
  • Saliva, faſting ſpittle.
  • Bile, the gall.
  • Concrete, a body made up of different principles.
  • Urinary, ſomething belonging to the urine.
  • Gula, the throat.
  • Complex, compounded of many parts.
  • Tube, a long hollow pipe.
  • Viſcous, clammy.
  • Conglobated, heaped or gathered round together.
  • Perforation, an eroſion or eating of the bones through them.
  • Maſtication, a breaking of food in one's mouth with the teeth.
  • Oleoſe, oily.
  • Penetrant, ſharp.
  • Abſterſive, medicines uſed to clear the ſkin.
  • Unctious, greaſy.
  • Adheaſive, a ſticking cloſe together.
  • OEſophagus, the gullet.
  • Pulpous, full of ſubſtance.
  • Menſiruum, a diſſolving liquor.
  • Glandular, ſomething compounded of glands.
  • Coheſion, a ſticking together.
  • Stomachic, good for the ſtomach.
  • Spumoſe, full of froth.
  • Saline, briniſh.
  • Lubricating, ſmooth.
  • Lymph, a clear humour.
  • Duodenum, the firſt of the thin guts.
  • Conquaſſation, a daſhing or breaking to pieces.
  • Ramification, a collection of ſmall branches iſſuing out of large ones.
  • Vena porta, the vein which enters the liver through two eminences called portae, i. e. gates.
  • Meſentereck, belonging to a membranous part ſituate in the middle of the belly.
  • Concave, hollow on the inſide.
  • Lobe, a body turned of a roundiſh ſhape.
  • Convex, bending down on every ſide.
  • Deterſive, of a cleanſing nature.
  • Colliquative, a profuſe ſweating.
  • Accrimonious, full of ſharpneſs.
  • Jejunum, the ſecond part of the inteſtines.
  • Inſertion, a grafting in.
  • Muriatick, briny.