Re: [asa] Converse with Scholars tonight at 8PM

From: Ted Davis <>
Date: Fri Mar 09 2007 - 13:08:52 EST

I own a copy (courtesy of our friend Jack Haas) of the modern facsimile
edition of the 24th edition (1792) of Wesley's "Primitive Physic," a work in
the Christian tradition of charitable medicine--like Boyle's "Medicinal
Receipts," which was written for a physician in New England to help make
available effective prescriptions (or so it was hoped and believed). If
you've never seen a work of this type, it might be worth the trouble of
going to a research library to see one--it can be very interesting, even
fun, to see what people consumed and were advised to do, relative to certain

I confirm that the entry for "Consumption," on p. 43 in my edition, reads
as follows, in small italic type which makes the first letter somewhat
ambiguous. It could be an "s" or an "f", more likely the latter but
possibly the former. (Remember that the long "s" is commonplace in 18th
century texts, so much so that I never notice it anymore unless I am forced
to, as in this case.

"In the last stage, [italics now start] s/f*** a healthy woman [italics
end] daily. This cured my Father."

As for the Calvinists, they sometimes get a bad rap. A lot of the Puritans
seem to have had quite lively and romantic conjugal lives. Messiah sees
itself as being to some degree in the Wesleyan tradition. I won't unpack
that in this particular instance.


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Received on Fri Mar 9 13:09:45 2007

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