Preface – First Edition – 1828
by Samuel Hahnemann
I cannot hope that these important communications (about the discovery of chronic miasms) will fare any better than the general Homeopathy which I have published hitherto. From unbelief in the efficacy of the small doses of medicine which I made known to the medical world, as being the most efficient, men prefer to endanger their patients for years longer with large and larger dose….
If I did not know for what purpose I was put here on earth -to become better myself as far as possible and to make better everything around me, that is within my power to improve- I should have to consider myself as lacking very much in worldly prudence to make known for the common good, even before my death, an art which I alone possess, and which it is within my power to make as profitable as possible by simply keeping it secret.
But in communicating to the world this great discovery, I am sorry that I must doubt whether my contemporaries will comprehend the logical sequence of these teachings of mine, and will follow them carefully and gain thereby the infinite benefits for suffering humanity which must inevitably spring from a faithful and accurate observance of the same; or whether, frightened away by the unheard of nature of many of these disclosures, they will not rather leave them untried and uninitiated and, therefore useless.
At least I cannot hope that these important communications will fare any better than the general Homeopathy which I have published hitherto. From unbelief in the efficacy of the small and attenuated doses of medicine which I made known to the medical world after a thousand warning trials, as being the most efficient, (distrusting my faithful asseverations and reasons), men prefer to endanger their patients for years longer with large and larger doses. Owing to this, they generally do not live to see the curative effects, even as was the case with myself before I attained this diminution of dose. The cause of this was, that it was overlooked that these doses by their attenuation were all the more suitable for their Homeopathic use, owing to the development of their dynamic power of operation.
What would men have risked if they had at once followed my directions in the beginning, and had made use of just these small doses from the first? Could anything worse have happened than that these doses might have proved inefficient? They surely could do no harm! But in their injudicious, self-willed application of large doses for homeopathic use they only, in fact only once again, went over that roundabout road so dangerous to their patients, in order to reach the truth which I myself had already successfully passed over, and indeed with trembling, so as to save them this trouble; and if they really desired to heal, they were nevertheless at last compelled to arrive at the only true goal, after having inflicted many an injury and wasted a good part of their life. All this I had already laid before them faithfully and frankly, and had long before given them the reasons.
May they do better with the great discovery herewith presented to them! And if they should not treat this discovery any better-well, then a more conscientious and intelligent posterity will alone have the advantage to be obtained by a faithful, punctual observance of the teachings here laid down, of being able to deliver mankind from the numberless torments which have rested upon the poor sick, owing to the numberless, tedious diseases, even as far back as history extends. This great boon had not been put within their reach by what Homeopathy had taught hitherto.