Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, , at sacred-texts.com
THE author would have preferred writing no preface whatever to this little book, were it not indispensably necessary, in order to meet the erroneous views some men entertain in regard to works of this character. The majority, undoubtedly, approve of the publication and sale of such books, yet some are always found who will persist in denouncing them as something wrong. This latter class I cannot help but pity, for being so far led astray; and I earnestly pray everyone who might find it in his power, to bring them from off their ways of error. It is true, whosoever taketh the name of JESUS in vain, committeth a great sin. Yet, is it not expressly written in the fiftieth Psalm, according to Luther's translation: "Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." In the Catholic translation, the same passage is found in the forty-ninth Psalm, reading thus: "Call upon me in the day of thy trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
Where is the doctor who has ever cured or banished the panting or palpitation of the heart, and hide-boundness? Where is the doctor who ever banished a wheal? Where is the doctor who ever banished the mother-fits? Where is the doctor that can cure mortification when it once seizes a member of the body? All these cures, and a great many more mysterious and wonderful things are contained in this book; and its author could take an oath at any time upon the fact of
his having successfully applied many of the prescriptions contained herein.
I say: any and every man who knowingly neglects using this book in saving the eye, or the leg, or any other limb of his fellow-man, is guilty of the loss of such limb, and thus commits a sin, by which he may forfeit to himself all hope of salvation. Such men refuse to call upon the Lord in their trouble, although He especially commands it. If men were not allowed to use sympathetic words, nor the name of the MOST HIGH, it certainly would not have been revealed to them; and what is more, the Lord would not help where they are made use of. God can in no manner be forced to intercede where it is not his divine pleasure.
Another thing I have to notice here: There are men who will say, if one has used sympathetic words in vain, the medicines of doctors could not avail any, because the words did not effect a cure. This is only the excuse of physicians; because whatever cannot be cured by sympathetic words, can much less be cured by any doctor's craft or cunning: I could name at any time that Catholic priest whose horse was cured with mere words; and I could also give the name of the man who did it. I knew the priest well; he formerly resided in Westmoreland county. If it was desired, I could also name a Reformed preacher who cured several persons of the fever, merely by writing them some tickets for that purpose; and even the names of those persons I could mention. This preacher formerly resided in Berks county. If men but use out of this book what they actually need, they surely commit no sin; yet woe unto those who are guilty that anyone loses his life in consequence of mortification, or loses a limb, or the sight of the eye! Woe unto those who misconstrue there things at the moment of danger, or who follow the ill advice of any preacher who might teach them not to
mind what the Lord says in the fiftieth Psalm. "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." Woe unto those who, in obeying the directions of a preacher, neglect using any means offered by this book against mortification, or inflammation, or the wheal. I am willing to follow the preacher in all reasonable things, yet when I am in danger and he advises me not to use any prescriptions found in this book, in such a case I shall not obey him. And woe also unto those who use the name of the Lord in vain and for trifling purposes.
I have given many proofs of the usefulness of this book, and I could yet do it at any time. I sell my books publicly, and not secretly, as other mystical books are sold. I am willing that my books should be seen by everybody, and I shall not secrete or hide myself from any preacher. I, Hohman, too, have some knowledge of the Scriptures, and I know when to pray and call unto the Lord for assistance. The publication of books (provided they are useful and morally right) is not prohibited in the United States, as is the case in other countries where kings and despots hold tyrannical sway over the people. I place myself upon the broad platform of the liberty of the press and of conscience, in regard to this useful book, and it shall ever be my most heartfelt desire that all men might have an opportunity of using it to their good, in the name of Jesus.
Given at Rosenthal, near Reading, Berks county, Penn., on the 31st day of July, in the year of our Lord, 1819.
JOHN GEORGE HOHMAN.
Author and original publisher of this book.