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too great for man to bear, fice for succour, but to our God, who, knowing that of ourselves we are unable to do any thing, bas appointed his Son as a Sacrifice for our transgressions ! O love unequalled ! goodness unparalleled ! so dear is our soul to its Creator, that lie spared not his only Son, that we might be freed from the bondage and yoke of sin, and obtain eternal life! and when this earth shall pass away, and be dissolved, when the
trump of the archangel shall sound, and the dead arise from their graves, putting off corruption to take upon them incorruption; when every one shall stand in the presence of him whom we have all too much neglected, and he shall say "Come, my beloved, to the mansions prepared for you;' and to the sinners, . I know ye not; then when every man's heart shall fail him througla sin, how will they wish that they too had taken up the cross, and glory in the name of a
THOUGHTS ON RELIGIOUS MELANCHOLY.
As the Opposers of Evangelical Truth are fond of ascribing numeroas In
stances of Insanity to Religion, and tell us that Methodism has filled all the Mad-houses in England with Patients, the following Strictures on the Subject, though penned on a particular Occasion, in order to counteract a base and malicious Charge, may be generally useful, and are therefore inserted.
• As many persons talk of Religious Madness and Religious Melancholy who, kam persuaded, know nothing of the matter, I think it my duty to make a few observations on the subject. I have known several patients who have appeared, some suddenly, and others gradually, to be seized with a species of religious hore ror, - despairing of salvation, - distrusting divine Providence,
asserting that they had commitied sins which could never be forgiven, who had never previously appeared to be under religious impressions, nor attended the preaching of Methodists, &c. In these cases, friends have often interposed, procured visits to them by religious people, and perhaps have taken them to hear different ministers, whose mode of preaching was supposed to be well calculated to dispel gloomy apprehensions, and excite religious confidence. The use of these means has appeared, for a time, to answer the desired end; but speedy relapses into a fear of immediate judgments, or of being recluced to beggary,'&c. have taken place, so that all hope of restoration to mental sanity has been cut off. In these cases, attempts at suicide have been Tesorted to by the unhappy sufferers; and, when not closely watched, they have succeeded in putting an end to their lives. Others, by proper care and medical treatment, bawe recovered ;
and have been completely restored to their former soundness of mind, and to their station in society ; -and, what has been peculiarly remarkable in the cases of those who have recovered, is, they emerged precisely as they immerged : for, as before their seizure, they were, like too many in the world, quite unconcerned about religious matters, so, on their recovery, the enquiry after salvation, and the sense of their sinfulness, ceased with the removal of the hypochondriac affection, and they became precisely what they were before ; so that the wbole of their indisposition seemed to have been a perfect parenthesis in their lives, partaking of nothing that preceded,- of nothing that followed after.
This indisposition, because it assumes a religious aspect, baş been injudiciously ascribed to Religion, with which it has no kind of affinity or concern, as the preceding and succeeding circumstances suffciently evince; and I am persuaded, from my own experience in medical practice, that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, no religious impressions, no true or false views of any scriptural
' doctrine, have any thing to do in the business ; and, that whatsoever is felt or expressed on this subject by these Hypochondriacs, should be considered merely as the symptoms by which this almost non-descript disorder may be ascertained, but no cause whatever of the complaint..
I have only further to observe, that this disorder almost in. variably ex?ibits the same symptoms; and these are fairly reducible to two points,- Despair of temporal support, or Despair of final salvation. I am sorry to find that, in many instances, this is treated as a spiritual disease, which may yield to consolatory exhortations drawn from the mercy of God, &c. But fram the fullest means of information, through an extensive acquaintance with deranged persons, I can say (with the highest respect , for the gospel of God, and all the consolation which may be le gitimately derived from it) that they are utterly inapplicable to such cases; and that the Medical Practitioner, and not the Dicine, is the proper person to be consulted.
I would earnestly, advise religious people not to be too forward to take cases of this nature out of the hands of medical men. I have known several, more remarkable for their zeal than for their knowledge or discretion, who haye incautiously asserted, that the disorder was wholly of a religious nature; and thus, its numerous fatal issues have been charged on Religion itself, caricatured for the purpose, under the names of Fanaticism, Enthusiasm, &c. I need not say that it is perfectly disingenucus, as well as grossly absurd, to attribụte to the means of cure, whether judiciously or injudiciously applied, the disorder which existed previously to that application, and for the removal of which they were administered.
AMICUS. To the above judicious observations, may be added some further remarks on the same subject, by the Rev. Mr. Cecil, in his Mc
moirs of the late Rev. John Newton.-Having occasion to advert to the mental indisposition of Cowper, the poet, he states the following:
“ The malady, which seemed to be subdued by the strong consolations of ihe gospel, was still latent ; and only required some occasion of irritation to break out again, and overwhelm the patient. Any object of constant attention that shall occupy a mind previously disordered, whether fear, or love, or science, or religion, will not be so much the cause of the disease as the accidental occasion of exciting it. Cawper's Letters will shew how much his mind was occupied at one time with the truths of the Bible ; and at another time by the fictions of Homer; but his melancholy, originally a constitutional disease,-a physical disorder, which, indeed, could be affected either by the Bible or Homer ; but was utterly distinct in its nature from the mere matter of either. And here, I cannot but mark this necessary distinction; having been often witness to cases where religion has been assigned as the proper cause of insanity, when it has been only an accidental occasion in the case of one already affected.
“I have been an eye-witness of several instances of this kind of misrepresentation ; but will detain the reader with mentioning only
I was called to visit a woman whose mind was disordered ; and, on my observing that it was a case which reqnired the assistance of a physician rather than that of a Clergyman, her husband replied, “Sir, we sent to you, because it is a religious case'; her mind has been injured by constantly reading the Bible.'-I have known many instances, said I, of persons brought to their senses by reading the Bible; but, it is possible that too intente an application to that, as well as to any other subject, may have disordered your wife. There is every proof of it,' said he; and was proceeding to multiply his proofs, till his brother interrupted him by thus addressing me :-? Sir, I have no longer patience to stand by and see you so imposed on. The truth of the matter is this : My brother has forsaken his wife, and been long connected with a loose woman. He bad the best of wives in her, and one who was strongly attached to him: but she has seen his heart and
property given to another, and, in her solitude and distress, went to the Bible, as the only consolation left her. Her health and spirits at last sunk under her troubles, and there she lies distracted, not from reading her Bible, but from the infidelity and cruelty of her husband.'
Does the reader wish to know what reply the husband made to this ?-He made no reply at all, but left the room with confusion of face !!!
The opponents of Evangelical Religion will do well to remember, that the agonies of mind under which some persons have laboured, who were unjustly called Fanatically Insane or Melancholy Mad, were occasioned by their sense of moral turpitude, independently of any peculiar religious tenets newly embraced and they should also recollect, that our public hospitals and mad-houses are filled with patients of every class and character, with but comparatively few individuals oppressed by hypochondriacal delusions.
A FRAGMENT OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY.
Pamphilus was born at Berytus about the year 291. Having made some progress in literature in his native city, he went to Alexandria to complete his studies; from thence be removed to Cæsarta where he resided the greatest part of his life, which of consequence was the principal witness of his glorious career. He had not dwelt long at Cæsarea before his piety and Christian virtues shone so vigorously, as to lead the church of that place do elect him as one of its Presbyters. Here it was that be formed that intimate friendship with Eusebius, the Ecclesiastical Historian, which ran parallel with life, and which caused them to concentrate their forces in opposing the blind superstition of Paganism, and in disseminating the knowledge of Christianity throughout the sphere of their exertion.
One interesting part of the character of Pamphilus undoubted. ly consisted in his attachments to Biblical literature. Of this we bave several valid testimonies ; Pamphilus had,' says Jerome,
such an affection for a divine (or ecclesiastical) library, that he wrote out with his own hand the greatest part of Origen's works, which are still in the library of Cæsarea; and besides, I have met,' adds he, with twenty-five volumes of Origen's Commentaries opon the Prophets, in his own hand-writing, which I value, and keep as though I had the riches of Croesus. The same writer quotes Eusebius, as saying That Pamphilus diligently read the works of the ancient authors, and continually meditated upon them.'
The Cæsarian Library, which Jerome takes notice of, was founded by Pampbilus himselr. Isidore, of Seville, informs us that it contained no less than 30,000 volumes. By this infor. mation we are at once taught that Pamphilus must have possessed vast pecuniary resources, and an ambition to consecrate them entirely to the welfare of the disciples of the Redeemer; for we have full authority to affirm, That this collection of books was made merely for the use of the church; and to lend to those · who were desirous of being instructed in the grand principles of
Christianity. And this is, as Dr. A. Clark observes, the first Dotice we have of a circulating library being established.' Nor was the benevolent and philanthropic spirit of this eminent man
to be less admired. His hand was always open for the relief of the necessitous, and bis heart ever ready to sympathize with the miserable. If he saw any embarrassed in their temporal affairs, he gave bountifully of his substance to relieve them. He devoted a considerable portion of his property to these charitable purposes, and lived himself in the most abstemious manner, to Fender his ability the greater. One of the monuments of his benevolence was the school which he established at Cæsarea, for the free education of youth. No materials remain to enable us to give the plan, or state the success of this academy; but, That there was a considerable one formed by his generosity, is attested by the united authorities of Cave, Fabius, and Tillemont.
But the most prominent feature in the character of Pamphilus, doubtless, was his strong attachment to the oracles of God,' and his earnest endeavours to propagate them. In the accomplish. ment of this noble design all the energies of his mind were united, and his labours were indefatigable. He not only lent out,' says Eusebius, copies of the sacred Scriptures to be read, but cheerfully gave them to be kept by those whom he found disposed to read them: for which reason he took care to have by him many copies of the Scriptures (some of which were transcribed with his own band) that when there should be occasion, he might furnish those who were willing to make use of them.' Such was the eniployment, and such were the delights of this amiable man! Is it not to be wished that many who possess, perliaps, as great an ability for action were aiming at as grand an object as Pamphilus ? But another fact, illustrative of this part of his character, is too notorious to be passed over, through liis having published, by the assistance of Eusebias, a correct edition of the Septuagint fren: Origen's Hexapla. Undoubtedly, this was of peculiar atvantage to the church of Christ; the benefit of Origen's immense labour was rendered more extensive ; and if this edition was not the first separate one, it was certainly ibe most exaot.
This will called the Palestine edition, and was in general use from Autiocis to Egypt, as that of Lucian was from Antioch to Constantinople, and that of Hesychius in Egypt.
But a character so active in the divine cause of Christianity, and likely to do so much injury to Pagan superstition, could not expect to pass through the world free from persecution. A city set upon a hill cannot be hid.' A glow-worm may be seen but by few; but a star is exposed to the sight of all. But although Pamphilus must have been well aware of the dangers to which his exertions exposed him in such a period of severe persecution, yet the intrepidity of his mind, and the goodness of his cause, taught him to brave all opposition, and to relinquish his useful. ness only with his life! He was frequently brought before the Civil Tribunal, and as frequently he witnessed a good cool-ssion.' On these occasions the eminency of bis station, and the