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tional cause for confidence in the sys-plorable state, owing to the pride of tem of treatment I have taken so their relations, who only considered much pains to recommend to others, how they might avoid notoriety, and yet, in the general history of the treat- personal inconvenience to themselves, mont of insanity, I have heard and under the vain fear of the world knowknown of much that was strongly to ing that they were related to an insane be deprecated and regretted.
person. Many there surely are, wbose With a paucity of experienced motives cannot be doubted, upon a writers upon what is highly important near and dear relative being afflicted to human happiness in general, and to with mental disease, who yet have so thousands in particular, it is natural much of vacillating indecision, that it for those who have spoken with the is rendered inveterate, if not incurable, assurance of truth, and the feelings of by delay alone. While many are kept philanthropy, to look for respectful from the timely means of recovery by attention; and while I feel grateful for the wicked desigos or disgusting apamany most honourable testimonies in thy of those who should have been my favour, I have several times lately their active protectors, many there had cause for regret, on finding a direct are, who, having dear relations visited opposite practice prevail, producing by insanity, are as much to be pitied the most deplorable results, with those as the patients are, so very acute are who could not but know the practice their sufferings; thus proving the I had recommended, and the success dreadful inroads mental diseases often of it, and who could not be acquaint- make into the circles of domestic haped with the merits of any other. piness, exclusive of what the patients
Like many others, I may be too themselves undergo; and indeed much much inclined to teach, and too little as is said of the dreadful evils of indisposed to learn; I have therefore the sanity, much as it has been described less cause for being chagrined by in terms of horror, those only who opinions being given adverse to my have been actual sofferers from it, or
I have been lately informed of who have been situated as I have, can a very learned physician, and one who have any true conception of the misery has seen much of insanity, stating it produces. But a great share of its positively, in the face of a learned op- evils arise from the superstitious and position, that insanity is not a eurable ignorant notion of its being disgracedisease, and that medical practice is ful- hence concealment, and conseentirely useless in the treatment of it. quent delay in the application of proI have known other physicians, whose per means of recovery, if they are treatment of the disease was extremely ever resorted to-but more frequently violent, both medically and morally, from highly improper and unnecessary as if to verify the opinion of those who coercion and measures of aggravation, contend that nothing should be done which render it incurable. but perunitting the disorder to take its If the world could be brought to own course ; and this, too, in direct think insanity no more disgraceful opposition to the positive opinion, that than the gont, its evils would be greata gentle, but upremitting, attention to ly diminished, and we should soon medical, as well as moral, treatment hear little of its being incurable ; for is highly necessary to the best comforts the best means of recovery would then of the patients while under the influ- be patronized, instead of building ence of the disease, as well as for the large prisons, all over the kingdom, best means of recovery from it; and for the confinement of the most numerwhile some, under a judicious union ous classes of the insane, and in which, of the medical and moral means, have if the best means of recovery were not safely and perfectly recovered from overlooked, they are most egregiously this sore malady, others have sunk mistaken. Is it to be supposed that a into the most deplorable madness, or disease, the liability to which seems the most incurable mental imbecility, interwoven with the best capabilities entirely owing to the neglect of both of human nature, can be subdued by And while so many have become the the mandates of a new law, in which victims of this disease, their poverty the best means of recovery were never preventing the means of recovery recognized ? Can any thing be more being procured for them; numbers of preposterous than a law to transfer the rich have sunk into an equally de- lunatic patients from the asylums of Liverpool and Manchester to the tients of the pauper class being so Lancashire county asylum, for the generally rendered incurable before purposes of cure? In the two first they enter its doors. institutions, which are in part sup
Before there was a county asylum, ported by charitable contributions, if a poor man became insane, almost we may at least expect experience in immediate application was made to the treatment of the disease, with the the officer of his parish, and in most att on of first-rate medical know- instances almost immediate medical ledge. What advantages does the help was afforded; and in a much latter afford, except those derived larger proportion, I am persuaded, from strong locks, and bars, and high than what recover now, this first help walls, as a means of security ? proved effectual for the removal of the
Fresh cases of insanity are, it ap- disease; and where it did not, the papears, lodged at the Liverpool and tient was submitted to the most reManchester asylums, till there is a putable and experienced treatment, sufficient number to make a load for under which ultimate recovery genethe Lancashire asylum. So, trans- rally took place. ports at our county gaols accumulaté, Under the operation of the county till there is a load of them for the asylum law, if a poor man becomes hulks. I have known these removals | insane, his friends conceal it as long of the insane produce the most heart- as possible, being in fear of the county piercing horrors in the feelings of the asylum; and when, from necessity, a unfortunate objects of them, as if disclosure takes place, there must be criminals for transportation. And considerable delay before the proper here I could wish to ask, whether any authority is obtained to remove him; county asylums bave bitherto been and the removal itself is almost sure the means of diminishing the number to cause great irritation, and aggraof incurable lunatics in their respec- vate the complaint, so that, in a mative counties ? for if they have not jority of cases, the patients are indone this, they have done nothing, or curable before their arrival at the apworse than nothing; they have done pointed place for cure. Would there mischief by their expenses. I should be any harm in admitting the really hope that the Nottingham asylum insane without any delay? or any auhad done good, it having been so well thority but what humanity would sancattended, and having been so much tion? Is there any other law in exsupported by voluntary contributions istence to prevent the timely applicaas to give it the character of a charita- tion of the proper remedies for a ble institution; but it would prove serious disease, and to exclude all satisfactory to be informed, that the others ? number of incurable insane paupers While I am blessed with life, and has diminished in the county of Not health, and power, I will never cease tingham since the establishment of its to declare, that insanity is, in almost asylum. Be that as it may, I know a every instance, a perfectly curable county, in which the number of its in- disease, by the use of proper and curable pauper lunatics is three times timely means, and that the best treatwhat it was at the time of opening its ment, as it regards the cure, is such, most grand and highly appointed asy- and such only, as is most calculated to lum, about seven years ago, if we are render the patients comfortable while to take the reports of it to be correct, under process of cure, but that delay, as given by its managers. And as it or improper treatment, may, and often does not appear that there has been does, render this disease incurable; any
increase of fresh cases, at most, and in point of fact, a very large pronot any of consequence, the alarming portion of those visited by insanity, do increase of incurables must be imputa- not recover, and are treated with ble to the tion of the county asy- severity. lum law ; it being notorious, that a I have thought that a general inless proportion of those visited by inspection of all mad-houses, public as sanity, and subjected to the county well as private, might lead to imporasylum law, have recovered, than did tant results, and have applied to the recover previously; and this may be, proper authority to recommend the without justifying any imputation upon measure: but the world seems made the treatment in the asylum, the pa- I up of three sorts of people, viz. those
whose nervous fears make them feel | Let us take a retrospective view of insanity a repulsive subject; those the conduct of those, who, in former who, from apathy, care nothing at all ages of the world, have rejected the about it; and those who have no power Christian religion. Need we refer, in or influence in the state. All I could illustration of this, to the spirit which wish or hope for is, that the united actuated a Nero, a Domitian, a Calikingdom would become equal to other gula, or any of those other monsters of nations in wisdom and humanity, as antiquity which disgrace the page of it regards those afflicted with mental history? Is not the same fact condisorders.
firmed by daily observation? Do we THOMAS Bakewell. not almost invariably see the man who Spring-vale, 25th June, 1825. has broken through all religious re
straint, openly trample on all human
authority, and indulge to the greatest SOLITARY
possible excess in every known vice? (Continued from col.634.)
Is it not the man that is devoid of all
religion, who, by wantonly shedding No. III.-On Infidelity. the blood, and taking the life, of his "A daring Insidel, (and such there are,
neighbour, reduces himself to a level From pride, example, luore, rage, revenge,
with the lion or the tiger that roams Or pure heroical defect of thought,)
in the forest ? Is it not the man who Of all earth's madmen, most deserves a chain.” is mournfully destitute of all religious
principle, whom we find suffering on In my former observations on infide- the scaffold, the vengeance of those lity, col. 621, I mentioned some of the laws which he had so often violated ? causes which lead to its adoption; In short, is it not the man who is proud, and endeavoured to demonstrate their by his actions at least, to disown his insufficiency to justify the man, who, belief in the doctrines of Christianity, on such indefensible grounds, admits whom we find perpetrating the most its baneful principles.
atrocious crimes with which the world I shall now consider, first, its in- is acquainted, and manifesting a ferofluence on the lives of its votaries, and city of spirit, but a few removes from on society in general; and secondly, those malignant beings which are reits operations on the minds of its disci- served in chains of darkness to the ples, in the approach of death, and the judgment of the great day? near view of an eternal world.
It may be objected, that these In reference to the former, it is well sweeping assertions are not supported known, that infidels bave, in all ages, by a reference to the conduct of partibeen very profuse in the studied eulo- cular individnals. To such as thus giums which they have pronounced on plead, the writer would recommend natural religion. They have repre- an attentive examination of the consented Christianity as the greatest duct and crimes of those wretches who curse that could possibly have befallen figured in France during the early the world. To it they have attributed periods of the French revolation; being all those evils which deluğe our earth fully persuaded, that, by observing, with ruin and misery; and with an and reflecting on the actions of those audacity pecaliar to themselves, they inhuman monsters, their doubts will have asserted, that the homan race be completely removed. can never enjoy peace or happiness It will, however, be readily admitted until the religion of Jesus is expelled that there have been infidels in the from the world, and the standard of world, of more amiable dispositions. infidelity erected in its stead. Now, But it is a melancholy fact, that insupposing for a monrent, that the pro- stances of this nature are very rare; jects of these infatuated speculators and even when they are to be found, were carried into complete execution, it is sometimes obvious, they have not what, we would ask, would be the been produced by the influence of consequences of such an event, either these principles on the mind. Amiable with regard to individuals, or as it dispositions and exemplary conduct, respects society at large?
where they have been visible in the With regard to individuals, an ap- actions of infidels, must either bave poal to past experience and daily ob- been inherent in their natures, or have servation will answer the question. been the effects of a kindly education ; for not one single instance can be ad- / others. The denouncement of the duced of an individual, who, on his Christian religion, the shutting up of embracing atheistical sentiments, be-all places of religious worship in Paris, came changed for the better, either in their proclaiming death to be an eterhis dispositions or his actions; while, nal sleep, and their refusing to worship on the contrary, there are but very only Reason, Equality, and Liberty, few of those who have embraced an were followed by the unavoidable coninfidel creed, who have not immediate- sequences of such impious and inly demonstrated by their conduct, to fatuated conduct. the conviction of every spectator, the Having previously, after a mock pernicious influence of the system they trial, beheaded their king and queen, have adopted.
they proceeded with all imaginable But proof, in detail, of this point, is haste to the perpetration of those other scarcely necessary, for the fact is ta- crimes, which, having disgraced hucitly acknowledged by the more can- manity, will transmit their names to did among themselves. In the writ- an execrable immortality. The scene ings of Lord Bolingbroke, and others which Paris exhibited during the adof the same stamp, the Christian reli- ministration of government by Robesgion is represented as inculcating pierre, Danton, Marat, and others of what is unquestionably the best sys- similar views and feelings, may be tem of morals that has ever been pre- better imagined than it can be describsented to the world ; and the same ed. The unjust seizure of private and authority reluctantly admits the bad public property, which they approeffects on individuals and on society, priated to their own unhallowed purwhich the principles of infidelity have poses, the imprisonment and cruel a natural tendency to produce. The treatment of those who dared to differ same fact has also been repeatedly from them in opinion, the public marconfirmed by the verbal confessions of tyrdom of multitudes without even the numerous infidels. When Hume was form of a trial, and, in short, every asked by a lady, on his honour as a other crime at which humanity recoils, gentleman, whether, if he wanted a became the order of the day. A gloomy confidential domestic, he would choose horror pervaded every mind, and was one of his own principles, or one who depicted in every countenance. Every had embraced the Christian religion, breast was filled with a terrific suspi. he candidly, though unwillingly, ad- cion. Even those who had been acmitted, that he would give the decided customed to live in the greatest friendpreference to the latter. This simple ship, began individually to dread each fact requires no comment.
other. The ties of relationship were Having made these remarks on in- violently burst asunder, and those who dividuals, let us now shortly attend to were most closely connected together the influence which infidelity is cal- in the bonds of consanguinity, freculated to produce on society at large, quently proved the most implacable were it universally adopted ; and on foes. It sometimes happened, too, this part of the subject we are not that the father, in the person of his left to indulge in visionary specula- son, met with his most determined tions. The experiment has already persecutor; and the son, on the conbeen tried, though on a comparatively trary, as frequently met with the same limited scale ; and from the results we character in the person of his father. may infer, with moral certainty, the In short, all friendship and confidence effects it would produce on society, were completely at an end ; and one were it universally embraced. We man was afraid to divulge his opinions saw in France, in the early stages of to another, from a well-grounded apits memorable revolution, a number of prehension of being immured within atheists, by a course of plunder, ra- the walls of a gloomy dungeon, as a pine, murder, and, in short, every preparatory step to the guillotine or species of crime which could render the scaffold. one man the scourge and terror of Such is a faint delineation of those another, obtain the ascendancy in the scenes which were exhibited in France government of the pation. No sooner during the administration of the men had they reached that eminence, than whose names have been already mentheir principles were developed in tioned ; and they furnish us with a their conduct towards themselves and correct specimen of the influence of atheistical principles on individuals breath in which they affect to disbeand on society at large.
lieve these solemn truths, they tacitly Now, supposing that men of the same admit them, by invoking the vengeance principles, and actuated by the same of the former, that they may experience spirit, were to obtain the ascendancy the awful reality of the latter ! in the government of every nation, But whatever may be the conduct though the imagination may form some both of practical and speculative infiimperfect conception of the spectacle dels, while in the possession of health, which the world would exhibit, yet no and in the midst of their gay and language can adequately describe it. thoughtless companions, that assumed The dictates of justice, and the princi- bravery utterly forsakes them, when ples of humanity, would be entirely by themselves; but particularly in . discarded; and the man who possessed sickness, and on the apprehended the greatest portion of physical force, approach of death. In such seasons, or intellectual energy, would be most neither imprecation por defiance is dreaded ; and would seize the proper- heard to escape their lips. On the conty, and dispose of the persons, of others trary, they instinctively shrink withas he pleased. Instead of engaging in themselves, at the idea of being in in any of those useful and dignified a state of seclusion from the world. pursuits, which constitute them ex- Even the celebrated Hobbes, notwithcellent members of society here, and standing all his stoical philosophy, fit them for the exercises and enjoy- and boasted heroism, could not endure ments of a blessed hereafter, men to be alone even for a few moments, would study how they might manage, during the silence and darkness of the with the greatest chances of success, night; and if the candle in his study acthe pistol, the dagger, or the sword. cidentally happened to be extinguishThroughout the world, the most dismal ed, he would tremble and shudder scenes would be exhibited, and the until it was re-lighted, like the timomost revolting and horrific tragedies rous infant, on whose credulous and be performed. The bonds of society superstitious mind the spectral tales would be wholly broken up; our of the nursery were exerting all their streets would stream with human magical influence. blood, and the earth would become one But it is in seasons of sickness, and great theatre of ruin, misery, and in the chambers of death, that we witdesolation,
ness the consolation which the princiBut I hasten to consider infidelity ples of infidelity administer to the as it operates in the approach of death mind, and the heroism and fortitude and the near prospectof a future state. which they inspire ! Under these Of all the scenes which are to be wit-circumstances, the mind, torn with nessed on our terraqueous globe, I remorse, is the victim of such horror, know not one that is more common, as to be a terror to itself and to all and more truly afflicting, than that of around it; and I appeal to those, who, the infidel, while in health and jollity, in the providence of God, have witbidding defiance, by his words and nessed the death-bed exercises of a actions, to the majesty of heaven,- dying infidel, whether these things are affecting to despise, and presumptu- not so; and whether the following ously mocking that solemn event, by picture, though awful, be not a faithwhich the union between soul and ful copy of what they have beheld ? body must for a time be dissolved,
"In that dread moment, how the frantic soul and even importunately daring and Raves round the walls of her clay tenement, soliciting Jehovah to make him the Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help, object of his tremendous indignation Bat sbrieks in vain ! how wishfully she looks throughout eternity. The only prayer, A little longer, yet a little longer,
On all she's leaving, now no longer hers! perhaps, that such characters ever
O might she stay, to wash away her stains, offer to heaven, is, that God would And it her for her passage! Mournful sight! pour damnation on themselves and Her very eyes weep blood ; and every groan others. The glaring inconsistency She heaves is big with borror! but the foe, observable in the conduct of those Like a stanch murderer, steady to his parpose, men on these awful occasions, ought Nor misses once the track, bat presses on;
Parsues her close through every lane of life, not to pass unnoticed; for if there be Till forced at last to the tremendous verge, no God, and no state of future exist. At once she sinks to everlasting rain.'' enco, how is it, that, in the very same