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for which he was prosecuted, had not denied Christianity ; he had only published a book which did : therefore he was not indictable under the statute of William.
The next passage which we shall quote is so full and stro: upon this point, and proceeds from an authority so high, ihat with this we shall close the present article. 6 I cannot think it agreeable," says Dr. Middleton, “ either to reason or religion, to punish even such as are hardy enough to call in question the reality of revelation itse-if; for it is the greatest weakness and absurdity to think, that truth can ever be hurt by any examination whatsoever: it may be oppressed a while by faction, stilled by power; but in a free debate, as in frre :rir and exercise, it always regains its strength and vigour : controversy to truth is like a gentle wind to trees; it shakes the head, but fastens the root. Truth is naturally so amiable, that wherever it is exposed to view, it necessarily draws all to admire it ; and the more it is exposed, the more strongly it attracts. Where artifice, indeed, and fraud prevail in the stead of it, there all inquiry must indlustriously be discouraged, as a dangerous and fatal enemy: sure to detect and expose the cheat : and whereever it is discouragel, there is always reason to suspect some latent imposiure: now as sure as truth and falsehood are contrary to each other, so sure it is, that the same method of treating them cannot possibly be of service to both
" As far as my experience has reached, either in ancient or modern history, there is not an instance on record, where a fair, examination has ever done harm to a good cause. The attacks on Christianity, urged on by its warmest enemies, always turn to its advantage; they engage the clergy to study and search into the true grounds of it; keep them in breath and exercise ; and train thein, by constant discipline, to be able champions and defenders of it: they clear religion itself of all the rust and rubbish, which by the negligence or the art of its managers it may have contracted : and above all, they enforce and lay open the genuine proofs of it; which by tiine itself naturally grow languid and ineffi ctual; till a new debate, like a new publication, sends them fresh again into the would in their original force and lustre.
“ It is, then, my firm principle and persuasion, that a free inquiry into all points of religion, is always useful and beneficial; and for that reason never to be punished or prohibited. It opens the minds and re-forms the manners of the people ; makes them reasonable, sociable, governable ; easy to such as differ from them, and as little scandalized at the different opis
nion, as the different complexion of their neighbour : whereas the restraint of this liberty, and the imposition of systems and articles, that must not be called in question, nourishes a churl. ish spirit of bigotry, uncharitableness, enthusiasm, which no civil power can moderate; a spirit that has so oft involved mankind in wars and bloodshed, and by turns endangered the ruin of every Christian country in the world*.”
This is a most important passage, of which every sentence deserves to be written in letters of gold. We trust that it will prove an everlasting antidote to the doctrines, though it may be a feeble safeguard against the power, of an attorney-general and a lord chief justice. What truth, what dignity, what wisdom is here! What weakness, what vulgarity, what barrenness in the criminatory harangues of the learned lord and gentleman !
Plan of an Asylum for Lunatics, &c.
To the EDITOR of The PHILANTHROPIST. Sing Without taking up much of the space of your work or the time of your readers, I am desirous of drawing both their and your attention to a subject which I consider of no small importance.
The illustrious Howard pointed out the frequent instances which came under his observation, of lunatics confined for a succession of years in jails, to the great annoyance of other prisoners. I myself knew the circumstance of an idiot who was shut up for many years in Chelmsford Old Bridewell, to the very great inconvenience of its wretched in nates; and there are few, I believe, in the habit of attending to the situation of jails, bridewells, and work-houses, who are not aware of the circumstance, as well as the dreadful treatment which these children of misfortune experience. My first object in this letter is, to request your readers to inform me of any such
Miscellaneous Works of the Rev. Conyers Middleton, D.D. Principal Librarian of the University of Cambridge, vol. ii. p. 312.
facts, with their details, which have or may come to their knowledge. These facts I design to arrange and forward you for publication ; for though we may be fully convinced of the truth of the general observation, it is alone the relation of individual instances, minutely described, which can impress the circumstance on the public mind.
Premising that this is the chief object of this my first letter, I will concisely state to you the plan of relief that I intend to offer for public consideration, which, of course, will be open to the observations and hints of your readers.
As well as lunatics and idiots, I propose extending relief to cripples, blind persons, and those who may be afflicted with confirmed disgusting diseases; and that these objects sball not only be selected from jails, bridewells, and, work-houses, but shall be received from such private families as may choose to adopt the system; for these people are frequently as distressing to their own families, as to the inhabitants of jails, &c.
It would be compulsory of course on counties and parishes no longer to retain within their jails, bridewells, and workhouses, lunatics and the other objects above described ; but to send them to public receptacles of human misery ; optional on relatives to avail themselves of such benefit.
I propose, then, upon the Panopticon plan of Jeremy Bentham, Esq. the building of a house, centrically situated, which may serve half a dozen or more counties : this for Great Britain: for Ireland, one for each province: the expense of build. ing to be defrayed from the county rates of the district to be benefited by its erection : to those who are ignorant of the sort of building to which I have adverted, it may be necessary to explain, that the inhabitant of one part has no communication with another ; that thus, the patients may be classed according to their complaints and circumstances.
County rates in Great Britain are levied upon the rental assessed to the poors' rates : in Ireland, by the plough land, carver, or acre; a rate by measurement. Thus the expense of building will be borne, nearly in an equal ratio, by the whole country.
Some may object to the great cost of the buildings. My reply is, It will be a mere trifle : perhaps six houses will answer the purpose for England; their cost 50001. each; the total amount 50,0001. The rental as returned to the tax-office, by the collection of the property tax, is 37,000,0001. Now 2s. 6d. per cent. on this amount is 48,7501. But this 2s. 6d. per cent. or one-eighth of 1l. per cent. upon the rental of
the kingdon, although only for one year, will not be voluntarily paid; I am aware of the fact; ny object therefore is its col. lection by act of parliament. If this be thought too much, the money may be borrowed by way of tontine, and thus the country will become liable only to the payment of the interest.
So much for the outline of the erection of the buildings; the maintaining of the householl is the next consideration. A certain sum is somewhere already expended, and I apprehend that it would be much reduced by adopting the Panopticon system. The counties, if s'nt from jails; the parishes, if from work-houses ; the relations, it' tion families, therefore must pay so much per bead pi'r week, for the maintenance of the unfortunate sufferers ; a sum, as I have lefore said, wbich will probably be less than it is at present. Thus, independent of the erection of the buildings, there will be no extra expenditure ; it is merely placing under one root, where for the same or less expense they can be better attended and receive the best medical advice, those unfortunate beings whose existence is rendered an offensive burthen to those with whom they now dwell.
In soine instances, the blind in particular, and lunatics at periods of sanity, may be tauglit tiades, which may yielel enough for their maintenance, or, at any rate, to add to their comtoris.
In this letter it will be unnecessary to point out plans of management and inspection; the first object is to collect the facts of the evil : then, if the general scheme be approved, these material circumstances will present themselves is imperious objects of subsi quent cousideration.
It perhaps will be urged as an argument against this plan, that the noble institution of St. Luke's is open to the reception of all lunatics: but it must be remembered, that the relief is contined to lunatics, and to them ooly for a year; it is not extended to idiots, cripples, the blind, &c., and even without this extension the applications are so numerous, that the name of a patient is frequently three inentiis on the books, waiting for admission; a proof that the relief remeel by that hospital cannot be extended to all the unhappy sufferers in the kingdom; and even if it could, tie distance which any one hospital must be tiom various parts of the island, is in itself a fatal objection. None sutier more by removal t'han persons derived of their reason. I heard a medical gyntleman, who was in the habit of attending insane patients, state to the Right Honourable John Foster, when he was minister of Ireland, that numerous
Association for the Relief of the Labouring Poor. 229 cases had come under his care of mad people being tied to a car in order 10 convey them to a lunatic hospital in Dublin ; and that from the ignorance of those who fastened them with cords, which are gi nerally tied round the wrists, and the lig litness of the ligature, the limb was frequently lost.
I shall sign this letter with my name and address, with the hope of its receiving attention, and assuring your readers that I shall be happy to receive any communications on the subject.
I ain your faithful humble servant, Grove Place, Tottenham, Middlesex,
EDWARD WAKEFIELD. 7th July, 1812.
Association for the Relief and Benefit of the Manufacturing
and Labouring Poor, estullished in London May 1812.
Ar a meeting of the nobility, clergy, gentry, bankers, merchants, and manufacturers, held on the 25d of May, 1812, at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London, for the purpose
of taking into consideration the distiessed state of the labouring poor in certain of the manufacturing districts, llis Royal Lighss the Duke of York took the chair, supported by his royal brothers the Dukes of Kent and Cambridge, Ilis Grace the Duke of Rutland, and others of the nobility, &c. &c.
At this meeting, the following among other resolutions were unanimously adopted :
1. 'I hat the distress of the labouring poor, in certain manafacturing districts, renders it the duty of their fellow-subjects, in other parts of the kingdom, to contribute towards their res lief, in addition to sucli assistance as can be locally aflord d, during the present interruption of employinent and high price of provisions.
2. That a subscription be immediately opened for the above purposes.
3. That a committee be appointed, to consider and adopt the best means of carrying the benevolent intentions of the subscribers into eflcct.