« PreviousContinue »
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. H. W.; J. T.; H. S. C. H.; E. M. B.; DELTA; J. H.; EDINENSIS G.; W.; J. S--H;
and LAICUS; are under consideration. The important measures, to which several of our correspondents allude having now
passed into a law, we see no benefit likely to arise from a protracted controversy on the subject.. We are much indebted, not only for the kind and cordial communications of several who concur in our views, but for the candid and Christian remarks of some who differ; and as for two writers who hạve thought they were doing God service by the display of a very different spirit, we only lament they should have written what, in their cooler moments, they will regret.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. The information in the Extracts, especially that from Germany and South America, is very interesting, but too miscellaneous to admit of analysis.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. The Reporter contains a powerful and most convincing reply to the objections which have been urged against certain of its former statements, in respect to the proceedings of some of our church societies connected with the West Indies. We should but weaken the argument by attempting to abridge it. It narrates also another most ufflicting instance of West-Indian cruelty perpetrated upon a poor slave-woman, which terminated only with the death of the victim. Is it possible that any humane or Christian man can any longer identify himself, directly or indirectly, with a system which, besides its incurable injustice, even in the most lenient hands, is the ever-ready minister to atrocities like this?
REFORMATION SOCIETY. The impression of a third edition of this month's Extracts evinces the eagerness with which British Protestants are turning their attention to the religious welfare of their Roman-Catholic countrymen. We look however, under the blessing of God, to a wise and persevering system, rather than to any momentary ebullition of zeal, for the best welfare of Ireland ; and we would especially urge the friends of our various societies to continue to conduct their measures with that meekness of wisdom which Mr. Wilson has so justly pointed out in a preceding page. We observe that the name of one of the vice-presidents of the Reformation Society, no longer appears in the list; a circumstance equally honourable to all parties; but this Christian test of sincerity having been given, we should rejoice to see a highly respected name again in its place. We do not quite comprehend the observations of one of the Society's correspondents, page 2 of the subjoined Extracts. If any friend of the Society wishes so to modify or enlarge its original object, which we always understood was to promote the principles of the Reformation among Roman Catholics, as to make it a Home Missionary Society to “twenty-one millions of fellow-Christians, to appeal to Protestants as well as Romanists," it were better that that object were distinctly specified.
IRISH SUNDAY-SCHOOL SOCIETY. We feel most anxious again to remind our readers of the importance of supporting the religious institutions connected with Ireland. Appended to the present and several of our recent Numbers, they will find the latest notices relating to the Reformation Society, and the Hibernian Society. We now lay before them the Report of another institution inferior in importance to none; the Sunday School Society for Ireland, on the merits of which we need not now expatiate, as we have so often and cordially done so in our former volumes. The Report is printed in Dublin, but a sufficient number of copies have been imported to append to our publication; in the hope, which we trust will not be disappointed, that the powerful claim of this Society to the public patronage needs only to be more fully known to be duly appreciated, especially at the present moment. We must refer our readers to the document itself, for its important and interesting details.
COMMITTEE FOR THE GIPSEYS. We have inserted in our volumes numerous papers and inquiries respecting that anomalous and neglected class of persons the Gipseys. Their cause is, we are rejoiced to learn, beginning to be taken up with affection and zeal, and we earnestly recommend our readers to weigh with care the truly interesting notices in the paper appended to our present Number, and to use their zealous efforts to promote the benevolent and Christian object of the Committee. Our publisher would receive and transmit any donations to further the object.
ESSAY ON SUPERSTITION*. fering viscus, and to the mode of its
sufferings. But when we speak of (Continued from p. 210.)
disorder of the cerebral function, THE most osteonsider the pheno- mentalo fhiersatibichat describe the
"HE next step of our investiga- persons currently employ the terms mena of disordered brainular function.
symptoms of cerebral disease ; but A great error has arisen, and has which do not lead the mind on to been perpetuated even to the present casions them. This cause is gene.
the affection of the organ which ocday, in considering cerebral disorder as mental ; requiring, and indeed rally very little understood, and
often mistaken. But we must readmitting, only of moral remedies, collect, that the spiritual principle is instead of these forming only one class of curative
not susceptible of disease-except agents; whereas the brain is the mere organ of mind, speaking metaphorically; and therenot the mind itself; and its disorder fore, we must refer the symptoms of of function arises from its ceasing to
morbid mental manifestation to their
And if these mental be a proper medium for the mani- organic cause. festation of the varied action and dered in a morbid condition of the
manifestations always become disorpassion of the presiding spirit. And brain, it is not too much to ask that strange as it may seem, this error has been consecrated by a desire to
other analogous phenomena should
be referred to this cause, which escape from the fallacies of materialism. Yet it is manifest that they
have sometimes been ascribed to alone are guilty of the charge of spiritual agency, because the alterattachment to materialism, who
ed manifestations have not been consider the disorders of the cere
contemplated as a consequence of bral function as mental ; for then, and if this be granted, it will not be
disease of the manifesting organ: indeed, the brain must be mind itself, and not simply its organ. morbid manifestations of mind,which
too much to ask further, that those When the stomach, or the liver, or
can be traced to disease of the mathe lungs are affected with disease, terial organ, should be permitted to some term is employed which at once leads the attention to the sufguide us into the same route of ex
planation as respects other devia• Our correspondent's valuable series of tions from healthy mental agency, papers would fall more correctly under the „which may not so clearly be associhead of " Miscellaneous Communica- ated with disease of structure. tions ;" but, in truth, we are not always able to keep the departinents of our work
Cerebral disorder is characterized as distinct as might be wished.
by certain symptoms, which, in CHRI$T. OBSERV. No. 329.
prosecuting this inquiry, it is im- the manifestations of mind are under portant to consider. We will first the influence of this peculiar though take an example of the simplest most simple cerebral disorder ? and form of disturbance; namely, slight if so, may there not be other more tendency to congestion
in the ves. bid conditions of the brain, perhaps sels of the brain. The patient unknown or unexplained, and with wakens with difficulty; he is desir our present knowledge, inexplicaous of sleeping beyond his usual ble, which may give rise to other time; he dresses with an oppression deviations from healthy mental maupon his brow, which constitutes nifestations, to visions, spectral illuthat operation a burden; he remains sions, hallucinations, apparitions, languid and feeble all the morning; and similar phenomena. there is a sense of weight in his The infinite wisdom of the Creahead, which he cannot shake off; tor has so appointed, that the brain he is still drowsy and indisposed for can bear much injury with impunity. exertion: the hour of dinner arrives And it is astonishing to contem. and the stimulus occasioned by plate the degree of mischief which this meal drives the blood through will sometimes go on in its structure the congested vessels; reaction is without being rendered very obvious produced ; the sense of weight is by bodily or mental symptoms. By lost, and it is superseded by head. what constitution of the organ this ache of a more or less acute cha- has been effected is beyond our racter ; by restlessness, and a va- knowledge, and we seek not to explain riety of fidgetty sensations ; and if it: but we see the fact; and we the pain should subside (as it very would derive from it a lesson of .commonly does) towards evening, adoring gratitude to that Holy still there is a great degree of irrita- Being, whose infinite knowledge bility, and the patient retires to rest has prepared for the operations of in a state of morbid wakefulness, mind an organ of such exquisite which is not overcome for hours; delicacy and susceptibility; and yet and he then falls into the same one which could bear with
comparaheavy, unrefreshing sleep, which tive impunity a greater degree of occasions a repetition of similar con lesion than many other less importgestion ; to be again removed by the ant viscera. But although this is same reaction, and to return in a sometimes the case, yet cerebral similar circle till the morbid condi- disorder is generally marked by tion has been relieved.
some of the following appearances. But what is the effect of this state 1. Feebleness, or suspension, or upon the manifestations of mind ? perversion of the intimations affordAll the morning the subject of ed by the organs of sense. brainular alternation is incapable of Mere mental emotion will occa. intellectual exertion ; his spirits are sion the tongue to be furred in a depressed, and his powers of thought few minutes; vision will be renderinadequate. To this mental cloud ed indistinct, and the hearing obtuse; succeeds a transient brightening of an emotion of a more powerful kind the faculties, which is suspended by will suspend the action of the senses acute pain, and is afterwards cha- altogether: while,under other circumracterized by an impossibility of stances, it will so completely pervert fixing the attention, until towards them, as that the taste shall be deevening, when a greater degree of praved; the ear shall be assailed by serenity is produced, and the patient a thousand forms of unreal impresprobably conduces to his approach- sion; spectral images shall float ing wakefulness by mental occupe before the eye; the nose shall be tion; which now, no longer a burden, occupied by odours which do not goes on cheerily. Now unless we exist, and relative feeling shall be are wilfully blind, do we not see that disturbed. Precisely similar effects
will often be produced from an im- of mental operation very frequently pression of primary disease of the arises from the former : 'a perverted brain ; so that in either case of dis. image is conveyed through the order of that organ, whether it may senses, and represented to the mind; claim a physical or mental origin, in consequence of the high degree we are prepared for perverted mani- of susceptibility of the brain, this festations of mind.
impression is brooded over : it is 2. We notice, in the next place, frequently recalled even during the extreme susceptibility of these sleep: it is associated with other organs.' The taste becomes deve- impressions, and grouped with them loped in an unusual degree; so that in some fancied order of perverted the simple contact of many bodies and fantastic arrangement, and it with the tongue will instantaneously becomes so overbearing a sensation, produce sickness, and bring on all that the patient is convinced of its those associated actions which have reality, and carried away by its reprimarily commenced in irritation iterated impulse. At another time, of the brain : hearing will be ren the brain forms for itself these dedered so acute that the slightest lusive images from the involuntarily vibrations of the atmosphere will recollected frusta of previous imseem to the patient as thunder, and pressions, and their very natural, he will be incapable of listening but not always coherent, associawithout pain to the gentlest move. tions; and thus its action becomes ments in his room : the eye will perverted: it ceases to listen to the abhor its usual grateful stimulus notices conveyed by the external light, and will court the completest senses, by means of which its interobscurity : while both these senses nal impressions might have been will be rendered so irritable, that compared and adjusted : the voice voices will be heard, and forms will of judgment is not heard, and the be seen, while neither the one nor patient is absorbed by the certainty the other ever existed. The sense of his erroneous impressions, and of smelling will be offended by verily believes in the existence of odours which are not in themselves the fancied offspring of a disordered disagreeable; and the skin will be imagination. In this state actual so irritable, that it will feel soreness feelings are disregarded; the morand pain from the slightest impres- bid images supply their place, and sions; its function will be interrupt. are contemplated as the positive ed; it will be chilled by cold or results of sensation. The natural fevered by heat, or unnaturally per- laws of intellect are now superseded; spiring; while it will cease to convey the brain is no longer the obedient correct impressions, from the mor servant of the mind; but, in the tybid excitability of its surface. Can
Can ranny of its usurpation, subjugates it be surprising that, under many the reasoning powers, and compels circumstances of invading disease, them to yield to that human infir. and while the brain is suffering from mity, which attaches itself to the its oppression, this extreme suscep grand prevailing cause that has tibility should
operate in producing marred the most perfect creation illusions ? For we are frail and of Omnipotence, and has rendered feeble creatures, composed of body that which was originally "very and mind; and we have no access good," now very far gone from to external circumstances for the original righteousness." latter, except through the interven These hallucinations
very tion of the former.
fugitive, especially at the commence3. But, thirdly, another expres- ment of cerebral disease; and a powsion of cerebral disorder consists in erful appeal to the mind, judiciously hallucination. This manifestation applied, may recal it to the influ.
ence of right reason. But if disease how easily this same state would be should continue, it will soon relapse induced by a degree of the same into the same or similar trains : and cause, existing for any length of if it should advance, or increase in time, but not so great as to be intensity, this hallucination may be called disease, - escaping attention come permanent, and it will
then under the ferms of " restless nights," form delirium or insanity. These and of a "bad sleeper," till the hallucinations will frequently com
morbid results have so far accumumence during sleep, and the patient, lated as to be uncontroulable. This on rousing from that state, cannot form of great excitement may be be convinced of their illusion ; they followed by collapse, and destrucremain with the energy of waking tion of the brain; or it may be raimpressions, and often become mo- pidly succeeded by congestion, and tives to conduct; and at all events by a tendency to heavy sleep from form the groundwork for morbid which the patient can scarcely be reasoning. Here, however, we are aroused; and from which, if left to treading too closely on the subject himself, this very congestion may of visions, which will come to be terminate in lethargy, apoplexy, or considered more especially here- other of the deepening shades of after.
cerebral disorder. 4. Another result of cerebral 5. But there are other indications disorder, is that of unconquerable of brainular malady, which we must wakefulness. A ceaseless vigilance mention particularly, as they affect attacks the patient, and sleep seems the intellectual and moral manifes. to have fled for ever from his eye. tations. One of the first symptoms lids. It is astonishing how long a to be remarked, is an inaptitude for period will sometimes be passed intellectual employment; the pawithout repose; and so great are tient requires a frequent change of the restlessness and irritability, that pursuit; he cannot turn his attention they are often beyond the controul steadily to one object; he cannot of medicine : nay, more, the pri- reason or think consecutively; he mary stimulus of opium seems to in- finds it impossible to fix his thoughts crease them in a degree far greater upon the reasoning of others; his than can be quieted by its subsequent desk and his books are neglected; sedative effects ; while the applica- and he himself is occupied with the tion of an ice-cap to cool the fevered veriest trifles, rendered important brain, will
the most efficacious in his estimation, by their assoremedy. For days and weeks toge- ciation with some perverted images. ther the patient will never sleep, and, Moreover, if he has contrived to fix during the whole time, will talk in- his attention, he soon becomes facessantly. And yet, such is the tigued ; thus shewing, that however wisdom of the Almighty Architect the brain may on some occasions in protecting this organ of the mind, be disposed for over-action, it has that it will not have eventually suf- not the power of supporting it, but fered from this protracted irritation rather that it exhausts itself by atin a degree at all commensurate tempting to accomplish that to with that which would have been which it is utterly inadequate. Again, produced by the same excited ac there is a susceptibility to moral tion in other organs of the body. impression, and a disposition to imIt must be seen, however, at a pulsive action, which shew that the glance, how favourable must be patient is not to be depended upon. this state of irritability, to the pro- Reason with him, convince his judgduction and indulgence of morbid ment, see his resolution fully taken, sensorial and intellectual impres- apparently with all the immoveable sions; and then it may be inferred determinativeness of conscious right;