Page images
PDF
EPUB

stance has made us, and not we ourselves, we shall in time outgrow. The innermost heart of us these circumstances leave unchanged. Whatever experiences may come to us from abroad, whatever revolutions of outward condition we may pass through, no change of sphere or change of body, nor life nor death, nor heaven nor hell, can destroy the man within, or obliterate the original self from the soul. Whatever the influences which time or eternity may bring, overwhelming though they be, the individual character, as shaped from within, is mightier than all these, will survive them all, will subdue them to itself, as the stream in winter melts the show into itself, as the flame transforms the fuel into itself, and will still maintain forever and ever its proper type.

Every man's self is his true world and his best state, an estate of unknown extent and inexaustible riches. In giving us our self, God has given us the uttermost that divine power could bestow, an infinite possibility, in which all riches and all worlds for us are comprised. Go where we will in the far future, we can never outtravel the limits of this possession.Come what may in the long future, we can receive nothing so precious from any other source, we can experience nothing so hurtful from

any other source as we may find within.

THE TALLEST IN THE WORLD. Our national spirit of boasting shows itself so often, sometimes so offensively, and sometimes so ludicrously, that it is really quite a duty now and then to give it a slap.

My eye has just fallen on a paragraph in a' Church paper, (a mere slip, copied from some exchange,) in which it is said the Washington national monument, now one hundred and four feet from the surface of the ground, is to be five hundred and seventeen feet high, and will be the loftiest structure in the world.

Now, to say nothing of the pyramids, of which the greatest, at least, is more than 600 feet high, and which, in bulk, bear no comparison with the slice out of one of them that would make our obelisk, a church now building in Moscow is to rear its central dome half as high again as the obelisk in Washing. ton, when completed. The Church of St. Saviour, on Sparrow Hill, designed as a thank offering to God for the discom. fiture of the French invader in 1812, is slowly but steadily lifting its enormous head, which is to rise, in the central dome, to the height of 770 feet above the foundation. The length of the building is to be 560 feet, aud the west end is approached by a colonnade of half a mile in length, flanked with two towers, each 330 feet high, made of cannon taken from the French. It appears, therefore, that if patriotism in this country can do a great deal, patriotism and religion combined, elsewhere, can do as much and a little more !Church Times.

RESULTS OF ECONOMY. Every one becomes surprised in examining the Annuity Tables in familiar use in the offices of Life Insurance Companies, at the astonishing aggregate amount of the daily expenditures of small sums when compounded with interest, and finally summed up at the termination of a long life, as exhibited in the following abstract : Table showing the aggregate value of rompound interest.

Amounting in Of an expen-firit

10 yrs. 20 yrs. 30 yrs. 40 yrs. 50 years.

[graphic]

bri diture of

[ocr errors]

24 cts day or $10 a yr. $100 $300 $790 $1,540 $2,900

20

260 720 1,580 3,080 5,800 30

390 1,0-0 2,370 4,620 8,700 11

40

520 1,440 3,160 6,160 11,600 133

50

650 1,860 3,950 7,700 14,500 271

100 1300 3,600 7,900 15,400 29,000 55

2600 7,200 15,800 30,800 58,000 821

300 3900 10,800 23,700 46,200 87,000 110

400 5200 14,400 31,600 61,600 116,000 500 6500 18,000 39,500 77,000 145,000

' ) By reference to the preceding table it appears that if a laboring man, a mechanic, unnecessarily expends only 23-4 cents per day, from the time he comes of age to the time he attains the age of three score and ten years, the aggregate, with interest, amounts to $2900 ; and a daily expenditure of 27 1-2 cents, amounts to the important sum of $29,000. A six cent piece saved daily would provide a fund of nearly $7000, sufficient to purchase a fine farm. There are few mechanics who cannot save daily by abstaining from the disgusting use of tobacco, from ardent spirits, from visiting theatres, &c., twice or thrice the above stated amount of a six cent piece.The man in trade, who can lay by about one dollar per day, will find himself similarly possessed of one hundred and sixteen thousand dollars, and numbered among the 175 rich men, who own one half of the property of the city of Providence. -Providence Journal.

Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the com. ments of our friends

upon

them.

From the Christian Inquirer.

CHRIST HEALING DISEASES OF THE MIND.

.

While our Saviour was upon earth, he seems to have excited the attention of the people chiefly, by his wonderful power of healing diseases. At the present time, comparatively little emphasis is laid upon this gist, and he is regarded almost exclusively as a spiritual teacher and a Saviour from sin. It is not well to lose sight of any aspect of Christian truth, especially of any aspect that tends to exhibit Christianity in its benign relations to the diseases of men, whether the sickness that grieves the body or the derangement that seizes the mind.It will be found upon examination that all the parts of our Saviour's mission were intimately connected in their spirit, and have all important bearings upon the final purpose of his gospel.

There are some theologians and philosophers who regard all disease as the fruit of sin, and who would therefore consider Jesus as healing the disease by removing the sin from which it grew. This doctrine we can by no means endorse. Sin tends to bring on disease, and the accumulated tendencies to depravity that infect our race have undoubtedly much to do in bringing on derangement of the body. If the laws of the Creator were duly observed, the annals of sickness and suffering would be signally changed. Yet disease by no means implies evil disposition in the subject, nor can it be said to come entirely from the depraved habits of the race. While man is man, and not angel or God, he must expect to suffer both in body and mind. His very imperfection renders him liable to disease; and imperfection cannot in any satisfactory sense be called sin.

One class of diseases has been in former times regarded by Christians with peculiar repugnance, and especially associated with evil powers.

We mean diseases of the mind, especially such as are violent in their character. These were ascribed to the influence of demons, and the sufferers were said to be possessed with devils. Probably the majority in Christendom hold this view now, although an opposite opinion is becoming prevalent in the more enlightened quarters, and has already done much to reform the methods of treating mental derangement.

At a time when so much attention is given to the whole subject, and so many noble asylums for the insane are endowed, it will not, we trust, be without interest to treat of the relation of our Saviour to the insane, and the true office of Christianity in regard to the mental sickness that appears to

have increased signally within the last half century throughout Christendom.

RELATION OF CHRIST TO THE INSANE. What relation did our Saviour bear to the insane? It is very obvious that he ranked them among the sick, and thus comprised them within the circle of sufferers whom he came to heal. His sympathy extended equally to the maniac and the paralytic ; equally to him whose brain was inflamed to madness and him whose blood was boiling with fever.Morally, he looked upon all manner of diseases with the same benevolent eye. All are mentioned in the same general statement, and all were treated in the same benignant way. The only reasonable ground of associating mental disease with guilt is afforded by associating all disease thus; for no just distinction can be made from Scripture testimony between sickness of body and sickness of mind. Both kinds of sickness, indeed, might be brought on by vices, but no more in the case of the mind than of the body could guilt be predicated.

Violent derangement indeed is spoken of repeatedly in the New Testament as the work of demoniacal possession. This was the prevalent method of accounting for the disease, and the use of this form of speech by our Saviour and his apostles may be regarded merely as acquiescence in the common phraseology, and no more implies an adoption of the idea than our use of the word “possessed,” in reference to a refractory person, implies our belief in an actual demoniacal possession. But whatever may be our theory of the cause of the disease, the fact is plain. The persons brought to our Saviour as possessed with devils were obviously insane, and essentially the same phenomena occur now-a-days as were presented then,

Of the forty miracles, or nearly that number, specified as wrought by Jesus, six, or at most seven, were for the relief of demoniacs. But we are not by any means to regard this fact as indicating the proportion of his labors for the cure of sickness of mind. Only the most violent cases would be mentioned, as being in themselves so striking, and the relief so wonderful. Undoubtedly many other forms of mental disease were treated by him. The victim of despondency or melancholy was undoubtedly the object of his solicitude, equally with the raving maniac. He came to heal the sick, to cure all manner of diseases. There is no good reason to believe that any form of mental derangement, whether of the moral affections, or intellectual faculties, or active powers, was neglected by him. The evangelists, instead of exhausting the events of our Lord's ministry, professed only to give a brief sketch of the chief circumstances; and the last of the Gospels ends with the statement, that if the other things which Jesus did should be written every one, the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

The fact of our Lord's solicitude for those invalid in mind being thus clear, and the place accorded them among the sick being established, we are led to look for the secret of his power over them. His power over the mental diseases was obviously a part of his power over sickness in general ; only, as inight be expected, it would be more connected with direct moral influence in the case of diseases of the mind.He was endowed by the Father with peculiar gifts. Indeed, the Father dwelt with him in such close union, that the power of Jesus over the body and the soul may well be called divine. He who created the body might renew its impaired functions. He who formed the mind might restore its broken faculties. So far as our Saviour was miraculously endowed, he is to be considered, of course, as possessing gifts peculiar to himself, and not to be expected in those not thus endowed. Yet we are warranted in ascribing a large share of his influence over the diseased in mind to the power of that faith and love which were his prevailing spirit, and which should be the spirit of all Christians. Faith, recogs nizing as it does a divine kingdom, and bringing its sanctions to bear within the soul and its sphere, has in its own nature vast power in removing melancholy and overawing violence; whilst love, wherever strong enough to withstand provocation, and return good for evil, breathes peace all around, and can say to the tempest, "Be still !" and the tempest is hushed.

Our reply, then, to the question, "What was the relation of our Saviour to the diseased in mind ?" is, that he ranked them among the sick, and healed them alike by his miraculous gifts, and by the influence of the benign spirit which his life exemplified and his gospel enjoins.

TREATMENT OF THE INSANE. That benign spirit is to be cherished by all who call Jesus Master, and should guide Christians in their relations to the diseased in mind.

In the early Church, and for ages afterwards, there was a class of persons called exorcists, whose especial office it was to bring men to their right mind by dislodging the evil spirits that were thought to possess them. But without reviving

« PreviousContinue »