Page images

the ceremonies and incantations of the ancient exorcism, we may regard it as the office of every Christian to rebuke evil spirits and bring every healing influence to the mind diseased.

It is no small study to understand the art of dealing with the morbid tempers that approach without entering the borders of derangement. As called to associate with persons of every variety of temperament, we all need to know the principles of mental hygiene, whilst as citizens of a community which must always have cases of decided mania, we are ail bound to lend our influence to the support of such institutions as may afford due retirement and care of such cases,

To avoid causes of irritation is the first point to be attended to; but the second point is more important, the endeavor to counteract the disease by turning the mind into a new and more healthful direction. It is in this department that surprising advances have been made as entirely to revolutionize the old mode of treatment. The chief powers now used to hold in check the maniac, are influences that tend to develop within him the spirit of peace and order. Decision, kindness, and inducement to labor, these are the agencies that now disarm the maniac of his fury, and prove far more powerful than the dungeons, chains, and scourges which they displaced. There is great sublimity in the history of the rise and progress of the better mode of treating the insane. It was amid the horrors of the French revolution the good angel of love first showed himself in the hospitals for the insane. To Pinel, more than probably to any other man, belongs the honor of rebuking the old practice and introducing the new. He conceived the idea of ruling madness by its opposite, instead of inflaming its fury by a violence akin to its own. The chains were stricken off, the scourges

laid aside, in the hospitals under his charge, and the result seemed a miracle. A new spirit seemed to pervade these abodes of the wretched. Many who had been looked upon for years as dangerous maniacs, and were kept chained like tigers, now walked their rooms in peace, as if subdued by the power of love, and charined into the sentiment of order. The movement went on, and is still in progress. Now, throughout all the more favored communities of Christendom, moral medicine is the chief dependence in the treatment of mental disease ; and the daily hymn and prayer, aided by kind demeanor and interesting employment, are heard in retreats, such as once rung with shrieks and clanking chains. No,

more beautiful chapter in the history of Christian philanthropy can be found, than that which records the labors of a woman from our own Christian connection in behalf of the insane. The Master's spirit has to no small extent rested upon this disciple. Her counsels have had no small influence on legislatures, and her voice has been for years the first sound of love that has penetrated the peor maniac's cell. There is a lesson in the whole history of the treatment of mental disease, that has a far wider application than to the economy of a lunatic asylum.

It brings before us the great duty not only of curing but also of preventing morbid states of mind. Herein is the great mission of Christianity in reference to mental disease, and one which it may be justly expected to perform at the period of its so general prevalence as the religion of civilized men. What can tend more to prevent unsoundness of mind than the faith, temper and usefulness enjoined in the New Testament?

Is the intellect in danger of being diseased, either by extravagance or delusion; what can bring it more effectually to its true balance than the great central truth held up by the gospel ? There God is revealed in the benignity of his attributes, and in the tenderness of his relation to man. Let the doctrine of God as revealed by Christ, be received in a genuine faith, and the mind is poised upon its true centre, and is turned to its true light. Thus faith itself prevents mental disease by giving the intellect its true object of reliance, and interpreting life from the true point of view.

The Christian spirit of good-will is another mighty safeguard of mental health. As it pervades the individual or community, the passions are calmed by its power, or are soothed into affections that bless.

The Christian principle of usefulness, too, has power to prevent morbid states of mind. Useful activity works happily upon all the energies, and gives a healthful outlet to impulses, that if left to themselves, might settle down into stagnant sentiment, or break out into morbid frenzies. As men are fitly and earnestly employed, the mind is kept in its normal state, and calm activity engrosses the forces that might else become refractory. Christian faith, love, usefulness-these three combined,

agencies that are sufficient to prevent in great measure the increase of mental disease, Let them be duly cherished, and many a victim would be spared from the annals


of madness, and, what is quite as important, the morbid hnmors and petulent tempers that bring a virtual derangenient to so many hearts and homes, would be vastly diminished, and the sum of human happiness be incalculably increased. Christ has vindicated the worth of his principles sufficiently by results to urge us to trust in them more entirely for healing and salvation. Every advance in humanity is an advance in the triumphs of his Word.

From time to time, as Christian journalists, we have thought it our duty to lay before our readers such facts and observations upon this important subject, as the reports of asylums and the publications of niedical inen afford. To such writers as Dr. Ray, of Providence, Dr. Jarvis, of Dorchester, and others of the same scientific and humane class, we are indebted for many valuable reflections, whilst every year gives proof that their labors are not in vain. To the true leader of this blessed reform be the honor given.

Above all human acts, endowments and enterprises, it becomes us to look to Him who was sent of the Father to preach the gospel of the heavenly kingdom, aud to heal ev. ery sickness and every desire among the people. To God, through him, be all the glory.


BY JOSIAH HOLBROOK. Ten minerals have been called the “GEOLOGICAL ALPHABET.” They are quartz, feldspar, mica, hornblend, lime, slate, gypsum, serpentine, talc, and chlorite. Separate and combined, they form mountains, rocks, and soils. They are also the depositories of ores, crystals, and minerals, furnishing materials for industry, the arts, commerce, wealth, science, refinement, comfort, and progress.

The alphabet of Geology can be learnt by any child of six years in a day; many of the specimens being collected by his own hands, giving employment, instruction, amusement, and materials for “SELF-INSTRUCTION” in his future progress.Every pupil in a New York school--five hundred in all-on returning home at night, took with him six letters of the Geological alphabet, all collected, broken, labelled, and arranged by the pupils themselves, as their amus'ment for that day.Thousands upon thousands of similar cases have occurred within a few years past in almost every section of the country. This faet gives the secret of the unparalleled progress recently made in Geology, and for the immense developments of our natural resources in all parts of the country, alike for wealth and for science. The reduction in the price of chrome yellow, from fifteen dollars to twenty-five cents a pound, within a short time, is among the results of amusement in “Geological Excursions."

The work of “Progress" in the Democracy of Science now proposed is to have the alphabet, better, a “Cabinet of Geology," collected by the members of each of the hundred thousand schools and six millions of families in our country, the work of their own hands. Aided by the progress already made, this great step is as simple and easy as it is important. It can be commenced any moment, anywhere, when a teacher or parent shall request a pupil or child to step out of the door and pick up the first pebble he can find. That pebble, in nine cases out of ten, will be quartz ; furnishing probably as rich and as far-reaching a lesson of instruction as ever was or ever can be given to any pupil A highly distinguished Geologist has written a volume on "The Pebble," a book equally fraught with instruction and entertainment.

Habit._" I TRUST everything, under God,” said Lord Brougham, “to habit, upon which, in all ages, the lawgiver, as well as the schoolmaster, has mainly placed his reliance; habit, which makes everything easy, and casts all difficulties upon the deviation from a wonted course. Make sobriety a habit

, and intemperance will be hateful; make prudence a habit, and reckless profligacy will be as contrary to the nature of the child, grown or adult, as the most atrocious crimes are to any of your lordships. Give a child the habit of sacredly regarding the truth ; of carefully respecting the property of others;

scrupulously abstaining from all acts of improvidence which can involve him in distress, and he will just as likely think of rushing into an element in which he cannot breathe, as of lying, or cheating, or stealing."


AN ALLEGORY.-A humming-bird met a butterfly, and, being pleased with the beauty of its person and the glory of its wings, made an offer of perpetual friendship.

“ I cannot think of it," was the reply, “as you once spurned me, and called me a drawling dolt."

Impossible !” exclaimed the humming bird. “I always entertained the highest respect for such beautiful creatures as you."

"Perhaps you do now, said the other, but when you insulted me I was a caterpillar. So let me give you a piece of advice. Never insult the humble, as they may some day become your superiors."



VOL. 1.


NO. 8.

REPORT Of Rev. ZALMON TOBEY, Visiting Committee of the Public

Schools, to the School Committee of the town of Warwick,
June, 1852: to which is appended, an Address to Parents.

To the School Committee of the Town of Warwick :

It becomes my duty on this occasion, to present to you a report of the condition and progress of the public schools in this town, during the past year.

Upon reviewing my labors, I find I have made fifty-three visits to the schools, which have been apportioned as nearly as circumstances would permit, agreeably to the requirements of the law.

At each visit, I have made a short address to the pupils, and closed the interview with prayer. The schools are generally opened in the morning by reading a portion of the holy scriptures, either by the scholars or teachers, or both. In a few instances, prayer by the teacher has succeeded the reading of the scriptures, and one or two schools have opened in the morning by the teacher and scholars repeating the Lord's Prayer in concert. The practice of singing has been less frequent than in preceding years. Short exercises of that kind relieve the monotony and tedium of the school room, and exert a healthful influence upon both body and mind, and should receive a due share of attention.

There have been twenty-seven teachers employed the past year, and with two or three exceptions, they have been of the

« PreviousContinue »