« ZurückWeiter »
tion of important facts and principles, which appear to be derived from an extensive acquaintance with medical works on the subject, and considerable private practice. He intimates, that a wish to avoid family disputes induces him to publish it anonymously: neither this circumstance however, nor the inaccuracies of his language, which he modestly acknowledges, ought to prejudice the sale of his publication. His observations are arranged under six divisions, the nature, causes, and symptoms of insanity; the management, food, and medical treatment advisable. They commonly bear the marks of good sense, and are expressed intelligibiy. But in this distressing malady, we think almost every consideration renders it desirable to place the patient under professional care, in a situation devoted to the purpose. The author agrees implicitly with this opinion; and only intends to provide necessary inforination, for cases where such advantages are unattainable; or where there is room for domestic assiduity, under proper instruction, to prevent the access of the disorder, or complete the recovery of the convalescent.
The author's testimony on the following subject may be added to a multitude of others, in opposition to the disgraceful aspersions of profligate and sceptical railers, against the wisdom that is from above, and the peace
• How often has the preacher of Christianity been stigmatized as the cause of insanity, in some dark minded hearer? when at the same time, out of one hundred people, all living in the same neighbourhood, possessing nearly the same means of information, all reading the same religious books, and receiving the same religious instruction, from the same preacher ; ninety and nine have felt the cheering influences of religion. Surely, if the cause had been in the preacher, or in religious instruction, the bad effects would have been more general : but the poor creature had a pre-disposition to insanity, and religion happened to be the thing ty which it was first discovered to the world.' p. 15.
We believe the author has reason for his evident propensity to refer insanity more commonly to physical than to moral
The following paragraph is a summary of the book ; • I will now recapitulate the whole of the treatment I have recommended : (viz.). In management, to observe a firm and humane treatment; to al. low of no disputing, or irritating language, and never to use coercion but when absolutely necessary; to observe the first advances to convalescence, and apply proper mental remedies, so soon as the case will admit of their being useful ;. to give light and healthy food, in small quantities ; to allow nothing strong to drink, unless justified by debility. In medicine, to avoid all kinds of narcotics, and at the beginning all tonics and, sti• mulants ; to use purges without intermission, to use the warm bath, and pediluvia ; to use frequent friction to the lege, feet, back, and other parts
of the body; to hold the head over the steam of warm water; to use solvent, and antispasmodic embrocations to the head ; to encourage perspiration, and the secretion of urine ; to allow the patient to sleep undisturbed; to use vomits with caution, and the cold bath only as a sudden shock; and to take care that the patient is not exposed to the cold : above all things, to have great patience and perseverance. pp. 77, 78.
The appendix contains a number of pertinent and useful notes, and some judicious observations on the means of prevention..
Art. XVII. Essays to do Good: addressed to all Christians, whether in
Public or Private Capacities. By the late Cotton Mather, D.D. F.R.S. A New Edition, Improved, by George Burder. 12mo. pp. 172.
Price 2s.6d, Williams, 1807. IF the value of a book be estimated by its utility, this little
treatise inay brave a comparison with many massy folios. In giving it our cordial and unqualified recommendation, we trust that we are animated by some measure of the sacred spirit which it breathes, and concerned to promote the glorious purposes to which it is devoted. This spirit may be intitled, Christian Philanthropy, and these purposes, Universal Happiness. To all who believe that the gospel is trne, that there is a hereafter, that man has any claim on their sympathy, or God upon their gratitude and obedience, who truly estimate the importance of energetic activity in benevolent pursuits, and the felicity of successful exertion, this work can require no other introduction. We sincerely wish that all who peruse it, might follow the instructions which it contains, on the principles which it inculcates.
The work was first published by the author, anonymously, in the year 1710, under the title of Bonifacius, with a long abstract, as the manner was, on the title page. This alteration, and most of the others, we fully approve. A brief memoir of Dr. Mather is introduced in the preface, where the editor happily remarks,
• Such a life, and such a death, will afford to the serious reader, a. powerful recommendation of the following pages. The proposals for doing good, which they present, are not the idle speculations of an ingenious theorist, but the faithful transcript of a holy life.' p. x.
We cannot but think the following extract of a letter from Dr. Franklin to Dr. Mather, the author's son, Nov. 10, 1779, a strong testimony to the value of the work.
“ Permit me to mention one little instance, which, though it relates to myself, will not be quite uninteresting to you. When I was a boy, I met with a book, entitled • Essays to do Good,' which I think was written by your father. It had been so little regarded by its former possessor, that several leaves of it were torn out; but the remainder gave me such a turn of
thinking, as to have an influence on my conduct through life; for I have always set a greater value on the character of a doer of good, than any other kind of reputation; and if I have been, as you seem to think, a useful citizen, the public owes the advantage of it to that book.”—Dr. Franklin's Works, vol. iii. page
478.' In a few sentences (p. 4.) the author's fundamental tenet, and his benevolent enthusiasm, are forcibly displayed.
. It was a passage in the speech of an envoy from his Britannic majesty to the duke of Brandenburgh, some years ago. “ A capacity to do good, not only gives a title to it, but also makes the doing of it a duty.” Ink were too vile a liquor to write that passage. Letters of gold were too mean to be the pr servers of it. Paper of Amyanthus* would not be precious and perennous enough to perpetuate it.'
His preface contains some just and spirited remarks on the discouragements, the misconstruction, the ingratitude, and the derision, that a conscientiously beneficent man must expect.
In commencing his work, the author evinces an anxious desire to prevent or correct the mistakes, into which many of his readers will be liable to fall.
• An unrenewed sinner! alas, he never performed one good work in all his life! In all his life, did I say! I recall that word. He is a dead while he liveth”—he is " dead in sin ;" he has not yet begun to “ live unto God; and as he is himself dead, so are all his works--they are “ dead works.” p. 22.
• The pardon of our barrenness of good works being obtained, we shall be rescued from condemnation to perpetual barrenness: the dreadful sentence “ Let no fruit grow on thee for ever,” will thus be prevented. A true, evangelical procedure to do good, must have this Repentance laid in the foundation of it. We do not " handle the matter wisely” if a foundation be not laid thus low, and in the deepest self-abasement.' p. 23.
He then carefully precludes the doctrine of merit, and ingeniously establishes the necessary connection between a justifying faith, and evidential good works, or, to use his own phrase, reconciles Paul and James.
Afterwards he exhorts the man who would do good, to “begin at home,” to devise“ what good may be done in the correction of what is yet amiss, in his own lieart and life." It is one of the striking excellences of this performance, that it enters largely and familiarly into detail ; in this department, therefore, as in every other, we find a number of very plain and important hints, on this first of all duties. * Amyanthus or Asbestos, a sort of native fossil stone, which
be split into threads, and made into cloth or paper. It is not injured by the fire. Pliny says he has seen napkins made of it thrown into the fire after a feast, and by ti at means better scoured than if they had been washed in
See Encyclop. Brit.'
: The relations of life are then considered; and first, the conjugal. Under the parental, a series of resolutions dictated by a rational, fervent piety, and the result of solid good sense and experience, is inserted for the guidance of every devout. parent. We fear, that very few of our readers have a right to peruse these resolutions, without a glow of self-reproach. It would be endless to copy the excellent observations of this book; we insert the following, because the experience of every day convinces us, that it cannot be repeated too frequently.
• Nor shall my chastisements ever be dispensed in passion and fury; but I will first shew them the command of God, by transgressing which, they have displeased me. The slavish boisterous manner of education too commonly used, I consider as no small article in the wrath and curse of God upon
a miserable world.' Passing on with due attention to the duties of masters, children, and servants, the author considers the means of benefiting a neighbourhood. He then gives a number of important instructions for ministers, schoolmasters, churches, magistrates of all ranks, physicians, the rich, and officers of every denomination, ecclesiastical, civil, military, forensic, &c. &c. He finishes his range of admonition with many exhortations and directions for establishing benevolent societies of various kinds; and concludes the work with adverting to several topics of precaution, advice, and encouragement.
It is delightful to sympathize with the rapturous exultation which this noble-minded man would experience, if he could now be landed on the shores of Britain, and behold the numerous philanthropic institutions, which he has himself recommended and anticipated, and which actually abound among us; but our pleasure is checked by the recollection, how much less good is done than might be done, how many do little, how many do nothing, how many are stimulated by unworthy principles, and how many rely on their atchievements with arrogant and fatal security!
In sketching the plan of this valuable treatise, we have regretted the total absence of all the usual analytical helps ; there is no table of contents, no index, no title to the sections, or to the pages. We hope this hint will not be overlooked, when the book is reprinted. Translations of the numerous classical scraps and proverbs are properly subjoined aç the foot of the pages, and, though not always strictly correct, are free from material error.
Art. XVIII. The Importance of Domestic Discipline ; and, Youth Admonished
of the Evils of Bad Company. Two Sermons preached at Newport, Isle of Wight, Dec. 28, 1806, and Jan. 4, 1807. By D.Tyerman.
pp. 76. Price 1s. 6d. or 1s. each. Baynes, &c. 1807. IT would not be easy to select two subjects of greater impor
tance than these, for the consideration of the aged, and the young, at tle close and the conimencement of a year :-not merely because they lie at the very fountain of human life, and the current of existence is most commonly determined in its course for ever, by their operation, but because the whole world disowns and neglects their influence. It is with grief, and astonishment, that we behold the prevailing listlessness even of the religious world, in concerns of the highest moment to their dearest connections. Mr. Tyerman, therefore, deserves our thanks for his endeavours to awaken the indolent and careless parent from his fatal supineness, and to warn the impetuous youth against the seductions of a depraved heart, and a licentious world. The manner, also, in which he has executed the task, claims our esteem and congratulation; our cordial recommendation of his sermons to the serious attention of the public, is, we hope, the least recompense he will obtain, though it is the greatest we can bestow. The consciousness of performing an important duty on just principles, is a satisfaction, of which, we are confident, not even disappointment could deprive him; but, on the contrary, his services will doubtless be honourably received, and we earnestly hope that they will be extensively useful.
Mr. T.'s text is an appropriate and solemn one: 1 Sam. ii. 11-14. On the history of Eli, to which it refers, he establishes a series of just and important propositions,--that pious parents are sometimes afflicted with the worst of children that the wickedness of children may often be traced to the neglect and indulgence of (pious) parents--that it is of the utmost importance to rising families, that those at the head of them be at opce truly pious, and attentive to constant discipline-that parents have an authority in their families, which they are to exert, to restrain their children from sin that the heads of families are in a certain sense, and to a certain extent, responsible for the crimes of their children that the sins of families meet with deserved punishment at length, though God bear long with them. These well connected truths are explained and proved in a sound, forcible, argumentative, and scriptu-, ral manner;
indeed the apt allusion, the cautious distinction, and the convincing truth, which rank this sermon among the most useful of its contemporaries, would indicate that it is the production of nature, rather than a jureuile mind. One short extract will shew our meaning.