Imagens das páginas

ment are both important in all cases that absence from home is always indispensable—that a lunatic at home perceives be is watched and followed in every movement, and deems every restraint to be an act of tyranny and usurpation; producing hatred towards nearest relatives and dearest friends—that the amusements provided in establishments for lunatics, as draughts, chess, backgammon, nine pins, swinging, sawing wood, gardening, reading, writing, music, &c. divert the attention from unpleasant subjects of thought, and afford exercise both of body and mind—that even the conversation of lunatics with each other, in some cases, convinces them of the absurdity of their opinions and produces a cure-that lunatics very soon and almost insensibly conform to the rules and regulations which they perceive to be observed by their fellow boarders --that regularity in the time and manner of taking food and using exercise, retiring to bed and rising at seasonable hours, observing the restraints imposed for acts of violence, feeling a necessity of conducting with propriety, living under a system of rules and regulations for every thing, have a powerful effect in tranquilizing the mind, breaking up wrong associations of ideas, and inducing correct habits of thinking as well as acting ; and finally, that lunatics are not insensible to kind treatment, that whips and chains are forever banished from every well regulated Asylum for the Insane, and that kindness and humanity have succeeded to severity and cruelty.' p. 26, 27, 28.


A Sermon preached in the Hall of the House of Representa

tives in Congress, Washington City, March 3, 1822 ; occasioned by the death of the Hon. William Pinckney, late a member of the Senate of the United States. By JARED SPARKS, A.M. Minister of the First Independent Church of Baltimore, and Chaplain to the House of Representatives in Congress. Second Edition. Baltimore. 1822. pp. 23.

The writer of this sermon is well known to our readers. He has been a most able and faithful defender of what we regard as uncorrupted Christianity. Placed in circumstances, which have called for uncommon talents, great energy, and what is not always united with these, steady judgment, and much moderation and self command, he has answered the demands of his situation. He has been the principal means of diffusing in the southern states a correct knowledge of the opinions and views of Unitarian Christians, as far as that knowledge exists. He has devoted himself to the cause, and we know of no individual to whom we should have been more willing that it should be entrusted. He has contributed essentially toward


opening and preparing the way for the progress of what we regard as a rational faith in Christianity; and in doing this, he has, rendered a most important service to the cause of true piety and good morals.

In proportion as he has become more known, he has commanded more respect and deference, even from his opponents. The bigh ground, he now occupies in public estimation, argues a rare union of qualities, when we consider the odium has been attached to the avowal of those opinions of which he is the open and earnest defender.

With the strong est disposition to censure, and very little delicacy about their modes of attack, his opponents have found nothing assailable in his character, his conduct, or his writings. His opinions, indeed, they have attacked in a tone of language and feeling, and with a spirit of misrepresentation, on which we have at pre. sent no disposition particularly to remark. Over one of them, Dr. Millar, who began to write perhaps with more liberality of feeling, and certainly with more decorum of language, tban some others, he has enjoyed the melancholy triumph of driving him at last to become the author of a book, distinguished by various extraordinary characteristics, but by no one of them more remarkable, than the effrontery of the writer in putting his name upon the title page of such a work.*

The appointment of Mr. Sparks as chaplain of Congress, is one among the many proofs of the fact, that the opinions which we hold in common with him, are adapted to recommend themselves strongly to the natural feelings and unperverted ju Igment of men. We rejoice in this appointment, because we believe that by his character and by his professional services, he will give a most favourable impression of pure Christianity of the nature and efficacy of true religion. It was in his office of chaplain, that the sermon was delivered which is the subject of review. It is a serious and impressive discourse upon mor. tality, occasioned by the sudden death of MR. PINCKNEY. Of that gentleman he says little, and that little is confined princi. pally to the mention of his talents and his intellectual character. The author of this sermon avoids a fault, very common, but of a most offensive character, the coming forward in the presence of God, and with the most solemn remembrances of our own mortality full in view, to pronounce over a fellow creature, who has gone to his account, what the speaker would be ashamed to say in a party of friends, on a common occasion. The following extract will afford a specimen of the discourse.


* We have not taken notice of this book in our review, because we have understood that an answer is preparing in anotber form.

IV. Death is a monitor, which should make us reflect on the excellence and value of our religion, as revealed in the gospel.

It is here, and here only, that life and immortality are brought to light

. It is here, that we are taught the certainty of a future life

. In the gospel we learn, that the spirit, which constitutes our present existence, will live throughout all future ages. How infinitely is our condition improved, in this respect, by the religion of the Saviour! We know, that we are living for eternity. The God of all truth has told us so How full of consolation is this assurance, when our friends depart from us, and the places, which bave known them in this world, shall know them no more. How could our sinking spirits be supported in many of the trials, which a christian is called to endure, if we had no hope beyond the grave ?

"The promises of the gospel will never fail. The truths, which have been revealed from heaven, published by divine wisdom, and established by the miracles of Christ, will stand as firm as the pillars of the universe, or the throne of Omnipotence Such truths inspire a confidence, which no vicissitude of time can destroy. The pious mind will make it the anchor of safety, and render thanksgiving to God for the manifestations of his love, in disclosing the prospects of a future world, where all cares shall cease to trouble, where the righteous shall dwell in peace and happiness, and where all voices shall join in songs of praise and adoration to the High and Holy One, whose presence fills the heavens.

To prepare men for death is the object of the religion, which God commissioned his Son to publish and preach. For the accomplishment of this important purpose, Jesus taught, and suffered, and died; for this, was he empowered from heaven to prove the truth and divinity of his doctrines ; for this did he submit to a life of privation, want and pain, endure the reproaches of a scornful world, the tortures of wicked men, the pangs of expiring nature on the cross; for this was he raised from the dead, and taken in glorious triumph to the heavens ; and for this does he still continue to be our mediator and intercessor with the Father of all mercies. For this were the apostles, according to his promise, endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and enabled to teach with power and conviction the truths, which they had learned from their

In Christ, “ the grace of God, which bringeth salration, bath appeared unto all men.” He came to “ redeem us from iniquity," to restore us to the favour and holy service of God. All the glorious displays of divine wisdom and power, which were manifested in his life and doctrines, were desigoed as means to remove the stains of sin, to take away the debasement of moral depravity, to disarm death of its terrors, and to fit the soul for that untried state of being, which must be experienced in the ages yet

divine master.

to come.

Shall we not turn our minds to heaven in humble adoration and joyful praise to the Almighty, for his great goodness and mercy, in providing these means of our future safety and well being ? Shall we not lift up our thoughts with unfeigned reverence, love, and gratitude to the Saviour of men, for what he has done and suffered to execute the high commission of his father, to redeem our souls from guilt, reconcile us to God, and make plain the way of salvation to a sinful world? And above all, shall we not show the reality of our faith, the sincerity of our professions, and our deep sense of obligation, by adhering to the precepts, and obeying the sacred commands of Jesus, by following, with all humility, zeal, and piety, his purifying example, by imbibing his spirit, and cultivating his temper? It is a declaration equally reasonable, solemn, and certain, that “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord." The religion of the Redeemer, if we will embrace it in its truth, and accept its conditions, will make us holy, and qualify us to see the Lord, and dwell for ever in the presence of his glory.' p. 17-21.


Massachusetts Bible Society.—The thirteenth annual meeting was held on the 2d day of May, when the following report was made by the Executive Committee.

There have been distributed from the depository of the Massachusetts Bible Society, since the last anniversary on the first of June, 1821,

116 Large Bibles, 768 Small do. 531 Testaments,

-1415 besides those which have been sold, as will be seen in the Treasurer's statement. During the same period there have been received

278 Large Bibles, 1177 Small do. 902 Testaments,



[ocr errors]

There remain on hand
162 Large Bibles,

409 Small do.
369 Testaments,

-940 of the Bibles, many have been sent to distant parts of the state, where they were found to be needed; and of the Tes. taments, many have been deposited in schools for the use of poor children. By vote of the Trustees, a hundred Bibles were allowed to the Marine Bible Society of Boston ; and the Executive Committee furnished the Female Bible Society of this town and its vicinity with forty-eight Bibles and Testaments.

The remainder have been distributed in conformity with the resolve passed at the last annual meeting, requiring a written order from one of the Trustees to be presented by every person who shall apply. The observance of this rule has greatly diminished the burden and responsibility of the gen. tleman who keeps the depository, and, there is good reason to believe, has fully answered the purpose for which it was passed, in preventing wanton and wasteful applications, and diminishing the opportunities of imposition from unknown and evil disposed persons. Many persons who have applied at the Society's room, on being referred to one of the Trustees, have said it was not worth the trouble ; while those who have really needed the gist, have cheerfully complied with the rule, and thought it no hardship.

The affairs of the Society have been in as flourishing a state, and its usefulness apparently as great, during the past year, as at any former period. Its sphere of operation bas been comparatively much circumscribed by the great multiplication of local institutions in every section of the commonwealth : a circumstance, which, although it may limit the action and influence of our Society, is yet a matter of sincerest congratulation to the friends of religion, since it supplies more thoroughly those wants in every spot, which the most vigilant exertions of óne society could never hope to reach. And the time has not yet come, when it will do for the friends of the Bible to slacken their hand. The wants of the people are not yet all supplied ; new wants are continually created; and we cannot anticipate the day when there sball be no occasion for Christian benevolence to flow in this channel. At present, after all the vast distributions of that magnificent Institution in England, and the innumerable bodies, which have risen up to aid it in every portion of the Christian world, there are still many spots destitute

« AnteriorContinuar »