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*There are one or two facts in this connection that deserve a passing remark. It is a very common observation by the unreflecting, that females become insane more frequently than men from religious causes, and this is often spoken reproachfully of religion. The facts here recorded shew a different result. Another fact is, that religious people are not more frequently afflicted with religious melancholy or religious phrenzy than the dissolute and licentious, the scoffers and revilers of christianity. Such has been my observation in my intercourse with the insane. It may be surprising to some that so large a number of cases are attributed to religious causes, but when we consider the diversity of modes by which these causes may affect the mind, we shall cease to be surprised. In one case the cause is high excitement, in another exaltation, in a third, fear of future punishment, in a fourth, fear of the displeasure of Deity, in a fifth, sense of guilt, &c.
“The genuine principles of christianity have no tendency to distract the mind; on the contrary, they are directly calculated to calm and allay the feelings when excited, and to encourage and give hope to the depressed and desponding. But the discordant views of mankind on this subject may have a very different tendency, and the mode adopted to impress the subject upon the attention is often most injudicious, and directly calculated to excite the passions, and carry them on beyond control of the reason and the judgment. Insanity from such a cause is not chargeable to religion itself.' Reports, pp. 160, 161.
'Religious worship has been introduced within the last few months, as one of the moral means of cure, and, so far as a judgment can be formed from so short a trial, much is to be hoped from the experiment. At all events, a fact has been established, which the most sanguine were scarcely disposed to admit in anticipation, namely, that out of one hundred and eighty patients, afflicted with every degree of derangement, from the fading illusions of the almost recovered convalescent, up to the phrenzy of the raging madman, one hundred and thirty five could be found, who could so far control themselves, as to attend, with propriety and apparent devotion, to the exercises of public worship, for the space of one hour and a half, and then leave the chapel in the quiet manner of other congregations, without any extraordinary exertion of vigilance on the part of their attendants, walk together through the open area of the establishment, and retire without disorder to their respective apartments. Extraordinary as this statement may appear, it has been verified by repeated exhibitions. Does not the experiment afford reason to hope, that the management of the insane by moral means, is destined to arrive at a degree of perfection, for which the most philanthropic have heretofore scarcely dared to hope ?' Fifth Annual Report, p. 9.
'Insanity from religious causes is found, as heretofore, to affect males more than females ; in the proportion of thirty two males to twenty one females; a great disparity. In this Hospital we have always admitted the bible freely into all our apartments; we have permitted all our patients to read it as much as they choose, no evil that is appreciable has
arisen from it, far less, it is believed, than would arise from withholding it.
The caviller may accuse religion of producing insanity: but he does not see how many causes of insanity it averts, how much comfort it affords to the weary and heavy laden, how effectually it buoys up the desponding, and how directly it points to the transgressor the way of pardon and of peace. If, by a mistaken view of christianity, a few are led into the mazes of delusion, how many thousands, by relying with confidence upon its promises, as an anchor of hope, sure and steadfast in every trial, have avoided that shipwreck of the mind, which nothing else under heaven could have averted !
‘Religion, instead of having a tendency to produce insanity, affords the surest and most effectual security amid all the trials of life, which tend directly to distract the mind.' Annual Report, p. 52.
We are glad that there are such men as Dr. Woodward, and we could mention others too among our physicians, who do not deem it a part of their wisdom to show their contempt for the christian religion. We venerate such men, who devote their noble energies to the labor of lightening the burdens of human suffering, rather than in seeking to wrench from the sufferers their chief and choicest consolations. An Introduction to Natural Philosophy : designed as a text
book for the use of the Students in Yale College. In two volumes, 8vo. Compiled from various authorities. By DENISON OLMSTED, A. M. Prof. of Nat. Phil. and Astron. Third edition. New Haven, New York, &c. 1838.
A new edition of this excellent and widely used treatise has just appeared. The first volume is occupied, with first, an exposition of the Mathematical Elements of Mechanics, accompanied by numerous illustrative problems; secondly, the practical applications of the principles of Mechanics; and thirdly, the Elements of Hydrostatics and Hydraulics. The second volume comprises the subjects of Pneumatics, Acoustics, Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics. Prefixed to each volume is a full synoptical table of its contents. These are of the highest utility to the student, and furnish to all inquirers the means of readily arriving at any important fact or principle which the work contains.
The character of this treatise is so well known, that it is unnecessary for us to commend it to the public. It is unquestionably better fitted than any other work on Natural Philosophy, to the wants of our students, and possesses the surest of all testimonials to its value in being used as a text book by a large number of the most respectable colleges of our land. It seems, however, proper to state, that this edition has many advantages over the preceding. On comparison with the previous one, we find that in the present, many new problems have been introduced, many new facts and illustrations added, and in short that the whole work has received a very thorough revision. The printing has evidently been conducted with assiduous care, and the book is in consequence, uncommonly free from errors of typography, which so often, Wanderings and Adventures in the interior of South Africa.
on! porno yoy!!
By ANDREW STEEDMAN. In two volumes. London, 1835. pp. 330, 358. Sold by John S. Taylor, New York.
This is a valuable addition to our means of information respecting the southern parts of Africa, and exemplifies the success as well as the importance of missionary effort among the Caffres and other interior tribes. The author, a pious man, during a residence of ten years at Capetown, made several excursions along the coast and into the interior of the country north as far as the Orange river. The scenery is described, and many interesting particulars are furnished as to the man. ners and customs of the inhabitants. Several new species of animals and birds were discovered, and plates are given representing some of these, as well other things to which reference is made. One of these latter, an inhabited tree, is a curious illustration of the insecure state of the wilds, where the lions find their lairs. The appendix also furnishes a good view of more recent expeditions, and a variety of historical and statistical information. All these will be appreciated by persons who take an interest in the civilization of man, or in the prosperity of the missionary enterprise. Emancipation in the West Indies ; a six months' tour in An
tigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica, in the year 1837. By JAMES A. THOME and J. HORACE KIMBALL. New York. 1838.
We intend hereafter to notice this work in full; and can now only say, that it is one of great interest and which is destined we believe to produce no little effect on the minds of men in fastening the conviction, that the immediate abolition of slavery is by no means so fraught with evil as has been anticipated. Prof. Hovey, we are told, for we have not yet seen his work, comes to the same conclusion, and as these are separate and independent witnesses, they are destined, we doubt not, to influence the public mind on this subject to an unusual degree. For our own part we shall truly rejoice to have so desirable a consummation hastened by the power of truth as the entire and immediate abolition of slavery in our own country. We trust the day is not far distant when scenes of rejoicing and gratitude like those described in Antigua may be recorded in some of these United States. Kentucky is already on the march towards such a result; and facts like these coming fresh from one of her own sons may do much to work conviction in the doubting. Statesmen will do well to read and carefully reflect on the results of the different modes of emancipation disclosed in this volume.
We have just had laid on our table the “Letters of Isabella Graham," “Memoirs of Hannah Hobbie," "A Leaf from the Tree of Life,” “Winslow's Views of the Atonement,” and “Christ the theme of the Missionary." These books we have not time at present particularly to examine; but we hope to do so for a future number. So far as we can judge by a slight review they will be well received by a christian public; and the publisher has done well to send them out from his press. They are all of a practical cast, and inculcate an elevated standard of piety.
VOLUME X.-NUMBER III.
ART. I.-ON DUELING.
Reasons for Legislative Interference to prevent the Practice of
Dueling : Addressed to the Members of both Houses of Parliament; by J. BUCKINGHAM, Esq., M. P.
A RECENT shocking occurrence in our capital, and among
the members of our national legislature, has turned the attention of the community to the painful subject which is considered in the paper, whose title we have given above. It may be as fitting an occasion at present, to offer some remarks upou it in this journal, as may be afforded, and we hope, ever will be afforded, in the course of our labors. Our religious periodical literature is charged with the duty of bearing its testimony against every sin committed in the land ; and although in regard to the sin in question, many have listed up their voice from the pulpit, and some have come before the public in print, we feel, that our own duty is imperative. No one can discharge for us responsibilities which belong to ourselves. All must clear their garments frorn guilt, especially from the guilt of blood. It is not our intention to contemplate this subject, nor should it ever be contemplated, in any connection with party or sectional politics. All we wish is, in co-operation with the virtuous, thinking portion of our citizens, who feel a common interest in the subject, to interpose, if possible, some effectual obstacle to the detestable, barbarous practice. It seems to us so abhorrent to Vol. X.
the amenities of civilized life, to a refined humanity, to the peace-seeking spirit of the age, and to the promises of the halcyon future, that we cannot endure the thought of its continued existence, even in any isolated cases.
The consideration of some mode to prevent the practice in this country, led to the republication of Mr. Buckingham's able and eloquent paper. It was solicited, it seems, by a friend, who, in view of the catastrophe at Washington, was persuaded, that the British philanthropist's suggestions might be appropriate at this time, and “assist in correcting public sentiment on a most important subject.” It was originally presented, as the title imports, to the members of both houses of the British parliament; and, although particularly adapted to that meridian, it has a general application to us, and to every country where dueling is known. We shall hereafter refer occasionally to Mr. Buckingham's views, in illustration of our own, as well as, in one or two instances, for the purpose of dissent. The piece first appeared among us in a half-sheet print extra of the New York American, and doubtless has thence been conveyed, according to the author's hope, to “the remotest verge of our extensive country.”
It is by no means easy in itself, nor is it required of us, to form a scale of crimes, in respect to their enormity or their evil consequences. Especially, we can not measure, nor are we called upon to measure, their comparative hatefulness and guilt in the divine view. They are all utterly detested, on the part of Him against whom they are committed ; and although some may be more heinous in his sight than others, yet who can or may designate them in that view, and make out a regular graduated list? It is on this account, that the propriety of certain resolutions adopted by a church in a neighboring State, in special condemnation of this sin, has been called in question in an estimable religious publication. In the periodical referred to, they say, "Why should dueling have such a pre-eminence, or be thus made the scape-goat ? What evidence have we, that slander, lying, envy, malice, intrigue, lewdness, profanation of the sabbath, blasphemy, infidelity, drunkenness, and scores of other sins, are not as abominable in the sight of God, and as injurious to our country, and to the souls of men, as the sin of dueling ?” In regard to this sentiment, we would remark, that should it be literally true, and possibly it is, it seems to us rather ill-timed, and calculated to abate the feelings of horror,
* The Religious Magazine and Family Miscellany.