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brute animals, is enough to account for any insanity of treatment perpetrated upon them. “Ten years ago, Woodward, “ it was the general impression that religious influence was of doubtful utility to the insane. Not an institution in this country (America) had devotional exercises, or stated religious worship on the sabbath.” But on the day of dedication of the chapel in the hospital at Worcester, at the first religious meeting that had ever been held there, more than 120 patients were present. Since then the experiment has been so fully tried, that there is no longer a doubt in regard to the blessedness of religion for the insane.
The subject of religious worship for the insane is no longer a problem. It is no less important and hardly less influential with the insane than with the rational mind. "If," as is said by a modern author, “the moral character is let loose, and the moral sense blunted by insanity, it forms no argument unfavourable to religious teaching. The frequent impressions of religious truth cannot fail to have a salutary influence on such minds, and I have the fullest confidence that impressions are left on the insane which have a most beneficial effect on future conduct and character."
Religion should be the basis of government, and the Bible is the basis of true religion. Without the Bible, or its influence in education, man, even in this day, is a semi-barbarian. Whether he be abroad, or in seclusion, the oracles of truth influence his character, chasten his feelings, and make him better. The insane man, who reverences religion, and consults his Bible, has more self-respect, more control over his feelings, more love of order and of truth, and is a better patient than he who is ignorant of the law of love given in those sacred pages, or who has been educated to disregard the institutions and duties of religion.
A TRACT IN INDIA.
In a letter, dated November 30, 1846, from Berhampore, addressed to the secretary of the RELIGIOUS TRACT Society, the following account is given :
“A few nights ago we were much interested by a visit from two invalided soldiers from Lahore, on their way to Caleutta, one of whom is a colour-sergeant; the latter was in the four battles, and the other in three, in the late war of the Punjaub. The sergeant was also in the Affghan war, and one of the besieged in Jellalabad. It was deeply interesting to hear of all they had seen and endured in those awful battles. The sergeant said, he never knew the extent of fear to such a degree as during the earthquake which threw down the fortifications of Jellalabad, the walls of which were fifteen or sixteen feet in width, though he had been in so many battles, and surrounded by the dying and wounded. I asked him the means of his conversion. He said he was a stranger to religion till he had a tract given to him while sick in hospital. It was the Account of William Rose, No. 801. He was much addicted to swearing and drinking. He thought to himself, Well, I am not so bad as Rose; if he obtained mercy, why not I? He determined therefore to leave off swearing and drinking. For several days, he scarcely dared to speak, lest an oath should proceed out of his mouth. He left the hospital, and met one of his comrades, who, perceiving the change, called him a Methodist. This made him so angry that, to show he was not a Methodist, he went and got intoxicated that very night. But the Holy Spirit had begun to operate on his heart, and he was unhappy. He knew one man who attended a prayer-meeting with a few pious men ; he requested him to take him, and attended a few times. Alas! this man was an inconsistent professor ; on finding this out, he concluded they were all hypocrites, and thought he might as well return to his sinful ways. He did so, but was miserable. He watched narrowly one of the others, and, being convinced he was a sincere character, introduced himself to him, attended the meetings, and found peace and joy in believing in the atonement of Jesus. Since then he has continued stedfast, and joined the Temperance Society. He has had many escapes in the hour of battle, has not received a single wound, and been twenty-two years in the army. Another proof of the value of tracts! I was sorry was so short. He did not know us, but had heard the soldiers in various regiments speak of Mr. Hill; so had a wish to call, and, being a moonlight night, asked his companion to accompany him. I had not time to ask the other his history, but he spoke with great pleasure of the interest excited in his mind by the perusal of Dr. Morison's late work on Tractarianism, and spoke with intelligence on that subject, and the rise of Popery. I inquired if he thought the dangers in battle, and seeing so many dying around them, had led any to seek the salvation of their souls ; he said he did not know of a single instance. The oaths of those around them were awful. In the Khyber pass, the men were swearing dreadfully. An officer, much addicted to it himself, seeing the imminent danger they were in, said to his men, “This is no time for swearing. Alas! that there ever should be a time when swearing can be tolerated. And, but for this tract, the sergeant might have been a swearer and a drunkard still. Their hearts seemed to overflow with gratitude to God, and they said most emphatically, We may indeed say, 'God hath covered our heads in the day of battle.''
USEFULNESS OF TRACT NO. 509. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand : for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, Eccl. xi. 6. The encouragement afforded by this passage of Holy Scripture seems peculiarly suitable to distributors of tracts. А handbill given to the wind in a drive through a village has been heard of from a cottage garden as having administered a saving admonition. tract left with no particular aim has been the means of awakening a thoughtless soul.
In a recent instance, the tract “Substance of the Gospel” was given for a particular purpose. Before it reached its destination, however, its usefulness was directed by One who willed that it should accomplish the end for which he sent it forth. It lay within the reach of an aged invalid, who, having read it, exclaimed, “ This is just what I want." He carefully placed it in his waistcoat pocket, and never parted with it.
A short time before his death (which occurred soon after), on the entrance of a beloved relative wbom he had desired to see, he requested her to read to him once more the little messenger of consolation.
Tract distributors ! spread widely the heralds of mercy, believing that, although your immediate hope may not be realized, the word of God shall prosper in that whereunto he hath sent it.
GEMS. SAFETY.—Those lives that are entirely devoted to God's service are assuredly taken under his protection.
GRATITUDE.- What we win by prayer, we must wear with praise.
THE CROWDED STREET.
Let me move slowly through the street,
Filled with an ever-shifting train, Amid the sound of steps that beat
The murmuring walks like autumn rain.
The mild, the fierce, the stony face;
Where secret tears have left their trace.
To halls in which the feast is spread ; To chambers where the funeral guest
In silence sits beside the dead. And some to happy homes repair,
Where children pressing cheek to cheek, With mute caresses shall declare
The tenderness they cannot speak. And some, who walk in calmness here,
Shall shudder as they reach the door Where one who made their dwelling dear,
Its flower, its light, is seen no more. Youth, with pale cheek and slender frame,
And dreams of greatness in thine eye!
Or early in the task to die?
Who is now fluttering in thy snare ?
Or melt the glittering spires in air? Who of this crowd to-night shall tread
The dance till day-light gleam again? Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead?
Who writhe in throes of mortal pain ? Some, famine-struck, shall think how long
The cold dark hours, how slow the light ! And some, who flaunt amid the throng,
Shall hide in dens of shame to-night. Each, where his tasks or pleasures call,
They pass and heed each other not. There is who heeds, who holds them all
In his large love and boundless thought.
In wayward, aimless course to tend,
W. C. Bryant.
THE FELON. WHAT a lovely day! The clear blue sky is without a cloud ; the fresh breeze is delightful; the hedges are blossoming with May flowers, and the lark seems to sing louder than
Look at the young ones yonder, scampering after the butterfly! Why cannot they let the happy insect flutter through its little day! Cruelty is hateful; “ even a child is known by his doings.” See, one of them has caught the butterfly, and is now tearing off its wings! His real name I know not, but they call him Swarthy Bill.
Did you ever see clearer water than this running stream ? And then, how musically it ripples over the pebbles and red sand ! How the dragon-flies glitter in the sun, and how swiftly the swallows dart to and fro along the brook. There is a throstle's nest in the thorn bush with young ones in it, and the old birds are busy enough, feeding them. Shocking! shocking! the cruel lad in the corderoy trowsers has torn the nest out of the bush, and two of the young birds have fallen into the water. I see who it is that has done the deed ; it is that hard-hearted Swarthy Bill.