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Ist. That we are not to look for necessity for the Holy Spirit's ina special inspiration to prove to us Auences remains the same; but light the truth of Christianity, or the facts is thus thrown upon their practical recorded respecting Jesus Christ. If application. We see, for example, any man was ever favoured with in. that, though faith is the gift of God, spiration from Heaven, it was John the infidel is inexcusable in his rethe Baptist; but yet, if the preceding jection of revelation; the evidences view be correct, John was either not for which are as abundantly coninformed, or not fully informed, by vincing, to any man who uses his inspiration, that Jesus was the Mes. reason to investigate them, as was siah: nor was he satisfied of the fact the Messiahship of Christ to any till any intimations he might have person who candidly examined his had of it from other sources were actions, and compared them with confirmed by the exercise of the the record of Prophecy. faculties which God had bestowed 3d. We may perhaps further infer, upon him, and till his reason had that it is useless to speculate beforeled him, from the plain evidence of hand on the particular manner in the facts, to conclude that Jesus which any prophecy will be fulfilled. could be no other than the person The fulfilment will probably disappointed out by the Scriptures. A point our prejudices, our passions, faith thus based, had it proceeded our imaginations, but it will be amno further, would have been indeed ply sufficient to satisfy our reason. only what divines call historical, and Circumstances which in a prophecy not saving faith ;--a faith by which appear casual, trifling, and unimwe believe that Christ was the Mes- portant, may in the fulfilment besiah, much as we believe that Titus come those of the greatest moment; Vespasian besieged Jerusalem ; and and the contrary : so that the event, which could be of no avail to salva- when it arrives, may be altogether tion, without that faith which is the different from the idea of it which gift of the Holy Spirit, by which, we had conceived from our intersays St. John, we believe that Jesus pretations of the prophecy, but still is the Christ. It is not, therefore, may bear such an exact conformity, intended to confound the office of upon close and minute comparison, reason with that of faith, or the work as to force us to acknowledge that of the Holy Spirit with the results the source from whence it flowed of candid investigation ; but only to must have been the Divine preshew what is the inference from the science. And, indeed, it appears to narrative, as to one part of the be the true object and intent of proquestion, leaving to the other its phecy, rather to prove in retrospecundiminished and essential import- tion the Divine knowledge of its ance. This remark seemed neces- Author than, generally at least, to sary to prevent misconception of the instruct us beforehand in future present and the succeeding inference. events. The obscurity and ambi
2d. That Jesus, in the mode he guiry in which prophecy is involved, took to satisfy John that he was the till its fulfilment, are wisely contrived Messiah (not by an authoritative to ensure our conviction of the Dideclaration of the fact, but by re- vine knowledge of its Author, without ferring to his actions, and impliedly leaving it in our power to calculate calling upon him to compare them beforehand upon the events to arise, with the Scriptures), intended to so as to frame our actions accordinvite us to the full and free ex- ingly. ercise of our reason in investigating The substance of the above was the evidences of religion, and not to written above twenty years ago ; but look for supernatural illuminations the author has since found his opito disclose what is already plainly nion, that the message was intended revealed in the written word. The for the satisfaction of Jolin himself, supported by Mr. Benson, in his states of disease which, in the inHulsean Lectures, though rather stance of Prince Hohenlohe, and in differently accounted for.
all other instances of similar cure, are the most favourable for treatment-namely, those which origi
nally result from, or are kept up by, ON MIRACULOUS CURES, disorder of the nervous function. INFLUENCE OF MIND ON THE BODY, Astonishing effects are often pro&c. &c.
duced through this medium : wit
ness the influence of music on cer(Continued from p. 74.)
tain functions of the body, and its It is manifest that the essential supposed agency in curing the bite ingredient in the success of Prince of the tarantula: witness the inHohenlohe consisted in the agency Auence of poetry on certain other of his means upon the mind, and on bodily organs; the universal sensathe re-action of the inind upon the tion of tears during the performance body, produced and kept up through of a tragedy; the diffusion of laughthe influence of the nervous system; ter from comic representations; the -a medium of communication every profuse flow of saliva, from the proswhere distributed with the minutest pective contemplation of food; the care and in the richest profusion; wasting atrophy of grief ; the parawhile its various parts and subordi- lysing agency of terror; the sudden nate systems are so closely, so care- effect of surprise, and still more of fully, and so astonishingly connected anger, in producing disease; the conwith each other, as to indicate most sequence of depressing passions to clearly the perfection of Divine stomach and other maladies, and in wisdom displayed in preserving its preventing recovery, as well as the uninterrupted and harmonious in- great assistance of a happy mind in tercourse, and securing the most struggling against disorder : witness general impression. Not the mi. also the effect of strong mental emonutest sensation occurs at the ex- tion in suspending pain, or at least tremity of the system, but is in- in so modifying it, that it shall no stantaneously propagated to its longer be felt; the usual and becentre : not a desire is excited in the neficial influence of moderate ex. mind, but a corresponding action is citement, and its inevitable conseset up in the organ destined for its quence, when carried a little too far, gratification : and the endless va- of exhausting the feeble organ of riety of communication with its the body, producing in the first several regions, through the medium place simple diminution of energy, of plexus, ganglion, interlacing and then torpor, then alteration of funcdecussation of fibres, separate twigs tion, then structural disease, and, as of intercourse, and the one agency a consequence of its destructive of the great sympathetic nerve, is progress, death itself: witness, again, such as to overwhelm the mind with the agency of fear in making the feeastonishment.
ble energetic, and able to accomplish In some particular forms of ma- that which they would have unhelady this intimate union and com- sitatingly pronounced impossible : munication may be suspended ; yet and lastly, witness the operation of it can never altogether cease, but with shame, and the unparalleled bodily life: and in a great number of dis- efforts to which this principle has eases there appears to be such an given occasion ; effects which could excitation of the nervous system as not have been produced except under to give to the influence of mind upon a similar stimulus. body a greater power than it would Without this hold upon the menobtain in a perfectly healthy con- tal system of patients, the physician dition; and these are precisely the would in vain prescribe all the known remedies of the Materia Medica. In order to shew this state, I shall These form only one class of cu- mention a case which occurred to rative measures; important certainly, me not long since. I was summoned but less important than the influ- to visit a child at an early hour one ence of the medical practitioner morning, and found it dead upon my upon the mind, and his knowledge arrival. It was about six months of the moral and mental manifesta. old, and had been one of the tions of the sick. So that, in the healthiest and finest infants ; of it greatest number of instances, the it might have been truly said, that cure of disease might be well said from its birth it had not known a to be dependent on miraculous day's illness. Upon the minutest inagency, if the essential character quiry no sufficient cause could be of such agency were defined to discovered for its death ; but it was consist in every thing which exists clear to my mind that the vital spark beyond the ordinary bounds of hu- had fled before it was discovered man intelligence, which is beyond that any thing ailed the child; and our power to explain, and which yet the report of its most careful exceeds the limits of perception and confidential nurse was, that all through the medium of the senses. was well to within a quarter of an And thus modern miracles rest upon hour of her first alarm. It was a this natural law-namely, the pre- most mysterious death; and I hate dominating influence of mind upon mysteries, when the light of science body. To this Prince Hohenlohe's can chase away the darkness. It was miracles may be clearly traced, as precisely one of those cases in which has been shewn in the circumstances it might be said that death had of extraordinary excitement already taken place by a special act of the mentioned; to which should be sovereignty of God, without the inadded the freedom from remunera- tervention of apparent means. If we tion and the disinterestedness which knew all the circumstances of these obtained in these cures; supported supposed events, we should find, as as they were by individuals who in the present instance, that it was quoted the sacred Scriptures as our ignorance which induced us to their authority for the performance imagine this especial interference of miracles and for the gift of heal. with established laws, and which ing through the agency of faith. threw a mystery over events which
Once more: it must be remem- would be explicable, did we possess bered, that in most instances of sup- more knowledge, and a more intiposed miraculous cure women have mate acquaintance with the laws been generally its subjects': and which God has established in his why? but because their nervous creation. Dissection shewed that system is more readily excitable, this beautiful and healthy infant more easily subjected to those in- died from suffocation; and thus the fluences wbich are necessary to mystery vanished. awaken it to such a pitch of exci- In the following narratives, the tation as that they should become first is an instance of cure through favourable patients for the operation the excitement of the nervous system of such curative measures.
acted upon by mental impression I shall now illustrate, by some through the medium of fear; the cases, wherein this power of exci- second is a curious case, which tability consists, and by what cir- might perhaps admit of similar relief; cumstances it is limited; and also and the two latter are instances in estimate the influence which is which excitement must fail, and thrown over events that are in- wherein nothing but miracle could volved in mystery—which is of itself effect a cure. one most important means of ex- First, A. B. had been confined to citement and superstitious error.
her bed for several years with va
rious symptoms of the nervous order, the left hand and arm, and subseof which a total loss of muscular quently of the lower limbs; these power of the lower limbs formed changes following in rapid succesthe principal characteristic. A fire sion, and occupying only a very few occurred in the house in which minutes. With the return of volunshe lived; and she was found by a tary power the excited sensibility near relative actively engaged at the has fed ; and her friends, who are pump, and remained well ever after. aware of all these changes, now know
Again : a young lady in my neigh- that she may be removed from the bourhood has been subject for many bed to the sofa, and she continues years to a malady, of which the to enjoy the use of her limbs till following symptoms constitute the nearly ten, when the same circle of chief characteristic. There is an morbid phenomena recommences. entire suspension of the function of So far with regard to the purely volition, so far as regards the muscles voluntary muscles ; those which are usually called voluntary, during the partly involuntary-particularly the greater part of the day; and there respiratory muscles, those of the is a disordered performance of that chest and abdomen, the diaphragm, function towards other inuscles the muscles of the neck, &c.-are which are partly voluntary and part- the constant subject of convulsive ly involuntary. If we were to class movements, not all together, but in these symptoms, we should call them inconceivably rapid succession, so cataleptic, as being more nearly allied as to afford a combined example of to that form of malady than to any all the Protean forms of muscular other. At a certain hour daily—that disturbance, which happen in the is, about ten in the evening-the ever-changing variations of hysteria; limbs become suddenly and immov- and during all these mutations the ably fixed in the position in which patient evidently suffers a great deal they happen to be at the moment of pain. To watch these changes is of seizure : if bent to the utmost, or a most interesting employment; the fully extended, so they remain, with- more so because inexplicable; but out the slightest power of alteration it is one of the most severe cases of of position on her part: and if a bye- suffering to which human nature is stander attempt to vary that posi- exposed. During all these changes tion, he would find it impossible, the internal functions of digestion, first, from the rigidity of the muscles, nutrition, sanguification, &c. &c. and next from the pain it would proceed without material interrupoccasion; for wherever this suspen- tion; it is the nervous function only sion of voluntary power occurs, there which forms the seat of disturbance. is a simultaneous exaltation of the Then, the effect upon the intellecsensibility of the nerves, affording a
tual manifestations is not to be beautiful illustration of the distinct- overlooked. These remain unimness of the two orders of nervous paired when the patient is herself. fibre, of sensation and volition. At She commonly rouses with a smile ; a particular hour-namely, within talks of her situation with great a few minutes of seven o'clock in good sense, composure, and resigthe evening - the right hand and nation to the will of God; and en
are instantaneously released ters cheerfully into conversation for from their bondage. I have repeatedly a few minutes; when she suddenly witnessed this phenomenon ; and the falls into cataleptic somnolence, hand which at the present moment continues to talk on on the subject has been fixed beyond the power of of the last idea, but without that active or passive motion, has in five perfect coherence previously exhiminutes been extended, for the pur- bited : and this is then completely pose of shaking hands with me. Then superseded by the various muscular follows a solution of the rigidity of disorders which I have mentioned;
these remaining for a few minutes, tion had not been great, so that the and again giving way to her last parents believed none had taken state, to be again interrupted by place; but upon inquiry I could the usual circle of morbid changes; find that there existed a torpor of which together forms one of the function, as the general charactermost curious and puzzling collec. istic of morbid action of the affected tion of phenomena that can be wit. organ. The most likely remedies nessed.
Her intellect seems per- were employed without effect: the fectly unimpaired in her brighter little patient became blind, deaf, moments; and her general health insensible to impression, and died is infinitely better than could have in a few months. Examination of been expected, considering the pow. the head shewed great organic erfully disturbing remedial agents changes, of which the chief conto which she has been subjected, and sisted in a very large effusion of which might have almost broken water in the natural cavities of the the stoutest health ; yet hers is brain. In this case, the symptoms still good. And there is not the of blindness,&c.could not have been slightest prospect of a termination relieved by nervous excitement, beof this state. Every powerful agent cause they were not dependent has been tried in this case, without upon interruption of function, the slightest real influence. Yet aiteration of structure. there does not seem to be any thing A young gentleman had passed like organic disease of the brain or a considerable portion of the period nervous system : this, therefore, is usually allotted to college residence, one of those cases in which some more under the excitement of
gay powerful impression upon that sys- society, and its consequences, than tem might operate a cure apparently in successful reading. Under this miraculous. The essential character high stimulation, the brain really of the malady is disorder of the func- gave way.
ΤΙ first indications tion of volition ; it has existed four- that were observed of this altered teen years; and, so far as can be condition, were a great degree of traced, is independent of primary or listlessness and inactivity: there sympathetic organic disease — at was no getting him up in the mornleasi beyond that which consists in ing to any rational breakfast hour : morbid babit. If the mind could every pursuit was engaged in with be sufficiently wrought upon, so as languor: there was an inertness, to inspire a very powerful exercise not to say obtuseness, of feeling, of the will upon the most mo
about him, and an absence of energy mentous of all subjects, I should in thought and action ; and these have great hope ; but that hope were attributed to disappointment, would consist in the remedial and other mental causes. Next agency of known principles ad. came a want of interest in all that dressed to the function in disorder, surrounded him, and in every plan and not to any interference with that was proposed for his present established laws by which the world and future comfort : then followed is regulated.
a vacancy of manner, a sluggishness The two following are cases of of intellectual manifestation, which a different description :- The first, gave to a character of naturally a child of ten years old, who had good parts an appearance of stubeen subject to head-ache for a pidity ; his liabits of listless indul. year and a half before I saw it; and gence became more inveterate : from the first visit I pronounced the then arose the expression of a concase a hopeless one, and that or- fusion of thought, which prevented ganic disease of the brain existed his reasoning correctly or consecuto a considerable extent. The al. tively, or remembering any thing terations of intellectual manifesta- with advantage: after this there CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 345.