Imagens da página

In this state things continued until these efforts, a petition for the aboli. 1785, when Mr. Robinson began to tion was presented by the clergy bedeliver a course of sermons on the longing to the archdeaconry of Leicesmost distinguished characters record-ter, in which Mr. R. took an active ed in the scriptures. These discourses part. On the following year, a requibave since been collected and arranged sition was submitted to the archdeacon, under the title of “ Scripture Charac- signed by many respectable clergyters.” They have passed through many men, requesting him to call another editions, of which a cheap one is now meeting. This proposal, however, was issuing from the Caxton Press, and rejected; and, in the Leicester Jourhave laid the foundation of the author's nal, he stated his reasons for that literary and theological fame.

refusal. These amounted to a declaWhen these discourses were first ration, that, “having been in the West delivered, it was the author's custom India islands in early life, he thought to send a sketch of each, on the follow the abolition of slavery altogether uning day, to “The Theological Miscela necessary.To this strange avowal, Jany ;' a popular work, edited by the Mr. Robinson, in conjunction with two Rey. Dr. Decoetlogon. Their appear-others, prepared an immediate answer. ance excited a peculiar degrce of in- This was published in the same jourterest, and among their ardent admirers nal, bearing the signature of sixty was Mr. W. Ludham, who urged the clergymen, and here the contest ended. author to send them before the world A meeting was, however, called within a collected form. Mr. R. however, out the archdeacon, and presented in had not that confidence in himself, behalf of the injured Africans; on with which his talents bad inspired whose account, Mr. R. and many his friends; and fearful of sustaining others, relinquished the use of West pecuniary loss, he declined the publi- | India sugar. cation, as a speculation too hazardous In 1797 Mr. Robinson was, by the for his circumstances. This resolu- mayor and magistrates, chosen to tion being known, the Rev. Dr. Jowett, become chaplain of the city jail, renin conjunction with some other friends, dered vacant by the resignation of generously undertook to secure bim Mr. Pigott. This oflice required, howfrom all risk; and, in consequence of ever, only a small portion of his time, this guarantee, the work was under- as a single service one Suoday in a taken, and presented to the public in month, and attendance in times of an embodied form.

particular urgency, comprised nearly Mr. Robinson's “Scripture Cha. The whole of his duty. These seasons racters” were first published in duo- of urgency were, nevertheless, somedecimo, in the following manner: First, times of the most painful nature. Of one volume was sent forth, the success this, an instance occurred in the case of wbich invited a second; these both of Smith and Harrison, who, having united their influence, to call forth a been found guilty of a burglary, were third; and, finally, a fourtb volume left for execution. During the short closed the series. In this forip they interval between their sentence and passed through several editions during its awful issue, they were frequently the author's life. They were also printed visited by Mr. R., who had the satisin an elegant octavo size; and from their faction of seeing them awakened to a first appearance to the present time, sense of their spiritual danger, and of have been so gaining in reputation, recommending them to the Saviour of that they now take their stand among sinners, with some hope of tbeir final works of the highest class in this de acceptance. partment of theological literature. It During this year, 1797, Mr. R. was is almost needless to add, tbat neither a second time married. On this occaDr. Jowett nor his friends sustained sion the object of his choice was a Mrs. any loss by the security which they Gerard, widow of Dr. Gerard, late gave for the sale of this popular warden of Wadham college, Oxford. work.

This lady had occasionally attended In 1791, when the question respect- Mr. Robinson's ministry when he visiting the abolition of the slave-trade ed distant churches, and had received engrossed the public attention, Mr. some serious impressions. This led Robinson used all his exertions to first to an interview, then to a correpromote this humape design. Among spondence, and finally, to an union for


Memoir of the Rev. Thomas Robinson, M.A.


Jife. That she was possessed of, took a walk 'till dinner. He then remany personal accomplishments, and newed bis visits until tea, after which a highly cultivated understanding, all he wrote letters, adjusted his charity who were acquainted with her readily accounts, and spent the remaining bore testimony. But many conse- part of the evening in conversation quences followed this union, which with his family. His visits were exposed Mr. R. to the most pointed few, and chiefly restricted to tea animadversions, against which his parties. warmest friends could make but a Anong his more intimate aequainfeeble defence.

tance we find the Rev. J. Newton, Mr. • In addition to the duties of those Berridge, Mr. Romaine, Mr. Venn, official situations which we have al and Mr. Cecil, with many others whose ready noticed, Mr. R. took many ex names are less generally known. With cursions into the country, preaching the preaching of Mr. Romaine he was in various churches on particular oc- particularly delighted, having been casions. It was on one of these, / heard to say, that the Saviour prowhen preaching a Church Missionary claimed by his mouth was “as ointsermon in 1808, that he laid the foun- ment poured forth;" and that, though dation of a complaint from which he his exterior was as rough as the hairy never fully recovered. In 1810, he raiment of John the Baptist, the ker. visited his friend, the late excellent nel was formed of love. Mr. Cecil, in London, and preached His health declining, in 1811 a subfor him in St. John's Chapel several scription was raised to procure him Sundays. But the exertion, both bo. such assistance in his duties, as would dily and mental, which this labour allow him to visit the sea. He was called forth, tended to increase his partially revived by the excursion, indisposition, so that although he had but did not regain his former vigour. been ever ready to preach for his The succeeding winter was somewhat friends in most places to which he was favourable; but the ensuing spring seriously invited, in 1811 bodily afilic- brought with it a solemn warning of tion compelled him to decline every his approaching dissolution. further solicitation.

Being rather inclined to corpulency Engaged in his stated duties, and as he advanced in years, his friends ever forward to promote the interests anticipated a crisis of which they now of charity and benevolence, his time received an awful intimation. Wbile was so variously employed, that al administering the sacrament, he was most every day brought with it some. suddenly seized with a strange kind thing that deviated from the preceding. of stupor. It did not remain many On this account it is scarcely possible minutes; but its violence alarmed all to trace him through the multifarious present; and even Mr. R. received it transactions of a single week. So far as a call to meet his God. as regularity was under his command, From this period to the time of his the following routine may be said to death, he received many such threatform the diary of his life.

ening visitations, in one of which he He rose soon after six, and retired remained insensible for nearly four to his study for private devotion, hours; but through the application of where he remained till between seven surgical aid he soon afterward revived, and eight, when, having taken break- and was able to walk about, and even fast, he called his household together, return to his professional daties. His and engaged with them in family wor friends, however, saw with much anxship. In the morning his reading was iety, that the taper was beginning to accompanied with a practical comment glimmer in the socket, and it was not from some esteemed author, and in long before they were called upon to the evening, with his own remarks. witness its total extinction. Both services were concluded with a | On Tuesday, March 21st, he visited suitable and comprehensive prayer. several friends, and conversed with After family worship in the morning, his wonted cheerfulness; but on rehe attended the sick, and visited such turning home he found himself unwell, of his friends as lay in his way. and was taken from his study to bis About twelve be returned home, took bed. The next morning he rose as sonie refreshment, and with Mrs. Ro- usual, conversed with several persons, binson, the weather being favourable, and settled some business with the secretary of the Bible Society. Hel. On this monument Mr. Robinson is then retired to his room to dress, but represented as receiving his commison taking the razor in his hand to sion from the Saviour, who delivers to shave, the awful messenger arrived. him an open Bible. Above, the good He had power to pull the bell, which Samaritan is scen raising the man who brought up Mrs. Robinson and a ser. had fallen among thieves; while below, vant to his assistance. His look was a shepherd and his flock appear, and wild and vacant; but his speech was on the back ground stands St. Mary's gone, never more to return. He lan- | church. guished until about five in the after- But while the chisel of the sculptor noon, when he breathed his last, on the thus enables us to perceive the bigh 24th of March, 1813, in the 64th year estimation in which this worthy vicar of his age.

was held by his congregation, the pen On Monday, the 29th, his body was of affection presents us with bis chainterred near the communion table, racter inscribed on tbe marble in the amidst a mournful and numerous following words: crowd of spectators. The corpse was

THOMAS ROBINSON, preceded by sixteen neighbouring Thirty-five years vicar of this parish, clergymen; and a funeral sermon was And nearly forty years minister of Christ in preached by the Rev. E. T. Vaughan,

ibis town: on the evening of the following day.

A scholar, a philanthropist, a man of God! Prior to Mr. Robinson's last seizure,

God in a crucified Saviour he thus stated his religious experience.

Seen, known, embraced, confessed in the ardoor

and vigour of youth, “I know whom I have believed. I am

made bim willing to forsake all, composed, and enjoy peace: but in the

that he might declare him. calm prospect I now take of my dis- Plain, affectionate, comprebensive, practical, solution, I cannot boast of rapture.” be drew and detained large maltitudes, On the death of this pious and labo- Whilst be opened to them the Scriptures, and rious minister of the gospel, an elegant

whilst he unfolded to them

all the counsel of God. and eloquent eulogiam was pronoun- | His eye, bis voice, his language, gave authority ced by the Rev. Robert Hall, at the

to his teaching, meeting of the auxiliary Bible Society, and the Spirit bare him witness. shortly after his decease, but our limits Kind, active, wise, magnanimous forbid us to insert this valuable tri throughout bis whole life, he sought not bis bute of respect to his memory.

own, but the tbings wbich are Jesus Christ's; In addition to his “Scripture Cha

and had his reward

in reviving the knowledge of true religon, with racters,” Mr. Robinson was the author

all its beneficent influences, of the following works : “The Chris. | amidst a large portion of his countrymen ; tian System;" “ Essays on the Pro- in founding, promoting, and protecting many phecies;" “ Parochial Minister's Ad

excellent pablic institations; dress to his Parishionero. Trest in raising up many faithful witnesses from

amongst his brethren; on Confirmation;" an “Address, pre-1

and in preparing many sons for glory. paratory to the Fast in 1795;" an- 1 Called from this earthly sanctuary in which bis other“ Address, on the Peace of 1802;"

soul had delighted, “ Serious Call;" "A Visitation Ser with bis testimony almost upon his lips, mon:” and “A Sermon for the Church he was suddenly made a pillar in the temple of Missionary Society.” Of these works,


from which he goes do more out. bis“ Scripture Characters” is the most deservedly popular. All the others

This public monument,

the tribute of many grateful and revering friends, inculcate the important truths of Chris

is a record to posterity, tianity; but what is of far more import that the everlasting gospel preached, felt, made ance, his life was a comment on his

visible, made froitral, creed, and, in an embodied form, it ex- | commands at length, by a gradual bat sore hibited the doctrines which he taugbt. I


the veneration and the love of mankind. About a fortnight after his inter

See'st thou, admiring son, this mingled flood? ment, a subscription was raised to | A cleansing water, and a healing blood ? erect a monument to his memory. | Thy God for thee made flesh, transfix'd for thee? The sum amounted to five hundred

-Go, shew thy brethren sights of Calvary !

Till with rais'd hands, heart rent, and suppliant eye, pounds, of which three hundred were Hail! bleeding Lamb of God, Hail! Lord of life,' devoted to the memorial, and the

they cry. remaining sum to a specific object Thomas Robinson was born Aug. 1749; instipointed out by the committee.

tuted vicar, 1776; died, March 24, 1813.


On the Treatment of Insanity.



INSANE calculation. I strongly suspect that

there are at this time, in the whole MR. EDITOR.

united kingdom, upwards of forty SIR,-Such are the imperfections of thousand, and they arise from a much human nature, that truths, the most smaller number of fresh cases annuobvious and important, would soon ally than four thousand; that is, that lose their influence, were it not for a less proportion than one half recover, repeated teachings and admonitions ; though I feel fully confident, that full and hence the necessity for “ line upon nine out of ten would perfectly recover, line, and precept upon precept.” under the best system of treatment as

Presuming, as I have done, to speak a national measure. and write freely upon the most im- If what I bave so repeatedly asserted portant of all earthly subjects, and upon the curable nature of insanity intending, as I do, to give a concise rested solely upon my own practice, summary of wbat I have before writ- or upon the practice of my ancestors, ten, I must beg my readers to excuse my insisting upon it with so much permy repetitions.

tinacity, might be deemed arrogance The evils of insanity are very great; or vanity; but it is well known, as I yet, falling particularly upon the low- have said before, that the most celeest, though most numerous classes of brated professing mad-doctor in the society, they have attracted less atten-world, stated before parliament, that tion from the more enlightened part of of those insane patients who were put our community than was due to them. under his care wbile the disease was I also suspect that these evils are recent, a proportion of full nine out of rapidly on the increase; not that I ten recovered. Is it not strange that think there is any great increase of this declaration neither met with refufresh cases of insanity, but that a less tation nor honourable notice ; for if proportion recover now than did re- | correct, the means he used should cover some years ago; and the evils have been made public for the good of this disease do not so much depend of the community at large. But is it upon the number of fresh cases, or the not more strange that government number of deaths under them; as upon should seem to give full credence to the number who live in an incurable the opinion of a physician of London, state. For any thing I can learn to made twenty years after the above the contrary, the incurably insane are declaration, that insanity is in no innearly as tenacious of life as the sane stance a curable disease,-he being are. And as the first attacks of the medical attendant at an institution disease generally take place in early for the insane, where, it is said, none life, twenty years may be taken as the do recover, except as a matter of rare average term of life of incurable luna- chance,-and the proprietor of which tics. This being the case, the cost to disclaims all attempts at cure? the state, of keeping these unfortunate It might appear, that while general fellow-beings, falls little short of a learning and knowledge have been million sterling annually; while less progressively upon the increase, a than a tenth part of that sum, annually, I knowledge of the human mind, and of would be sufficient to procure the very those diseases which most act upon it, best means of recovery, and from which had been considerably upon the dea very small number would remain cline; and, indeed, gif there has been incurable. So that a better system no actual deterioration in this particufor the cure is of importance as a mat- lar, there have been no improvements. ter of national economy, leaving the And it certainly is humiliating to the feelings of humanity out of the ques pride of medical science in the united

kingdom, for it to be obvious that the I have supposed that the number of most important branch of it was better fresh cases of insanity annually, is understood some two thousand years under four thousand for the united ) ago, in Upper Egypt, and is at the kingdom ; and, if nine out of ten reco- present hour in Spain, in Naples, in vered, the usual stock of incurables New York, New England, and, it may would be about eight thousand; but be, other places, than it is with us. if only one half of the same annual | Yet, if we are to judge by public meanumber recovered, the usual stock sures, and public institutions, this must would be forty thousand upon a like l be the case. For myself, I am like to 84.-Vol. VII.



some religious preacher, of unbounded ful, and the great desire of concealzeal, but humble talents, who only es- ment in the friends and relations, is capes opposition, and even persécution, frequently the cause of timely means by not being thought worth notice; but, of recovery not being used. The upconfident of the truth and importance of necessary and ridiculous dread of his doctrines, he at length attracts at those that are insane is, too, a frequent tention, and obtains proselytes by dint cause of the best means of recovery of perseverance. It cannot be, but that not being put in practice ; indeed, if what I bave written, and published, those who have the care of the insane and spoken, with so much confidence betray any signs of fear, their usefulto at least twenty different audiences, ness is at an end. Another cause is, in as many different towns, must have the almost impossibility of managing caused discussions, and by discussion such patients wbile in their own famithe truth of wbat I have advanced lies: a removal from all the visitations mast ultimately prevail. The very wbicb unavoidably arise out of family erroneous antiphlogistic medical treat- intercourse, is, in confirmed cases, ment in cases of phrenetic insanity, quite necessary to the best treatment, and the unnecessary coercion in moral and is often necessary to any chance treatment, must cre long give way to of recovery, but this is frequently dea milder and more rational system; layed, till delay alone has rendered but I fear the time is not quite at the disease incurable. Nor is it prachand; for since I wrote my last letter ticable to do full justice to the curafor the Imperial Magazine, four recent tive means, unless the attendant who cases have come to my knowledge, of has charge of the management or the patients suffering under this severe | moral treatment, is also competent in treatment, and that too under profes- | the medical treatment; they require to sional men of the first repute. In one go hand in hand. But what is most of these cases it proved fatal to life, generally to be lamented in the most and in the others the disease was deplorable cases is, the mistaking the greatly aggravated by it.

violent paroxysms of insanity, or what Before I attempt to speak of the would more properly be called nervous best means of recovery from insanity, fever, for brain fever, or inflammation it may be useful to mention some of of the brain; in the latter, inflammathe causes by which any application tion is the primary disease; if, in the of the best means are often prevented. former, inflammatory symptoms apAnd, first, the equivocal nature of the pear, they supervene upon the original disease is a frequent cause, and that disease, and arise from pervous irritatoo in some of the most confirmed and tion. dangerous cases. The most celebrated Inflammation of the brain is a local city in the world for the learning and organic affection, is a disease of rare knowledge of its inhabitants, has lately occurrence, and may generally be been put into a ferment by the freaks traced to some sudden and recent of a lunatic, and he has been severely cause,-such as blows upon the bead, handled; but it does not appear that exposure of the head to the rays of the it ever occurred to his wise persecu-sun, sudden transitions from heat to tors that the poor fellow was insane; cold, or from cold to heat, violent yet this was no doubt the case, for he exertion or fatigue, excessive intoxiwas insane a little time ago, to my cation, &c.; it most generally termiknowledge, and I have not heard of nates in a few days in death, and canhis recovering: and I have known not be of long duration. As for the many instances of the opportunity of idea of inflammation of the brain terrecovery from the disease being lost minating in permanent insanity, it is by disputes about what the disease no doubt almost always an error; the was; for such are the eccentricities of original disease being nervous fever, the sane, that it is not always easy to a complaint which, in its first padistinguish them from the vagaries of roxysms, is often more violent than the insane: and the person alluded to brain fever ; indeed, a leading feature can at times, and upon some occasions, in brain fever is excessive and causeappear in public as quite correct, and less timidity in the patient, and defect yet I consider him as dangerous, and in the senses, particularly in the sight unfit to be at large.

and hearing, with loss of memory,The notion that insanity is disgrace- the very opposite of insanity, in which

« AnteriorContinuar »