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Visit to a Madhouse.
benignity which is wont to illumine the calm close of existence, yet the wrinkles of his features had not been furrowed by mis. fortune, and his locks were not grizzled by the wastings of care. He had been an ideot for many years, and since his 15th year, no ray of reason had penetrated the darkness which shrouded his intellect. He seemed not to observe our entrance, and continued silent and motionless. The keeper informed me that since he had been placed in the Asylum, upwards of 30 years before, he had seldom changed his position, unless when lifted by some of the attendants-that he had scarcely ever spoken and that the only motion he had been observed to make was an involuntary shrug of his shoulders, accompanied with an inarticulate
groan. He had in consequence become quite decrepid-his joints were grown stiff, and he appeared to be almost insensible to any external violence.
The miserable appearance of the man and this account of his condition affected me much, and I could not help contrasting it with the pride which distinguished abilities or continued good fortune are apt to give birth to; and thinking how humbling a lesson of wisdom might be taught to persons in such situations by a visit to this idcot's cell.
I had already spent so much time with my companion that I had proposed to him to withdraw, when he suggested that if I chose I might see a few patients in the females' ward. Much as my curiosity had been excited by the variety of characters which I had seen, I declined his offer, giving it as my opinion that there was perhaps an impropriety in making their misfortunes the subject of exhibition.
But as we passed an apartment from which issued the sounds of soft and melting music, I recognised the voice which had attracted my attention before entering the house. I expressed a wish to see this patient, as I conceived there must be something interesting in her situation.
She rose as we entered, and with a smile that played over the vacancy of her features, and lighted up her fair, though somewhat wild countenance, she stept forward to receive me, but instantly as if changing her purpose, she shrunk back, and hiding her face in her hands, gave a loud hysterical laugh, and almost as suddenly sighed, and burst into tears. I was sorry I had entered: I had interrupted the serenity of her mind, and dissipated the pleasant thoughts that wandered far, far at sea.
Visit to a Madhouse.
A gleam of delusive joy had burst upon her sanguine fancy when she saw me, and for a moment she thought me her long lost William.
“ Oh no!_no_but he will soon return-he said so-he left me yesterday-sings)
Oh rest ye wild winds in the caves of your slumbers;
But blow gentle zephyrs, and waft him to me. My William liked to hear me sing—but he is gone—well, well,
poor Jessie must sing alone. Will you tell him to make haste ? Oh no_he cannot -see-there he is—the rough waves ripple over his face—he has a cold bed—the rude winds are singing his requiem—but my William would rather his Jessie should do it-sings)
“ Had I a cave on some wild distant shore,
Ne'er to weep more. The glistening melancholy of her countenance-the melting sweetness and wildness of lier voice when she sung--the sudden transitions of her inind from joy to grief, made such an impression on my feelings that I was glad to be away. My tongue when I attempted to bid her farewell, had forgot its duty; and while I gave her a last look, I felt a tear stealing unconscious over my cheek. I pitied her loneliness—but oh, the wreck of her mind !-it seemed destined to remain a ruin for
As the Keeper closed the door of her apartment, I heard her sigh out the name of her beloved, and before we had begun to move away, she was again singing her “ notes of woe.”
Having thanked my guide for his kind attentions, I hurried from the house. My mind was in a condition I had never ex. perienced before. I felt agitated with the iningled sensations of pleasure and pity. I was pleased in having thus had an opportunity of marking the variety of character in the maladies of mind—but a melancholy regret for the lot of my unhappy fellow creatures was almost a predominating feeling.
A. V. R. 15th May, 1819.
Julian's Attempt to Rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.
JULIAN'S VAIN ATTEMPT TO REBUILD THE
TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM.*
Julian the apostate, while affecting to rule by the maxims of universal toleration, was remarkable for the bitterness of his enmity against the cause of Christ and his followers. He could not, indeed, consistently with his avowed principles of moderation, sanction the same open and bloody persecution as Diocletian had done; but his deep-rooted malignity, ill concealed under the mask of pity, was constantly suggesting enactments of the most oppressive nature, and led him to seize upon every opportunity of inflicting what he and others might conceive a deep and deadly wound on the faith he secretly wished to destroy. He was not satisfied with merely heaping shame and obloquy on the professors of Christianity. He wanted to undermine the
very foundation of Christianity itself, and ruin for ever all the prospects of the rising church, by aiming some effectual blow at the Divine authority of its founder.
The Emperor was by no means unacquainted with the con. tents of the Gospel. He knew that a sentence of everlasting abrogation was, in effect, pronounced over the whole fabric of the Mosaic ceremonial, which had now fully served the end for which it was appointed ; and that Jesus not only foretold the downfall of the city and temple of Jerusalem, but also the wide and continued dispersion of the entire nation of the Jews. He must have seen too how well the history of that peculiar people accorded with this prophecy: but still he imagined, holding as he did the reins of the Roman Empire, and having full command over all its provinces, that nothing could be easier for him than to cut off the fulfilment of the prediction, and falsify the claims of our Saviour to the character of a true prophet, by restoring the Holy City to its ancient magnificence, and its inhabitants to the free use of their former rights and privileges.
* A. D. 363,
Julian's attempt to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.
Under such motives, therefore, and with such ends in view, he was impatient of delay, till he had invested Alypius his confidential friend, a man of severe justice and heroic fortitude, with an extraordinary commission to rebuild Jerusalem, in its that pristine beauty, the Temple of and restore the Jewish people to the land of their fathers. Every advantage could possibly be conceived to facilitate the
so great an undertaking was carefully provided. The Governor of Palestine lent his aid : and the Jews, being invited by the Emperor himself in a letter, which is still extant, sprung up with alacrity, and began to assemble from all parts of the empire. Every other concern was lost sight of in the ardour of their desires to see the ancient forms of worship re-established on the holy mountain.
" Men forgot their avarice, and the women their delicacy ; spades and pickaxes of silver were provided by the vanity of the rich, and the rubbish was transported in mantles of silk and purple. Every purse was opened in liberal contributions, every hand claimed a share in the pious labour; and the commands of a great monarch were executed by the enthusiasm of a whole people."
The heart of Julian was elated with the fullest confidence of success; no power on earth seemed capable of delaying, much less of thwarting his design; and the Jews, assured that the end of their long captivity had, at length, arrived, exulted with the most insolent expressions of triumph over the Christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. But the joint efforts of power
and enthusiasm leagued in opposition to the supreme, were altogether unavailing. Though no human arm was uplifted, and we rejoice that the agency of Christians was not employed on that peculiar occasion, to defend the insulted honour of the Saviour, the same God who
gave the law with thunder and lightning from Sinai, and afterwards dispersed the rebellious Israelites for rejecting the Messiah, to whom all the prophecies pointed, and whom the whole of their splendid ceremonial was intended to introduce, put a stop at once to the proceedings of Alypius and the Jews. With a visible and awful manifestation of Almighty Power," which may perhaps not improperly be thought to have closed the scene of such extraordinary interpositions,* he caused
* Kett's Serm. at the Bampton Lect. Oxford. Sec. Edit. p. 46.
Julian's Attempt to Rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem.
a devouring flame in terrible balls of fire, and with frequent explosions, to burst forth from the ground, which, as both heathen and Christian historians decidedly affirm, * destroyed, not only all the materials collected for the building, but also many of the workmen, and filled every spectator with terror and dismay. Nor is there any want of respectable evidence to vouch for the truth of this prodigy. Though Ambrose, Chrysostome, Greg. ory, Nazianzen, and a host of others were awanting, the testimony of the philosophic soldier and historian Ammianus Marcellinus, a cotemporary and friend of Julian, is, in the estimation of Gibbon himself, perfectly unexceptionable. “ Whilst Alypius,” says he, “ assisted by the Governor of the province, urged with vigour and diligence the execution of the work, horrible balls of fire breaking out near the foundations, with frequent and reiterated attacks, rendered the place, from time to time, inaccessible to the scorched and blasted workmen; and the victorious element continuing in this manner obstinately and resolutely bent, as it were, to drive them to a distance ,the undertaking was abandoned.”+
Thus were the pride and impious temerity of this powerful monarch visited with a most awful reproof; and mankind received a lesson which taught them to bend with submissive obedience to the irreversible appointments of Heaven. Like every other attempt, before it or since, to frustrate the designs of the Almighty, this favourite enterprize of Julian perished as the moth before the whirlwind : and, notwithstanding all that the malignity of infidels has ever yet been able to devise, there has not failed ought of any thing that Jesus has spoken. Even at the present hour his sayings are receiving their accomplish, ment in the tyranny which the Gentiles exercise over Judea and Jerusalem. The Jews are still
ll scattered over the face of the whole earth ; yet they are still a distinct and separate people, and held a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.' And so they shall continue, till the set time for receiving them back into favour shall be fulfilled. For in spite of all that princes may decree and endeavour to execute, the dispersed
* Jo. Alb. Fabricii Lux Evang. toti orbi eroriens, p. 124–Warburton's Julian, p. 174. Gibhon, Hist. of the Decl. and Fall, &c. vol. iv. p. 107-Greg. Nazianzen, Orat. iv.
+ Ammian, xxiii. 1.