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grounds of evidence on which he bave had in view in all our remust rely, and also to prevent his marks. We protest against any properly apprehending and judging others taking shelter under them, of that evidence. Indeed we by no Nervous disorders are, indeed, very means think him liberated from obli- widely disseminated at this day.-gation to obey the command we have According to Dr. Trotter they conmentioned. For we believe there is stitute, in one shape or another, at least a partial remedy for the two thirds of the diseases of civilidifficulties under which he labours ; zed society. But we by no means which remedy we shall mention be- comprehend, in the cases we have fore we close our remarks.
described, those who have had an But is there no danger in repre- attack of these complaints, which senting these difficulties to exist in disappeared in a few weeks or this particular case? Will not ma- months ; nor such as only occasionby, who have no clear evidence of "ally suffer from the attack ; nor their Christian character, merely such as are in the incipient stages. because they have no religion, be We include only those, who have induced to impute their destitution unsuccessfully struggled with these of a firm hope to a weakness of Protean maladies year after year, nerves, and thus destroy their and with whom nervous feelings and souls ? We have greatly feared habits have become strongly fixed. such might be the case ; and, on Wherever nervous complaints this account, have doubted wheth- exist, however, even in the slighter it would not have been better to est degree, they will produce a corconsign our remarks to oblivion, respondent effect upon religious than to present them to the public. experience. And, if we mistake But then, again, it occurred to us, not, this effect is very obvious in that the developement of truth, the churches of our land. What must be ultimately beneficial, al. did the Pilgrims know of nervous though, for a time, it may be par- maladies ? God did not add these tially injurious. And if our views to their other trials : and they on this subject are not true, we could demand the faith of assurance trust their errors will be pointed as a condition of admission to the out. We believe almost every ex- church. But suppose such a conperienced minister of the Gospel dition were now required. Wlio has frequently met with instances can doubt, but one half of the prelike those we have described, in sent members of the churches which the individual cordially be would have been stopped at the lieved every truth of the Bible, and threshold ? And who will impute whose daily conduct evinced a life the difference solely to the deteriof religion ; and yet, that individu- oration of modern piety ? al was laboring under a settled gloom Our second remark will consist and hopelessness, evidently indu- of an appeal and a warning to those ced by a nervous temperament. who are first beginning to feel the Every minister knows, that it does attacks on these nervous maladies, no good in such cases to ply the and whose constitutions are not yet unhappy man with his obligations to broken down by them. We would possess clear evidence of religion, most earnestly expostulate with or to array before him the threaten- such upon their danger, and the imings of God against impenitence. portance of immediately adopting For he will acknowledge his obliga- rigorous measures to save themtions and admit that the threatenings selves from those painful effects of the law do apply to himself.- we have discribed in this essay. Now it is such cases as this, we The great mass of mankind will give them very different advice. He must, in the first place, make The healthy and misinformed will a great change in his diet ; that is, tell them to pay no attention to if he has lived as most sedentary their complaints, which are chiefly men in this country do live. He imaginary, and not to relax at all in must reduce the quantity of his their pursuits, or be particular in food probably one half, perhaps regard to diet ; but to put down more, and use only those kinds their vapourish feelings by a firm most easily digested; for instance, disregard of them. And should a little stale bread or cracker and they listen to such counsellors, and milk, or bread and water, in the fear to be called hypochondriacs, morning ; or at most, some light more than the consequences of toast with coffee ; and a similar nervous maladies, they may rely meal, or none at all, at night. For upon it, that ere many years, they dinner, which should never be taken will be able to attest the truth of later than one o'clock, he may use this essay from their own experi- moderatly some animal muscle ; ence. These disorders will in- but not adding to this puddings and sidiously wind deeper and deeper pastry and sweetmeats. “ They" into their constitutions, until they (nervous people,) says Dr. Trotter, will be compelled to attend to them are of all mankind the most lia. when the prospect of throwing ble to surfeits." One reason of them off is extremely faint. And this is, that they cannot bear as still worse, they will be forced to much food as those in health : anabandon their professions, and per other reason is, that they are lia. haps be thrown helpless upon a ble to an unnatural appetite that is world that has no mercy on dys- inordinate. They cannot therefore peptics. Their religious hopes be too much on their guard against too, if they are pious, will be excess in eating. shrouded in darkness ; and proba. A second thing they must do, is, bly a few long years of sighing and to abandon the use of stimulants, sorrow will be all that remains to especially ardent spirits. In their them on earth. But if they will at seasons of dejection, and with the tend resolutely and faithfully to lassitude that accompanies indigcstheir complaints in their early sta- tion, they are extremely liable to ges, and use the remedies experi. resort to wine, or brandy, for re. ence has found efficacious, all these lief. And these do afford a temterrific evils may be avoided, and porary relief : but the excitement their usefulness, and happiness, and ihey produce exhausts the system, lives, be prolonged.
and feeds the disease. We have In their earlier stages, we say already quoted the decided opinion confidently, that these complaints of one medical man on this point, may, almost without exception, be and we might adduce a dozen more cured. And how ? Is it suppos. were it necessary, to the same efed from our remarks that we are fect. There is a most fatal and recommending to a person of this destructive error prevalent on this description to lay aside all attention subject, which is destroying multito business, shut himself up, and tudes, viz. that persons of weak sending for the physician, begin a digestive powers need stimulalong course of emetics and cathar- tive drinks and rich food. When tics ? He could not take a worse the debility is excessive, the physi. course than this to ruin his constitu- cian may indeed find it necessary tion. But there are certain sim- to stimulate for a time, to save life. ple measures which he can, and But the daily stimulous of ardent must adopt, or take the consequen- spirits and rich food most unquesces we have described.
tionably increase the disorder, and
shorten life. We believe many a ..“. There is a great error commit. man has been hurried out of the ted every day, in flying to medicine world by the mere kindness of his at once, when the functions of the friends, in urging him to load his stomach and liver are disordered,
ishing food, and to strengthen his food imperfectly digested. Instead system by stimulating potations of exhibiting purgatives day after If the nervous invalid finds himself day to carry off diseased secretions, overcome by a strong propensity to we should lessen and simplify the take too much, or too rich food, or food, in order to prevent the formaspirituous drinks, let him follow the tion of these bad secretions. In example of Hercules, who, as he doing this we have great prejudices passed the Sirens, suffered himself to overcome. The patient feels to be bound to the mast, lest he himself getting weaker and thinner ; should be enticed and fall into their and he looks to nourishing food and snares.
tonics for a cure. But he will Just as we had finished this para- generally be disappointed in the graph, a very recent work of Dr. end by this plan. From four ounJames Johnson, on “. Morbid Sens- ces ofgruel every six hours, he will, ibility of the stomach and bowels," under many states of indigestion, fell into our hands ; containing an derive more nutriment and strength important section on the diet of than from half a pound of animal dyspeptids, which we could wish food and a pint of wine'' _" I have were read and pondered well by the known dyspeptic patients gain flesh elan of persons we are addressing. and strength on half a pint of good The rule he gives for regulating gruel thrice in 24 hours ; and gradthe quantity of food and drink is ually bring the stomach, step by this : “ Whenever our drink in- step, up to the point of digesting duces sensible excitement in the plain animal food and biscuit.”_ system, or our food is followed by “ No person is in danger of starva. an inaptitude for mental or corpo- tion who can take a pint-nay, real exertion, we have transgressed only half a pint of good gruel in the the rules of health, and are laying 24 hours”—" But the invalid may the foundation for disease."-Any ask "Can I not have my ailments discomfort of body, any irritability removed without abridging my apor despondency of mind, succeed. petites ?”' No!"-" The scale of ing food and drink, at the distance diet must be lowered and simplifi. of an hour, a day, or even two or ed down to water gruel if necessathree days, may be regarded (other ry ; otherwise a cure can never be evident causes being absent) as a expected.” presumptive proof that the quanti- “ The rigid system I have propoty has been too much, or the quali- sed is not the creature of specula. ty injurious.”
tion engendered in the closet. It "In respect to drink, water is is that which many to my knowlthe only fluid which does not pos- edge, have adopted with the most sess irritating, or at least, stimula- perfect success; it is that by which ting qualities ; and in proportion I have conquered the most intense as we rise on the scale of potation, degree of dyspepsia in my own from table beer to ardent spirits, in person. Those who have courage the same ratio we educate the stom- and perseverance to reap the fruits ach and bowels for that state of of such a system, will hardly be in. morbid sensibility, which in civili. duced to change it however strong. zed life will sooner or later super- ly they may be tempted by the Tene.” VOL. 1.-No. IV.
luxuries of the table, and the se. tion, as was the case, I believe, ductions of convivial society.” with the celebrated Professor Por
A third thing the incipient dys- son. Here the morning alone peptic must do, in order to effect a should be dedicated to study, and cure, is to be regular and thorough the evening to light amusements, in his exercise. It will not relieve, some entertaining occupation, or but aggravate his complaints, to perambulation through town or confine himself for four or five days country with a literary friend." to his parlour, his shop, or his study, We have urged this subject, thus and then devote half a day to se minutely, because we feel it to vere and violent exercise in the be of great importance. The hope of laying in a stock of health ravages which nervous maladies and strength for another week.- are making at this day, in the He must walk, or ride, several miles civilized world, are appalling and every day; and if possible, at par- immense. They are changing, and ticular times of the day ,* or make threaten still more to change, the other equivalent efforts in his wood general character of society. The yard or his garden. If overcome description Dr. Johnson has drawn by sloth, or prevented by a pressure of their extent in England will not, of duties, he neglects such exercise, it is hoped, apply to us as a nation: he may depend upon it that he will but let their rapid progress among sink under his disease. We can us be unimpeded, and it will soon hardly conceive a case in which be true, that " with ennui and any other duty can justify such an dissipation in the higher ranks omission.
anxiety of mind, arising from Finally, the dyspeptic must re- business, in the middling classesfrain from excessive application to and poverty, bad food, bad air, bad business or study. The burthen drink, and bad occupations, among of his daily efforts should be over the lower classes, there is scarcebefore dinner ; and the remainder ly an individual in this land of liberof the day be devoted to exercise, ty and prosperity-in this kingdom or less laborious employments. of ships, colonies and commerce, As to study at night, especially who does not experience more or after nine o'clock, it is eminently less of the “ English malady''injurious. The striking remarks of that is to say, a preternaturally an able physician on this subject irritable state of the nervous sysare well worthy of being repeated. tem, connected with, or dependent “ Whenever," says he, « the dis- on, morbid sensibility of the stomeases of literature assail us, we ach and bowels.” The church of should have the lamp scoured out God in our land deeply feels the and no more oil put in it. It is inroads of these complaints, in prosnight study that ruins the constitu- trating the energies, and premation by keeping up a bewildered turely destroying the usefulness, of chaos of impressions on the brain, many of her most valuable ministers. during the succeeding sleep if They lurk too around our Theolothat can be called sleep which is gical Seminaries, our Colleges, and constantly interrupted by incoher- even our preparatory schools; and ent dreams and half waking trains there seize, as their victims, many of thought. If, to procure repose, of the most devoted and talented of opiates or spirituous liquors are had our youth, who had consecrated recourse to, then the brain is like themselves to Christ and the ly to suffer congestion or inflamma Church. And it is therefore we
urge, with reiterated earnestness, * TOVOO JITOV nyeolw. Hippocra those who are beginning to tread tes.
the same downward course, to pon
der well this our appeal ; and if through life, with a load too heavy they find the course recommended for him, with none of the influence to be supported by medical experi- of hope to cheer and sustain him ? ence, resolutely to adopt it. Glad. Will such a picture excite no symly would we urge the same appeal pathy, and call forth no prayer, from upon those now in health, who are a bosom where rests the image of wasting away their powers over Christ? Alas, what answer does the midnight lamp : but we have the experience of most nervous perno hope that such will listen to our sons give to this inquiry? They warning, until incipient disease recollect many an instance in which shall teach them its importance.-- their morbid sensibilities, their miAlas, we fear that few, even of such, nute attention to diet and regimen, will submit to the self denial that and their mental despondency, have is requisite, until it is too late. been the objects at which their
Our third remark, springing from brethren have aimed the shafts of the general subject, is, that nervous wit and satire, or the lash of reinvalids need, and may reasonably proach; and can they believe, that expect, a place in the prayers and the same tongue, which is thus pubsympathies of their brethren who licly employed in ridicule, will, in are in health. If we look only to secret, be uttering a prayer in bethe bodily sufferings of such an in- half of their infirmities and trials ? valid, we shall discover enough, it No! Where one tongue is employmust be admitted, to excite a ed in offering such prayers, a thouChristian's compassion and prayers. sand are amusing some social circle Grant that the pains of the nervous with a recital of what are called the man are not usually of the most nervous whims and weaknesses of intense kind : yet are they forever their brethren. And yet we believe recurring ; and it is said that no that this mode of treating their comsuffering is more difficult to bear plaints, by no means indicates such than to be exposed to the inces- insensibility to his sufferings, as the sant dropping of water upon the nervous man is apt to suppose. It head. Little does the healthy man originates in a great measure from know, how large a portion of grace the very prevalent, yet false notion, it needs to bear with patience, sub- that the dyspeptic is to be cured by mission, and religious fortitude, a endeavouring to convince him that long protracted course of feeble his complaints are imaginary. But health. He may have been pros- Christians ought to know, that this trated by acute disease : but its pa- method never yet succeeded; and roxysms are transitory, and the that their apparent insensibility to mind can with greater ease nerve his sorrows, and want of sympathy itself to the short conflict. But in in his sufferings, is the bitterest inthe case under consideration, the gredient in the nervous man's cup contest must be renewed day after of misery. We have seen a paroxday, month after month, and year ysm of these complaints vanish, after year. In this case too, the when the magic wand of sympathy mind is unnerved,-its resolution is was applied by the soft hand of crushed, --its hopes are darkened, - Christian friendship ; and we have its pillars are fallen. Truly then seen too, the iron enter the soul, may we ask with Dr. Trotter, “can when that sympathy was withheld, any evil in this world be worse than and sarcastic lightness and neglect eonstant bad health ?”
were substituted. And can the Christian see his In view of the general subject brother thus cast down into the of this essay, we have one more dust, ploughing his wretched way thought to suggest. We have a