Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

would sometimes leave him altogether, and then appear again, singly or in groups. The apparitions were generally human figures of both sexes, which, like people at a fair, commonly passed to and fro, as if they had no mutual connexion, though they sometimes appeared to have business with one another. On one or two occasions, he saw persons on horseback, dogs, and birds, all of which appeared in their natural size, and of the same colours which they exhibito in real life, though somewhat paler.

When these apparitions began to be seen more frequently, Nicolai began also to hear them speak. Sometimes they ad. dressed one another, but generally they spoke to himself, in short speeches, which never contained any thing disagreeable. This loquacity in the apparitions, occurred most frequently when he was alone, though he occasionally heard it in society, intermixed with the actual conversation of the company.

Although these appearances had ceased to excite any disagreeable emotion, and had even afforded him frequent subjects of amusement and mirth, yet as his disorder had sensibly' increased, and as the figures had appeared to him for whole days together, and even when he awoke during the night, he found it necessary, not only to take medicine, but also to apply leeches. This was done on the 20th of April, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon; and, during the operation, while he was sitting alone with the surgeon, the room swarmed with human forms of every description, which crowded fast upon one another till half-past four o'clock. The figures then began to move more slowly; their colours became gradually paler; and, after intervals of seven minutes, he could distinguish a palpable diminution in their intensity, without any change in the distinctness of their forms. At about half-past six o'clock, they became entirely white, and moved very slightly; their forms, however, were still perfectly distinct, and, without decreasing in number, they gradually becaine less perceptible. Instead of moving off or vanishing, as they had usually done, they now dissolved immediately into air ; whole pieces of some of them continuing for a length of time, and at last disappearing. About eight o'clock, not a vestige of them remained ; and Nicolai never again was disturbed by these spectral illusions.

Accustomed to the investigation of mental phenomena, Nicolai took a great interest in studying the facts which had thus occurred with himself; and he has recorded various, excellent

• Egz-hib’it—not, ég-xib'it. bA-muze'mênt-not, munt.

[ocr errors]

observations, of which the following are the most interesting to the pneumatologist.

He could trace no connexion between the figures and the state of his mind, the nature of his employments, or the course of his thoughts previous to their appearance. He could always clearly distinguish phantasms from real personages. The appearance of the phantasms was, in every instance, involuntary, and not dependant on any external circumstances: whether he was alone, or in society, whether in broad day-light, or in darkness, whether in his own house, or that of a neighbour, their appearance was equally distinct.

The figures sometimes disappeared when he shut his eyes, and at other times they remained : when they vanished, in the former case, nearly the same figures reappeared when his eyes were again opened. The figures were neither terrible, ludic. rous, nor repulsive; and they appeared more frequently in mo. tion that at rest. On two or three occasions, after he had ceased to observe these appearances, he felt a propensity to see them again, or, rather, a sensation as if he saw them, but the sensation immediately left him without calling up the phantasms.

Froni a critical examination of Nicolai's case, it appeared that the immediate cause of these spectral illusions, was a pe. culiar derangement of the digestive organs. Other similar cases are not unknown, and are found to proceed from the same cause. So recently as in 1829, a very interesting case of the kind oc. curred in England in the person of Mrs. A., which our restrict ed limits do not allow us to present.


Perpetuity of the Church.DR. Mason. The long existence of the Christian Church', would be pronounced', upon common principles of reasoning', impossible'. She finds in every man a natural and an inveterate enemy'. To encounter and overcome the unanimous hostility of the world', she boasts no political stratagem', no disciplined légions', no outward coercion of any kind'. Yet', her expectation is', that she will live forever'.

To mock this hope', and to blot out her memorial from under heaven', the most furious efforts of fanaticism', the most inge

In'tèr'est-ing. bIn'stånse. •Eg-zist'ense.

nious arts of statesmen'," the concentrated strength of empires', have been frequently and perseveringly applied'.-The blood of her sons and her daughters has streamed like water'; the smoke of the scaffold and the stake', where they wore the crown of martyrdom in the cause of Jesus', has ascended in thick volumes to the skies'. The tribes of persecution have sported over her woes', and erected monuments', as they imagined', of her perpetual ruin'. But where are her tyrants, and where their empires ? The tyrants have long since gone to their own place'; their names have descended upon the roll of infamy'; their empires have passed', like shadows', over the rock'; they have successively disappeared', and left not a trace behind'!

But what became of the Church'? She rose from her ashes', fresh in beauty and might'; celestial glory beamed around her'; she dashed down the monumental marble of her foes'; and they who hated her', fled before her'. She has celebrated the funeral of kings and kingdoms that plotted her destruction'; and', with the inscriptions of their pride', has transmitted to posterity the records of their shame'.

How shall this phenomenon be explained'? We are', at the present moment', witnesses of the fact'; but who can unfold the mystery'? The book of truth and life', has made our wonder cease'. 66 The Lord her God in the midst of her', is mighty'.” His presence is a fountain of health', and his protection', a “ wall of fire'.” He has betrothed her', in eternal covenant', to himself. Her living Head', in whom she breathes', is above', and his quickening spirit shall never depart from her'. Armed with divine virtue', his Gospel', secret', silent',' unobserved', enters the hearts of men', and sets up an everlasting kingdom'. It eludes all the vigilance', and baffles all the power', of the adversary'. Bars', and bolts', and dungeons', are no obstacles to its approach': bonds', and tortures', and death', can. not extinguish its influence'. Let no man's heart tremble', then', because of fear'. Let no man despair' (in these days of rebuke and blasphemy') of the Christian cause'. The ark is launched', indeed', upon the floods'; the tempest sweeps along the deep'; the billows break over her on every side'; but Jehovah-Jesus has promised to conduct her in safety to the haven of peace'. She cannot be lost', unless the pilot perish'.

States'men—not, mun. bFre'kwent-le. cPrez'ense-not, unse. Gos'pèl--not, Gös'pl. Si'lent.


Dr. Johnson's Letter to the Earl of Chesterfield. My LORD: I have been lately informed by the proprietor of the World, that two papers in which my Dictionary is recom. mended to the publick, were written by your Lordship. To be so distinguished, is an honour, which, being very little accustomed to favours from the great, I know not well how to receive, or in what terms to acknowledge. When, upon some slight encouragement," I first visited your Lordship, I was overpowered, like the rest of mankind, by the enchantment of your address; and could not forbear to wish that I might boast my. self “the conqueror of the conqueror of the earth ;"—that I might obtain that regard for which I saw the world contending : but I found my attendance so little encouraged, that neither pride nor modesty would suffer me to continue it. When I had once addressed your Lordship in publick, I had exhausted all the art of pleasing which a retired and uncourtly scholar can possess. I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little.

Seven years, my Lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms, or was repulsed from your door; during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficul. ties, of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it, at last, to the verge of publication, without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour. Such treatment I did not expect, for I never had a patrone before.

The Shepherd in Virgil grew, at last, acquainted with Love, and found him a native of the rocks.

Is not a patron, my Lord, one who looks with unconcern on a man struggling for life in the water, and when he has reached ground, encumbers him with help? The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind; but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it. I hope it is no very cynical asperity not to confess obligations where no benefit has been received, or to be unwilling that the publick should consider me as owing that to a patron, which Providence has enabled me to do for myself.

Having carried on my work thus far, with so little obligation to any favourer of learning, I shall not be disappointed though

aEn-kůr'ridje-mènt. bEn-tshantment. «På'trůn.

I should conclude it, if less be possible, with less; for I have been long wakened from that dream of hope, in which I once boasted myself, with so much exultation, my Lord, your Lordship’s most humble, most obedient servant,



Rolla's Speech to the Peruvians.-SHERIDAN. My brave associates!!—partners of mya toil', mya feelings', and mya fame'! Can Rolla's words add vigour to the virtuous energies which inspire your hearts'?—No'; you have judged', as I have', the foulness of the crafty plea by which these bold invaders would delude you'. Your generous spirit has compared', as mine has', the MOTIVES which', in a war like this', can animate their minds and ours'.—They', by a strange frenzy driven', fight for power', for plunder', and extended rule': we', for our country', our altars', and our homes'. They follow an adventurer whom they FEAR', and obey a power which they HATE':-we serve a monarch whom we LOVE-a God whom we ADORE'. Whenever they move in anger', desolation tracks their prog

Wherever they pause in amity', affliction mourns their friendship'. They boast they come but to improve our state', enlarge our thoughts', and free us from the yoke of errour'! Yes'; they'THEY will give enlightened FREEDOM to our minds', who are themselves the slaves of passion', avarice', and pride'! They offer us their PROTECTION'. Yes'; such protection as vultures give to lambs', covering and devouring them! They call on us to barter all of good we have inherited and proved', for the desperate chance of something better which they promise'.–Be our plain answer this': The throne we honour', is the people's choice'; the laws we reverence', are our brave fathers' legacy'; the faith we follow', teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind', and die with the hope of bliss beyond the grave'.—Tell your invaders this', and tell them', too', we seek no change'; and', least of all', such a change as they would bring us'.

ress'. b

aMd. "Prôg'rès-not, pro'grès

« AnteriorContinuar »