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reach of calculation. To know the bare localities of this city, is to know the magnitude of your danger. How would you shudder, to see your whole vicinity in flames ? And can you sit indifferent and unmoved, when, far more terrible than fire, the pestilence is,' and has been, for the last eighteen months, raging around you, about you, at your very doors? Who does not know, that, in this metropolis, beyond most others, the miserable abodes of the poor, are in contact with the luxurious dwellings of the rich? Some of the cases which have been just read to you, go to illustrate this fact; and, were further examples needful, they could be multiplied alarmingly. But I spare your feelings: and I leave it to your sober judgment to determine, putting humanity out of the question, and barely considering the vicinity in which you live, and the risks to which you are exposed, whether it can be wise, whether it can be prudent, to withhold, I would almost say, your unlimited bounty, from an Institution, which, if you enable it, will instantly extract from the mass, those points from whence contagion might have spread, and, unless thus extracted, too probably will so spread, as to accumulate into those horrid forms, which the full-grown virulence of fever exhibits, in ships, in camps, in prisons ? These are the calamities which you are this day invited to avert; not from the poor only, (though, if ye be followers of Christ, you will not disregard the poor,) but from yourselves, your parents, your children, your wives, your husbands. Such an invitation, surely, will not be rejected.
While endeavouring, for myself, and in my closet, to investigate the advantages of a feverhospital, I can truly say, that the subject so expanded, so grew upon me, and presented itself in so many points of view, each, as in a boundless range of mountain scenery, rising above the other, that I was lost in the contemplation. It is with the results of this perplexity, that I now appear before you. To state all, or nearly all, that has occurred, or been made known to me, is quite impracticable. You will pardon me, therefore, if, in a case where selection was, at once, difficult and indispensable, I may happen to have selected amiss. And I trust you will not visit upon this charity, the errors, not of my will, but of my judgment.
Next to the grand distinctive feature of separating the infected, from the uninfected, I would mention the change which frequently takes place in the fever patient, on his removal from the close, ill-ventilated habitations of poverty, to the cleanly, spacious, well-aired wards, of a properly
regulated hospital. I am enabled to state, from unquestionable medical authority, that, by the mere influence of this salutary transition, many cases, which, at reception, bore the most alarming aspect, have almost immediately assumed an appearance comparatively mild.
Next in order, and superior in importance, stands the facility afforded for suitable medical treatment. It is well known, that much of the management of fever, consists in avoiding every cause of excitement; for example, light, heat, noises, thirst, but, especially, all officious and unnecessary disturbance. And in hospitals alone, can this caution be maintained with rigorous observance. The apparently trivial excitement, caused by the visit of a friend or relative, has, frequently, produced the worst effects. In an hospital, such visits can always be prevented; in a private family, they often cannot. This holds true, even in the upper walks of life: but those who are at all acquainted with the preposterous good nature of the lower orders, must know, that, in every particular, their treatment of the sick, is diametrically the reverse of what it ought to be. The removal, therefore, of a poor man from his own family, to a fever-hospital, is, in very many instances, a transition from almost inevitable death, to probable recovery.
Again; a fever-hospital is laid out, from its very foundation, with a view to the accommodation of fever patients: hence, it possesses advantages, which few persons visited with fever, could, in private houses, be able to procure. And thus, the labouring classes, who, in their own apartments must have struggled against a dangerous disease, aggravated by the most unfavourable circumstances, are, on their removal to this institution, surrounded with conveniences and comforts, beyond the reach of their superiors. These are but a few of the particulars, which combine to check the progress of contagion; the rest, I must leave it to your own experience to supply.
One other consideration yet remains. I will briefly state it, and have done. A fever, then, is peculiarly dreadful, when regarded, as Christians cannot but regard it, in the light of eternity. The incapacity for serious recollection, which it brings; the rapidity, with which it advances into delirium, and, from delirium to insensibility,
terrible considerations when the whole lights upon one, who has lived without God in the world. A slow disease almost forces a man to think; and, if he has not incurably hardened his heart, he turns to religion : a fever leaves neither time nor ability for thought; as the man has lived, so he must die. Is not this,
also, a Christian motive for zealously supporting a charity, fitted, above all other charities, to avert this last and greatest evil ? The life which is thus prolonged, may be, for ever after, improved by contemplation of the crisis, through which it has passed. We know, that dangerous illness has been, to many a man, the date of a happier
The voice of Providence makes itself be heard, in terms the same with those of our blessed Lord, “ Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon thee.” Who, that has Christian sentiments, would not rejoice to co-operate, in this undeniable provision of the great beneficent scheme? Co-operate then, this day, with all your hearts, and with a liberal portion of your substance, for so shall you “lay up in store for yourselves, a good foundation, against the day of necessity.”
And who, of all those that are now called to contribute, can question the expediency, of making the case of disease, and of mortality his own? Death, in this peculiarly terrific form, knocks alike at the palace and the cottage. Yet, can we say alike? For, is it not universally found, that fever, amidst ease and affluence, is far more generally fatal, than in the lowest ranks? The deeper contrast, and the keener reflections, operating unspeakably against the inore opulent