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a short period several families of her disciples were liv. ing together in the neighbourhood of Chatham, remarkable for the patriarchal length of their beards and the general singularity of their appearance. After the body of Joanna had been submitted to anatomical investigation (when the extraordinary appearance of her shape was fully accounted for upon medical principles), her remains were conveyed for interment under a fictitious name to the burying ground attached to the chapel in St. John's Wood. A stone has been erected to her memory, which, after reciting her age, and other usual particulars, concludes with some lines, evidently the composition of a still unshaken believer.'
The case of the inspiration of Joanna Southcott is one of the best authenticated, and is for that reason, one that may with more safety be cited in illustration of the phenomena of inspiration. She was in many of her prophecies singularly fortunate, and up to the present time, there are numbers of persons who from being like herself, deluded by her illusions, are called Southcotians. The unnatural appearance which persons have under the influence of these insane excitements gives them a powerful influence over those who do not understand the nature of the case; indeed, most people on going through a bedlam, admit that the awe excited in them by insanity, is more powerful than can be produced by other means. There is a patient at the present time in B- who is subject to the affections of inspiration and vision; in the former state his rapid poetic suggestions, enable him to recite extempore verses, mostly of a religious character ; in the latter he declares that often“ his dog's mouth has been opened so as to hold converse with him, and he has heard it speak as fluently as any man could.” The appearance of this individual is such, that persons of weak nerves meeting him in a lonely place, have often been exceedingly startled. His manners are gentle and so exceedingly benevolent is he, that he is respected, and I may say loved by most of those who know him. "On all subjects, except religion, he is a very reasonable man. The
feelings of awe produced by the presence of a person labouring under these excitements, explains the cause of that reverent enthusiasm, which prophets have often kindled in the bosoms of the people; and Mahomet's speeches, doubtless gained more of their power from the maniacal energy of the prophet, than from the correctness of his views.
The ordinary cases of insanity require but little description in an essay like the present; madhouses are, unfortunately, too plentiful every where. The consciousness of persons in this state is altogether based on some vivid erroneous notion. One lunatic, who never was worth five pounds in his life, fancies himself a king, and all his suggestions accord with this notion ; another, who has been wealthy, conceives himself a beggar. The most shocking instance I ever saw was that of a woman, in the Birmingham Workhouse. She had belonged to a sect characterized by the violence of their fanaticism, and being predisposed to insanity, the circumstances continually operating on her, eventually made her a theological maniac. The notion was excited in her that she was damned to all eternity, consigned to everlasting torture, and round about her she saw a number of devils, who were continually tormenting her. Her ravings night and day for many years were of the most horrific character, and when at length she died, most of those who had seen her felt much relieved by the tidings. At the time that I saw her, she was chained up to a wall, and was repeating in a tone of agony the following exclamation:“ I must go! I must go! I must go to hell! I am lost for ever! The devils and flames are round me! I am scorched! my lips are parched !” She while speaking the last sentence thrust her tongue out as if to moisten her lips with saliva. During the whole time her jaws were in a state of action which might have been denominated gnashing the teeth, if she had been possessed of such in her upper jaw; but she was not, and I was told that all of them had been beaten out of her head by the under ones gnashing continually against them.
In former times, insane affections were considered to result from demoniacal influence, and mad people were said to be possessed by devils. This opinion is still held in Syria, and there are persons now as there were formerly, who perform the operation of casting out devils. M. Volney in his travels through Syria, gives the following instance of this kind :
The most remarkable of the houses of the Maronite Monks is Koz-haia, six hours journey to the east of Tripoli. There they exorcise, as in the first ages of the. church, those who are still possessed with devils; for such persons are still to be found in these countries. A very
few years ago, our merchants at Tripoli saw one of them who put the patience and learning of the monks to the proof: this man, to outward appearance healthy, was subject to sudden convulsions, which threw him into a kind of madness, sometimes sullen, at others violent. He tore, he bit, he foamed at the mouth; his usual expression was, “The sun is my mother, let me adore her.' The priests almost drowned him with ablutions, tormented him with fasting and prayer, and, at length, as they reported, drove out the devil; but, from the account given me by more intelligent observers, it appears that those possessed are no other than persons afflicted with idiotcy, madness, and epilepsies; and it is worth remarking, that possession and epilepsy are denoted by the same Arabic word.”
This notion of possession seems to have been formerly prevalent in England. In Lear, Shakspeare makes one of his characters assume the semblance of madness and speak thus :
“Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows meThrough the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.
Humph! go to thy cold bed and warm thee. “Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters ? And art thou come to this?
Edg. Who gives anything to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his por.ridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor:-Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold. -0, do de, do de, do de.—Bless thee from whirlwinds, starblasting, and taking ! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: There could I have bim now,-and there, and there,--and there again, and there."
Fits of various kinds induce a state of deranged.consciousness. Idiotcy is a state of consciousness in which notions are almost entirely of an erroneous nature. The suggestions of some of the common ideots are so ludicrously silly, that formerly they were kept by noblemen as sources of amusement. In the lower order of ideots, such as are found in the Alps, but little excitement seems to be produced, and their existence is described as being scarcely superior to that of the vegetable.
Knowledge.—That which we receive from experience.-That which we receive from Testimony.-Original notions.
Knowledge I have used throughout as a general term significant of all intellectual excitements. Excitements of knowledge are called true, when there is an exact understanding of the thing which produces the knowledge; they are called false, when there is a misunderstanding of the nature of the thing. Those propositions which represent our notions, are said to be true or false, accordingly as they agree or disagree with the reality as it exists in nature.
Knowledge is either of a positive or negative nature: we call that proposition positive which asserts anything,-as, the sun shines; and that negative which denies,--as the sun does not shine.
Knowledge is divisible into three great classes : lst, that which we receive from experience; 2nd, that which we receive from testimony; 3rd, those peculiar notions, imaginations and conceptions, which are excited in an individual, and which, from being modified by the faculties of his own consciousness, may be called original to himself.
The first class of knowledge, that resulting from experience, is the most correct. It consists of all those notions, which being the effects of personal experience, may be considered to be the truest we have; when stated in language, the propositions that accurately express such notions are called facts, if found by experiment to accord with reality. Thus when I say that two pieces of dry wood, when rubbed together for some time, so as to produce violent friction, become filled with that sort of excitement we call heat, and that this will increase till the wood becomes on fire, I state a fact; and any person may submit it to experiment by means of a lathe, and soon show himself that it is a fact. This experiment, if successful, would be called a demonstration of the proposition. The most important propositions, relative to any given subject, when collected, demonstrated, and arranged in order, form what is called the science of that subject. Thus, when the anatomical lecturer asserts the existence, form, &c., of the different animal organs, he proceeds, as he goes along, to shew each organ, and the truth of what he says. The series of demonstrated facts that he states, in the course of his . lectures, when complete, make up a science called anatomy, every proposition of which can be demonstrated.
Those propositions, based on science, that are directions for a certain course of operations, are, when combined in a system, called an art. The language of science says, this is so and so, that of an art says, do this and do that. Science is a description of nature; art is the directions for practice, resulting from the knowledge of such description. Thus anatomy is the description of the animal frame; surgery is an art, instructing how to practice certain operations in accordance with the science of anatomy. Science consists of abstract facts; art relates to practice.
Some sciences consist of facts descriptive of substance, shape, colour, position, &c., such as anatomy, geography, &c. Others, together with substance, shape, &c., include the facts of the abilities or susceptibilities to change; in chemistry, this latter class of facts is more numerous than
other. Arithmetic and the mathematics consist of a series of facts of a more abstruse nature; the first principles are certainly palpable enough; but, as advances are made in such sciences, much desire of success, and consequent perserverance in the subject