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At a Convention of the Connecticut Medical Society, held in the course of the present month, in the city of Hartford, the subject of instituting an Asylum for the Insane, was again taken intanconsideration. * The committee, to whom the subjeo was referred in May last, exhibiteo' heir report ; which was read, accepted, and ordered to be published. From that report, it appears, that in the 70 towns from which returns more or less incomplete have been received, there are between five and six hundred insane persons; and that a very general interest in their behalf, has been manifested in every part of the State. The convention, with great unanimity, adopted such measures as seemed calculated to promote the object in view. They adopted a plan for the institution and government of a Society for the relief of the insane—to which they appropriated 200 dollars of their funds. They appointed committees in each county, and a committee of correspondence, to whom the subject is entrusted. To them, and to all in
Obscurity still rests upon the transactions of the Turkish Government; and little can be conjectured concerning the termination of the conflict, to which the eyes of the Christian world are directed. The following article may serve as a specimen of the spirit with which the contest is conducted. Vienna, dug. 19.-The following are the circumstantial details of a very remarkable affair, which took place near the Convent of Statina, between the Greeks and the Turks, to the great disadvantage of the latter. The convent of Statina was inhabited by several Greek monks. It is surrounded by a very high wall. Ninety-seven Greeks under the orders of a Servian captain of their own choice, called Anastasi, had thrown themselves into this Convent, where o were attacked on the 20th of July, by 1590 Turks, under the orders of a Bimbacha, (chief of 1000 men) to whom three Jews acted as guides.
The Greeks placed behind the battlements the most experienced marksmen, to whom the rest supplied muskets, loaded, without interruption. At first, the three Jews set fire to baskets of corn, which were placed near the wall, and the wind soon spread the flames into the court of the convent, and the convent being constructed of wood, was soon consumed. The Greeks however, did not give up their resolution to defend themselves. In the wall of the convent, there was a small old door, and through that, one of the monks estaped. The Turks, seeing this opening, penetrated by it into the court. The chief then assembled his followers in the church, and barricaded the door as much as possible— while they kept up an unceasing fire from the roof of the church, which was partly wrapped in flames—but those who remained in the court, and who could not withdraw in time, were overpowered by numbers, and all put to the sword. The Bimbacha then summoned Anastasi to surrender, promising him pardon, which the latter rejected with disdain. At the same time a ball from the roof, laid the Bimbacha dead on the spot. Immediately a Turk cut off his head, and carefully wrapt it in a piece of cloth, to show that it had fallen in battle.
Meanwhile, the flames, which enveloped by degrees the roof of the church, forced the Goeks to descend. The Turks penetrated into the church : they fought round the high altar, and the Greeks continued: their fire with such effect, that the Toks demanded an armistice, which was only g-anted them on, condition of im'smediately withdrawing. The Turks lost 5: killed, and the Greeks 17 killed and 1s wounded. The seven monks were killed. The three Jews fell into the hands of the Greeks, who nailed them to the cross, after having torn the skin from their bodies, and exercised on them other barbarities
The 80 triumphant Greeks, after having laid down their arms, passed the frontier of Bohovina, and were sent by an officer of the Austrian guard to Bovance, where they safely arrived oe the 28th of July.
For the Christian Spectator.
(on advancement in religious knowledge.
It is the object of this paper to suggest a few thoughts respecting the increase of our knowledge of divine truth. The first thing which we shall mention as necessary to advancement in religious knowledge, is a just confldence in our own perceptions. Many suppose that there is a cloud hanging over the region of truth, -that the doctrines of religion are sheltered by a mist, which no eyes but those of a favoured few, can penetrate. To them therefore resort is had as to the persons who alone can take the bearings and describe the appearance of divine objects; and the mind is surrendered to a guidance which may be correct or which may be erroneous. If the leader be a heresiarch, he will conduct his infatuated adherents far from the paths of light and life; and wandering, they will continue to wander, until a just God summons those who are the farthest removed from him, to his holy tribunal. But if we suppose that the teacher, in this case, or in every case, Łe a faithful and laborious instructor injdivine knowledge,his exertions will be of little avail, unless he can induce his pupils to see for themselves. A faith which is not the result of a personal perception of the truth, is destitute of worth. It is not, as it should he, an image in the mind cast upon it by the object of faith, but a simple idea that in the mind of another man,
such image exists. It is not a mental acquisition which its possessor first obtained with pleasure, and preserves with care, as what should have influence upon his conduct, but is an idea that has been thrown into his mind, and which he supposes must be kept from dropping out of it. His mind may indeed preserve it, and it may also serve as a repository for many just opinions, but he can neither show the sources from which they were originally derived, nor reap the benefit which their first discoverer received from them. They do not form a sound and healthy part of his moral system. The evils, and they must be apparent, under which such a person labours, result from an undue estimate of his own perceptions, and from a belief that the doctrines of the gospel can but with difficulty be ascertained. These doctrines however, are discovered with comparative ease. They are great; but they are not more distinguished by their majesty than by their simplicity. “I believe’ said Henry Martyn, “that Language is from God, and as in his other works so in this, the principles, must be extremely simple.' We quote this only for the purpose of observing, that the same remark can certainly be made with respect to the principles of religion. There are mysteries in revelation, it is true, but they are revealed as mysteries. God has told us that they are so; and that we may receive them, he has furnished us evidence, that they are in fact, revealed by himself. Apart from these, however, he has placed before us in his word, doctrines which rest upon that basis of eternal truth, which supports not only these but which is the foundation of all correct opinion. This foundation we can approach. On it, we can stand; and view the objects which surround us, for ourselves. The faculties which God has given us, we can use. Eternal consequenees depend upon the opinions which we form, and our righteous Governor has not imposed a duty, and will not dispense retribution, where he has not given the means and the power to do his will. The faculties of our mind, employed aright, will make the conteumplation of truth, not only safe, but in the highest degree, profitable; and while this course can be confidently recommended, it can also be affirmed to be the only course, which an immortal being, favoured with a revelation from God, can, without great hazard, and without incurring guilt, pursue. The Being who gave the revelation, gave also the power of examining it. Our faculties were by him, fitted for the task which he has assigned us to perform. We cannot discharge the duty by proxy; and we must answer for a failure in our own proper person. The evils which result from a want of confidence in our ability to discover religious truth, are perhaps greater, than at first view, will be supposed. There are large bodies of prosessing christians, and some who hold opinions which the writer of this ar. ticle, believes to be substantially correct, who can state the tenets comprised in the confession of their faith, and can refer to the passages of scripture by which they are supported, and who yet fail of enjoying the full benefit resulting from mental effort directed to religious enquiries. These doctrines, and their proofs, have descended to them, perhaps, as a legacy from their fathers, and the inheritance is valuable and should be prized; but it is not so valuable, and is not so truly, personal property, as when in the hands of their ancestors.
The statements, the distinctions of truth from error, when originally made, were the result of thought, were made after a comprehensive view of the whole subject, by men, who, in most respects, rightly divided the word of truth. But it is not sufficient for one who wishes to increase his religious knowledge, to be able to repeat what are only the results of a laborious investigation. Granting, that his opinions are correct, he loses, by the omission of effort on his own heart, that confidence in his opinions which is the result of investigation properly conducted; he has not, and cannot have, that love for the truth in itself considered, which he would have possesed, had he deliberately weighed the objections which have been brought against it, the evil tendency of the opposite error, and the good which in its nature it is calculated to produce. The truth therefore will not probably have its just influence upon his conduct, not will he exert so happy an influence upon the society of which he is a member, as though he was more fully possessed of the merits of religious controversies. But this is the fairest view of this part of our subject. There are evils great and incalculable, resulting from a blind attachment to hereditary opinions, and from a feeling that we should be wanting in respect to departed worth, and be making too high an estimate of our own powers, to undertake the examination of the grounds of all our opinions. We would remind those who adopt this course, that their conduct is precisely similar to that of many, whom they believe to adopt dangerous error, and request them to cousider whether their duty to God, tothe church, and to themselves, does not require them to use the faculties with which they are intrusted, for the discovery of truth, and to adopt without hesitation what, after an investigation properly conducted, appears to their minds to be the revelation of God. 2. He who would improve in religious knowledge, must make a proper use of all the means which may assist his progress. It is of course supposed that every christian will regard the Scriptures as the repository of divine truth, and that he will derive all his opinions from that source. The Bible, thereföre, will be the subject of study, and
/when reading works on religious sub
jects, will form his constant book of reference. Among the means of advancing in religious knowledge then, we must first mention those helps which we may obtain for a correct interpretation of the sacred text. It is not intended to insinuate, nor is it believed, that our present translation of the Scriptures is substantially defective, or that, we can ever expect a translation, which, all circumstances considered, will be preferable. Still there are passages, in our present version, upon which a degree of obscurity, arising from the translation, may rest, and every judicious man will be anxious to consult those works which shed light upon what is obscure or correct what is erroneous. What we thus obtain must be regarded simply as the testimony of the authors we consult respecting the points in question, nor in any instance, is our present translation to be lightly set aside. In reading the scriptures, also, every person will be at some loss to form his opinion respecting the import of particular texts or passages, which are correctly translated, but whose meaning may not be obvious, or may be doubtful. In all such cases the value of a commentary will be apparent; not as furnishing a second revelation, or as authoritatively deciding what the meaning is, but as giving us the opinions of able and pious men concerning the passages in question. What we find in their works however, we must regard as expressing the opinions of men liable to error, and after duly weighing what they advance, as we would the opinions of a friend, we must form a decision for ourselves. We shall doubtless be anticipated, when we refer to valuable theological
works in which the doctrines of the gospel are explained and defended, as furnishing a most useful auxiliary to the inquirer after religious knowledge. In recommending the perusal of such works, we advance nothing which is inconsistent with what we have said respecting the necessity of entertaining a just confidence in our own perceptions. Much advantage may evidently be derived from this course, and the object of such reading should be, to examine with care what every author advances, or in the words of Lord Bacon, “to weigh and consider.” God has, in different ages raised up men, who have been the luminaries of the times in which they lived, and their works have been left as a legacy to the church. These men have unquestionably made great advances in divine knowledge, and we can, and should, avail ourselves of the assistance which their works are calculated to give us. If ministers of the Gospel are of assistance to those among whom they labour, as the teachers of divine truth, surely no enlightened christian can permit himself to neglect the writings of those who were qualified by nature and by grace to point out the paths of life, and to remove the obstructions which error has thrown into them. Of these men, we have the matured thoughts. Their opinions were formed with care, and are presented to us, with the grounds of them, not as articles to be subscribed, but as matters to be considered. No harm can result from their proper use, but much good may be the forfeiture of not diligently examining them. Many good men deny the propriety of carefully attending to the works which have been referred to, because the word of God is the only rule of faith and practice, and because also this word is of easy comprehension. Reference is also, sometimes had to the labours of the schoolmen, which are supposed to present a sigmal instance of the folly of theological discussion. Of the folly of trifling, of indulging in conceits, and useless investigation, their works do give susficient evidence; but instead of showing the futility of theological inquiries, the plain lesson which may be derived from them is, that as minds in any degree active, especially minds impressed with a sense of the importance of truth, will form some opinion upon religious subjects, it is of the greatest importance that reason should know and exercise her office; and that the mind should thus acquire a correct knowledge, of that kind of learning which has the mightiest influence on the destinies of man. Nor is it true that the doctrines of the Gospel will, in their full force, and with their proper limitations, be received, at once, by a common reader. If it is granted that a person of common understanding, may, without assistance, learn from the word of God, what is essential to salvation, he may yet derive much benefit from the helps which have been mentioned. The first principles of the doctrine of Christ, are good, but it is also proper, that leaving these, we should go on to perfection. “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,” says the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe ; but strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use, have their senses ea:ercised to discern both good and evil.” The Apostle when he exhorts Timothy to give attendance to ‘reading,” “to doctrine,” and when he enjoins him to “meditate on these things' doubtless supposed, that to receive the full benefit of the revelation imparted to us, it was necessary to bring our minds to it, in the vigorous exercise of all their powers, and that meditation, close and long continued thought, would amply repay the man who exercised it, by enabling him rightly to ‘divide the word of truth."
Those who object to theological inquiries on the ground of the plainness of scriptural declarations, in themselves considered, may, perhaps, remit somewhat of their opposition, when they reflect, that whatever may be deduced by fair inference from the Bible, is as much a part of revelation, and as really binding upon us, as the declaration ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart.” That this is the fact, will be obvious to every mind. When we read a human production, and can show that from the premises of the writer, conclusions may be drawn which are absurd, or false, or contradictory, we lay the work aside as of little worth. A rule which applies to all other writings applies to the Bible, and if it could have been shown that absurd, or false, or contradictory inferences could be fairly drawn from it, it had long since been laid aside. It has stood, and will forever stand, the test of such criticism; and while many may pretend to inser truths, for which no authority can be found in it, the Bible still remains, as a source from which rules of faith and practice can with immense advantage be derived. He who is himself, the Truth, has sanctioned this mode of considering the word of God. In combating the Sadducean opinion, that the spirit ceases to exist, when the body dies, he says “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living,” and he also reminds those with whom he is conversing, that, in that Pentateuch, which they professed to believe, and long after the death of the Patriarchs, Jehovah styled himself the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob ; and from these two facts, one a declaration of the word of God, the other a fact which might be ascertained from the tenor of scripture, that Jehovah was a Preserver,a Benefactor, to those of whom he styled himself the God, he leads them to infer that Abraham and Isaac and Jacob still existed, and that consequently the Sadducean opinion must be incorrect. In this manner Paul, and the other writers