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true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence. So shall the life into which you have entered be the portal to one of eternal and ineffable bliss. And, if to the dead it is permitted to care for the things of this world, every action of your life will be under my regard. Farewell.
MONTICELLO, February 21, 1826.
BENJAMIN RUSH, 1745–1813.
BENJAMIN RUSI, M.D., one of the most eminent physicians of our country, was born at Byberry, near Philadelphia, on the 24th of December, 1745. He was early destined by his parents for professional life, and he graduated at Princeton College in 1760. After spending six years in Philadelphia in the study of medicine, he went to Edinburgh for the further prosecution of his studies, and remained there till the spring of 1768, and then went to France. In the fall of that year he returned to Philadelphia, and the next year was elected Professor of Chemistry in the college of that city. In 1791, the college was merged in a university, and Dr. Rush was appointed “Professor of the Institutes and Practice of Medicine and of Clinical Practice" in the University of Pennsylvania.
During the prevalence of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, in 1793, the labors of Dr. Rush were as unremitting as they were successful in endeavoring to mitigate the horrors of this scourge. But these labors both of mind and body, by night and day, nearly cost him his life. At the close of the season, he himself was attacked by the disease, and for some days he lingered between life and death. Happily his valuable life was saved, to be devoted yet many more years to the cause of science and philanthropy.
It is astonishing how, with such a large private practice, Dr. Rush was enabled to do so much outside of his profession. He was a member of the Congress which, in 1776, published the Declaration of Independence, and of course affixed his name to that memorable instrument. In 1777, he was appointed PhysicianGeneral for the Middle Department of the Military Hospitals, and in 1787 was a member of the Convention of Pennsylvania for ratifying the Federal Constitution, which ho advocated with great ability. After the establishment of the federal government, he withdrew himself altogether from public life, and devoted his time to his profession, and to the claims of humanity. The only office he accepted as a reward for his many services, and which he held for fourteen years, was that of Treasurer of the United States Mint.
But it is as a philanthropist, and as the friend of every thing that tends to the improvement of man, that his memory will ever be most warmly cherished. Ho was President of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, and as early as 1774 wrote two essays upon the guilt and danger of our national sin, to which he remained inflexibly opposed until the day of his death. He was also Vice-President and one of the founders of the Philadelphia Bible Society, and ono of the Vice-Presidents of the American Philosophical Society. He took a warm interest in the establishment of the Philadelpbia Dispensary, in 1786, and served for many years as one of its physicians. He was the principal agent in founding Dickinson College, at Carlisle, and in bringing from Scotland that eminent scholar and divine, the Rev. Charles Nisbet, D.D., to preside over that institution. He was one of the first to advocate the establishment of free schools, and wrote several able essays to show their importance. He also took early ground against the multiplicity of capital punishments, and lived to see the effect of his labors when, in 1794, the Legislature of Pennsylvania abolished death as a punishment for all crimes except for that of murder in the first degree.
Dr. Rush was also one of the earliest friends of the temperance reform. His Inquiry into the Effects of Ardent Spirits upon the Body and Mind was published in pamphlet form, had an extensive circulation, and was productive of great good. He also published an essay against tobacco, and exhibited a frightful catalogue of ills to health and morals arising from the use of that filthy and disgusting weed. His last work, published a year before his death, entitled Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind, has been pronounced, by very respectable authority, “at once a metapbysical treatise on the human understanding; a pbysiological theory of organic and thinking life; a code of pure morals and religion; a book of the best maxims to promote wisdom and happiness; in fine, a collection of classical, polite, poetical, and sound literature."
Dr. Rush terminated his long and useful life, after a few days' illness of typhus fever, on the 19th of April, 1813, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. As a gentleman, distinguished for ease and affability of manners; as a scholar, versed in ancient and modern learning; as a physician, adorning by his character and genius the profession to which he gave the best energies of his life; as a philanthropist, interested in all that tends to elevate and bless man; and as & Christian, "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly before God," the name of Dr. Rush will ever be cherished as one of the brightest and best in our country's history.
The following extracts will give some idea of Dr. Rush's style and manner, and of the subjects in which he was particularly interested :
It is agreeable to observe how differently modern writers, and the inspired author of the Proverbs, describe a fine woman. The former confine their praises chiefly to personal charms and ornamental accomplishments, while the latter celebrates only the virtues of a valuable mistress of a family and a useful member of society. The one is perfectly acquainted with all the fashionable languages of Europe; the other opens her mouth with wisdom," and is perfectly acquainted with all the uses of the needle, the distaff, and the loom. The business of the one is pleasure; the pleasure of the other is business. The one is admired abroad; the other is honored and beloved at home. “ Her children arise up and call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her.” There is no fame in the world equal to this; nor is there a note in music half so delightful as the respectful language with which a grateful son or daughter perpetuates the memory of a sensible and affectionate mother.
A philosopher once said: “Let me make all the ballads of a country, and I care not who makes its laws.” He might with more propriety have said, Let the ladies of a country be educated properly, and they will not only make and administer its laws, but form its manners and character. It would require a lively imagination to describe, or even to comprehend, the happiness of a country where knowledge and virtue were generally diffused among the female sex. Our young men would then be restrained from vice by the terror of being banished from their company. The loud laugh and the malignant smile, at the expense of innocence or of personal infirmities,—the feats of successful mimicry,
-and the low-priced wit which is borrowed from a misapplication of Scripture phrases, would no more be considered as recommendations to the society of the ladies. A double entendre, in their presence, would then exclude a gentleman forever from the company of both sexes, and probably oblige him to seek an asylum from contempt in a foreign country. The influence of female education would be still more extensive and useful in domestic life. The obligations of gentlemen to qualify themselves by knowledge and industry to discharge the duties of benevolence would be increased by marriage; and the patriot, the hero, and the legislator would find the sweetest reward of their toils in the approbation and applause of their wives. Children would discover the marks of maternal prudence and wisdom in every station of life; for it has been remarked that there have been few great or good men who have not been blessed with wise and prudent mothers. Cyrus was taught to revere the gods by his mother, Mandané; Samuel was devoted to his prophetic office, before he was born, by his mother, Hannah ; Constantine was rescued from paganism by his mother, Constantia ; and Edward the Sixth inherited those great and excellent qualities which made him the delight of the age in which he lived from his mother, Lady Jane Seymour. Many other instances might be mentioned, if necessary, from ancient and modern history, to establish the truth of this proposition.
I am not enthusiastical upon the subject of education. In the ordinary course of human affairs, we shall probably too soon follow the footsteps of the nations of Europe, in manners and vices. The first marks we shall perceive of our declension will appear among our women. Their idleness, ignorance, and profligacy will be the harbingers of our ruin. Then will the character and performance of a buffoon on the theatre be the subject of more conversation and praise than the patriot or the minister of the gospel; then will our language and pronunciation be enfeebled and corrupted by a flood of French and Italian words; then will the history of romantic amours be preferred to the immortal writings of Addison, Hawkesworth, and Johnson ; then will our churches be neglected, and the name of the Supreme Being never be called upon but in profane exclamations; then will our Sundays be appropriated only to feasts and concerts; and then will begin all that train of domestic and political calamities. But I forbear. The prospect is so painful that I cannot help silently imploring the great Arbiter of human affairs to interpose his almighty goodness, and to deliver us from these evils, that at least one spot of the earth may be reserved as a monument of the effects of good education, in order to show in some degree what our species was before the fall, and what it shall be after its restoration.
THE USE OF TOBACCO.
Were it possible for a being who had resided upon our globe to visit the inhabitants of a planet where reason governed, and to tell them that a vile weed was in general use among the inhabitants of the globe it had left, which afforded no nourishment; that this weed was cultivated with immense care ; that it was an important article of commerce; that the want of it produced real misery; that its taste was extremely nauseous; that it was unfriendly to health and morals; and that its use was attended with a considerable loss of time and property; the account would be thought incredible, and the author of it would probably be excluded from society for relating a story of so improbable a nature. In no one view is it possible to contemplate the creature man in a more absurd and ridiculous light than in his attachment to TOBACCO. The progress
of habit in the use of Tobacco is exactly the same as in the use of spirituous liquors. The slaves of it begin by using it only after dinner; then, during the whole afternoon and evening; afterwards before dinner, then before breakfast, and finally, during the whole night. I knew a lady who had passed through all these stages, who used to wake regularly two or three times every night to compose her system with fresh doses of snuff.
The appetite for Tobacco is wholly artificial. No person was ever born with a relish for it; even in those persons who are much attached to it, nature frequently recovers her disrelish to it. It ceases to be agreeable in every febrile indisposition. This is so invariably true, that a disrelish to it is often a sign of an approaching, and a return of the appetite for it, a sign of a departing fever. I proceed now to mention some of the influences of the habitual use of Tobacco upon morals.
1. One of the usual effects of smoking and chewing, is thirst. This thirst cannot be allayed by water; for no sedative or even insipid liquor will be relished after the mouth and throat have been exposed to the stimulus of the smoke or juice of Tobacco. A desire, of course, is excited for strong drinks, and these, when taken between meals, soon lead to intemperance and drunkenness.
2. The use of Tobacco, more especially in smoking, disposes to idleness, and idleness has been considered as the root of all evil. “An idle man's brain,” says the celebrated and original Mr. Bunyan, “is the devil's workshop."
3. The use of Tobacco is necessarily connected with the neglect of cleanliness.
4. Tobacco, more especially when used in smoking, is generally offensive to those people who do not use it. To smoke in company, under such circumstances, is a breach of good manners ; now, manners have an influence upon morals. They may be considered as the outposts of virtue. A habit of offending the senses of friends or strangers by the use of Tobacco cannot therefore be indulged with innocence. It produces a want of respect for our fellow-creatures, and this always disposes to unkind and unjust behavior towards them. Who ever knew a rude man completely or uniformly moral ? * * *
I shall conclude these observations by relating an anecdote of the late Dr. Franklin. A few ontl before death, he declared to one of his friends that he had never used Tobacco in any way in the course of his lorg life, and that he was disposed to believe there was not much advantage to be derived from it, for that he had never met with a man who used it who advised him to follow his example.
THE BIBLE AS A SCHOOL-BOOK. Before I state my arguments in favor of teaching children to read by means of the Bible, I shall assume the five following propositions :
I. That Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopt its principles and obey its precepts, they will be wise and happy.
II. That a better knowledge of this religion is to be acquired by reading the Bible than in any other way.
III. That the Bible contains more knowledge necessary to man in his present state than any other book in the world.
IV. That knowledge is most durable, and religious instruction most useful, when imparted in early life.
V. That the Bible, when not read in schools, is seldom read in any subsequent period of life.
My arguments in favor of the use of the Bible as a school-book are founded, first, in the constitution of the human mind. The