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But admitting the probable value of such exercises and services to the classes just named, the question returns, how can they reach and benefit the more disturbed and less hopeful of the inmates. The advantage to these is necessarily indirect, and less obvious and certain in its character; and yet, I am confident it is real, and in some cases, permanent. The comforting and sympathizing words of our Savior fall upon ears, accustomed elsewhere and under other circumstances to listen to them, often, doubtless, only like sweet strains of music, heard long ago and more than half forgotten. They convey little conscious instruction or consolation, and are, it may be, scarcely remembered till the brief service has closed. But even then they are not altogether lost and worthless. The attention has been caught and retained for a moment; the memory has been half awakened, and has groped, for an instant, amid the mental darkness, after the long forgotton; over the vacant face and into the dull eyes has flashed a single gleam of returning intelligence; down into the brooding gloom has fallen one ray of blessed light, and, for a little interval, the marvelous grasp of some strange, strong delusion has been loosened.
However dark the present, the future is at least, dimly lighted with the shadow of coming hope.
Observation more and more confirms my belief in the favorable influence and wonderful power of the simple truths of the Bible over the human soul, even when lying in weakness and ruin.
I am persuaded that the leaves of the tree of Life have healing efficacy, and the water of Life grateful refreshment, and the bread of Life nourishment and sweetness oftentimes, even for those upon whom the terrible blight of mental imbecility has fallen, or around whom the thick shades of settled melancholy have gathered, or upon whom wild and fearful delusions have seized.
And should it be otherwise in a majority of cases, yet if only a few sinking ones can be brought up, a few sorrowful ones be comforted, a few weak ones be made strong, and a few sepa
rated ones be returned, clothed and in their right mind, to home and kindred, a blessed work of humanity and Christianity will be done,-such work as our Savior was busy about when He went doing good among “ the weary and heavy laden ” ones of earth.
This, and kindred work, I have endeavored to do, as well and as fully, as time and circumstances have allowed, for those under your charge, since my last report. I am not unaware how imperfectly, in many respects, it has been performed, but still I hope the labor has not been wholly in vain I have tried to keep in mind the words of the old Prophet, “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” And in view of your duties as well as my own, I have remembered the answer of our common Lord and Master himself, to the anxious inquiries of John, from his prison, when he bid the disciples tell their desponding Teacher the things which they did see and hear, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
Chaplain. December, 1866.
The following forms, which arc appended for the information of county officers and others, will explain themselves: To the Superintendent of the Michigan Asylum for the Insane:
SIR:- In accordance with the provisions of an act, approved February 14, 1859, you are hereby authorized and directed to receive...... insane person of the town of............ in the county of. .. provide for him as may be necessary, and charge the expenses of the same to the county of...
Superintendents of the
Poor, Sec. 20, Act of Organization.
FORY OF ORDER FOR THE ADMISSION OF AN INDIGENT PATIENT. (SEC. 14.) In the matter of.......
| Before ..... an alleged indigent insane person, Judge of Probate, &c. Application baving been made to me by... ......of the town of .in the county of
.for an examination into the men. tal state and condition, and alledged indigence of..... ....of the said town of..... ..... under the provisions of section 24, of an act entitled "An act to organize the Michigan Asylum for the Insane," approved February 14, 1859, and amendments thereto, I have accordingly taken the depositions of.. .....and.. ...two respectable physicians, who depose before me that the said.
. is insane, and a proper subject tor medical treatment, and I have also, in the presence of.
Prosecuting Attorney, taken the depositions of... ...credible witnesses, touching the indigence of said...... ....and fully investigated the facts in the case.
Now, therefore, I do adjudge and certify that it satisfactorily appears to me from said depositions, that the said..
..is insane, and that he has no estate of any kind, either in possession or held by any person in trust for bim, sufficient for the support of himself and his family under the visitation of insanity as aforesaid; and I hereby order that the said...... be admitted into the Michigan Asylum for the Insane, and supported there at the expense of said county of... .... until he shall be restored to soundness of mind, if effected within two years, and until removed by the order of the Board of Supervisors, in pursuance of, and under the provisions of said act and amendments thereto. Dated...
Judge of Probate, &c. The act, under the provisions of which this order is drawn, is intended to secure the benefits of the Institution to a class, by far more numerous than any other in this State, who, though possessed of some property, find it insufficient to meet the expense of private maintenance, and at the same time have a feeling of delicacy in seeking admission by an order from the superintendents of the poor. The law evidently contemplates that the orders be granted in cases of such a character, that recovery, or at least very decided improvement may reasonably be expected. When otherwise, it is better that application for an order of admission be made to the superintendents of the poor, who are at libery to ask a partial reimbursement if they deem it just to do so, upon the same principle that “ relief " is usually granted. When an individual, absolutely a pauper, becomes insane, it is made obligatory upon the superintendents of the poor to secure to him the advantages of treatment in the Asylum; when the incurability of such a patient is determined, the case is in their hands for such disposal as they deem best.
The Trustees would not presume to dictate to county officers the manner in which patients be brought to the Asylum, but would suggest that whenever admissible, some immediate friend accompany them. In the case of a female, for instance, it is much better, for reasons obvious enough, that she be placed, if circumstances allow, in the care of her husband, or some relative, rather than in the custody of the sheriff or a constable.
When there are vacancies in the Asylum, the Trustees have directed that:
“Pay patients may be admitted on a certificate of insanity from a respectable physician, a bond obligating the payment of expenses, duly executed by two persons of certified responsibility, and the payment of thirteen weeks' board in advance; and no private patient shall in any case be received, without such certificate, bond and payment.
“If the patient is removed by friends before the expiration of thirteen weeks, uncured, and contrary to the advice of the Superintendent, no part of the pre-payment will be refunded. "The minimum rate of board for private patients will be four dollars per week.”
Blanks, of which the following is a copy, will be furnished to applicants:
WHEREAS, ........of the town of.......... in the county of...... an insane person, has been admitted as a patient into the Michigan Asylum for the Insane, Kalamazoo:
“Now, therefore, we the undersigned, in consideration thereof, bind ourselves to F. W. Curtenius, Treasurer of said Asylum, to pay to him and bis successors in oflice, the sum of.. .......dollars.. .....cents per week, for the care and board of said insane person, so long as he shall continue in said Asylum, with such extra charges as may be occasioned by bis requiring more than ordinary care and attention, and also to provide him with suitable clothing, and pay for all such necessary articles of clothing as shall be procured for him by the Steward of the Asylum, and to remove him whenever the room occupied by him shall be required for a class of patients having preference by law, and also to pay not exceeding twenty dollars per quarier, for all damages be may do to the furniture or other property of said Asylum, and for reasonable charges in case of an elopement, and funeral charges in case of death ; such payments for board and clothing to be made quarterly in advance.
In witness whereof, we bave hereunto set our names this, the...... day of....
in the year 18....
"I hereby certify that I am personally acquainted with.......... and
signers of the wiibin bond, and consider either of them fully responsible for the prompt discharge of its obligations."
“I hereby certify that I have seen and examined............ of........ and believe him to be insane. Dated, ...
In conveying a patient to the Asylum, let it never be done by deception. Truth should not be compromised by proposing a visit to the Institution, and on arrival, suggesting the idea to the patient of staying, when their admission had already been decided upon; nor should patients be induced to come and “stay a few days, to see how they like it,” under the impression that they can leave at pleasure. Such treachery not only destroys confidence in friends, but also, too often, in us, by the seeming conspiracy to which we are naturally supposed to be a party, than which there can scarcely be a greater barrier to improvement. Removal to the Asylum should never be attempted