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sight of the very Sanctuary wherein we are now
and afflicted at their own homes*, but also to afford effectual relief to the sick and maimed from every quarter. I say, from every quarter : for it is a point which I would wish particularly to press upon your attention, that the benefits, which this Hospital confers upon those who need them, are by no means local :that they are not confined to this Town, or neighbourhood, or County, but are extended freely to all parts of the Kingdom. It is, as its very title declares it to be, a “General” Infirmary :-and, that the details of its operations are carried on in strict conformity with the plan which it thus holds forth to the public, you will readily acknowledge, when you learn, that of the 463 patients who have been received within its walls during the short space of fifteen months, not more than 158 have been admitted from this Town itself, whilst the whole of the remaining number (305) has been brought thither from places more or less remote. Not only bave sufferers from the most distant Parishes in this County already been benefitted by the assistance which this Institution affords
• The number of out patients admitted since the opening of the Latitution is 223.
them; but several from the Counties immediately adjoining our own;t some even from the Metropolis itself; and a few more from quarters still further distant.
This statement sufficiently proves that you are called upon to promote not an imaginary or chimerical project, but a positive and efficient means of diffusing widely real temporal good. It must be obvious also, that this Town, judependently of the general healthiness of its soil and climate, possesses advantages which are calculated, beyond those of almost any other in the kingdom, to give an energizing and active spirit to these charitable purposes; advantages arising on the one hand, from its proximity to the Metropolis, which secures every facility of intercourse; and, on the other, from the concentration of medical and surgical talent which it has so long been its privilege to enjoy. This fact, though generally acknowledged to be as true as it is important, may possibly not always be borne in mind; but surely it ought never to be lost sight of.-—And filling, as I do, an office in this Institution, which, by leading me to administer to the spiritual wants of its inmates, gives me also the opportunity of knowing, by direct and personal observation, the assiduity and care with which their bodily • For a more detailed account see Note A in the annexed statement. † Thus, Hampshire has sent 5 In-Patients, Surry 18, Kent 20, and Middlesex 36.
infirmities are relieved, I trust that I may
be permitted to bear my honest and impartial testimony to the truth, and say, that no child of sorrow, though he may lie upon beds of down, and repose amid every luxury which affluence of means or the kindness of anxious friends may supply, can be watched over with more consummate skill, more patient attention, or more considerate tenderness than is here gratuitously bestowed upon the poor and helpless sufferer. And if, in addition to these advantages, you take into consideration the wise and vigilant superintendance which is maintained over every minute department by its responsible Visitors and Governors, you cannot in reason require a greater security for the effective management of the Institution.
It remains for you, then, not to suffer its energies to be weakened or impaired for want of means. And that its energies will be so impaired, unless you support us generously and promptly, must be plain to every one who considers the great expences which necessarily attend such an establishment, even though it be conducted, as this most certainly is, upon principles of rigid economy. These expences must be great at all times; but, of course, in the infancy of its existence, a more than ordinary burden has been incurred from the requisite preparation of those internal arrangements without which the most
persevering efforts of its medical officers would have been unavailing.*
But whilst the attention of the managers has been directed to these points, they have still listened anxiously and kindly to every application of distress ; and no person has been rejected who was deemed a fit object of charity. The blessings, of which they are the dispensers, have been scattered with no niggard hand, with no parsimonious spirit. The labourer who is compelled " in the sweat of his browt” to eat the bread of carefulnesst," but by some sudden casualty, has been struck down helpless, and brought in a moment from the enjoyment of rude and active health to that intense agony which causeth his soul to sink within him for very trouble, is carried quickly within its gates, and finds there a power which binds up his bruised frame, and a voice which bids him be of good comfort. He again, whose energies are enfeebled by the more slow, but not less incapacitating effects of piping sickness, and who feels his strength to be daily and hourly diminishing, is removed from the chilling abode of want and penury ; is cheered and invigorated by the same help, and enabled once more to go on his way rejoicing.” What shall we say then, my
. See Note B in the annexed statement. + Gen. iii. 19. Ps. cxxvii. 3.
pass by on the
we still be the instruments of lifting up the poor out of the dust, and of wiping away tears from them that mourn; or shall we turn away
from the cry of the destitute, and, like the Priest and Levite in the parable, cast on them only a brief and hurried glance, and then “ other side *" Let not this sin, I entreat you,
be laid to our charge : let it not be said that we who profess Christ, can thus in
our works deny Himt.” He ever “went about doing good † ;" He or
was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lameg ;” and whatsoever place was the scene of His merciful ministrations, whether it was the crowded city or sequestered village, whether the lonely wilderness or the open high way, whether in the synagogue, where the man with the withered hand was made by its restoration, to praise the power and the goodness of God ;-or at the pool of Bethesda, where He listened to the sorrows of the impotent man who had no friend to bathe him in its healing waters, we still have the same lovely picture of unwearied mercy and boundless compassion presented to our eyes, and every page of the Gospel reminds us that it is “ the word of reconciliation,” which proceeds from Him who Himself “is Lovel,"and whose distinguishing commandment is that we should love one
• Luke x. 32.
Job. xxix. 15.
+ Tit. i. 16. 1 Acts x. 38.
Il 2 Cor, v. 19. ( 1 John iv. 8.