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Modern Persecution, or Insane Asylums Unveiled
Getting no replies, and choosing not to harass, my con-demned culprit too much, I next remarked:
"Doctor, when I consider what a valuable soul there is to be redeemed in you, and then resolve to try one more effort to secure its safety, this passage is often presented to my mind, 'of some have compassion, making a difference: others save with fear; pulling them out of the fire.' But Doctor, I have to go so near the fire to get hold of you, that I get burnt my-self sometimes!"
At this point he threw back his head and laughed outright, seeming not to know what to say, but by his looks and man-ner he seemed to say:
"You are an anomaly I cannot comprehend."
By a series of lectures of a similar character, this poor sin-ner was at length brought to see and realize the meanness of the act, and with a feeling of self-abhorrence and self-condem-nation, in about three weeks he sent back my papers, unasked, with an apology for not having done so before!
He also withdrew his order to my attendants, to not let me have any writing materials whatever, and now ordered them to aid me in every possible way in granting me facilities for doing so.
It was thus under the auspices of a cloudless sky, I again resumed the delightful work of preparing "The Great Drama" for the press, and under the benign influence of a cloudless manhood I henceforth pursued my onward way. The moral victory thus achieved, increased rather than diminished my spiritual freedom.
The anxious Superintendent became satisfied that it was useless to try to comfort me in the line of my duty. He saw that no policy but that of moral rectitude could secure my sanction -- that no fear, but the fear of sin, could conquer me into subjection to any human power, so that this final con-quest over the principles of despotic power brought his prin-ciples of selfish policy to a final end, so far as his treatment of me was concerned.
I never could ask any man to treat me with more deferen-tial respect than Dr. McFarland uniformly did from this time. And here let me credit to this man the compliment, I honestly think is his due, viz.: that there are few men who are able to excel Dr. McFarland in his gentlemanly appearance when he feels disposed to assume the gentleman.
Now every noble manly act of protection extended to me in the very respectful manner in which he bestowed it, restored to me with renewed strength, such entire trust and confidence in his manhood, that I could say, "my heart is fixed," trusting in Dr. McFarland as my God-appointed deliverer and protector.
I had no reason to feel, after these three long years of ab-solute desertion, that another man lived on earth who cared for my happiness, but Dr. McFarland. Therefore, in choosing him as my only earthly protector, I merely accepted of the destiny my friends and the State had assigned me, and in return for this boon thus forced upon me, I willingly offered him a woman's heart of grateful love in return, as the only prize left me to bestow.
If any of my readers are tempted to regard this act as rash and unreasonable, let me remind them that human instincts are above human reason -- that God's laws are subject to no human conventional or legislative enactments. The law of my nature instinctively extends pardon to the penitent -- and gratitude to a benefactor.
For example: should I be struggling for life amid the waves that were engulphing me, and one who had been my worst enemy should, at the risk of his own life, rescue my own from a watery grave, would I wait to reason upon the absurdity of giving my grateful heart's devotion to one who had hitherto been my enemy?
"Nay, verily all that a man hath will he give for his life."
So I as instinctively gave to the penitent Dr. McFarland, as I then regarded him, all I had to give -- my forgiveness -- and my grateful heart's devotion in return for his voluntary pro-mise to bestow upon me that most invaluable prize -- that most blessed boon of human existence -- my personal liberty. I did then, and still do regard this offering as none too costly to lay upon the altar of my personal freedom.
And I say, moreover, that heart must have become ossified or dead which would not pulsate in harmony with these laws of its higher nature. And if this act was wrong or sinful, under the circumstances, then I say to God's law -- the law of my nature -is the penalty justly due.
Theophilus, my oldest son, had been anxiously waiting, now nearly three years, when he should be "of age," that he might liberate me from my confinement. He visited me four times during my incarceration, and had done all that lay in his power to do, to procure my discharge, although his father had forbidden his visiting me at all, and had threatened to disin-herit him in case he should break this command.
The same threat hung over my second son, Isaac, also, but he, like his brother, chose to expose himself to be disinherited, rather than to suffer his mother to languish in her prison, without human sympathy.