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God; and therefore, further, may we quite understand why it was made a condition to our obtaining what we need;—in other words, why there should be this combination of promise and command, Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."
And now, having endeavoured to answer those inquiries to which our text naturally gave rise, we recur to our introductory remarks, and declare the subject which has been discussed especially appropriate as preliminary to the appeal we have undertaken to make. We would advance this assertion, whatever the institution whose cause we had to advocate. So important is it to remember and acknowledge the supremacy of a first cause, whilst we are employing the agency of second causes, that it can never be out of place, when urging to the use of means, that we remind men to ask God's blessing on their efforts. But the appropriateness is peculiar, when it is such an Institution as the ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY which comes forward and asks support. This Society, as we have already hinted, is engaged in an actual contest with death, and gains, through a fine combination of science and zeal, continual triumphs over the grave. And the bolder the march, and the more enterprizing the occupation of an institution, the greater the risk of such a confidence in human resources as shall practically exclude all reference to the omnipotence of God; and the greater, therefore, also the necessity that we press on its patrons and agents, that prayer makes weak instruments strong, whilst its absence may make the strongest nothing worth.
But when we have introduced this needful caution, we can freely declare that, amongst all the institutions for which, at one time or another, we have been required to plead, none commends itself more than the ROYAL HUMANE Society to earnest and enlightened philanthropists. It cannot be necessary that we state to you the objects of this Institution. They are too well known; the name of the Royal HUMANE
Society is too closely identified with all that is prompt and noble in the succour of the suffering, to require that I speak as though you needed information. Whatever the causes which may have produced suspension of animation, and thus given to the living all the aspect of death, it is enough that there may be yet a possibility of recovery; and this Society rushes forward, and leaves no method untried of rekindling the spark which appears to have been quenched. The times are gone when death was concluded to have necessarily taken place so soon as there was a cessation of the ordinary and outward signs of life. But it is to this very Society, to its founders more especially, who fought the battle of humanity against the prejudices, and ignorance, and superstition, of men of all ranks, that we are indebted for the change. This Society may be said, through the blessing of the Almighty on its unwearied efforts, to have thrown further back the boundary line of human existence, and to have demonstrateddemonstrated by the most convincing of proofs, children and parents, and husbands and wives, restored, as though by miracle, to their sor rowing relatives—that the suspension of animal life, and the final disunion of soul and body, are separated by a mysterious interval; and that throughout this interval there is as much room and as much play for the energies of medical science, as during the progress of a fever, or the stealthy inroads of a consumption. And having once established this great truth, the Society set itself to the erecting and maintaining an agency which should apply, in every district of the land, the principles which had been incontrovertibly proved. It has gone far towards accomplishing so noble an object. In all places of great public resort, where there can be danger of drowning—whether it be business or pleasure which draws men togetherthe ministers of this Society are on the watch, or its resources are at hand, that, if accident occur, there may be immediate succour, and those over whom the waters have closed may be, if possible, yet snatched from the grave, and restored for awhile to the powers and privileges of the living. And, besides this, the Society diffuses so widely, and in forms so compendious and simple, directions for the treatment of those apparently dead, that, even where it
may have no accredited agent, it is often instrumental in bringing into use the most efficient means, and thus probably saves as many by the information which it spreads, as by its own actual interference. The shipwrecked mariner, whom furious waves toss breathless on the shore—the child of misery or crime, whom anguish drives to attempt self-destruction-the light-hearted being, who, in seeking amusement, is suddenly engulphed--the explorer of the mines and caverns of the earth, whom noxious vapours have struck to the ground—to all, and to each of these, our Society springs forward as an angel of mercy, that it may dispute with death what he is just carrying off as his prey. And it is a mighty result, an incalculable benefit, when what is asked is received, and the pulse again throbs in the apparently lifeless