Brigham, Amariah. Observations on the Influence of Religion upon the Physical Welfare of Mankind. Boston: Marsh, Capen & Lyon, 1835. First Edition.
Cloth, original paper spine label, front board waterstained with raised cloth, smaller stain to back board, 4 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches, recent former owner's signature on ffep, 331 pp., foxing, various stains, tidemarks. Legible, but not pretty. Poor. Hardcover.  $100.00
No. 722 in Roberts, Revival Literature: "A very interesting volume with 120 pages on revivals and camp meetings."
A study which begins with ancient and then-present day human sacrifice and ends with the utility of the Sabbath and the importance of cultivating devotional feelings. The 2nd chapter is Religious Rites which mutilate the human body. Circumcision, emasculation, flagellation...&c. The 3rd is Of austerities, penances, monasticism, fasting, &c. The 4th is Influence on health, of some of the rites, sacraments and ceremonies of the Christian church. The 5th is Places of worship, inconvenience of houses, night meetings, camp meetings, protracted meetings, ringing of bells. The 6th is Observations on modern revivals of religion, and what are called the "special" effects of the Holy Spirit...&c. The 7th is Injury of the brain and nervous system, from frequent meetings and religious excitements and doctrines. Danger of an increase of insanity, apoplexy, palsy, epilepsy, convulsions...particularly injurious to females. Then the last chapter on the Sabbath, mentioned above.
Amariah Brigham (1798-1849), American psychiatrist and one of the founders of what became the American Psychiatric Association. He was one of the leaders of the 19th century asylum movement, which called for a more humane treatment of the mentally ill.