The Good Asylum Chaplain realizeth the importance of the trust committed to his keeping; he entereth upon the office in no mercenary spirit, but with the primary object of “ministering to the mind diseased,” so far as the exercise of his own special functions is likely to do good. The Good Chaplain hath a sympathetic nature—one which magnetically attracts the sorrowful and the depressed instead of repelling them. A minister without magnetic sympathy hath no business in an asylum; he hath chosen a vocation for which the very word is a misnomer, for he hath no call, and the sooner he findeth other work the better for him and for the patients. If for filthy lucre he retaineth his office while not in touch with the insane—perchance even disliking His duties—he is a fraud. The Good Chaplain enjoyeth his work; it is his daily joy; he carrieth with him an atmosphere of hope and cheerfulness which tendeth to inspire those with whom he cometh in contact with renewed faith and confidence. The Good Chaplain hopeth all things when his ministrations seem to be useless, or even repelled. He knoweth the way-wardness, the suspicion, the aversion which may mark the inmates of an asylum. He maketh allowance for their behaviour and seeming rudeness. He considereth their distress, and not the irritation which it causeth.
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