Fasts, or Fasting, denotes abstinence from food, particularly for religious reasons.

Fasting has been transmitted to us from the earliest ages, as a duty necessary to be performed at certain periods, in order to deprecate those calamities, with which the innate depravity of man is said to be justly punished.

Having already considered (he effects of fasting, under the head of Abstinence, we shall only add, that it is particularly injurious to tender and debilitated habits, in the early part of the day ; because the fluids of the human body, after circulating for several hours without any alimentary refreshment, at length acquire a putrid tendency, which is obvious from the strong alkaline breath of the most healthy person, after rising from his nocturnal couch. There are, however, instances of fanatics, who have subsisted for many days, and even weeks, without any sustenance : but, though such persons may occasionally survive these unnatural attempts, yet their health is, in consequence, misierably im-paired. - Similar effects often arise from a total abstinence from animal food, whether on account of religious or other motives. - Thus, a late Professor in the University of Glasgow, shortened his life, by abandoning the use of flesh meat at an age exceeding 60years: and, after living upon vegetable aliment about six months, he was reluctantly obliged to resort to his former mode of diet: but these changes had so unfavourably affected hi* constitution, that he died in a very short time after making the experiment.