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before, after I had strove by these means to teach him that, though shrouded in the tomb, he would behold his Redeemer on the last day, I would turn to the daily life, and the daily mercies of Christians; I would say, let us judge the tree by its fruit; if it is productive only of idle ceremonies, and trifling observances, hew it down, and cast it into the flames: but if it can cause the lame to walk, the leper to be cleansed, the deaf to hear, and the blind to receive their sight, if it brings forth, in their due season, the fruits of mercy, then is that tree planted by God, then are its roots too deep for the tempest,-then shall its branches flourish to the clouds,—then shall all the nations of the earth gather under its shade.

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Try it, then, by this test; refer the proofs of the gospel's authenticity, to the criterion of active provident compassion.It studies classes, and relieves every misery of our nature; it is not sufficient for the refined, and zealous benevolence of these times, to confuse the varieties of misfortune, by extending the same indiscrimi

nate aid to sufferers, who agree in nothing but the common characteristic of grief;— each individual calamity experiences a distinct compassion, is cherished with its appropriate comforts, and healed by its specific remedies.-The maniac is shut out from the tumults of the world, the Magdalene weeps over the gospel of Christ, and washes his name with her tears;-a mother is given to the foundling,-a Samaritan to the wounded, the drowned person is called back from the dead, the forsaken youth is snatched from the dominion of vice,a soul is breathed into the deaf and dumb, —and the child-bearing woman, when she thinks of the days of her anguish, knoweth that she has where to lay her head. In every corner of this Christian country, some edifice rises up consecrated to mercy;

-a vast hospital, a place of wounds and anguish,—a tabernacle of healing, ample enough to call down the blessings of God upon a city, and to wipe out half their sins. In the midst of this magnificent benevolence, the children of the gospel have not forgotten the misfortunes of the blind; they have pitied their long darkness, and

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remembered, that the light is sweet, that it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun.

The object of the society for which I am now to implore your protection, is to diminish the misfortune of blindness, by giving, to those afflicted with it, the means of obtaining support by their ingenuity, and labor, and of walking in the law of Christ, by attending to the religious instructions, and exercises, prescribed by this institution. They are instructed in a variety of works for which manual skill is requisite, rather than bodily labour, and which they perform with a dexterity astonishing to those who have connected with blindness the notion of absolute helplessness and incapacity.

A charitable institution, conducted upon such principles as the asylum for the blind, is superior to any common charity, as it interweaves science with compassion; and, by shewing how far the other senses are capable of improvement, takes off from the extent of human calamity, all that it adds to the limits of human knowledge. Who could have imagined, to speak of a kindred

instance of ingenious benevolence, that the deaf and dumb could be taught to reason, to speak, and to become acquainted with all the terms, and intricate laws of a language; or that men, who had never, from their earliest infancy, enjoyed the privilege of sight, could be taught to read, and to write; to print books, and the ablest of them to penetrate into all the depths of mathematical learning? Such facts afford inexhaustible encouragement to men engaged in the benevolent task of instructing those in whom the ordinary inlets of knowledge are blocked up. They seem to place within our reach the miracles of those scriptures from whence they have sprung, and to shew the fervent votary of Christ, that he, also, like his great master, can make the deaf hear, the dumb speak, and the blind see.

Consider the deplorable union of indigence and blindness, and what manner of life it is from which you are rescuing these unhappy people; the blind man comes out in the morning season, to cry aloud for his food; when he hears no longer the feet of men, he knows that it is night, and gets him



back to the silence, and the famine of his cell. Active poverty becomes rich; labour and prudence, are rewarded with distinction; the weak of the earth have risen up to be strong; but he is ever dismal, and ever forsaken! The man, who comes back to his native city, after years of absence, beholds again the same extended hand into which he cast his boyish alms; the selfsame spot, the old attitude of sadness, the ancient cry of sorrow, the intolerable sight of a human being that has grown old in supplicating a miserable support for a helpless, mutilated, frame, such is the life these unfortunate children would lead, had they no friend to appeal to your compassion,

-such are the evils we will continue to remedy, if they experience from you that compassion which their magnitude so amply deserves.

The author of the book of Ecclesiastes has told us, that the light is sweet, that it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun; the sense of sight is, indeed, the highest bodily privilege, the purest physical pleasure, which man has derived from his

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