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and that, though we must all die, it rests with us to determine upon the feelings with which we shall die, by adopting that course of actions from which those feelings must proceed; and this appears to me to be the great use, and purpose, of thinking on death; not to think of that damp earth, and that dreary tomb, and those childish terrors, of which the dead feel, and know nothing; but to impress upon our hearts this truth, that, through Christ, we are become the lords of death, and masters over all the sorrow, and lamentation, which death carries in its train; that the mere separation of matter, and spirit, is a pang of so short a moment, that it is hardly a rational object of fear; that the real pang is the remembrance of a mispent life; of every act that has been cruel, unkind, and unjust; of time dissipated; talents misapplied; man injured; and God forgotten. If you think the accumulation of such thoughts, and such recollections as these, is awful, take care that they do not accumulate; if you dread such agonies of spirit, look to their origin, and to their cause; remember the great apostle; draw near to God, while all the
pleasures of the world are yet before you; give up to him some portion of youth, and health; wait not till disease enables you to offer up only the remnants, and leavings of life; but die daily, before half your career is run; anticipate the last day; imagine a Mighty God; adore his purity; supplicate his mercy; tremble at his power;--be not so rash, and so mad, as to let the salvation of your souls depend upon whether the air 1 of this day is noxious, or pure; whether the blasts of Heaven shall be a little too damp, or a little too cold; but be always ready for death; think, like a man engaged in warfare, that you cannot call an hour your own; and be assured of this, that death, mere animal death, is nothing; it is often better than life, and thousands welcome its approach; but the sting of death is sin, and we know that victory which Christ has gained over sin, by dying daily; therefore, we may tear out that sting, and welcome a gentle death, as the end of every sorrow, and the harbinger of greater, and nobler joys.
remembered, that the light is sweet, that it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold
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
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