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Creator: To see that wandering fire, after he has finished his journey through the nations, coming back to us in the eastern Heavens ; the mountains painted with light; the floating splendour of the sea; the earth waking from deep slumber; the day flowing down the sides of the hills, till it reaches the secret vallies; the little insect recalled to life; the bird trying her wings; man going forth to his labour; each created being moving, thinking, acting, contriving, according to the scheme and compass of its nature; by force, by cunning, by reason, by necessity, is it possible to joy in this animated scene, and feel no pity for the sons of darkness? for the eyes that will never taste the sweet light? for the poor, clouded in everlasting gloom ?—If you ask me why they are miserable, and dejected; I turn you to the plentiful vallies; to the fields, now bringing forth their increase; to the freshness and the flowers of the earth; to the endless variety of its colours; to the grace, the symmetry, the shape of all it cherishes, and all it bears; these you have forgotten, because you have always enjoyed them; but these are the means by which God Almighty
makes man what he is; cheerful, lively, erect; full of enterprise, mutable, glancing from Heaven to earth; prone to labor and to act. Why was not the earth left without form, and void? Why was not darkness. suffered to remain on the face of the deep? Why did God place lights in the firmament for days, for seasons, for signs, and for years?—that he might make man the happiest of beings, that he might give to this his favorite creation a wider scope, a more permanent duration; a richer diversity of joy this is the reason why the blind are miserable, and dejected, because their soul is mutilated, and dismembered of its best sense; because they are a laughter, and a ruin, and the boys of the streets mock at their stumbling feet; therefore I implore you, by the son of David, have mercy on the blind: if there is not pity for all sorrows, turn the full and perfect man to meet the inclemency of fate; let not those who have never tasted the pleasures of existence, be assailed by any of its sorrows ;—the eyes which are never gladdened by light, should never stream with tears.
Nothing is more commonly known, than that those, who are born blind, cannot form the smallest notion of colours, and of light; it is impossible, however, they should hear the pleasures, derivable from sight, so frequently spoken of by others, without comparing them with other sources of gratification, with which they happen to be acquainted; it is an affecting, and interesting circumstance in the annals of one* who had himself been blind from his infancy, that the similitude he was always apt to frame for the unknown pleasures of sight, were the pleasures of virtue, and religion, to his pious and ardent imagination; the landscape of the evening was like the close of a well-spent life; friendship, and pity were the full stream, and the green pasture; the gospel was the day spring from on high.
There is a pleasure in the sight of the human countenance, greater greater than any derived from the contemplation of those objects to which we bear a cold, and a distant relation; it is pleasant to the heart of man, to
* Dr. Blacklock.
be met with looks of kindness and regard; to see a countenance that promises support in the evil day, that reminds us of ancient attachments, and family love; that carries the awful signs of those feelings, and passions, which must influence our future fate. Which of you, that expects to see a long absent brother, or a child returning from the perils of war, and of distant lands; which of you would forego the pleasure of tracing every lineament of his face, and reading on his features the language of deep, and ardent affection? Ask of these unhappy children, what they would sacrifice, that they might see, where it only for an instant, the mother that nursed them; the guide that led them out; the brother that has treated them kindly, and gently, in their infant days? But brother, and parent, and guide, and friend, are one to them; they know not the signs of nature, the looks of mercy, and the
smiles of love.
Another source of misery to the blind, is their defenceless weakness of body; they can neither foresee evil, ascertain its nature, nor avert its consequences. If they venture
And this is the fifth Commandment. Honor thy father, and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the Land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
IT is almost superfluous to observe upon the importance of this law to the welfare. and tranquillity of society, as it places the young under the tuition, not only of the old, and the experienced, but of those whom affection urges to seize on all the resources which age, and experience, can suggest for their advantage.
The law orders, and the magistrate