Solitude Sweetened

by James Meikle, 1730-1799

On a blind beggar

Poor man! you walk in darkness, though presented on every side with noon-day beams. You must commit yourself to your fellow-creatures, and by them be led from door to door. Who can but sympathize with your condition, and pity you? Poison unknown to you may be poured into your cup. You may fall into the fire or the water, or a ditch. You may dash your foot against every stone, and have the naked sword brandished at your bosom, while ignorant of your danger.

How melancholy, then, the case of those people who are spiritually blind—who drink the cruel "poison of asps;" who fall into every ditch of sin; who run into every danger; and oppose their hardened bosom against the naked point of justice's flaming sword! And how sad that the people in this condition, ignorant of their danger—should sport with wrath, and make a mock at sin!

If we heard of whole nations struck blind, and not one left to lead another—but all perishing in this deplorable situation, how would we feel in the tenderest manner for them! Now, are there not whole nations who sit in the region and shadow of death, who grope in darkness, and never find their way to heaven? For them, therefore we should feel in a tender manner—from the very bottom of our souls. Should not all Christians exert themselves to their very utmost, to spread the saving knowledge of a Savior among the heathen? Could a man heal the blind, how would they gratefully accept the cure, and bless the healing hand! But, in a land where life and immortality are brought to light—how many sit in darkness, and will not leave their gloomy cell for all the beauties of the day? Happy those who have the eyes of their mind opened, and in his heavenly light see light clearly; who see the deformity of sin, the beauty of holiness, the excellency of true religion, the necessity of the new birth, the preciousness of Christ, the glory of eternal realities; and shortly, in the light of glory, shall see as they are seen.