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8. What'er befalls his brethren twain, his bliss can never cease;
THE BLIND PREACHER.
FROM WIRT'S BRITISH SPY.
1. It was one Sunday, as I was traveling through the county of Orange, that my eye was caught by a cluster of horses tied near a ruinous old wooden house, in the forest, not far from the road-side. Having frequently seen such objects before in traveling through these states, I had no difficulty in anderstanding that this was a place of religious worship.
2. Devotion alone should have stopped me to join in the duties of the congregation; but I must confess that curiosity to hear the preacher of such a wilderness was not the least of my motives. On entering, I was struck with his preternatural1 appearance. He was a tall and very spare old man ; his head, which was covered with a white linen cap, his shriveled2 hands, and his voice, were all shaking under the influence of a palsy ;3 and a few moments ascertained to me that he was perfectly blind.
3. The first emotions which touched my breast were those of mingled pity and veneration. But how soon were all my feelings changed! It was a day of the administration of the sacrament; and his subject, of course, was the passion of our Savior. I had heard the subject handled a thousand times. I had thought it exhausted long ago.
4. Little did I suppose that in the wild woods of America I was to meet with a man whose eloquence would give to this topic a new and more sublime pathos" than I had ever before witnessed. As he descended from the pulpit to distribute the mystic symbols, there was a peculiar―a more
than human solemnity in his air and manner, which made my blood run cold, and my whole frame shiver.
5. He then drew a picture of the sufferings of our Savior -his trial before Pilate-his ascent up Calvary-his crucifixion-and his death. I knew the whole history; but never, until then, had I heard the circumstances so selected, so arranged, so colored! It was all new; and I seemed to have heard it for the first time in my life.
6. His enunciation9 was so deliberate that his voice trembled on every syllable; and every heart in the assembly trembled in unison.10 His peculiar phrases had that force of description, that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes. We saw the very faces of the Jews; the staring, frightful distortions of malice and rage. We saw the buffet;11 my soul kindled with a flame of indignation; and my hands were involuntarily12 and convulsively clinched.
7. But when he came to touch on the patience, the forgiving meekness of our Savior; when he drew, to the life, his blessed eyes streaming in tears to heaven; his voice breathing to God a soft and gentle prayer of pardon on his enemies, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," the voice of the preacher, which had all along faltered, grew fainter and fainter, until, his utterance being entirely obstructed by the force of his feelings, he raised his handkerchief to his eyes, and burst into a loud and irrepressible flood of grief. The effect was inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.
8. It was some time before the tumult had subsided so far as to permit him to proceed. Indeed, judging by the usual but fallacious13 standard of my own weakness, I began to be very uneasy for the situation of the preacher; for I could not conceive how he would be able to let his audience down from the height to which he had wound11 them, without impairing the solemnity and dignity of his subject, or perhaps shocking them by the abruptness of the fall. But the descent was as beautiful and sublime as the elevation had been rapid and enthusiastic.
9. The first sentence with which he broke the awful silence was a quotation from Rousseau. "Socrates died like a philosopher, but Jesus Christ like a God." I despair of giving you any idea of the effect produced by this short sentence, unless you could perfectly conceive the whole manner of the man, as well as the peculiar crisis in the discourse. Never before did I completely understand what Demosthenes meant by laying such stress on delivery.
10. You are to call to mind the pitch of passion and enthusiasm to which the congregation were raised; and then, the few minutes of portentous, 15 death-like silence which reigned throughout the house; the preacher removing his white handkerchief from his aged face (even yet wet from the recent torrent of his tears), and slowly stretching forth the palsied hand which holds it, as he begins the sentence, "Socrates died like a philosopher," then pausing, raising his other hand, pressing them both, clasped together, with warmth and energy to his breast, lifting his "sightless balls" to heaven, and pouring his whole soul into his tremulous voice as he continues, "but Jesus Christ-like a God!" If he had been in deed and in truth an angel of light, the effect could scarcely have been more divine.
1 PRE-TER-NAT'-U-RAL, unusual; extraordi- 9 E-NUN-CI-A'-TION, manner of speaking. 10 IN U-NI-SON," in agreement; in harmony.
2 SHRIV'-ELED, contracted into wrinkles.
3 PAL'SY, a disease that partially or wholly destroys voluntary motion or sensation.
4 AS-CER-TAIN'ED, showed; made plain.
8 "MYS'-TIC SYM'-BOLS," the bread and wine.
1. "You are old, Father William," the young man cried, "The few locks that are left you are gray;
You are hale, Father William, a hearty old man,
2. "In the days of my youth," Father William replied, "I remembered that youth would fly fast; And abused not my health and my vigor at first, That I never might need them at last."
3. "You are old, Father William," the young man cried, "And pleasures with youth pass away;
And yet you lament not the days that have gone,
4. "In the days of my youth," Father William replied, "I remembered that youth could not last;
I thought of the future, whatever I did,
5. "You are old, Father William," the young man cried, "And life must be hastening away;
You are cheerful, and love to converse upon death,
6. "I am cheerful, young man," Father William replied, "Let the cause thy attention engage:
In the days of my youth I remembered my God,
1. JOHN LITTLEJOHN was stanch and strong,
He took his hammer, and said, with a frown,
2. John Littlejohn was firm and true,
You could not cheat him in "two and two;"
He saw, through the mazes of their speech,
Through storm and shine, in the world's despite;
Nay, nay," said John, with an angry frown, "Your coin is spurious, nail it down.”
4. When told that kings had a right divine,
That the poor were unimproved by school,
5. When told that events might justify
That a decent hope of future good
Nay, nay," said John, with a sigh and a frown,
"The coin is spurious, nail it down."
THE VISION OF MIRZA.
1. On the fifth day of the moon, which, according to the custom of my forefathers, I always keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of