Youth's Magazine,  3rd ser. 2 (1829), 162–66.

Account of a Blind Boy in the Edinburgh Sessional School





Education, Deformity, Natural Theology, Ancient Authorities, Mathematics, Endeavour

    Describes Alexander Laurie, who 'had the misfortune to lose his sight a few days after his birth' (162). His reasoning faculties were unusually developed, and all he wanted was 'sufficient data' for their operation, which the school provided (163). Observes: 'No information ever was communicated to him, whether in the department of nature, of elementary science, or of art, which was not carefully treasured up and preserved' (164). Gives an example of his superior knowledge of the Bible. Laurie was asked by a visitor to the school, 'who seemed strongly impressed with the opinion that in order to exalt Revelation it is necessary to maintain that there is no such thing at all as Natural Religion', whether the ancient philosophers had any knowledge of religion (164–65). Against the visitor's disapproval, he answered that they did, and gave a biblical quotation to support it. Laurie made slow progress in mental arithmetic, but by continued endeavour ultimately achieved signal success.

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