Bow Street - A Blind Beggar Richard Robert Griffiths, 23, was charged with begging.—The defendant is totally blind, and for some considerable time past has been in the habit of occupying a seat at the corner of Milford-lane, near to the porter's lodge in the Temple gate. He was taken into custody on the present charge by Police-constable M'Loghland, who alleged that under the pretense of selling matches he had importuned passers-by for alms, and was heard to say, 'Help a poor blind man!' He was seen to receive money from four or five persons. It was admitted by the constable that no complaints had been made about defendant; and he denied that he had begged, though he was thankful if people bought his goods, or gave him alms unasked.—A gentleman from the Temple, who was in the habit of passing defendant two or three times a day, stated that he had never known him to solicit alms.—A letter was read from Mr. Firth, M.P., stating that he was passing when defendant was taken into custody, and he saw nothing to justify the interference of the police.—Mr. Vaughan considered that he could not convict defendant. He was discharged, and the learned magistrate expressed a hope that he would go back, and remain quietly at his usual place unmolested by the police."
If we are poor seeking sinners, this paragraph will be interesting to us. In many points this blind beggar's case should excite our gratitude, for it is so much the reverse of our own. It is true that spiritually we sit at the gate of the Temple, asking alms; but this is not contrary to the law. We are encouraged, yea, commanded to pray, and we have the promise that our petitions shall be heard. The more often we cry for help the better. We need not disguise our action, we do most distinctly beg and importune; but there are no officers employed by the court of heaven to forbid our appeals. We have it under the King's hand and seal that we may beg as much as we will.
It is pleasant to observe that the blind beggar of the Temple had friends at court, and that those who were hard upon him came off second-best. Rest assured that, if any take upon themselves to forbid a sinner's prayers, they will make small headway before the Court above. If doubts and fears bid us cease our petitioning, it will be a great comfort to hear the voice of Jesus bidding us "Pray without ceasing." Let us get back to the mercy-seat, and abide in the place of supplication, knowing that no one may lawfully offer us any molestation while we lift up our petitions to the God of heaven.