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-weak and weary from the voyage-poorly armed, scantily provisioned, depending on the charity of their ship-master for à draught of beer on board, drinking nothing but water on shore-without shelter-without means- -surrounded by hostile tribes. Shut now the volume of history, and tell me, on any principle of human probability, what shall be the fate of this handful of adventurers !”
1. “What, Tubero, did that naked sword of yours maintain the battle of Pharsalia ! At whose breast was its point aimed ? What then was the meaning of your arms, your spirit, your eyes, your hands, your ardor of soul ? What did you desire ? What did you wish for? I press the youth too much ; he seems disturbed. Let me return to myself. I too bore arms on the same side.”
2. The Moral Influence of visiting the Graves of the De
parted. “If this tender regard for the dead be so absolutely universal, and so deeply founded in human affection, why is it not made to exert a more profound influence on our lives? Why do we not enlist it with more persuasive energy in the cause of human improvement ? Why do we not enlarge it as a source of religious consolation ? Why do we not make it a more efficient instrument to elevate ambition, to stimulate genius, and to dignify learning ? Why do we not connect it indissolubly with associations, which charm us in nature, and engross us in art? Why do we not dispel from it that unlovely gloom, from which our hearts turn, as from a darkness that ensnares, and a horror that appals our thoughts?
“ To many, nay, to most of the heathen, the burying-place was the end of all things. They indulged no hope, at least no solid hope, of any future intercourse or re-union with their friends. The farewell at the grave was a long and an everlasting farewell. At the moment when they breathed it, it brought to their hearts a startling sense of their own wretchedness. Yet, when the first tumults of anguish were passed, they visited the spot, and strewed flowers and garlands, and crowns around it, to assuage their grief, and nourish their piety. They delighted to make it the abode of the varying beauties of nature ; to give it attractions which should invite the busy and the thoughtful; and yet, at the same time, afford ample scope for the secret indulgence of sorrow.
Why should not Christians imitate such examples? They have far nobler motives to cultivate moral sentiments and sensibilities ; to make cheerful the pathways to the grave; to combine with deep meditations on human mortality, the sublime consolations of religion. We kuow, indeed, as they did of old, that 'man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.' But that home is not an everlasting home ; and the mourners may not weep, as those who are without hope. What is the grave to us, but a thin barrier, dividing time from eternity, and earth from heaven? What is it, but the appointed place of rendezvous, where all the travelers on life's journey meet,' for a single night of repose ?
'Tis but a night-a long and moonless night,
We make the grave our bed, and then are gone.'
"The time draws on
Inviolate ? Why, then, should we darken, with systematic caution, all the avenues to these repositories? Why should we deposit the remains of our friends in loathsome vaults, or beneath the gloomy crypts and cells of our churches ; where the human foot is never heard, save when the sickly taper lights some new guest to his appointed apartment, and 'lets fall a supernumerary horror' on the passing procession? Why should we measure out a narrow portion of earth for our grave-yards, in the midst of our cities, and heap the dead upon each other, with a cold, calculating parsimony, disturbing their ashes, and wounding the sensibilities of the living? Why should we expose our burying-grounds to the broad glare of day, to the unfeeling gaze of the idler, to the noisy press of business, to the
discordant shouts of merriment, or to the baleful visitations of the dissolute ? Why should we bar up their approaches against real mourners, whose delicacy would shrink from ob. servation, but whose tenderness would be soothed by secret visits to the grave, and holding converse there with their departed joys? Why all this unnatural restraint upon our sympathies and sorrows, which confines the visit to the grave to the only time in which it must be utterly useless—when the heart is bleeding with fresh anguish, and is too weak to feel, and too desolate to desire consolation ?"
The World's Wanderers.
Speed thee in thy fiery flight,
Will thy pinions close now?
“Tell me, moon, thou pale and gray
Seekest thou repose now?
On the tree or billow ?"
1. “What a multitude of thoughts crowd upon the mind, in the contemplation of such a scene! How much of the future, even in its far distant reaches, rises before us with all its persuasive realities ! Take but one little narrow space of time, and how affecting are its associations! Within the flight of one half century, how many of the great, the good, and the wise, will be gathered here! How many, in the loveliness of infancy, the beauty of youth, the vigor of manhood, and the maturity of age, will lie down here, and dwell in the bosom of
their mother earth! The rich and the
and the wretched, the favorites of thousands, and the forsaken of the world, the stranger in his solitary grave, and the patriarch, surrounded by the kindred of a long lineage! How many will here bury their brightest hopes, or blasted expectations ! How many bitter tears will here be shed! How many agonizing sighs will here be heaved! How many trembling feet will cross the pathways, and, returning, leave behind them the dearest objects of their reverence or their love !"
2. “How are the mighty fallen! Fallen before the desolating hand of death. Alas! the ruins of the tomb! The ruins of the tomb are an emblem of the ruins of the world; when not an individual, but a universe, already marred by sin, and hastening to dissolution, shall agonize and die! Directing your thoughts from the one, fix them for a moment on the other. Anticipate the concluding scene, the final catastrophe of nature: when the sign of the Son of man shall be seen in heaven: when the Son of man himself shall appear in the glory of his Father, and send forth judgment unto victory. The fiery desolation envelops towns, palaces, and fortresses ; the heavens pass away! the earth melts ! and all those magnificent productions of art, which ages, heaped on ages, have reared up, are in one awful day reduced to ashes."
“ I would not live alway: no, no, holy man;
“ I would not live alway: I ask not to stay Where storm after storm rises dark o'er the way;
Where seeking for rest, we but hover around
“ I would not live alway: no, welcome the tomb;
“ Who, who would live alway? away from his God;
“ That heavenly music! What is it I hear?
my soul on glad pinions would soar, And in ecstasy bid earth adieu, evermore.”