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formity to both is not an frequent. It was undoubtedly the understanding and intention of the venerable compilers of the American Prayer Book, that the custom of carrying the deceased into the church, and there performing the appointed service, should prevail among Episcopalians. This is made sufficiently obvious in the Rubrics just mentioned, where the clergyman is directed to meet “ the corpse at the entrance of the church yard, and going before it either into the church, or (if that be impracticable) towards the grave, shall say,” &c.-Compliance with the sense of this direction, with many, depends entirely upon contingencies. If the church be situated between the housc of the defunct, and the grave yard, peradventure his body may once more, for a short time, occupy a place in that building, which his industry and zeal may have contri. buted to build and support ; but if, through the misjudging of the builders, the church and yard be separate, I am sorry to add the body must be consigned to the tomb without this last sanctioning shade of its spiritual mother.
So slender is the tenure upon which the performance of the service often depends, that it is dispensed with upon slight occasions ; a few hours absence of the clergyman, is a sufficient authority to introduce a dissenting minister at the head of the procession and be instituted a witness of the burial of the deceased. How this accords with the sense of the Episcopal church upon the subject, let every member of that church answer. No comments need be made.
The basis of all solemnity and hallowed respect, is order and regularity; and upon this principle doubtless was founded the ceremony of funeral processions, which have continued time immemorial. The propriety, nay, necessity of strictly coatinuing this practice, is very obvious : respect for the merits and memory of the deceased, sympathy for the sorrows of surviving friends, and a just impression upon our minds why we are assembled together, should effectually deter us from changing the procession into a listless con. course ; an occurrence by far too frequent. Let but decorum plead the cause, and the result cannot but be favorable.
Let us now turn our aitention to the subject of church yards, and the relation that exists between třem and their respective charac. ters, in point of location. The sense of the Rubrick above quoted seems to be, that they must be in connection ; the alternative“ or towards the grave” being inserted to be acted upon in cases of necessity rather than of option. Doubtless it was by reason of the infant state of the church in some parts of the Union, where, of consequence, many yards must exist without their churches, that it was thought expedient to insert this otherwise contradictory di. rection. But why this separating of churches from their cemetaries? I fear the only plausible answer that can be given is, that it is a patch of the old Puritanical garment, whose obvious character. istic was, to be as unlike the Episcopal habits as possible : certainly it is an innovation upon the practices of the Catholic church of all ages ; and I trust few countries can show us specimens of it, save this.
In order to convince ourselves of the propriety of placing the
church in the burying ground, we ought to consider the relation that subsists between the design of the one and the tenants of the other. Let us view the former as an index, whose direction is heaven ; a guide that teaches men how to avoid utter condemnation and the sting of eternal death ; and as a faithful governant that takes them out of the world placing them in the path of duty whose end is happiness. Through the medium of her instruction, men are certified, that although worms should destroy this their skin, yet in their flesh shall they see God ; that a restitution of all things shall be accomplished ; and that this same body, clarified from the pollutions of sin, shall become the instrument of spiritual enjoyments.. If then we have received such consolation and assurance from her whilst living, shall we delay to trust our weary frames under the shadow of her wing against the great day of the resurrection? Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, and sacred should be the place of their rest: let then that holy edifice, by whose means they have obtained their appellation, overshadow their peaceful manes. We can, without any impropriety, personify our mother church, and view her in the light of a fond parent, who having brought up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, sees then, their worldly course being ended, silently gathered around her, against the time when (as we charitably believe) she shall present them to her heavenly master, pure, through his merits, as are her doctrines. Being so fully convinced of the propriety, and I may say duty of interring within the environs of the church, I trust I shall not be thought unreasonable, when I urge that every christian ought so to care for his remains, as to insert a provisional clause in his last will and testament, signifying his desire to have his ashes repose near so hallowed a structure *
The good that will accrue to the living from this connection, will next demand our attention. The temper of the mind depends, in a great measure, upon contingencics : as they bear the image of gravity or gaiety, the mind assumes an affection accordingly. In devotional exercises such objects as serve to create or retain meditations suitable to the occasion, deserve, nay even demand our fostering care. The door of eternity is the grave ; through which portal must every descendant from Adam pass. To enable him to emerge from this lonely way into life without shame, is the object, the great object of the christian's prayers. In order to give favor to his petitions, to rouse him from his lethargy, to recal his wander. ing thoughts to their rightful centre, to fix them to the important part he is acting and prevent their straying upon worldly objects, nothing can have a more powerful effect, than the consciousness that he is surrounded by the silent inansions of his fellow mortals ; thal ihe valley of the shadow of death is on his right hand and on his left; and that a few more circling suns will see him consigned to these same clods, adding one more to the parish bill of mortality. Such appropriate thoughts will naturally arise in his breast, as he
This idea is seldom improved in directing where their body shall be laid, save by some eccentric character ; who from motives of disgust or affected singularity, oftimes act upon it. It is however worthy of more attention than is generally paid it.
traverses the yard to the church, or views from his window the moss.grown tombs that surround it.*
If objections be made to the planting of such shade trees within the church yard, as I advocated in my former number, (though I see no occasion for objection) yet the difficulty is entirely removed by substituting the weeping willow, a tree evidently formed by nature to overshade the tombs. I have with pleasure observed several in. stances of this species of tree being introduced into church yards, and hope to see the practice more prevalent. Should it become general, many, I am confident, would be highly gratified, none could be displeased.
OBSERVER * I beg to enquire of your readers, Mr. Editor, whether, in all prints and drawings of churches from the old countries, they have not uniformly observed them situated in the midst of a burying yard, shaded by trees? If they an. swered in the affirmative, I would ask if they were not struck with the propriety of the circumstance, and would not wish to imitate such a model?
On the Resurrection of Christ. AT this wonderful work of Christ's power, this stupendous miracle of his divinity, the angels of God descended from heaven, and were present to behold his glory. They condescended first to inform his weeping and disconsolate followers that he was risen. And no wonder they were present on this occasion, for we are told in the scriptures, that they desired to look into these things. That they might the more nearly witness, and the better understand their sovereign's power and goodness, they were present at his birth, and at his resurrection. In both cases they first proclaimed the good news to men, and bore testimony to the hand of God displayed in these events. Every thing concurs to point out our Lord's resurrection as the very pillar and ground of evidence for his divine authority ; that he was verily the Son of God, made manifest in the flesh, and dwelling among men; that though he was human and must die, yet he was also divine, and could not be holden of death, therefore did he break the tyrant's chain, roll back the stone from the rocky tomb, by a mighty earthquake, and awake from the dead. Hence are we sure that he was the Son of Righteousness, who arose with healing in his wings ; hence are we sure that he was true and no unrighteousness was in him, that the word of God was truth in his mouth ; and life to all those who hear and obey. And hence we know that death will have no more dominion over him ; in that he died once for all ; but with himself he will also rescue us from the grave. By this we know that he is worthy to be our captain, and our leader to the world of glory ; where he cver liveth to make intercession for us at the right hand of his Father. By this we know that he is able to conquer all our spiritual enemies ; to be our champion, our deliverer, our shield and defender; and our erceeding great reward. By this we know that we may trust in him and shelter ourselves under the protection of his arm, until we are free from the assaults of a sinful and depraved nature. In a word, by his resurrection le fully accomplished the work for
which he came into the world. He thus bore testimony to the will of God; and laid an immoveable foundation on which our faith and hope may rest. In him future blessedness standeth fast as God himself, in whom is no variablenessnor shadow of turning.
Irit be supposed that our souls would have existed, yet it would have been in a state of endless woe, condemned to God's wrath and displeasure ; aud cut off from all joy. From this state we are delivered by him who rose from the dead. But if it seem most consonant to the tenor of scripture to believe that death would have been an utter extinction or cessation of all knowledge as intelligent beings, or return to the same condition as though we had never been ; that the pit of utter destruction was open before us, and we were tottering on the brink of it, just ready to be swallowed up and lost to all eternity ; yet blessed be God, we can now look into the gospel and behold the captain of our salvation, the son of righteousness, arising from this pit ; with power and great glory, snatching us from its jaws, and carrying us in triumph on to firm and heavenly ground, where death shall have no more dominion over us to the endless ages of eternity.
When by the eye of faith we contemplate these great things that have thus been done for us, shall we not praise and adore his goodness by whom they were wrought ? When we view the clanger from which we have been rescued, shall we not with all our souls at this season thank our deliverer and divine Redeemer? Commemorating the event by which we escaped the horrible dread of falling into naught, than which no fear can be more revolting to our souls, shall we not keep the feast, not quith the old learen, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth ? Solemnly in our devotions at this time professing to thank God ; that by the same resurrection we are raised from a death of sin unto a life of righteousness ; shall we not resolve to dedicate our days to God's service, and live worthy of our high calling? worthy of creatures made for eternity ?
There is not any thing that so powerfully urges us to the practice of virtue and the service of God, as the belief and expectation of a life to come. If our condition were like that of the brutes that perish, what motive should we have to live a life of holiness ? What benefit or advantage should we receive ? What profit would there be in serving God? In a short time we should be as though we had not served him ; the righteous and the wicked would be both alike; both would be buried in darkness and oblivion ; then let us cat and drink for tomorrow we die ; would be the wisest advice ; and that which most men would follow. But the dread solemnities of another life will, now and then at least, make way to the hearts of all men, and in some measure influence their conduct. An eternity of bliss in the presence of God is a prize worth some exertions 10 gain. And on the other hand an eternity of woe, under chains of darkness, will sometimes make the stoutest sinner tremble, and resolve to flee from the wrath to come, by practising holiness in the fear of God. God's tribunal of justice, before which are to stand all nations kindreds and languages, in the day of accouni,
makes no slight impression on the sinner's mind. Thus fear of what may be in a future world; of God's just retribution compels some to a life of virtue and religion : while others act from a worthier motive, out of a sense of what is due from those who are the adopted sons of God, and heirs of eternal life through Jesus Christ.' So that the belief of a future state is the parent of virtuc and holiness; the safeguard of our hearts against the assaults of temptation ; and the foundation of our happiness while in this life. It consequently becomes us as we value our own good, to cherish this faith, this hope in the promises of God ; and hold fast that gospel, by which alone we are assured of a future existence. It becomes us to consider those as our enemies, who would dissuade 'us from this consoling faith ; that virtue 'shall be rewarded and vice punished on that great day, when the dead shall awake and stand at his tribunal.
Since Christ arose that thus he might raise all men from death, that he might be the Lord of all flesh, that he might be the judge of quick and dead; it becomes us with awe to contemplate the solemnities of the resurrection morn and great day of account. And we learn from the bible, that when that day sliall arrive, of which none know save God, the trumpet shall sound; the Lord Jesus shall descend from heaven with all his holy angels, shouting his praise ; the earth and the sea shall give up their dead, to be taken away, with those who shall be found alive, to meet their judge in the air. The great Archangel shall proclaim aloud to the whole universe, that time shall be no more. The sun shall loose its lustre, and be extinct; the moon shall dissolve into vapor; and the earth, with all that it doth contain, shall be involved in rolling fames and pass away. After this dissolution of nature, shall follow the sentence from the judge, to those on his right hand, come ye blessed children of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world ; and to those on his left ; deparı ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. And immediately the sentence shall be executed—the wicked shall be plunged down to hell, and overwhelmed with chains and darkness, to converse with everlasting groans, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is no quenched : but the righteous shall be carried in triumph with the angelic host, into God's kingdom of glory, singing the praises of the Lamb of God, who was slain that he might redeem them from death and sin, and make them kings and priests unto God, with whom they shall live for ever and ever.
Such, we are assured on the authority of God's sacred word, shall be the last and closing scene of all temporal things. What man. ner of persons, then, ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness ?
Should the trump of God now be sounded, and the opening vault of heaven disclose to your view the Lord Jesus, descending from above with his host of mighty angels, to begin the great work, what manner of persons would you wish to be found ? Surely this questiou needs no time for consideration. You would wish to be found the true servants of God, having your lamps trimmed and