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fetched home from school to their father's house. Now come I to thee, whom I have chosen and served, and whom my soul thirsteth after; to the fountain of light and life, the crown and centre of bliss and joy. Now my longings shall be satisfied, my hopes accomplished, my happiness completed; for now I come to thee."

Hark! they whisper: angels say,

Sister spirit, come away!

What is this absorbs me quite;

Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes-it disappears!
Heav'n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory ?

O Death! where is thy sting?

M. Henry.

On viewing the Body of "Christian" in the Coffin.

It is not easy to describe the sensations which the mind experiences on the first sight of a dead countenance, which when living was loved and esteemed, for the sake of that soul which used to give it animation. A deep and awful view of the separation that has taken place between the soul and the body of the deceased, since we last beheld him, occupies the feelings; our dead friend seems to be both near and afar off; the most interesting and valuable part is fled away—what remains is but the earthly perishing habitation, no longer occupied by its tenant. Yet the features present the accustomed association of friendly intercourse. For one moment, we could think him asleep; the next reminds us that the blood circulates no more; the eye has lost its power of seeing the ear of hearing the heart of throbbing-and the limbs of moving. Then a thought of glory breaks in upon the mind, and we imagine the dear departed soul to be arrived at its long-wished-for rest: it is surrounded by cherubim and seraphim, and sings the song of Moses

and the Lamb on Mount Zion. Amid the solemn stillness of the
chamber of death, imagination hears heavenly hymns chaunted by
the spirits of just men made perfect: in another moment, the bard
lip and the sunken eye of the clay-cold corpse, recal our thoughts
to earth, and to ourselves again. And while we think of mortality,
sin, death, and the grave, we feel this prayer rise in our bosom,
“O let me die the death of the righteous, and let
like his !"


last end be

If there be a moment, when Christ and salvation, death, judg ment, heaven, and hell, appear more than ever to be momentous subjects of meditation, it is that which brings us to the side of a coffin containing the body of a departed believer.

How blest is our brother, bereft

Of all that could burden his mind!
How happy the soul that has left
This wearisome body behind!

Of evil incapable thou,

From sorrow and sadness set free;
No longer in misery now,

No longer a sinner, like me.

This languishing head is at rest,
Its thinking and aching are o'er;
This quiet, immovable breast

Is heav'd by affliction no more:
This heart is no longer the seat
Of trouble and torturing pain;

It ceases to flutter and beat,
It never shall flutter again.

The lids he so seldom could close,
By sorrow forbidden to sleep,
Seal'd up in the sweetest repose,

Have strangely forgotten to weep;
These fountains can yield no supplies,
These hollows from water are free;
The tears are all wip'd from these eyes,
And evil they never shall see.

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The soul of "Christian" having now left its tenement of clay, and escaped to another world, the body is no longer a desirable companion those eyes, that formerly sparkled in their orbits, are now become dim; and those lips, that were once melodious in singing their Maker's praise, are become dumb; the vital stream, that flowed so rapidly through their winding veins and arteries, is stagnant, and will soon become putrid and offensive to the senses. Therefore, we will now make a hole in the earth, and consign him to his clay-cold bed-" the house appointed for all living;" Job Xxx. 23. "where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest." Job iii. 17.

And he laid his carcass in his own grave; and they mourned over him, saying, Alas, my brother!

And when I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; and lay my bones beside his bones. 1 Kings xiii. 30, 31.

Here the man of business forgets all his favourite schemes, and discontinues his pursuit of gain. Here is a total stand to the circulation of merchandise, and the hurry of trade. In these solitary recesses, as in the building of Solomon's temple, is heard no sound of the hammer and axe. The winding-sheet and the coffin are the utmost bound of all human devices. "Hitherto may they go, but no further." Here the sons of pleasure take a final farewell of their dear delights. No more is the sensualist anointed with oil, or crowned with rose-buds. He chaunts no more to the melody of the viol, nor revels any longer at the banquet of wine. Instead of sumptuous tables and delicious treats, the poor voluptuary is himself a feast for fattened insects; the reptile riots in his flesh; "the worm feeds sweetly on him." Job xxiv. 20. Here, also, beauty fails; bright beauty drops her lustre here. Oh! how her roses

fade, and her lilies languish, in this bleak soil!

How does the

grand leveller pour contempt upon the charmer of our hearts! How turned to deformity, what captivated the world before!

Beauty-thou pretty plaything, dear deceit!
That steals so softly o'er the stripling's heart,
And gives it a new pulse unknown before;
The GRAVE discredits thee; thy charms expung'd,
Thy roses faded, and thy lilies soil'd,

What hast thou more to boast of? Will thy lovers
Flock round thee now, to gaze and do thee homage?
Methinks I see thee with thy head low laid,
Whilst surfeited upon thy damask cheek
The high-fed worm, in lazy volumes roll'd,
Riots unscar'd. For this was all thy caution?
For this thy painful labours at the glass,
T'improve those charms and keep them in repair,
For which the spoiler thanks thee not? Foul feeder!
Coarse fare and carrion please thee full as well,
And leave as keen a relish on the sense.

I thank you, ye relics of sounding titles and magnificent names; ye have taught me more of the littleness of the world, than all the volumes of my library. Your nobility arrayed in a winding-sheet, grandeur mouldering in an urn, are the most indubitable proofs of the nothingness of created things. Never, surely, did Providence write this important point in such legible characters, as in the ashes of My Lord, or on the corpse of His Grace. Let others, if they please, pay their obsequious court to your wealthy sons, and ignobly fawn, or anxiously sue, for preferments; my thoughts shall frequently resort, in pensive contemplation, to the sepulchres of their sires; and learn, from their sleeping dust, to moderate my expectations from mortals; to stand disengaged from every undue attachment to the little interests of time; to get above the delusive amusements of honour, the gaudy tinsels of wealth, and all the Hervey. empty shadows of a perishing world.

Arabia's gums and odoriferous drugs,
And honours by the heralds duly paid,
In mode and form e'en to a very scruple;
Oh! cruel irony! these come too late,

And only mock whom they were meant to honour.
Surely there's not a dungeon slave that's buried
In the high-vay, unshrouded and uncoffin'd,
But lies as soft, and sleeps as sound as he.
Sorry pre-eminence of high descent,

Above the vulgar born to rot in state.

But see! the well-plum'd hearse comes nodding on,
Stately and slow; and well attended

By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch
The sick man's door, and live upon the dead,
By letting out their persons by the hour,
To mimic sorrow where the heart's not sad.
How rich the trappings! now they're all unfurl'd
And glittering in the sun; triumphant entries
Of conquerors, and coronation-pomps,

In glory scarce exceed. Great gluts of people
Retard th' unwieldy show: whilst from the casements
And houses' tops, ranks behind ranks close wedg'd,
Hang bellying o'er. But tell us, why this waste,
Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
That's fall'n into disgrace, and in the nostril
Smells horrible? Ye undertakers, tell us,

'Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
Why is the principal conceal'd, for which
You make this mighty stir? 'Tis wisely done:
What would offend the eye in a good picture,

The painter casts discreetly into shades.

Proud lineage, now how little thou appear'st,

Below the envy of the private man !

Honour, that meddlesome, officious ill,

Pursues thee e'en to death; nor there stops short;
Strange persecution! when the grave itself
Is no protection from rude sufferance.

Absurd to think to over-reach the grave,
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours.
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame
Die fast away; only themselves die faster.
The far-fam'd sculptor, and the laurell'd bard,
(Those bold insurancers of deathless fame)
Supply their little feeble aids in vain.


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