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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,
O Death! where is thy sting?
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
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!
Of evil incapable thou,
From sorrow and sadness set free;
No longer a sinner, like me.
This languishing head is at rest,
Is heav'd by affliction no more:
It ceases to flutter and beat,
The lids he so seldom could close,
Have strangely forgotten to weep;
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!
What hast thou more to boast of? Will thy lovers
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 only mock whom they were meant to honour.
Above the vulgar born to rot in state.
But see! the well-plum'd hearse comes nodding on,
By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch
In glory scarce exceed. Great gluts of people
'Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
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;
Absurd to think to over-reach the grave,