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tion or friend, and deeply to feel at heart when we look on every side in vain for the beloved object, whom we so lately met in every walk of duty, or usefulness, or pleasantness ;-if this be a weakness, it is the loveliest weakness which human nature owns, and is attended with so much of kindness, friendliness, and virtue, that he is more or less than man, who can forbear to love it. Yes! for ever graceful is the sympathy which ties heart to heart, and cherishes affection even when the object is gone : thence have issued all the sweet charities of life ; thence our most refined and delicate pleasures; and thence all those affections which polish and humanize our natures ; which expand the soul to every generous impulse, and, under the teaching of human trial, raise it at length above this world, and dispose it to all the wise and virtuous will of that God, on whom its last hope is fixed.
When we see the righteous removed from this life, whether those who are in the full exercise, or those who are putting forth the promise of good, it ought to offer itself to our thoughts that, in this very dispensation, Providence may have been most kind to them. We, who behold not in one unbroken view the present and the future, who are often moved by passion more than judgment, are liable to be deceived in our estimate of things, and may give the name of evil to events which if we were permitted to view them in all their extent, we should consider as the greatest good, and should refer to the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father. In some expressions of our sorrow for the dead, there is, I fear, a want both of enlightened piety and enlightened friendship. Our own loss we may be allowed to feel, and with submission to God to express it; but we should not lament for the dead with the same breath, perhaps, which expresses a perfect assurance of the good part which they have acted, and the most pleasing hopes of their acceptance with their. Maker. If this assurance, and these hopes, be well founded, the language of affection should be that of rejoicing at the exchange which they have made, in the probability of some impending evils from which the interposition of Providence may have rescued them. At any rate, with all our affection, we should preserve graceful deference to the divine wisdom and goodness. We look too much on the dark and mournfulside ; we brood over such mournful images as these, the pangs of sickness, the struggles of parting life, and the more agonizing struggles of parting friends, which, it must be confessed, leave a very painful impression on the memory ; but we turn not our eye enough to the bright and joyful side. For, if rightly viewed, what is there in the death of good men, that should make it so much, on their account, lamented ? How much more reason is there to envy those who have gone before, if envy were allowed to inhabit a virtuous and pious breast! What is it for them to die, but to do that, which all ought to wish to do, with their hopes ? What is it, but to lay down a load, which lies heavy indeed upon some, to be no more subject to the uncertain changes of life ; to the passions, the caprice, or the wickedness of men ; to the vain desires and vainer fears, which find a residence in our bosom, and hardly suffer one joy to come unmixed to us? Wedded ourselves too much to this world, we think that the friends, whom we have loved, had not tasted enough of it, had not reached its highest honours and rewards ; but a wiser Being orders to each of us our lot, and his wisdom ought to teach us all, that he who has spent his time and talents well, never goes too soon into the presence of his Maker, who has provided the other world for an asylum, the only abode of pure and constant happiness.
LOVE FOR THE DEAD.
there that the divine passion of the soul manifests its superiority to the instinctive impulse of mere animal attachment. The latter must be continually refreshed and kept alive by the presence of its object; but the love that is seated in the soul, can live on long remembrance. The mere inclinations of sense languish and decline with the charms which excited them, and turn with disgust from the dismal precincts of the tomb; but it is thence that truly spiritual affection rises purified from every sensual desire, and returns, like a holy flame, to illumine and sanctify the heart of the survivor. The sorrow for the dead is the only sorrow from which we refuse
to be divorced, Every other wound we seek to heal,-every other affliction to forget; but this wound we consider it as a duty to keep open,—this affliction we cherish and brood over in solitude. Where is the mother who would willingly forget the infant that perished like a blossom from her arms, though every recollection is a pang? Where is the child that would forget the most tender of parents, though to remember be but to lament? Who, even in the hour of agony, would forget the friend over whom he mourns? Who, even when the tomb is closing upon the remains of her he most loved ; when he feels his heart as it were crushed in the closing of its portals,-would accept of the consolation that must be brought by forgetfulness? No, the love which survives the tomb is one of the noblest attributes of the soul. If it has its woes, it has likewise its delights; and when the overwhelming burst of grief is calmed into the gentle tear of recollection, —when the sudden anguish and the convulsive agony over the present ruins of all that we most loved is softened away into pensive meditation on all that it was in the days of its loveliness,—who would root out such a sorrow from the heart? Though it may sometimes throw a passing cloud over the brightest hours of gaiety; or spread a deeper sadness over the hour of gloom; yet who would exchange it even for the song of pleasure, or the burst of revelry ? No, there is a voice from the tomb sweeter than song. There is a remembrance of the dead to which we turn even from the charms of the living. Oh, the grave! the grave! it buries every error, covers every defect, extinguishes every resentment! From its peaceful bosom spring none but fond regrets and tender recollections. Who can look down upon the grave even of an enemy, and not feel a compunctious throb, that he should ever have warred with the poor handful of earth that lies mouldering before him !
Aye! go to the grave of buried love, and there meditate! there settle the account with thy conscience for every past endearment unregarded of that departed being who can never, never return to be soothed by thy contrition! If thou art a child, and hast ever added a sorrow to the soul, or a furrow to the silvered brow of an affectionate parent: if thou art a husband, and hast ever caused the fond bosom that ventured its happiness in thy arms, to doubt one moment of thy kindness or thy truth ; if thou art a friend, and hast ever wronged in thought, word, or deed, the spirit that generously confided in thee; if thou art a lover, and hast ever given one unmerited pang to that true heart which now lies cold and still beneath thy feet; then be sure that every unkind look, every ungracious word, every ungentle action, will come thronging back upon thy memory, and knocking dolefully at thy soul; then be sure that thou wilt lie down sorrowing and repentant on the grave, and utter the unheard groan, and pour the unavailing tear; more deep, more bitter, because unheard and unavailing.
Then weave thy chaplet of flowers, and strew the beauties of nature about the grave; console thy broken spirit, if thou canst, with these tender yet