but dust, and to dust we shall return ;--that whether our remains are scattered to the corners of the earth, or gathered in sacred urns, there is a sure and certain hope of a resurrection of the body and a life everlasting.
These truths, sublime and glorious as they are, leave untouched the feelings of which I have spoken, or, rather, they impart to them a more enduring reality.
Dust as we are, the frail tenements which enclose our spirits but for a season, are dear, are inexpressibly dear to us. We derive solace, nay, pleasure, from the reflection, that when the hour of separation comes, these earthly remains will still retain the tender regard of those whom we leave behind;--that the spot, where they shall lie, will be remembered with a fond and soothing reverence ;--that our children will visit it in the midst of their sorrows; and our kindred in remote generations feel that a local inspiration hovers round it.
Let him speak, who has been on a pilgrimage of health to a foreign land.
Let him speak, who has watched at the couch of a dying friend, far from his chosen home.
Let him speak, who has committed to the bosom of the deep, with a sudden, startling plunge, the narrow shroud of some relative or companion.
Let such speak, and they will tell you, that there is nothing which wrings the heart of the dying,--aye, and of the surviving,--with sharper agony, than the thought, that they are to sleep their last sleep in the land of strangers, or in the unseen depths of the ocean.
“ Bury me not, I pray thee,” said the patriarch Jacob
, “bury me not in Egypt
: but I will lie with my fathers.
And thou shalt carry me out of Egypt
; and bury me in their burying-place.” --“There they buried Abraham ”