Why do we not make it a more efficient instrument to elevate Ambition, to stimulate Genius, and to dignify Learning?
Why do we not connect it indissolubly with associations, which charm us in Nature and engross us in Art?
Why do we not dispel from it that unlovely gloom, from which our hearts turn as from a darkness that ensnares, and a horror that appalls our thoughts?
To many, nay, to most of the heathen, the burying-place was the end of all things.
They indulged no hope, at least no solid hope, of any future intercourse or re-union with their friends.
The farewell at the grave was a long, an everlasting farewell.
At the moment, when they breathed it, it brought to their hearts a startling sense of their own wretchedness.
Yet, when the first tumults of anguish were passed, they visited the spot, and strewed flowers, and garlands, and crowns around it, to assuage their grief, and nourish their piety.
They delighted to make it the abode of the varying beauties of Nature; to give it attractions, which should invite the busy and the thoughtful, and yet, at the same time, afford ample scope for the secret indulgence of sorrow.
Why should not Christians imitate such examples?
They have far nobler motives to cultivate moral sentiments and sensibilities; to make cheerful the pathways to the grave; to combine with deep meditations on human mortality the sublime consolations of religion.
We know, indeed, as they did of old, that “man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.”
But that home is not an everlasting home; and the mourners may not weep as those, who are