honour among beings who are passing away from before us, and from whom we, too, are passing away! Alas ! how is all this anxious toil mocked by that field of death which we are now contemplating in imagination, and into which we must, in no long time, enter in reality? Does not the stillness, which here meets us, teach us to advance with temperate ardour into pursuits which must soon so entirely close ;-and instead of occupying all our lofty faculties, in the gratification of passions, whose vehemence and unbridled impetuosity is only so awfully contrasted with that deep repose which finally awaits them,-is it not meet, that, from the quiet of this scene, we should rather carry into the business and enjoyments of life somewhat of the chastised and sober spirit which now steals over us, and while we return into the world from the contemplation of the sepulchre, with the necessary sentiments of those who are still engaged in the interest of human existence, yet, that we should return, at the same time, with the composed temper of men who know that they are shortly doomed to quit that world for ever ?

11. If this is the first reflection which rises' upon

amid the stillness of the tomb, if we there behold every thing that is earthly, inevitably returning to earth-a second, far more animating and delightful prospect, seems to open amid the gloom which surrounds us. AU the glories of time, indeed, for ever perishhigh lineage, elevated station, wealth, power, transitory renown; but is there nothing, my brethren, that survives? and when we sit down by the grave of the Honoured Dead, is there nothing in which they still seem to live and to hold communion with us? Yes! they still live in their Virtues and Good Name! Every thing, besides, is gone, and vanished! All the distinctions and splendours that dazzled us in their lives, are now eternally overwhelmed under the black earth which covers them, and the dark garments, in which we are shrouded, tell us that all our transient glories, too, must in like manner, be for ever obscured! But even to the untaught eye of Nature, how often does a light of celestial beauty seem to rest upon the tomb !—the light, perhaps, of infant innocence, still purer than when it left us--of youthful generosity and love, now freed from all earthly


seduction of mature wisdom and virtue no longer stained by any human deviation ; or of tranquil old age, finding at last its secure haven, and lying down in the night of the grave, with the firm expectation of a brighter morning! No! it is not in that world which breathes and moves around us, that we can ever fix our eyes on the perfection of our nature ! All is there mingled and distorted by the impurity and the weakness of mortal affections. It is from the silent world beneath our feet that the real Excellencies of Man speak to us in their truest grandeur, and with their most prevailing eloquence. They are, in that dark region, all that we love to contemplate, and we see them, separated from every distracting shade, and coming before us in the full divinity of their beauty.-Can there be a stronger intimation in what the true character of our lives and affections ought, here, principally to consist ? Only one species of honour outlives our mortal lives-only one description of disposition and conduct calls down tears and blessings upon our tombs. All our other labours, enjoyments, and honours, are lost in the dark ocean of oblivion; but our labours of duty gild the grave--the wisdom, the piety,

the unblemished purity of our course, these, my brethren, will remain to us, and these are all that can at last remain even to the Possessors of Thrones!

III. This consideration naturally leads us, in the third place, to a still higher contemplation. The light of Virtue has, in all ages, beeri connected in the mind of thought and sensibility, with the light of Immortality; and in the very depth of the gloom of death, the soul of the wise has been accustomed to anticipate its restoration. The more prostrate, indeed, our seeming fall, the more that all the glories and distinctions of time seem to be mocked at in their overthrow; the more steadily do we fix our prophetic eye on the higher glories which are to be hereafter!

What are earthly sceptres and crowns to the innate dignity of the Human Soul, and what ought to become of them, but to be trodden down in the dust from which the unchained Spirit is set free, clothed with those graces and virtues which aspire to an immortal throne? This is even the feeling of uninstructed nature, and it rises from the deepest chambers of death, wherever the spirits of the departed righteous seem to be bursting their barriers. But to us, my brethren, there is, moreover, one like unto the Son of God, who appears walking through the gloom of that thick darkness. There was, we know, a Sepulchre opened by the hand of angels, and the Divine Form which arose from it, now seems to us, ever to be sitting by the tomb of the righteous.

-This is the season which recalls to us that great humility in which He came to visit us, and there is, perhaps, a congruity, that, in the same season, we should be called to contemplate the utmost humiliation of man—the fall from a throne into the grave—the highest honours of mortal existence swept from before us, and blotted out in the dust. But why are we summoned to this spectacle of “ glory obscured,”—but that we may see Him, who descended from a much greater height, than any from which man can fall—now reigning in that kingdom of death which he has won for his own-holding in His eternal hands “ the keys of hell and of death,” and calling us to raise our eyes from the fading pageants of time to the “ white robes and palms,” which shall be the portion of those faithful spirits which have " come out of great

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