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When lam dead, then bury me in the sefiulchre, wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.— 1. Kings xiii. 28, 29, 30, 31.
The impious Jehu, though he had given orders for the casting down of Jezebel, out of her own window, into the street, and had trampled her under foot with his horses, yet he likewise gives orders to go and take care of the body of this cursed woman, and to see it decently buried, as she mas a King's daughter. She was also the wife and the mother of a King, which perhaps moved him to have this regard to her remains, as all men naturally have to royal dignity. And he said, throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sfirinkled on the wall, and cm the horses; and he trod her underfoot. And when he.was come in, he did eat and drink, and said go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her; for she is a King's daughter.—.2. Kings, ix. 33, 34.
The Hebrews looked upon the lying neglected, without any interment, as a great judgement, which is a thing very well known, and can be established by many proofs ; but let one suffice from Solomon, the wisest of Kings and men, and made so by experience. He pronounces, that an abortive, which came into the world before its time, is not so despicable as that man, who, though he enjoys some of the greatest worldly blessings, such as a numerous offspring, and such firm health, that he lives to a great age, and the days of his years be abundantly sufficient, insomuch that he cannot reasonably expect, or desire more, yet is deprived of a decent funeral. If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his yearn be many, and his soul be not fiiled with good, and also that he have no burial, I say, that an untimely birth is better than he.—Eccles. vi. 3
Let us here awaken our attention, and seriously consider the punishment denounced by God himself against that idolatrous and oppressive King, Jehoiakim, a punishment that could not take place till after his decease. Therefore, thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, King of Judah, they shall not lament for him, saying, ah, my brother, or, ah, sister: they shall not lament for him saying, ah, lord, or, ah, his glory. He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn, and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem.—Jer. xxii. 18. 19.
Our modern free-thinkers may, if they please, deride such a punishment as this, and count it of no concern, or signification, to the party deceased, because the body is quite insensible, and cannot feel what is done to it after death. But it is plain from this, and other parts of scripture, that what the body suffers after death, although it be insensible, is not an indifferent thing to the person it belongs to. It appears from many passages in holy writ, and was consonant to the sentiments of heathen antiquity, that mourning and lamentation for the death of friends, as well as decent funerals, was not only a custom agreeable to the dictates both of reason and religion; but that the want of such funeral rites and mourning, was accounted some diminution, at least, of the deceased person's repose and happiness, if not real disquiet. That this was agreeable to the heathen theolagy shall be made evident in its proper place. But the passages in scripture, besides this, now under consideration, are very numerous and express, where the want of burial, when threatened, or inflicted, is represented as a curse and heavy judgment; which it could not be to the deceased, if the departed spirit were not sensible of, nay, were it not deeply affected with, the indignity shewn to the body.
To good men, indeed, this could be no grief, because they know, whatever the body suffers in life, or after death, it will be raised In glory. But the wicked, who have not that hope, cannot but look on the contempt, or indignities, offered to their bodies, as the earnest, or prelude, of those sufferings, which their bodies also shall be consigned to, when they are raised again at the last day. Besides, as Ml sense of the body, and root of perception, is in the soul, who knows what immediate sensation the soul hath of the insults, or injuries, offered to its body, even after death, and after all its organs of sense are broken and destroyed?
It is worth our remarking here, that this same denunciation is repented by the same prophet with a variety of expressions; and therefore, methinks it well becomes any one to insist upon it still a little more, particularly in imitation of so laudable and divine an example, with some variety of expression, in order, if possible, to make it have the deeper impression upon the minds of rational embodied creatures.
In chapter xxxvi. ver. 30, we have these alarming words offered to our meditation. Therefore, thus saith the Lord, of Jehoiakim, King of Judah, he shall have none to sit ujwn the throne of David, and Ms dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. Allow me here to express myself with some degree of emotion. Alas! that those who call themselves Christians, and believe their Bible to be the word of God, can read the very plainest and most open texts in it, and yet not make the necessary and obvious reflections from them. For, if we reflect with any degree of attention, on these repeated threatenings of God against Jehoiakim for his impious malice to God's written word, that /«'» body should be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost, that is, be deprived of burial; or, as above expressed, (chap- xxii.) be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem, without any lamentation for him, or the least funeral solemnity; we may be assured, that the treatment our bodies shall meet with, after death, is not so indifferent a thing, as our modern sceptics pretend. Cast it, say they, where you please; a ditch, a dunghill, a grave; it matters not. But here God himself denounces this very case, as a judgment, which should befall this wicked King, for one of the most enormous crimes, the cutting in pieces the roll, which conveyed God's message to him, and burning it in the fire, ver. 23: that after his decease, his body should be deprived of burial, and lie exposed to the heat by day, and to the frost by night. It is true, as already observed, the body, when dead, is not sensible of such indignities; but what must necessarily be inferred,
is, that the sou!, in which existed all the principles of life and sense,survives the body, and consequently is affected with whatever is inflicted upon it, when it comes as a judgment from God; it being an earnest of those future torments, which it shall be doomed to undergo after its resurrection. The soul, which, in life, had placed its chief happiness in the pleasures and gratifications of sense, and knows it must be united to the body again, cannot but look on these beginnings of sorrow, and tokens of divine vengeance against it, with infinite horror and concern.
As for any indignities offered to the body after death, if they happen in the cause^'pf God, and for his sake, it is not to be doubted "but that it will be rather cause of joy to the soul; because a blessing is promised to all that suffer, and are persecuted for righteousness sake; and that therefore, when this corruptible shall have Jiut on incorrufition, and this mortal shall have jnit on immortality, the body shall receive a greater and more exceeding weight of glory, for whatever it shall have endured for the sake of God and his truth.
It may teach us also the reverence that is due to all human bodies when dead, especially of Christians; whose bodies were dedicated in baptism to God, and were made the temples of the Holy Ghost j 1. Cor. iii. 16, 17; vi. 19, so that they are no longer ours, but his who purchased them with his blood, and sanctified them with his spirit. Whosoever, therefore, defiles these temples, while living, by sins of uncleanness, or, after death shall abuse them, by any indignity, or contemptuous usage, him shall God destroy. 'Tis a most heinous sacrilege, a profanation, which nature itself abhors, and the word of God most evidently condemns. We may therefore, most assuredly conclude,-that such sentiments as too many now-adays express in contempt of the body, when deceased, are not only rash and inconsiderate, but highly impious, and no small mark of infidelity, and a profane spirit. [To be continued.']
THE GRAVE. On thy dear lap these limbs rcclin'd
THERE is a calm forthosc who weep, Shall gently moulder into thee;
A rest for weary pilgrims found; Nor leave one wretched trace behind, They softly lie, and sweetly sleep, Resembling me.
Low in the ground. Hark! a strange sound ailrighU my, The storm that wrecks the wintcrsky, car,
No more disturbs their deep repose My pulse, my brain runs wild ; I rave;
Than summer ev'ning>s latest sigh, Ali! who art thou, whose voice I hear? That shuts the rose. "I am the grave.
I long to lay this painful head The grave, that never spake before,
And aching heart, beneath the soil, Hathfound at length atongue to chide i
To slumber in the dreamless bed, O listen! I will speak no more;
From all my toil. Be silent, pride!
For mis'ry stole mc at my birth, Art thou a wretch, of hope forkSta
And cast me helpless on the wild j The victim of consuming care»
1 perish:—Oh, mv mother earth! Is thy distracted- conscience torn
Take home thy child. By fell dispair?
Do foul misdeeds of former times
Murder thy rest >.
Lash'd by the- furies of the mind,
By all the terrors in the tomb,
By death and hell!
I charge thee, live!—repent and pray,
And sin no more.
Art thou a mourner? Hastthouknown
And tranquil nights!
O live! and deeply cherish still
For peace at last.
Art thou a Wanderer? Hast thou seen
Though long of winds and waves the
sport, Condemn'd in wretchedness to roam Live! thou shalt reach a sheltering
A quiet home.
To FrienMip didst thou trust thy fame,
A surer blow?
Live! and repine not o'er his loss,
For friendship's gold.
Go seek that treasure seldom found Of power the fiercest griefs to calm, r And sooth the bosom's deepest wound With heavenly balm. In woman hast thou plac'd thy bliss, And did the fair one faithless prove, Hath she betray'd thee with a kiss
And sold thy love?
Live 1 'twas a false bewildering fire,
A nobler flame shall warm thy breast,
Whate'crthylot, whoe'er thou be,
The hand of God.
A bruised reed he will not break j
Humbled beneath his mighty hand,
Pursue thy flight.
There is a calm for those who weep,
The soul, of origin divine,
The sun is but a spark of fire,
Shall never die."
THE ASCENSION, TR»M CALVARY, A POEM
BY RICHARD CUMBERLAND.
WHEN lo! ascending from the
mount he saw Christ in a cloud of 'glory on the wings Of mighty Cherubim upborne in air High soaring, to this orb terraqueous
bound. Seen over-head diminish'd to a point, Dim and opake amid the blue serene: His raiment, whiter than the new-bom
light Struck out of chaos by the Maker's
hand In earnest of creation, sparkling blaz'd In its swift motion and with fiery track Mark'd his ascent to earth ,• the host
of Saints With joyful loud hosannasfill'd the air: Glory to God on high, was all their
On the earth, good-will to all man- With their last breath to be baptiz'd
kind? and live;
Meanwhile the Arch-angel Gabriel, So shall the seed be waterM and in
who yet kept crease,
His tutelary station on the mount, Till all the Gentilenations shall come in
So bidd'n of Christ, with arm out- And dwell bcneathe its branches ever
streth'd and voice more.
Commanding silence, thus the Saints Now are '.ie gates of everlasting life
Set open to mankind, and when the
bespake. Now is your resurrection sure, your
high The ensign of redemption; now he
soars Up to yon pendant world, that darkling
Captain of their salvation, shall have livM
His promis'd term on earth.and thence to heav'n
Ascending seat himself at God's right hand,
Then shall the Holy Ghost the Comforter
Rush like a mighty wind upon the hearts
Of his inspired apostles j tongucsof fire
Which in the boundless empyrean Ami languages untaught they shall refloats ceive
Pois'd on its whirling axle; there be To speak with boldness the revealed
And took your mortal body, there he Enduring all things for the Gospel's
died sake j
And for your sakes endur'd the pain- Troubled on every side yet not dii
ful cross, tress'd,
Giving his blood a ransom for your Perplex'd but not surrender'd to des
Thither he goes to re-assume his flesh; Afflicted not forsaken they shall be,
There, when his angel ministers have Cast down but not destroyed, knowing
op'd that God,
The sealed sepulchre, he shall come Who raised the Lord Jesua from the
And shew himself resurgent from the Them also into life through him will
To those whom he hath sanctified and And that the light affliction of tint
To be his witnesses in all the world, Which is but for a mom cnt, soon shall And of his resurrection after death be
Their faithful evidence to seal with O'erpaid by a far more exceeding
Of martyrs and apostles, warning men Of glory, eternal in the life to come.
TROM THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
OBSERVED AT JERUSALEM ON &OOD-FBIDAT.
PREVIOUS to the description of the ceremonies of the holy sepulchre, it may be necessary for the reader to form some idea of the Church.
The Church of the holy sepulchre is founded on Mount Calvary, •which is a small eminence or hill upon the greater mount Moriah, and is about a hundred paces long, and sixty wide. The builders of this