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neither would our good works qualify us for future happiness, nor our evil deeds unqualify us for the same, and dispose us for mis ery. • Were I to dip into the labours of the earliest writers, next to the Apostles, of the Christian Church, who cheerfully shed their blood, and laid down their lives, for the testimony of Jesus and the resure rection, I might produce a cloud of witnesses, all tending to prove That the resurrection of the body is a fundamental article of the Christian Religion, and of such vast importance, that there could be no use for it at all, if the soul alone could be a complete man, and as such be perfectly happy without the body ; that, if God has called man to life, and a resurrection, he hath not called a part of him only, but the whole, which is both soul and body, as both these parts co-exist, and make up the same coMPOSITUM, and it would be absurd to save any one of them, and not the other also ; that man is flesh, the soul is the band of the flesh, and the flesh the receptacle of the soul; that it is man, as consisting of both soul and body, that must remain for ever, but it is impossible for this man to remain for ever, unless he rise again, as without a resurrection the nature of man as man cannot remain : and, that the soul by itself cannot be the man, which was only inserted into the body, after it had been formed by God, and had even already received the appellation of Man; and as little is the flesh without the soul Man, which, after the soul is departed from it, has the name of carcase only. “ This “ word Man, therefore, (say they) is, as it were, the band of two « substances intimately conjoined, under which designation they “ cannot come, but when thus united together.”
Having thus gone through the Patriarchal, the Judaical, the Heathen, and the Christian states, to make good my point ; let us now see, if the laws of our own country, and those of our sister nation, have ever taken this article under their consideration.
That acute lawyer and able judge, Lord Kaimes, in his excellent treatise, intitied, Statutes of Scots Law abridged, and printed at Edinburgh, 1757, has the following words, page 328. “ That no markets “ or fairs be held on holidays, nor within KIRKS OG KIRKYARDS, un“ der the pain of escheat of the goods.” And be it remarked here, that his Lordship is pleased to class this under the article of RELIGion, and refers to the particular laws or statutes enjoining the above, in the reigns of our James IV. and James VI.
We have the same law in England in very express and pointed terms, in the reign of Edward I. See Burn's Justice of the Peace, and Parish-officer, printed in the Savoy, 1758, pages 239, 240. And, I am persuaded, the learned in the law can easily produce statutes in other countries to the very same purpose. Such is the singular respect and veneration, shewn to the bodies of human creatures after death, among all people and nations whatsoever ; the position I have attempted to prove. · Seeing these things are so, it is truly disgusting to every serious person, who has any tolerable notions of decency, to see how nastily the kirks* are kept, and what profusion of contempt and profanation
is constantly poured forth upon them, and upon the kirk-yards and burying-grounds throughout Scotland. In the kirks one may gather dust and dirt in heaps, and the cobwebs are hanging about the people's ears like ragged curtains, as if they were to worship the Lord in the dirt and deformity of holiness. Some of them are so ruinous in the roofs, that the rain and snow have free access into them, and so open are they kept, that four-footed bcasts take shelter in them. I have seen a minister's house nearly finished and well slated, while the house of God hard by was meanly thatched with heath. A strange and preposterous contrast truly! This partial and scanda. lous preference called to my mind two texts of scripture, which might have rebuked the folly of the incumbent, if not the madness of the prophet ; but I am afraid, he was either not acquainted with these affecting passages of his Bible, or, if he ever read them, he has done it with a childish inattention. How mournfully does the royal David express himself on a like subject, in the following words? The King said unto Nathan the Prophet, see now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains...2 Sam. vii. 2. Another prophet of God keeps pace with the sweet singer of Isreal in these moving terms—Is it time for you, O ye! to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste ?....Hag. i. 4. But, to go on,
In very many parts of the country, kirk-yards and other buryinggrounds are not inclosed with any fence or wall; a want that ought by all means to be supplied, as they are openly exposed to every kind of defilement, by all kinds of cattle roaming and browsing upon them at pleasure : But, to see people driving their four-footed beasts, swine not excepted, into kirk-yards well walled in, to feed, and do every unseemly thing, on the graves of the dead, is an abuse, not more intolerable than common. I could name a kirk-yard, with high walls and strong gates, where the incumbent's horse, after a heavy rain, slumped into a green grave, as into a bog, till his feet touched the coffin ! What punishment should have been adjudged in this case, I will not take upon me to determine ; but I may venture to affirm with truth, that the Heathens would have inflicted a suitable chastisement upon the proprietor and his horse.
This torrent of abuse and profanation is a growing evil amongst us, unnoticed by most, if not all, and opposed by none, and proceeds from a false conceit and groundless opinion, that no part or por. tion of ground can be more sacred or holier than another. Let others think as they please; but, for my own part, I must bcg leave to think, that God always had, and will have, his holy grounds and holy places upon earth. Against this, I have heard some gravely, and others sneeringly argue : “ what holiness," say they, “ can there be in the lifeless stones of a kirk-wall, or in the dust of a kirk-yard ?" And this way of arguing receives no small countenance from the spreading infidelity that is so prevalent in Christendom, threatening to portend a general falling off, which God avcrt. As for those that call themselves Christians, and yet will argue thus, their Bible is open, all glory be to God, out of which they may be convinced of their error, if they please, in the plainest terms. But as to the fashionable infidels and free-thinkers, I refer them to the common
sense of mankind for their correction. There is a very great number of passages in the sacred oracles, clearly proving God to have his holy grounds and holy places upon earth ; out of which I shall select only a few: The place whereon thou standest is HOLY GROUND, says God Almighty himself....Exod. iii. 5. Josh. y. 15. Acts vii. 33. The high-priest entered into the HOLY PLACE every year....Heb. ix. 25. For the PLACE IS HOLY....Ezek. xlii. 13. in which verse we have HOLY CHAMBERS mentioned. And that such holy places could be defiled or polluted is plain from the two following quotations. And their HOLY PLACES shall be defiled.... Ezk. vii. 24. And hath polluted this HOLY PLACE....Acts xxi. 28. To all this our ever-blessed Lord and Saviour, God and Man, gave his sanction by cleansing the temple of the profanation of buying and selling practised in it.... Matth.xxi. 13. Mark. xi. 17. Luke xix. 46. and using these remarkable words; My house shall be called of ALL NATIONS the house of prayer ; but ye have made it a den of thieves. This expiating deed of our Saviour is reckoned by some pious writers as the most wonderful and surprizing of all his miracles; that one man, single and alone, though hated and despised at that very instant, should perform an action, which a numerous army could scarce have done.
In a word, none who have been at all conversant in the writings of the Old Testament, can be ignorant, what reverence was constantly paid, to the tabernacle first, and the temple afterwards; which last was set apart, and dedicated by Solomon, to the service of Almighty God, with the most awful and striking solemnity....1 Kings viii. 2 Chron. vi. Nor were these extraordinary regards any part of the vain superstition, to which the people of the Jews were so exceedingly prone ; but abundantly warranted, and even required, by the honours and titles given it by God himself. Accordingly we find it stiled * The tent which God had pitched among men, his sanctuary,
his dwelling, his courts and palace, his holy mountain, the high and · holy place inhabited by the High and Holy One, his presence, the place
which he had chosen out of all the earth to set his name there. Add 10 this, that the Apostle under the New Testament declares it to have been the figure of the heavens, and of that glorious seat not made with hands, where the glorious majesty of God more peculiarly resides. All which was shadowed by the ark of the covenant, by the mercy seat, by the Cherubim and glory. Nay, and (which is the last and highest pre-eminence due to it) this was also the type of God united to man, in the person of our Blessed Saviour; and so dwelling within the veil, that is, (as the inspired author to the Hebrews, interprets it, the flesh of Christ's human body....Heb. x. 20. Many more arguments might be brought to prove how justly the Jewish temple was named God's house and the house of prayer; but these I hope may suffice.
Now, whether the same appellations do not properly belong to those places also, which are set apart and now used by Christians, for their public worship of Almighty God, is, I humbly think, a point that admits of no doubt, but with those that are smitten with the fash
* Psal. Ixxviii, 60.–69. Psal. lxsxir. 1_10. Isa. lvi. 7. Ivü. 15. 2 Chron. xx. 9. Deut. xvi. 16. † Heb. ix,
ionable scepticism. For, that these also are houses of prayer, is erident from the original design and constant use of them. Besides, shall it be said, that the patriarchal dispensation and the Jewish Church, both which represented only a Saviour for to come, had their holy grounds and holy places, and that the Christian Church, which represents that inconceivable blessing of a Saviour already come, a dispensation as far preferable to the former ones as the substance is to the shadow, should not likewise, or the rather, have her holy grounds and holy places? The reasoning here is plain and obvious, and needs no illustration. Mean timo, I desire not to be mistaken. I attribute to these places no holiness inherent and essential, but such as is relative only; and due for the sake of their Owner and Inhabitant; and wnich was the holiness always meant in this respect. And therefore, allow me to say it, all aspersions and revilings, that charge such regard with idolatry or superstition, proceed either from great ignorance, or great perverseness.
Enslaved to the opinions of no man, of no party, I have delivered my mind freely, without reserve, though with pain and uneasiness ; for I have remarked several things, with a most unwilling eye and a trembling hand, resolved to pursue candour, even with an aching heart, when the pursuit of it may tend to the information and good of my countrymen ; for whose sake it is that I have put pen to paper, desiring no thanks, expecting no reward, but hoping for their hearty concurring endeavours in a common cause ; and, for this end, addressing myself not to this or the other corner of my country, but to all Scotland in general. Awed not by the great, nor dazzled by the rich, I desire to live unnoticed, to enjoy my beloved retirement, and lie snug in obscurity. If I can be so happy as to awaken my countrymen out of their present lethargy, and to rouse them to a due attention to guard the dust of their ancestors with vigilance and care, I have my aim. Shall Scotsmen tamely look on, and be cool spectators in seeing any one wantonly to disturb the ashes, and to lay open the graves, of their forefathers to every kind of abuse and pollution ? No; let it never be said; Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Ashkelon : lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph....2 Sam. i. 20. For we have our Philistines among us, men of widening and dissolute principles, libertinies and infidels, who give in to the old heresy of Sadduceism, which emboldens them to say, that there is no resur. rection, neither angel nor spirit.... Acts xxiii. 8. There are some who pamper the body with such a studicd care and anxiety, that one is almost tempted to think, that they look upon their dear body as immortal; and yet from their conduct to the dead bodies of others, it is plain, they value their own body, when dead, just as a man of arms values the old sheath of a bayonet, or the old scabbard of a sword. For ought I know, at present, I walk single and alone in this untrodden path ; but I hope, upon this representation to the public, to have numbers to join issue with me in so laudable an opposition to this growing evil. We are commanded, by one of the oldest and most sacred laws in the world, to honour our father and our mother, with a promise annexed. Let us not vainly imagine, that this strictly enjoined honour ceases with the lives of our parents. No; far from it. Where is the man who inures himself to any degree of wise thinking, that needs to be told, that a share of that honour, and a very large one too, must follow, and descend with, our parents into the grave ? the voice of nature, properly instructed, will tell us, that we ought to honour their memories, and revere their dust, as it is to be raised at last incorruptible, immortal, glorious : For,
Inspir'd men say, the memory of the just
* ** *
POETRY AN ODE FOR CHRISTMAS-DAY.
They mourn'd the unhappy deed. By Mrs. S. of New-Yersey. 7 . Divine compassion fillid the eternal
mind, AURORA ushers in the glorious day, And to the errors of his offspring That shot through realms of death
Redemption was decreed.
His sacred son, the darling of his soul, Celestial harbingers proclaim our hope
Offer'd to drink for man the bitter The Saviour'S BORN, and nature's
And suffer in his stead.
Adam for all his race the curse pro. Spirit of grace, before whose awful
But Christ the dreadful penalty The groves retire on Pindus’ lofty
· endur'd, height,
And bruis’d the serpent's head Breathe on my trembling lyre!
The Holy Spirit too, would undertake Smile on the humble offering of the To cure the deadly wound that sin poor,
should make, Brought not from pride's self-right.
And justice mercy crowir'd. eous store,
The sacred Three the amazing conBut waits thy kindling fire!
tract seal'd, If ever rapture on a theme divine, And every bright intelligence was With hallow'd incense rose from
fill'd human shrine,
With rev'rence most profound. To mix with seraph's lays;
Nor can the eternal plan of mystic If bands of Angels, and Arch-Angels,
\ By all the arts of hell abortive prove, Their golden harps to hail the infant
For numerous hearts shall yield;
And sad captivity be captive led,
Receive the gift by union with the Ages before this azure arch was
And all their griefs be heal'd. When on the gloomy void no form Now light, mankind, your hospitable appear’d,
fires, Of mountain's towering peak; And let the flame, such charity inOf grove, or plain, or river's winding spires, stream,
Like holy incense rise! Or sun, or star had cast a lucid More sweet than all the choicest frabeam,
grant gums, To cheer the dread opaque.
The Eastern sages mingled in perTh' Almighty Sire revolv'd the plan,
fumes, And caus'd the shadows of the state
A costly sacrifice! of man
Far in the East they saw an unknown To pass before his throne.
star', He saw them tempted-lose their Gild with superior light the hemisblissful state,
phere ; Deeply involved in woe ; but ah!
Led by the sparkling ray: too late,