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public customs. Something is to be given to custom, something to fame, to nature, and to civilities, and to the honour of the deceased friends; for that man is esteemed to die miserable, for whom no friend or relative sheds a tear, or pays

It certainly is true that this is no new song of the poets. Bacon (whether truly or not is the question) says,-Knowledge mitigates the fear of death; for, if a man be deeply imbued with the contemplation of mortality and the corruptible nature of all things, he will easily concur with Epictetus, who went forth one day, and saw a woman weeping for her pitcher of earth that was broken; and went forth the next day, and saw a woman weeping for her son that was dead; and therefore said, 'Heri vidi fragilem frangi; hodie vidi mortalem mori.' And therefore Virgil did excellently and profoundly couple the knowledge of causes and the conquest of all fears as concomitant:

Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum

Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari!

If any of my readers is desirous to discover the portion of truth and of error which these opinions of poets and philosophers contain, it is necessary to proceed with caution, and separately to examine the different causes which compose the painful associations with which death is accompanied: consisting, as it does, of a complication of terrors, aiding each other and becoming formidable by their united operation, let him read Tucker's valuable Essay on Death, in vol. vii. of his admirable work on the Light of Nature: and let him remember that Lord Bacon, in his Doctrine of all the Motions in Nature, says, 'The political motion is that by which the parts of a body are restrained from their own immediate appetites or tendencies, to unite in such a state as may preserve the existence of the whole body. Thus, the spirit, which exists in all living bodies, keeps all the parts in due subjection; when it escapes, the body decomposes, or the similar

a solemn sigh. Some showers sprinkled upon my grave would do well and comely.

But that which is to be faulted in this particular is, when the grief is immoderate and unreasonable and Paula Romana deserved to have felt the weight of St. Hierom's severe reproof,


parts unite as metals rust, fluids turn sour: and in animals, when the spirit which held the parts together escapes, all things are dissolved and return to their own natures or principles the oily parts to themselves, the aqueous to themselves, &c. upon which necessarily ensues that confusion of parts, observable in putrefaction.' So true it is, that in nature all is beauty! that notwithstanding our partial views, and distressing associations, the forms of death, misshapen as we suppose them, are but the tendencies to union in similar


In this spirit was the inscription written which is now on the monument of Lord Bacon. He died in the year 1626; and, according to his wish, is buried in the same grave with his mother. Near to him lies his faithful secretary; and although only a few letters of his name, scarcely legible, can now be traced, he will ever be remembered for his affectionate attachment to his master and friend. Upon the monument which he raised to Lord Bacon, who appears, sitting in deep but tranquil thought, he has inscribed this epitaph :

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Is not decomposition, in the sight of omniscience, as beau

tiful as union?

when at the death of every of her children she almost wept herself into her grave.*

And it hath been observed, that those greater and stormy passions do so spend the whole stock of grief, that they presently admit a comfort and contrary affection; while a sorrow that is even and temperate goes on to its period with expectation and the distances of a just time. The Ephesian woman that the soldier told of in Petronius was the talk of all the town, and the rarest example of a dear affection to her husband. She descended with the corpse into the vault, and there being attended with her maiden resolved to weep to death, or die with famine or a distempered sorrow from which resolution, nor his nor her friends, nor the reverence of the principal citizens, who used the intreaties of their charity

Ought we in our grief for the loss of each other, to murmur at the order of nature, at the dispensations of Providence, or ought we to remember that

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Who leave their parents for the calm of heaven.

I know well

That they who love their friends most tenderly
Still bear their loss the best. There is in love
A consecrated power, that seems to wake
Only at the touch of death from its repose,
In the profoundest depths of thinking souls,
Superior to the outward signs of grief,
Sighing or tears,—when these have past away,
It rises calm and beautiful, like the moon,
Saddening the solemn night, yet with that sadness
Mingling the breath of undisturbed peace.


and their power, could persuade her. But a soldier that watched seven dead bodies hanging upon trees just over against this monument, crept in, and a while stared upon the silent and comely disorders of the sorrow: and having let the wonder awhile breathe out at each other's eyes, at last he fetched his supper and a bottle of wine, with purpose to eat and drink, and still to feed himself with that sad prettiness. His pity and first draught of wine made him bold and curious to try if the maid would drink; who, having many hours since felt her resolution faint as her wearied body, took his kindness, and the light returned into her eyes, and danced like boys in a festival: and fearing least the pertinaciousness of her mistress' sorrows should cause her evil to revert, or her shame to approach, assayed whether she would endure to hear an argument to persuade her to drink and live. The violent passion had laid all her spirits in wildness and dissolution, and the maid found them willing to be gathered into order at the arrest of any new object, being weary of the first, of which like leeches they had sucked their fill till they fell down and burst. The weeping woman took her cordial, and was not angry with her maid, and heard the soldier talk. And he was so pleased with the change, that he, who at first loved the silence of the sorrow, was more in love with the musick of her returning voice, especially which himself had strung and put in tune: and the man began to talk amorously, and the woman's weak head and heart were soon possessed

with a little wine, and grew gay, and talked, and fell in love; and that very night, in the morning of her passion, in the grave of her husband, in the pomps of mourning, and in her funeral garments, married her new and stranger guest."



PRAYER can obtain every thing, it can open the windows of heaven, and shut the gates of hell; it can put a holy constraint upon God, and detain an angel till he leave a blessing; it can open the treasures of rain, and soften the iron ribs of rocks, till they melt into tears and a flowing river: prayer can unclasp the girdles of the north, saying to a mountain of ice, Be thou removed hence, and cast into the bottom of the sea; it can arrest the sun in the midst of his course, and send the swiftwinged winds upon our errand; and all those strange things, and secret decrees, and unrevealed transactions which are above the clouds, and far beyond the regions of the stars, shall combine in ministry and advantages for the praying man.†


As the sun sends forth a benign and gentle influence on the seed of plants, that it may invite forth the active and plastick power from its recess

• Holy Dying.

+ Worthy Communicant.

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