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the Saviour, of which He said “Do this in remembrance of me !”

It was natural that a change of circumstances so sudden, and so elevating to the seedling church, should bring with it a corresponding change of action and conduct. The cemeteries were for a time no longer the scene of prayer and praise. The less obscure and the lofty temples became the abodes of the faithful and the honoured of to-day were the despised of yesterday. The martyrs and saints of Christianity were entombed in the very shrines and thrones of the fallen Deities : " and it is not matter of great surprise if, in the vigour and enthusiasm of a new and true religion, it was considered a mark of supreme honour to be interred near those whose names were venerated and respected. All wished to be sure of occupying, after death, the very places in which these holy persons had addressed their prayers to God; and they even extended their confidence so far as to believe, that emanations from the bodies of the saints were capable of warming the hearts of the faithful, and conveying to them those happy impressions which dispose to fervour and piety.”*

Notwithstanding this, to be interred within the precincts of the temple was an honour not easily obtained; and it is related that its first recipient was the Emperor Constantine, whom, with much difficulty, his son obtained leave to bury in the vestibule of the Temple of the Holy

* “Gatherings from Grave Yards" by Mr. G. A. Walker.

Apostles, which the Emperor had himself erected; and “St. Chrysostom endeavoured to impress his hearers with the extent and importance of the privilege, by stating, that the greatest prince of the earth regarded it as a new lustre to his supreme dignity."*

But a few years passed away before the faithful, driven by the Emperor Constans (son of Constantine) from the churches, were again glad to seek the retirement and seclusion of their woodland temples, and the cemeteries became a second time the scene of their devotional exercises.

It would not be uninteresting, nor perhaps unprofitable, to detail the successive changes which occurred in the laws and practices ecclesiastical, upon the subject of cemetery interment; but both the limits and special object of this work prevent any indulgence of the kind.

I cannot, however, avoid the opportunity of inserting the truly Christian ordinance issued by Stephen Charles, Archbishop of Toulouse, to the Clergy and Laity of his Diocese, in reprobation of the practice of interment in cities and churches. The ordinance contains a general historical account of the admonitions of the Fathers and Decrees of the Church upon the subject; and the whole argument, clothed as it is with a Christian eloquence seldom exceeded, is too appropriate to our present subject to warrant its being withheld from the reader.

*“Gatherings from Grave Yards,” by G. A. Walker.



Stephen Charles de Lomenie de Brienne, by the grace of God, and the Holy Apostolic See, Archbishop of Toulouse, Councillor of the King, &c., to all Ecclesiastics, secular or regular, and to all the Laity of this Diocese, sends greeting and blessing

“ Whereas the venerable Provost and Clergy of our metropolitan church have represented to us that, in violation of the holy canons, interments in that church have increased exceedingly, and that the air is sensibly contaminated by fetid exhalations from vaults, which are not deep, and are continually re-opened for the admission of fresh bodies

“ Similar complaints have been transmitted to us from several parts of this Diocese ; and although we have deferred any notice till now, yet our dearly beloved brethren need not accuse us of neglect, delay, or indifference in this important affair. Wise ordinances require much time for consideration, and should be offered to minds prepared to receive them. Measures too prompt might have proved revolting to your sensibilities, or you might have thought such restrictions of your privileges sufficient, as had been already enforced by vanity, or to which custom lent a justification. To secure your docility and compliance, it was necessary that your eyes should be opened to your danger by repeated accidents, sudden deaths, and frequent epidemics. It was necessary that your own

for an

wishes, impelled by sad experience, should compel our interference; and that the excess of the evil should call, in a manner, excess of precautionary measures.

“ Believe not, dearly beloved brethren, that our solicitude and anxious care for the public health is the only motive that induces us to break silence. Snch is the harmony always existing between religion and sound policy, that what is acknowledged as decorous and useful by the one, is also commanded and prescribed by the other. To the instinct of self-preservation, which calls loudly for a reformation of the present system of burial, we may add the commands of God, which direct us to be careful of our lives, that we may serve him and prepare for a happy eternity; and the orders of the church, which have always reprobated as a profanation the general admission of the dead within consecrated walls, and in places held sacred; and the dictates of our Christian duties, which require an assiduous attendance at the temple, all pretexts and pretences to the contrary notwithstanding. May our subsequent details and remarks enlighten your piety without enfeebling it'; and, without impairing the respect due to the memory of the dead, confound that inconsistent vanity which follows them even into the

grave. “ This respect is a natural sentiment in


* Hæc porro dico, non ut sepulturum tollam, absit ; sed ut lurum et intempestivam ambitionem succidam. St. Chrys. Hom. 84, in Joann.

every stage of society : and depraved, indeed, must those be that do not feel it. No social ties could unite us, if death were able instantly to extinguish affection in the hearts of survivors. He who feels no emotion of grief or pity beside the grave of a fellow-being, could have borne no love to that being during life.

We respect,' says St. Augustine, every trifle that reminds us of a beloved object; the ring or the dress worn by a father, are dear to his children.' How, then, can we other than respect the ashes of those who were dear to us ; or how other than endeavour to prolong the existence of their frail remains ? De Civitate Dei, Cap. 13.

“Religion renders this natural respect stronger, because it informs us, that, between the happiness of the just and the punishment of the reprobate, there is a middle state for those

who die well disposed, but have not yet satisfied divine justice ; and that it is a holy and useful practice to pray for the dead, that their sins may be forgiven : (2 Maccab. xii. 46:) a sweet and precious doctrine to the dying sinner, and affording also to the afflicted, who have lost companions, friends, or relatives, the consoling task of contributing to their happiness by prayer.

" It would, then, be an infraction of every law, as say St. Augustine and Origenus, to neglect the burial of the dead as if they were mere brutes ; or to throw away bodies that have been the abodes of rational souls and temples of the Holy Ghost. But these duties

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