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have legitimate limits. While religion regulates all that can be conducive to the rest of the departed, and permits the indulgence of a natural sorrow, it forbids every expression that proceeds from pride and vanity. Why, says St. Jerome (in vità Pauli,) ' does a desire for appearance, exist amid mourning and tears? why should the dead be clothed in sumptuous vestments? Cannot the rich rot away unless in the same gorgeous apparel that decorated them when alive ? Pompous funeral processions' adds St. Augustine, and expensive monuments, may, perhaps, console the living ; but they cannot be of any use to the dead ! Of what use to them are these idle distinctions ? exclaims St. Chrysostom. Their memory and their worth, and not their perishable remains, should be honoured. Since, then, ye wish to give departed friends rational and christianlike testimonies of esteem, love, and regret, do for them and for yourselves all that can contribute to the glory of God. If they were virtuous, be so also; if vicious, correct the mischief they have done, and continue whatever good intentions they may have assumed. It is by the virtues of their children that parents are honoured in the grave, and these are their only worthy and acceptable obsequies.

" These principles naturally lead us to ascertain what place then should be appropriated to the disposal of our departed brethren. The custom of praying for them probably induced the early Christians to deposit them near each other in the same ground; this was the origin

of cemeteries. St. Chrysostom informs us, (Hom. 84, in Matth.,) that cemeteries were not permitted in cities, because the presence or vicinity of the dead would not only contami. nate pure air, but incommode the inhabitants by the stench they would occasion. Nullum in civitate sepulchrum struitur. If such, says a Council, (Hom. 74,) is the privilege of cities, how evident it is that a church has a right to exclude interments from within her walls ! In the Council of Prague, burials in churches were forbidden, and the house of God was decreed to be open only to the relics of Apostles and Martyrs. Nemo Apostolorum vel Martyrum sedem humanis corporibus æstimet esse concessam (in the year 563, Can. 18). The bodies of even Emperors were only admitted to the porticoes or chapels of temples. Constantine himself, to whom the church was so much indebted and so grateful, asked no higher favour than to be buried under the portico of the Church of the Holy Apostles.

(Vide Eusebius, lib. 4, de vità Constantini, St. Chrysost., Hom. 26, in Corinth.) Martyrs and Confessors only were admitted ; because, as St. Ambrosius remarks, it was just that those who had been victims to their faith should be deposited near the altar where was offered the Sacrament of the sacrifice of their Divine Lord and Master.'

“Such was the primitive discipline in relation to interment; and what is more interesting in this statement, dearly beloved brethren, is, that legitimate exceptions have been used as pre

cedents for its infringement; so true it is, that the slightest compromise of a law leads finally to its destruction or total violation.

“ Those who, by an exemplary life, had acquired a reputation for holiness, were allowed to partake of the privilege of martyrs ; but this holiness was not as easily substantiated as the heroism of those who sealed their faith with their blood; and, as the numbers of the Christians increased, proofs became still more difficult and obscure. Indulgence was then used ; appearances soon assumed the place of reality, and equivocal signs of piety obtained prerogatives due only to genuine zeal.

“ The clergy, on account of their sacred functions, and the nobility, whom their high rank made more desirous to shun the dishonour or scandal of vice, claimed to be interred within the temple. Founders of churches became invested with the same right; and transient benefactors required the same reward for their donations. The descendants of both claimed, as a patrimony, that which had only been granted to individual merit. When the privilege was thus general, a refusal was an exception that threw an odium on the unsuccessful applicant. Where the admission of any one was a favour, none could be excluded who had any pretence to offer.

In the early ages, burial in churches had been expressly forbidden, or even inhumation, within cities. . But, by the gradual increase of a fatal condescension, the evil has arrived at a height that demands attention. Cemeteries, instead of being beyond our walls, are among our habitations, and spread a fetid odour even into the neighbouring houses. The very churches have become cemeteries.* The burial of Christians in an open place, set apart for the purpose, is considered a disgrace ; and neither the interruption of the holy offices, occasioned by the repeated interments, nor the smell of the earth, imbued with prutrescence, and so often moved, nor the indecent state of the pavement of our churches, which is not even as solid as the public street, nor our repugnance to consign to the house of the Lord the impure bodies of nien worn out with vice and crimes, can check the vanity of the great, whose empty titles and escutcheons must be hung on our pillars for the .sake of their empty distinctions, or of the commonalty, who must ape the great. Death, at least, should level all men; but its lessons are lost, and the dearest of interests, self-preservation, must yield to the reigning foible.

“ The progress of this evil, dearly beloved brethren, may be determined by the efforts of the Church to overcome it. Sometimes her prohibitions have been express; at other times they have been intended to restrict the favour to a few of the faithful. When she has permitted interment in the purlieus or porticoes of temples, it was to prevent it in the church itself ; when she has admitted all ecclesiastics, it is because they were presupposed to be all of

* Loca divino cultui mancipata ad offerandas hostias, cæmeteria, sive polyandria facta sunt. (†heodolph Auvel, Cap. 9.)

holy lives; when founders were favoured, and even benefactors, it was to exclude by such an exception all others. She permits exceptions without a view to their becoming hereditary, and tolerates unfounded rights to endow her ministers with greater power for the adoption of measures for the prevention of the evil effects of her former condescension.

“ The Gallican Church has shown much zeal in endeavouring to recall the ancient discipline upon this point; interment in churches is prohibited by almost every Council held in this kingdom; almost all our rituals and synodal statues forbid it ; and latterly, many Bishops, and particularly those of this province, have done their best to correct this abuse. *

“ But, without derogating from the respect due to their wisdom and their labours, may we not say, that this temporising plan has rendered their whole work useless ?

* The following French bishops and archbishops have, at the affixed dates, promulgated, in their sees, ordinances against interment in Towns or in Churches :- De Pericard, Bishop of Avranches, A.D., 1600; Le Commandeur, Bishop of St. Malo, A.D., 1620 ; De Matignon, Bishop of Lizieux, A.D., 1650 ; De la Guibourgère, first Bishop of La Rochelle, A.D., 1655; Vialart, Bishop of Chalons, A.D., 1661; Faur, Bishop of Amiens, A.D., 1662 ; D’E!beur, Bishop of Orleans, A.D., 1664; De Pavillon, Bishop of Aleth, A.D., 1670 ; Seven, Bishop of Cahors, A.D., 1673; De Villaserin, Bishop of Senez, A.D., 1672-3; Cardinal le Camus, Bishop of Grenoble, A.D., 1690 ; De Clermont, Bishop of Noyon, A.D., 1621 ; De Sillery, Bishop of Soissons, A.D., 1770; De Beson, Archbishop of Rouen, A.D., 1721; and the same year, the Bishop of Evreux and the Archbishop of Auch.

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