Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

the Bible which others had read to her, and went away by herself to ponder them over. “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,” Mary often heard from the sacred volume. “But I do not love Him,” she said to herself; I do not know how to love Him; neither do I love my neighbour as myself. I love my sister best of all. Did erer any body love God with all their heart, and their neighbours as themselves? Did God really mean so ?

She was required to be “ Christ's faithful servant and soldier, and fight manfully under his banner. This amazed her greatly. “I am sure I do not fight, neither do I know what to fight against," thought she. Mary asked many questions upon these perplexing subjects, but she was bid not to trouble herself upon such matters. “ The Bible is not as strict as it seems to be," they said. This eased her for a little while ; but Mary was seeking after her Saviour, and could not be long put off. It was | forgotten by Mary's friends, that as children sin, and do often bitterly feel the weight of their ill-desert, they must seek forgiveness and peace through Him “who was bruised for our transgressions, and by whose stripes we are healed.”

When Mary was nearly seven, a pious servant girl came into the family, who, minding her serious turn, sometimes spoke to her upon those subjects dearest to Mary's heart. As soon as this was known, she was sent away ; but she left some little books behind, which the child hid away and read. Mary said, “If I could only be a Methodist, I should be sure of Salvation.” Thus she thought, until she read the little books; when she found it was not joining any particular people that could save her, but it was believing in Jesus Christ. Still, the way seemed very, very dark. Looking one day over Foxe's Book of Martyrs, she said “I wish a Papist would come and burn me, then, perhaps, I might be safe ; for it is easier to burn than to believe.” “O,” she cried, being greatly burdened, “ what can it be to know my sins forgiven, and to have faith in Jesus? If it were to die a martyr, I could do it ; or to give away all I have, or, when I grow up to become a servant, that would be easy; but I shall never

[ocr errors]

know how to believe;" and the little girl was filled with grief and apprehension. Then the words of the hymn,

“Who on Jesus relies, without money or price,

The pearl of forgiveness and holiness buys," came to her mind, and the Holy Spirit opened her eyes to behold, and her heart to embrace its precious truth.

Rely on Jesus ! I do, I will rely on Jesus.” She cried aloud. “I will trust Him, take Him as my Saviour, and God counts me righteous for what he has done and suffered ; and he has forgiven all my sins for His sake.” Joy and gratitude filled her bosom. Before, every thing seemed easier than to believe ; now, the way of believing seemed easier than anything else. Thus the light of the glorious Gospel broke upon Mary's mind ; and she became a devoted and Christian woman.

Children, are you not sometimes burdened on account of your sins? It is not resolving to do right, or resolving to pray, or resolving to read your Bible, or wishing or hoping, that will take away the burden ; it trusting Jesus Christ; he will wash

your
sins

away.

THE NIGHTINGALE.
SWEETLY singing nightingale,
Thou dost cheer the lonely night;
When the sun is sunk to rest,
When the busy world is quiet ;
Perch'd upon some lofty tree,
Pouring forth sweet melody.
Floating on the midnight breeze,
Dulcet notes in silent night;
Ravishing beyond compare,
Do thy own sweet self delight;
May not mortal hear from thee
Songs of such rich melody.
Other songsters tune their lays,
And one mighty chorus raise
In the glorious light of day;
And the great eternal praise
When they rest, and all is quiet,
Thou dost praise him in the night.

W.I.

[graphic][merged small]

By some bar

DIFFERENT methods of disposing of the dead bodies of mankind have been employed by various nations, and the lapse of time has produced great changes as to the customs of nations, as to the disposal of their dead. y barians, their dead are left exposed to be devoured by beasts, birds, or insects, which feed on carrion, if not previously reduced by decomposition to earth. Most nations, however, from the earliest periods, have regarded it as a sacred duty to respectfully dispose of the remains of their deceased relatives and friends.

The two methods most commonly practised by the ancients, were those of cremation and inhumation. Cremation is the act of burning a dead body ; inhumation is burying the dead in a grave or sepulchre.

We read, in the first book of Samuel, that the bodies of Saul and of his sons were burnt at Jabesh-gilead, and their bones were buried there under a tree. It was not, however, the general practice of the Jews to burn the bodies of their dead. The more general practice was to embalm them, and to

put them in graves dug in the ground, or in sepulchres cut in the rock, or otherwise made.

The ancient Greeks and Romans generally, but not universally, burned the bodies of their dead. This practice also formerly prevailed among the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, and other nations; and among the Hindus, until very recently, it has been the common practice to burn the dead body of a husband, with the living body of his wife, bound and placed upon the pile of wood, to be consumed by fire. The practice of thus burning widows has been suppressed in British India—but we suppose that the burning of the dead is continued. In some countries, it has been the custom-after burning the body—to collect its ashes, and put them into urns, of various degrees of costliness, according to the rank or wealth of the deceased, and to deposit the urns in some place of safety.

Burying in graves, dug in the earth, is the mode of disposing of the dead which has been most generally adopted from the earliest ages. In most civilized countries burial-grounds are provided. Almost every parish has a burial-ground; generally the parish churchyard is used for interments; and the clergyman of the parish has the legal right to conduct the funeral service therein, and to prohibit any other person, than such as he shall permit, from conducting the service--and it is unlawful for

any

but ministers of the Established Church to conduct any religious service in, what is termed, a consecrated ground. This is a great injustice, for, generally, parochial burialgrounds are provided by means of a tax levied on all the householders in the parish—and the parishioners ought to have the right to have the services of their own ministers at the time of the interment of their dead. What is termed the rite of consecrating the ground is a mere popish relic and absurdity. Recent acts of parliament provide, that upon the formation of new Metropolitan parochial burialgrounds, part of the ground shall be left unconsecrated, and in the unconsecrated port dissenters from the Establishment may have their own ministers to conduct funeral services. We would recommend all our friends who have the

opportunity, to avail themselves of the liberty thus afforded them, and when they bury their dead, have the funeral service conducted by their own ministers. Too long have the clergy of the Established Church been allowed to assume the exclusive right to conduct the religious services at the marriages and the interments of dissenters.

Within a few years, many public cemeteries have been provided, in which provision is made for the interment of dissenters, and for the conduct of the religious service by dissenting ministers. The religious services at funerals cannot be any way beneficial to the dead, but they may be useful to the living. At the grave of a departed relative or friend, the mind is prepared to receive impression from the teachings of God's word, and devotional exercises ; and funeral services properly conducted are therefore likely to produce beneficial results.

Affection towards the deceased prompts the desire to give to the bodies of our relatives and friends decent interment -to place their remains where they may rest undisturbed. Affection also excites the desire to raise some memorial to their memory. Hence those who can afford the expense, usually provide a grave-stone, which they inscribe to the memory of the deceased. Another most simple and yet expressive mode of manifesting affection for the deceased, is that of planting evergreens or flowers on their graves. This has very extensively been practised. The Greeks ornamented their dead with a chaplet of

and carried flowers in their funeral processions. The Romans strewed and planted roses on the graves of their friends. In many countries it is now usual to adorn graves with various plants and flowers. In Germany and Switzerland, the practice of thus adorning graves is very

and some of the burial-grounds there have a very beautiful appearance. We are told that the usual fashion in Germany and Switzerland is, to erect at the grave, wood or iron ornaments in the manner described in our engraving, and to these, sometimes, bunches of flowers are attached. Evergreens and flowers are also planted round the graves, and frequently flowers are strewed

fowers;

common ;

« AnteriorContinuar »