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those whose greatest honor would have been never (o have been remembered; and while we are forced to admit that the genius of poetry has been prostituted 10 eulogize those whose good deeds were never heard of till the epitaph told the ' lying tale ;' yet would we not, on account of these abuses, destroy a custom which has its foundation in feelings most honorable to human nature.
While we have been thus enabled to trace the origin of funeral and sepulchral honors to the very nature of the human mind, it cannot be of much importance to ascertain their origin as to the exact period when they were first instituted. They are probably coexistent with the race of man. We learn, however, from the remotest antiquity, that it was customary to keep from the polluting touch ol strangers, the hallowed remains of the deceased. As early as the days of Abraham, we find that the patriarch purchased a spot of ground exclusively for himself and family, and we see his descendants travelling from the remote land of Egypt to inter their dead in the cave of Machpelah. Indeed the Jews, a people peculiar in everything, were in nothing more so, than in the riles of sepulture. No people, perhaps, derived more apparent and no doubt real consolation, than the Hebrews, from the reflexion that they would go down to the grave in peace, and sleep with their fathers. To be laid in the tomb in which reposed the bodies of their ancestors, often formed a part of their dying request; and this request was always granted and religiously complied with. The request of Jacob was of a peculiarly interesting character. Jehovah had promised the Israelites a deliverance from Egyptian bondage, and to give them the land of Canaan for 'an everlasting possession.' When Jacob was on his death bed, he thus addressed his weeping family: 'And he charged them and said unto them, 1 am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite, for a possession of a burying place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein, was Irom the children of Heth. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his
feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.' We can scarcely fail of noticing the particularity of this request, and of observing, at the same time, the anxious desire of being buried with his fatner, a desire which seemed to be nearest his heart amidst the agonies of dissolving nature. The knowledge of the importance which the Jews attached to the rites of sepulture, is not of inconsiderable utility in our perusal of the Scriptures. When we read the threatenings of the prophets and of our Saviour, that those unbelieving generations should be cast into Gehenna, and their bodies exposed openly to corruption, a prey to worms and fire, the casual reader sees nothing terrible in this, without transferring the scene to another world and spiritualizing the subject. He thinks ' it is a small thing' for a dead body to be thus exposed, since it is beyond the power of feeling. But the Jew did not reason thus. To him the idea of bis bones bleaching in the valley, or his carcass being thrown promiscuously among the ignoble and malefactors, and left there to be devoured by worms or consumed by fire, was one at which every prejudice of his nature revolted. We doubt whether the common threatening of hell-fire affects the Christian with sensations so painful as the punishment of Gehenna did the Jew. Let it not then be imagined that this was an idle threat which would be treated with impunity. On the Jew it would exert a powerful influence, and he would be as solicitous to shun it, as a citizen of this country would be to escape the gallows. The expectation of a shamrjul and ig*nomininus death cannot be anticipated with stoic indifference.
If we turn to the Egyptians, we shall see their care and attention to the dead particularly striking. Their ingenuity in embalming the body, to keep the corporeal frame from decay, is too familiar to every reader, to demand further notice; and the lofty pyramids, the most durable of the works of man, raise their summits above the sands of the Lybian deserts, merely to serve as habitations and memorials for the dead.
Among the Greeks and Romans, nations which, in the zenith of their power, held the highest rank in intellectual attainments, and whose orators and poets will live as long as civilization shall find a resting-place on earth, the funeral rites held a distinguished place in their civil institutions. In Homer, we find particular accounts of the funeral honors paid to the shades of departed heroes; and the Mantuan bard represents his hero, iEneas, as instituting games in memory of his deceased parent.
Among the savage tribes of the forest, the same customs are ever prevalent. Over this extensive continent, where once has reigned a powerful nation, but whose original inhabitants have passed off the stage of existence, and in the changes of time have scarcely left a name behind them, — we still find the sepulchral mounds, which have thus perpetuated the memorials of a race, whose very existence would have shared the oblivion in which their origin, character and history are involved.
While so general an attention has been paid by all nations to the rites of sepulture, we must present a few observations in respect to their utility. They make a salutary and forcible appeal to the living. How much more instructive is the example of the good, and how much more impressive the lesson afforded us by the bad, when the public are called upon to attend the obsequies of the departed with the accustomed ceremonies, than if they were silently to disappear from among us, and we could with difficulty realize that they were gone! Who has ever followed in the train of mourners to 'the house appointed for all living,' the remains of a great and good man,— who has witnessed the tear glistening in every eye, — who has seen the tribute thus paid by a whole community to virtue, and not felt his own best resolutions strengthened and confirmed? The monumental stone, which gratitude and affection place over his remains, is something more than outward show. When the hero, covered with the colors under which he has added to his country's glory, is accompanied to his restingplace with all the insignia of war, who has not seen the spark of martial ardor kindle in the eye of his companions in arms? Who can say how many have been inspired to deeds of greatness, among the names which adorn the annals of England's glory, by the contemplation of the heroes, statesmen and philosophers, whose remains are deposited within the walls of Westminster Abbey? We allow that the sable robes, the nodding plumes, the solemn dirge, the crowd of attendants, and all the accompaniments of departed greatness, can afford but little solace to those whose wounded hearts would rather seek for solitude, as more congenial with the desolation that reigns within; but every mark of regret and sorrow which nature dictates, seems to be a duty not only sanctioned by the world, but a suitable expression of public feeling. Even those who discard every mark of outward mourning, and place no monumental stone, or sepulchral urn over the ashes of the dead, still raise the verdant hillock to remind the traveller that he steps on ground sacred to the departed; and tradition will hand down, what the marble refuses to the wishes of the heart. Man is surrounded by all the pleasures and gaieties of the world, and it can be neither useless nor superstitious to pause for a few moments while the solemn procession passes, which is to remind him of his mortality. Let then the monument rise to the memory of departed worth; and while we cherish and foster the good who are with us, let us not forget the virtues of those who have left us.
c. F. L. r.
Jerusalem, and the Places adjacent.
1. The Modern Traveller. A popular Description, Geographical, Historical and Topographical, of the various countries of the Globe. Vol. I. Palestine.
2. Calinet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible, as published by the late Mr. Charles Taylor, with the Fragments incorporated, &c. &c. Revised, with large Additions, By Edward Robinson, be. etc. Art. Jerusalem.
S. Palestine, or the Holy Land; from the earliest period to the present time. By the Rev. Michael Russell, LL. D., &c. (Edinburgh Cabinet Library.)
We shall attempt, in this article, to present our readers with a view of the Holy City, and of the objects in its immediate neighborhood. Aside from the interest which every christian must be supposed to feel in that spot, of all the earth the most sacred to his imagination, it is of no little advantage in reading the Scriptures, to be able to enter familiarly into the localities and appearances to which they refer. He who can place himself, as it were, in the midst of the theatre where the most striking scenes in revelation were transacted, will find that the gospel narrative grows more intelligible to him, and more impressive, assuming an additional air of real life. Notwithstanding the obstacles to research that have for ages surrounded Jerusalem, we are now furnished with so many and so particular descriptions of it by different travellers, that there arc few cities, perhaps, in the old world, of which we can gain a more distinct idea, through the medium of books. The Turk, indeed, reigns there, suspicious and forbidding; the cunning, cruel Arab of the desert lurks without the walls, to rob or missacre the unprotected pilgrim. Hut the attraction of the place has been too strong for difficulty or danger; and the enterprize of scientific and missionary adventurers has at length succeeded, by degrees, in exploring almost every inch of the ground, and has even penetrated into the forbidden recesses of the Mosque of Omar. With the helps which they have amply furnished, we wish to introduce our readers to the surrounding prospect, to lead them inio the city, and to the several spots of peculiar interest; and though our description cannot equal, in precision and vividness, the effect of a series of good pictures, yet we hope to render the view interesting as well as intelligible. It may be proper to mention that our authorities are, for the most part, taken at second hand. Nearly all of them may be found collected with apparent faithfulness, in the popular works quoted at the head of this sketch. When, however, we have occasion to draw from other sources, we shall confine ourselves to the original testimony of eye-witnesses.
The Modern City. Jerusalem is, at the present day, an oblong square, nearly regular, except at the southeastern part, where it is suddenly contracted, leaving a wide deficiency at that corner. The length, from north to south, may be reckoned at about a mile; the breadth, from east to west, about half the length ; and the circumference of the walls, two and a half or three miles. Such are the size and shape of the city. It covers a rocky limestone hill, with steep descents and deep vallies on every side but the north, and encompassed, at a little distance, with other hills of a moderate height. These form a sort of amphitheatre around, whose sides are in most places barren and of a dull yellowish hue, or a stony gray. In the midst of this dreary scene, but somewhat to the east of the centre, stands the low rugged eminence crowned with the walls and domes of Jerusalem. 'Were a person,' says Mr. Jolliffe, 'carried blindfold from England, and placed in the centre of Jerusalem, or on any of the hills which overlook the city, nothing, perhaps, would exceed his astonishment on the sudden removal of the bandage. From the centre of the neighboring elevations, he would see a wild, rug