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restoration? In what state are the altar and which can be found nowhere perfect but its screen, and the font? In many of our in the declarations and ministrations of the churches the altar-screens have either perished, gospel. To the Church, therefore, men or the original work is hidden or defaced, as we
are looking on each side to come forward have seen, by clumsy wood-work, or by paintings, “where sprawl the saints” of artists less and do for the country, what no statesman, skilful than “ Verrio or Laguerre;"-let such or Parliament, can hope of themselves to be carefully restored. In others of our churches, do—to infuse into the effete limbs of the the aliars ihemselves and fonts will be found in empire new life and vigour; to teach those a state of filth and decay disgraceful to us as to obey who are now disposed for anarchy; members of Christ's Church, professing to hold to fill those with love who are now hating; in reverence the sacraments which He has ordained, but wholly' regardless of the places of to give contentment to those who cannot
be-rich; and benevolence and charity to their celebration.'
the rich, who, if they can be brought to We have wished to let Mr Markland devote to religious and charitable purposes speak for himself, because a good man's only a portion of their wealth, may yet voice, whose acts are like his words, is preserve the remainder. never heard in vain. And without any effort at deep research, or philosophy, or και το μιν προ χρημάτων eloquence-even where a writer prefers,
κτησίων όκνος βαλών like Mr. Markland to speak rather in the
σφενδόνας απ’ είμέτρου,
ουκ έου πρόπας δόμος, , language of others than in his own, there
πημoνάς γέμων άγαν, is a secret charm in the very absence of oid? ¿TÓVTIGE oragos.-Agamemnon, v. 978. pretension, which cannot but tell upon a well-constituted mind.
And in looking round for the various reOur object is one, to which Mr. Mark- sources which may be made available to land himself would far rather that we this purpose, few present themselves as should devote the litile space which can be more obvious and more likely to be progiven to these observations than to any ductive than the one suggested by Mr. praise of himself. It is to carry on the Markland. good work which he has begun; and to As a better and higher spirit revives urge the same suggestion, that our sepul- among us, the questions must occur, espechral monuments should be shaped here- cially in those moments when the heart is after to some more appropriate and reli- most softened, and the truth of things most gious purpose than the mere commemora- vividly brought out by the presence of tion of a name by a mass of marble. death-what is the nature of death itself;
The time when this suggestion has been what the relations between the dead and thrown out is peculiarly appropriate to it. the living; what the proper destination of The eyes of the country have been opened sacred buildings; what language ought to to a sense of its spiritual destitution. With be used in them; and with what eye those this new sense (for new it is) has come a whom we commemorate would regard the deep conviction upon all classes, not merely honour which we pay them. We shall in the on those who view things religiously, but same proportion learn to think more of on the politician, the philosophical specu- others than of ourselves; more of truth lator, even on the worldly proprietor, to than of what the world will say on our own whom property is an idol, that unless some thriftiness or profusion ; more, in one great efforts are made to place once more word, of heaven than of earth; and then, over our dense masses of population some perhaps, we may be able to form a right more efficient teaching and guidance thạn conception and pure taste, as on an infinite the staff of a policeman, or even the bayo- variety of other subjects, so especially on net of a regiment, society must be disor- sepulchral monuments. ganized, and with this must come ruin
to Their history indeed is remarkable ; and every interest, worldly or unworldly alike. well deserves to be studied by a philoWe have learnt at last that this teaching sophical antiquarian, not merely to trace and guidance must be one of the heart, costumes, and define periods of archiand of the whole man; not merely of the tecture, but as a practical illustration of head, administered by doses in newspapers, the changes which have followed each and at Mechanics’ Institutes, but guaran- other in habits of thought and action, upon teed and enforced with all the authority the most important questions, and under which can be given to human words by a the most exciting circumstances of human divine commission, and by all good and life. It is a history of religion ; and in the holy appeals to human affections-appeals Christian period, a history of the Church ; an exhibition of prevailing thought and I cite, to the same effect, Origen, Eusebius, feeling, deliberately planned, contrived for Prudentius, St. Gregory of Nyssa, &c., &c. perpetuity, permitted under the sanction of
Perhaps no form or place of sepalture the Church, and so intimately connected could be imagined harmonizing more comwith the saddest realities of life, that either pletely with true reason and the spirit of affectation and hypocrisy must be consid- the Gospel than those vast catacombs, ered excluded, or, if admitted, must betray stretching in every direction under the city a state of mind completely wedded to falsi- of Rome, on the illustration of which so
Mr. Markland has already enlarged much pains have been bestowed. Originhis original memoir to the Oxford Archi- ally excavated, it is probable, by the worktectural Society. He might find a very ex- ers of pozzolana, they offered a natural tensive and interesting field for still further refuge from persecution both for living researches, by prosecuting them in this Christians and for dead. Their long nardirection; and we will venture to offer a row galleries stretching in every direction, few questions and suggestions ourselves. and scooped out into a low-arched laby
It is no slight change of circumstances, rinth, afforded on each side receptacles for nothing perhaps short of the whole Christ- the dead in cells, ranging one above the ian revelation, which was implied either other, in sizes fitted to the body, and closed directly or indirectly in the first great afterwards with brick-work and mortar. change from cremation to interment, which Within these the body itself lay, wrapped marked the rise of Christianity. How either in folds of linen and covered with deeply must an entirely new system of be- perfumes, or dressed in its richest robes lief have sunk into the popular mind, be- a vase to hold either the blood of the marfore it could have borne an alteration in tyr, or lustral water, embedded in mortar those practices relating to the dead, to at the side-leaves of evergreen laurel or which it clings with the deepest supersti- ivy (not cypress) strewed under them; the tion! What a revolution of thought in instruments of martyrdom (if they died regard to the relations in which the body martyrs) entombed with them, such as nails, stands to the soul; and in which relations forceps, leaden bullets, axe or cross; someare comprised so much of past revealed times the name engraved within the tomb; knowledge, so much of elevated and self- sometimes a leaden tablet with an account disciplining moral teaching, so much of of their martyrdom, and on the exterior faith in a future resurrection, so many the sign of the cross, the mystical symbol miraculous facts, on which that faith must of the name of Christ, or some other Chrisrest! •Execrantur rogos,' says Minucius, tian emblem, engraved or painted, as the
et damnant ignium sepulturas.' Coupled palm branch, the dove, the fish, the anchor, with this, Christianity retained the two or the crown. A bronze lamp suspended principal, and seemingly contradictory sen- from the arch betokened the belief in imtiments, which the human mind has always mortality. And if the heathen sarcophaassociated with its mortal remains. It gus was retained, its sides were charged honoured, and yet dreaded and almost with sculptures of our Lord, the apostles, loathed them, as if the strange combination or scenes and characters from Scriptures, of a blessing and a curse were visible in such as the history of Jonah, the ascens natural death, as it was supposed to exist sion of Elijah, the sacrifice of Abraham, in the case of sacrificed victims; which Moses striking the rock, or the Israelites were, in the eyes of the heathens and of passing the Red Sea—all typical of some the Jews, both consecrated and polluted. boly doctrine connected th the resurrecThus the early Christians, while they tion of the dead. The same is to be obburied their dead out of their sight, lavish- served of the paintings which decorate the ed on them many marks of veneration and ceilings of the vaults or oratories. And affection.
the reverence shown to the dead is seen in
another little instance, which must shame · Tertullian says, that though Christians in his those who in modern days have the mantime abstained from sumptuous and effeminate agement of our cemeteries. They never decorations and applications to their persons piled body upon body. when living, yet they bestowed on their dead the most choice and expensive spices, perfumes,
• Illud haud silentio prætereundum est,' says odours, drugs, and ointments: they were also the author of Roma Subterranea, quod'invioembalmed and entombed with great magnifi- labili consuetudine a Christianis receptum sercence.'— Apol. 1, 42, 34.
vatumque fuisse novimus, ut dum tumuli de
functorum corpora locarentur, si forte aliquando We quote from Gough—who goes on to I plura eodem monumento cadavera reponi con
tingeret, haud unquam unum alteri superponere., reason to suppose, have been scattered tur, sed unumquodque ad latus adjacentis con- about by the hands of convicts.* In 1552, sisteret.'-Lib. i., chap. 26.
the tomb of William the Conqueror was 31 And the rule was subsequently confirmed opened at Caen. In 1562, the Calvinists
, , by ecclesiastical councils.
when, among other acts, the ring was stolen These expressions, however, of natural from her finger. Edward the Coufessor's piety soon passed into a desire less rational, body was exposed in James Il's reign ; The efforts made to honour the dead, and Canute's in 1766, in repairing Winchester to spare the survivors perhaps from the cathedral ; Sebert's, king of the East Ansight of the painful work of corruption, gles, in Henry III.'s reign. In Charles easily lapsed into an endeavour to prevent il's reign, that of William Rufus. In corruption altogether : an endeavour not 1770. Edward L’s, in Westminster Abbey, only futile, but leading to much that is in- in order to ascertain the meaning of the consistent with the true reverence due to renewal of the cere about his body, for the mortal remains of our brethren, and which frequent orders were given. The with a just view of Christian doctrine in remains of our Saxon kings, removed from regard to death
their places of rest, lie in boxes on the side To these efforts to save the body from screens of the choir of Winchester cathecorruption we seem to owe the rise of our
dral, and not even these have been safe first sepulchral monnments. It was natural from prying eyes; but not many years in the first place to mark the place where sincet were allowed to be examined by they lay, that their remains might not be Edmund Cartwright, Esq., of the York disturbed;
and on a similar principle, those militia, to whom, with two other gentlewho could afford it, in a spirit far from men of the regiment, the then Dean of thoroughly Christian, instead of permitting Winchester gave permission to open any the bones to mingle in the natural course tombs in the c.thedral, provided it was of decay,— earth with earth, ashes with done with privacy and decency, and under ashes, dust with dust,'—-would make inef- the direction of the mason of the chapfectual attempts to save them from the ter !!! Edward IV., and Elizabeth more loathsome circumstances of death, or Woodville, his wife ; Catherine, wife of at least to delay the approach of them. Henry V.; Queen Catherine Parr, at SudeHence the adoption of the stone coffin, ley, under circumstances most revolting which has been the germ of all our
Christ- and shocking; and King Charles I., within ian sepulchral memorials; and perhaps the last few years, have all been disturbed the very fact that these coffins were acces in their graves ; not to speak of King John, sible only to the wealthier classes would in Worcester cathedral, of whom it is in itself imply a defective principle. In
added:the death which levels all, all should be equal; and artificial distinctions here, of
One man stole a finger-bone, and sent it up whatever kind, founded on mere wealth, to London 10 be tipped with silver, and refused can scarcely be consistent with truth or a large sum
for it; but afterwards lost it on the reason. That there is something errone- road. Mr. Thompson of Worcester—the name ous in this vain contest against the laws of ought to be perpetuated—took some of the maguniversal decay, in this struggle to main- gots to bait his angling-rod; but it was three tain a property in our crumbling frame, days before a fish would bite, and when he drew even when all has departed that made its out a dạce he carried it in triumph through the
be possession and command valuable, may be inferred even from the practical difficulties bolala
Our ancestors, under the influence of connected with it, which have been so a corrupted and corrupting form of Chriselaborately discussed in Lord Stowell's tianity, did, indeed, at times lay open the jndgment on the subject of iron coffins.
remains of those whom they accounted And its futility must be impressed strong. saints; but it was with reverence, to honly on the minds of those who turn over the our and enshrine them more nobly than pages of the Archæologia,' and other an- before ; not to carry off a bone to lie in a tiquarian works, when they read of the dis- cabinet of curiosities, or a lock of hair, as turbed graves, and the prying, inhuman, we have seen ourselves, from King Charles unchristian curiosity, which, under the I., to be handed about in a lady's drawingpretence of science or of historical accuracy, has violated so often the last receptacles of the dead. Alfred's bones, de
* See Archæologia, vol. xiii., p. 310.
+ See Gough, vol. ii., p. 337. posited in Hyde Abbey, there is every # Bee Green's History of Worcester.
room; or to taste the liquor of embalm., much more is necessary than the mere inment, or to pry into some singularity of closure of the body in wood; and the dress or usage-to be recorded at the next whole question is altered. meeting of the Antiquarian Society-with- With the prevalence of this Egyptian out a thought of the curses which the wise contest against decay, we may trace the and good of all ages have denounced on rise also of the superstitious legends rethe violators of graves.
specting the remains of the martyrs. For But to return. Abroad, to the present a body to be found undecayed was in itself day, coffins are rarely used. “The lower assumed as a sufficient evidence of sanctity; classes of society even in this country,' says and we little know how many of the worst Cotman, following Gough,* up to the time features of Popery in the worship of relics of Elizabeth, had no other coffin than the and the multiplication of false miracles, and winding-sheet.' In
many old country the adoration of saints, may be traced to churches might lately be seen a wooden the unreasonable indulgence of that human box, ridged, with one or two lids, which weakness which shrinks from becoming a was used as a bier to inclose and carry out prey to the worm, and from thus paying the the poor dead; and though such a seem- last debt of its sinful mortality. ing disrespect would be most painful in If there is anything sound in these views, the present day, if it were confined to the the first corruption in our church sepulpoor, it may be questioned whether the chral monuments must be looked for in the simple depositing of the body in conse- use of stone coffins. They were first crated ground, with proper security against formed of different blocks. Subsequently its being disturbed, but without unnatural they were hollowed out of a single stone; attempts to prevent it mingling with its sometimes with a circular cavity for the native earth, may not be the most proper head; and sunk but slightly beneath the form of sepulture:
surface of the ground. It was a natural
accompaniment to set upon the lid some The Barons of Roslin,' says Father Hay, mark to describe who lay beneath, in * were buried of old in their armour, without rude inscription or carving but little relievany coffin, and the late Roslin, my goodfather ed. (or father-in-law), grandfather to the preseat Roslin, was the first buried in a coffin, against • Effigies,' says Mr. Stothard,* ' are rarely to the sentiments of King James VII., then in be met with in England before the middle of Scotland, and several other persons well versed the thirteenth century; a circumstance not to in antiquiiy, 10 whom my mother Jean Spotes. be attributed to the causes generally assigned, wood, grandmother of Archbishop Spoteswuod, which were either that they had been destroyed, would not hearken, ihinking it beggarly to be or that the unsettled state of the times did not buried in that manner. The great expense she offer sufficient encouragement for erecting such was at in burying, her husband occasioned the memorials; but it rather appears not to have sumptuary acts which were made in the follow. been before become the practice to represent the ing parliament.'-Grose's Scotland, p. 47. (See deceased. If it had been otherwise, for what also Lay of Last Minstrel, vi. 23, and Note.) reason do we not find effigies over the tombs of
William the Conqueror, his son William Rufus, And Sir John Moore did not repose less or his daughter Gundrada, (nor, it may be honourably, because
added, of his wife, Matilda, or his daughter Ce
cilia, at Caen)? Yet, after a time, it is an unNo useless coffin enclosed his breast, doubled fact that the alteration introduced by
Nor in sheet nor in shroud they bound him, the Normans was the addition of the figure of But he lay like a warrior taking his rest, the person deceased; and then it appeared not With his martial cloak around him.'
in the bold style of the later Norman monu
ments, but partaking of the character and low It is assumed, of course, that no fright- relief of those tombs it was about to supersede. ful accumulations of interment would be of these, and of the few perhaps that were excrowded into a narrow space, such as are ecuted, Roger, Bishop of Sarum, is the only now found in our metropolitan cemeteries specimen in good preservation. —and that no burials would lake place in tury the coffin-shape entirely disappears
, and the
* About the beginning of the fourteenth cenchurches, or under circumstances which effigy is represented in full reliet may render it necessary to guard against infection and disease.f In these cases In this individualizing tendency, perhaps, • Biasses, Introduction.
we may find the source of the second great † We trust, froin the appearance of a recent blue corruption of our tombs. Christianity canbuol, that the next session of parliament will pro- not regard death except as the Church reduce an Act, most necessary and far too long delayed, on this important, but, in its details, most painful and disgusting subject.
Monumental Remains, p. 4.
gards it; and the Church cannot regard the individual dead beyond what was legithe dead any more than the living, as in- timate in the exercise of private affection, dividuals, unless they are especially marked soon led to a third great corruption. The out for honour by holding some divine stone coffin, from being sunk in the ground, commission, or by possessing some worthy rose up above the surface, sometimes plain, spiritual claim to be singled out for com- sometimes with the lid more or less elabomemoration. The whole body, not any rately sculptured, and sometimes with a separate limb, should be the object of the ridge, or dos d'âne, probably to throw off Christian contemplation. Everything which the moisture to preserve it from decay; confers a solemn and venerable character and simultaneous with this movement the on the general Christian cemetery or place historian of religion will trace the rise of of rest (rolynemprov), as the last common home that worship of relics, and worship of the and receptacle of all our perishable bodies, dead, and belief in the miracles worked at
where the small and the great lie together, particular tombs, which amounted in the and the servant is free from his master,' is end almost to a belief in sorcery. Iostead consistent with the spirit of the Gospel, and of fixing the attention on the real spot in therefore with truth, and therefore with the consecrated building, where daily good taste. But it may be doubted spiritual miracles and spiritual cures were whether the still retaining our individual to be sought, the busy, sensualized, morbid distinctions beyond the house of death, curiosity for forbidden converse with the except in some rare instances, is not akin dead, which, mixed with fear and superstito the same false and dangerous tendency, tion, is so common to human nature, was which in the gradual growth of Popery taken advantage of to draw the vulgar drew minds from contemplating the whole mind from the altar to the tomb. The body of the Church to particular teachers shrine of the supposed saint or martyr was and founders of sects; and from the whole venerated and loaded with gifts, while the body of the elect departed to the medita- table of the Lord was neglected ; and the tion of particular saints. Place an English- very first principle of Christian piety toman on the field of Waterloo by one of wards the dead was violated by disturbing those spots where he knows that hundreds the holiest remains, exposing them to sight of his countrymen are buried, who died in all their decay, and even trafficking with fighting for their country; and his thoughts them for money. To bury our dead out will be fixed on a grand social spectacle, of our sight' is a great law of true religious elevating and refining them by its abstrac- feeling. Nature, which has made death a tion from all selfish tendencies. Let a loathsome and a fearful sight, and even thousand widows and orphans stand there natural love which would not willingly mourning over the separate graves, each of belold the corruption of that which we their own kinsman; and domestic feelings venerate, would throw a veil over the last and affections may indeed be roused, but sad process of mortal decay; and anything the greater lesson of patriotism will be lost which obtrudes it too closely upon our and forgotten. There is, then, no longer to senses must be bad. If this is irue, the be read in death the great maxim of social raised tombs in which the bodies were life on which the wisest politicians have deposited above the surface* of the ground known that the safety of their countries are a solecism in propriety. They became depended-a maxim as true and as neces a greater solecism, when, by the operation sary in the Church as in the State that of the spirit above alluded to, and by the the individual is far more concerned in the natural tendency of the fancy to substitute welfare of society than society in the wel. a sensible magical operation for natural fare of the individual :-walūs pin yip Depóperos causes, or for secret spiritual influence, the ανήρ το καθ' εαυτόν διαφθειρομένης της πατρίδος ουδέν | tomb became a centre for devotion and a ήσσον ξυναπολλυται, κακατυχών δε εν ειτυχούση πολλώ μάλλον διασωζέται.* And thus individual memorials over graves, except under parti. . The examination of several royal tombs has cular circumstances, where they have shown that this was originally their destination; rendered great services to society, and as body to be interred and buried in the choir of our Christians to the society of Christians, the college al Westminster; and there to be made and Church, may properly be avoided.
set, as soon as conveniently may be done after our One false principle admitted, others will decease, by our executors, at our costs and charges
, soon follow; and the principle of retaining tomb for our bones to rest in, with a fair grate about before the eyes of the living the memory of it, in which we will that the bones and body of our
Queen Jane be put also.'-Fuller's Church History, * Thucyd. lib. ii. c. 60.
b. V., p. 244.