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of common bereavements and common sorrows . It would give an additional interest to the place aud the service ip which they had joined , while they were able to join them . It would keep the memory of the Holy Dead more green and fresh in our forgetful hearts ; aud make those hearts less worldly , by gently reminding us how often we had suffered the moss and mildew of the world to
obscure the inscriptions of departed love . With all this , it would recall what was good and amiable in their characte r * , and animate us ( God knows how much we staud in need of it ) to f go and do likewise , ' by deepening on us the impression of all that is ' lovely and pleasant' in life and in the grave .
** In fine , my brethren , a Commemoration of the Dead , like that of which I have been speaking , would both remind us that we are hastening where they are gone , and prepare us for an eternal union by the only means which can render that union eternal . It would remind us of the former ;—for , whether those we commemorate have fallen in * the dew of their
youth , ' or in * the sear and yellow leaf of their honoured age—in either case , their loss is a memento to the young ami the old , that they too must meet what is appointed to all . —It would prepare us for the latter ;—for there are few , if any , in whom the recollection of the lost does not awaken some emotions whicli may be improved into virtue The future appears a solemn thing indeed , when we thus look into it from the brink of the
grave ; ami the vanities of life appear most vain , when we think what they now are to those who have gone to their God . " Like the Passover of the Mosaic Institute , such a Festival of Sorrow , while it reminded us of the departed , would remind us also of the mercy by which our days have been prolonged . The
Destroying Angel , though he has so often * taken away the desire of our eyes with a stroke / has passed in mysterious forbearance over our own heads ; and we have heard but the sound of his arrows as they flew around us upon theiv fatal errand s * and the solemn rush of his cloudy wings in departing . But for what
my brethren , have we been permitted 10 survive them ? Is it chance alone , that determines who shall live or die ? Are death and life but the blanks aud prizes of a lottery—or does the Giver of Existence cut it short or prolong it , for reasons which we ' know not now , hut shall know hereafter * ? The latter , my brethren , is the dictate alike of u riper-
Art . II . —The Sunday Library . Edited by the Rev . T . F . Dibden , D . D . Vol . II . The first volume of this work was noticed in our February number . The sermons in the volume now before us
are by Bishops Porteus and Heber , and Revs , A . Alison , R . Morehead , Sydney Smith , &c . They deserve our commendation for sound sense and genuine piety , and there are very few sentences in the whole volume which require any modification of our approval .
Art . III . —Erroneous Vieics of Death Reproved ; with Suggestions towards their Removal . Reprinted from the American Christian Examiner . John Mardon . London .
1831 . This little Essay is not only very interesting , ( for what can be said about Death that is not interesting ?) but likely to be very useful . There are few things which it would be more difficult to justify than the prevailing tone of feeling of religious people about death , which is more considered as an end than a means , as a
resting-place than a transition , as a consummating event than as a temporary process . It would be no more absurd to concentrate the anticipations of a life of wedlock on the few minutes spent at the altar than to refer the thoughts and feelings relating to mortality as exclusively as many do to the act of exit from the present life . About no one condition of existence lias the imagination been so
unprofitably interested , about no event of human experience have so many shadows of superstition been huddled , at no turning-point of man ' s eternal course have so many bugbears been stationed , as here whence none return to tell us how idle are onr fears . There is much kindness hi exposing such folly ; not ouly because all dread is tormenting , but because that which must exceed the crisis is too momentous to justify our emotions being spent on the act which is of com-
340 Critical Notices . — Theological
verted Reason , and of « pure and und £ ~ filed Religion . ' r llie dead have been taken in wisdom ; and the living are left in mercy . They have been left , that a longer time may be given them for preparation for that state upon which all must enter . They have been left that , feeling the mercy which has spared them , they may better prepare to meet their God . *"—Pp . 15—18 .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1831, page 340, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2597/page/52/