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were erected to their memory at the public expense. Slaves and the very poor were buried in an open common outside the Esquiline gate.

For some three or four hundred years after Christ, the Christian churches forbade the interment of their members within. cities. But in the eighth century, Gregory the Great introduced the practice of burying near the walls and doors of religious edifices, alleging that the frequent sight of graves by the worshipers would recall the virtues of the deceased, and lead to more frequent prayers in their behalf. Then superstition crept in, esteeming it a great privilege to lie near the bones of favorite saints. It is broadly hinted that the wily ecclesiastics fostered this notion, since every such interment enriched their treasury. Moreover, these priests dealt in ready cash, threatening excommunication if payment were long delayed. In reference to this matter, Mr. Flagg quotes from Dr. Brazer, as follows:

"It appears that from the foundation of the city of Rome, until the beginning of the fourth century of the Christian era, no burials were permitted within the city, or in any temple or church. That it was permitted to Constantine, about the year 300, to be buried near a church, that is, in the atrium or porch, and that in the subsequent part of the fourth, and during the course of the fifth century, the privilege, so called, was granted sparingly to some distinguished persons. That in the sixth century, the practice began of admitting the people to burial in the church-yard but not in the church; and also of allowing some eminent or favored persons to be buried within the church. That from this period to the thirteenth century, the subject of similar admissions was left to the discretion of the clergy, who made of them a profitable but most disgraceful use. And that from thence to the present time, sepulture within churches and church-yards has been claimed as a common right."—Flagg's Mt. Auburn, p. 363.

Before proceeding further in this history, let us return for a brief mention of the Catacombs of Rome, without which our enumeration of burial-places would be quite incomplete. These were originally immense quarries, extending under the city and its suburbs for many miles, which had been dug out from age to age, to furnish stone and cement for the walls and buildings of the city. From about the year 90 to the accession of Constantine, these quarries were seldom resorted to for

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stone; and when the Christians were persecuted, they could find no better refuge than these subterranean galleries. Here many of them lived, worshiped, and were buried. During their concealment, they excavated other large chambers and halls, which were used as chapels. Some of these were adorned with paintings and symbolical figures representing important truths of the Christian faith. Of those made prior to the fourth century, none contain a recognition of the errors which soon after crept into the church. Peter is represented, but without his keys; Mary and the Saints, but they receive no adoration; the Holy Supper is spread, with no real Presence save in the hearts of the communicants; Absolution and Purgatory are not thought of.

The cheerful spirit of these pictures is remarkable. There is seldom an allusion to Christ's sufferings, or their own, but many to his resurrection and that of his followers. They are expressive of peace, love, and confiding hope. For example : we find pictures of the Ark riding above the Flood, of the Dove with the olive branch, of the Sun rising, a Shepherd carrying a lamb, Moses striking the Rock in the Desert, Christ healing the sick, and raising the dead. It is noteworthy, too, that the principal gallery or avenue of the catacombs was conducted just beneath the old Appian Way, which was bordered with monuments of the chief Roman families, the Horatii, the Metelli, and the Scipios above, and Christian men no less heroic below.

But we must not dwell longer on this attractive part of our subject. We have seen that the custom widely prevailed of interring in cities and in the neighborhood of churches. That custom was doomed to pass away: the wonder is that it lasted so long. With the increase of population, it everywhere became inconvenient and burdensome, and was likewise found to be injurious to the public health. During the eighteenth century it was often remarked in London, that it was easier to provide for the living, in that metropolis, than for the dead. To the clergy of France, and especially to the archbishop of Toulouse, is the credit due of first calling attention to the

importance of suburban cemeteries; and Paris must have the honor of first establishing such a burial-place for its population. This occurred in the year 1765. Away from the city, on its eastern border, a site of fifty-two acres was chosen and laid out with avenues, and adorned with trees and flowers. It received its name from Père la Chaise, the celebrated confessor and counselor of Louis Fourteenth, who once owned a part of the land. Subsequently, three other cemeteries were established in the environs of Paris, and from these several good examples rural cemeteries began to spring up in all parts of the civilized world. In the year 1831, the first movement was made for the founding of Mt. Auburn, near Boston, in this country. Kensall Green, the first rural cemetery established in England, dates from the year 1832. Laurel Hill, near Philadelphia, followed in 1836, and Greenwood, near New York, in 1837.

The historical survey we have now taken, will serve to show that the duty of providing a suitable interment for the dead has been the universal sentiment of mankind. The rights of the living have sometimes been questioned, but the obligations due to the dead have seldom been denied. And these obligations have been most sacredly acknowledged as men have advanced in civilization and refinement.

The Rural Cemetery of the present day is in fine harmony with the better sentiments of our nature and the teachings of religion. Not so the old fashioned grave-yard, where corpses are crowded together with shameful economy of space, where reeling headstones, rank weeds, dismantled fences, and poach

*The following extract from one of the bishop's appeals may serve to illustrate the downright earnestness with which he handled the subject: "In the early ages, burial in churches had been forbidden, or even inhumation in 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 fatal odor even into the neighboring 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 putrescence, can check the vanity of the great, or

of the commonalty who follow their example."- Walker's Researches.

ing cattle continually offend the sight. Burial in cities and large towns and under the floors of churches is forbidden by sanitary considerations. Much better is it to commit the remains of our dead to the fresh earth, on the breezy hill side, and under the shadow of over hanging trees.

It is impossible to divest death in its physical aspects, of all its terrors. Animated though we may be by Christian faith, forebodings of "the stern agony and the narrow house" will of ten chill the warmest heart and weaken the stoutest resolve. And shall we give the grave an added power over us by making the very place repulsive? Correct taste and right feeling say, No. Let us separate from it, so far as possible, whatever is forbidding to our better nature, and surround it with whatever may tend to make it pleasing. And religion unites with taste and affection in urging the same plea. It tells us that while the last enemy cannot be evaded, we are yet sure to conquer, and may well "strew with flowers the arena where we are to engage him." It tells us that the body is to be raised incorruptible, the soul itself not being perfectly glorified until reunited with the companion of its earthly life; and that therefore we may well treat that body with reverential respect.

A well-appointed rural cemetery exerts a reflex influence. upon the public taste. Its site is commonly chosen for its fitness and beauty. Its surface is then cleared of all offensive incumbrances, and its unseemly roughnesses are smoothed down. If native trees are found growing upon it, they are suffered to remain so far as they will comport with the design and uses of the place. The ground is laid out according to the principles of modern landscape art, with roads and walls leading to every portion of the premises. Trees and shrubs are planted, those especially which have some natural fitness, or have become associated with such spots by the usages of the past. If streams of water are at command, they are converted into miniature lakes; perhaps they also supply reservoirs for fountains with jets of spray.

Now, such grounds address the public taste forcibly. They

furnish perhaps the best specimens of landscape gardening which many will ever see. Add to this the improvements made from year to year,-grassy slopes, neat hedges, rare trees and plants, and monuments of various designs. To this elect spot all classes of society will have free access, and can learn by their own inspection how beautiful nature is, both in her own simplicity, and when her charms are heightened by the touch of art. That such places will be visited by great numbers, the history of cemeteries abundantly shows. To say nothing of those in England and on the Continent, the largest in this country are annually thronged by thousands. Nor tell us that such visits answer no purpose save to gratify an idle curiosity. They suggest new ideas; they awaken pure tastes; they show the observer how the simplest piece of ground may be embellished by a little skill and labor; how even the stern repulsiveness of the grave can be chastened; and they send him back to his usual sphere of life determined to adorn his own home, and to beautify the spot where he expects ere long to lay his ashes.

A good cemetery fosters a humanizing and friendly feeling in the community. "It is the heaviest stone," says Sir Thomas Browne, "that melancholy can throw at a man, to tell him that he is at the end of his nature; or that there is no further state to come, unto which this seems progressional, and otherwise made in vain." And we might add, it is a heavy stone to be thrown at a man to tell him that his bones shall be crowded into some ugly pit in a narrow and over populous grave-yard, surrounded by no pleasurable scenes, and where no one will be likely to visit his tomb. But tell him that he shall repose in the choicest spot in all the region around, which his

* The visiors who entered one gate at Laurel Hill, in the year 1850, numbered 70,000. John Jay Smith, Esq., President of the Corporation, estimates the whole number at all the gates, at upwards of 140,000. Since then no record has been kept. At Mt. Auburn, no attempt has been made, for many years, to determine the number of visitors. J. A. Perry, Esq., Comptroller of the Greenwood Corporation, writes: "I have every reason to believe that the number of annual visitors to our cemetery is between four and five hundred thousand."

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