Page images
[ocr errors]

tinued, so far as the same can be effected with the end of time. The scattered flowers, out trenching upon vested rights.

the earliest of the year,' which are infiniteW. CANTUAR N. C. TINDAL

ly touching in, the old and rustic churchC. J. LONDON. J. NICHOLL.

yards of Wales, fail to move us in the sub W. DUNELM. Christ. ROBINSON.

urban cemetery, where we suspect them to J. LINCOLN. HERBERT JENNER.

have been bought of 'Harding, marchand W. St. Asapa. C. E. CARRINGTON.

des boquets,' and placed so as to be seen Ch. BANGOR. STEPHEN LUSHINGTON. TENTERDEN. R. CUTLER FERGUSION.

of men. The trim grave-gardens cease to WYNFORD.

please when we read the company's charge Dated this 15th day of February, 1832.' for maintaining them, with or without flow

ers, per annum, 5s.,' or, (for the benefit, we We have dwelt at greater length on this suppose, of young widows) 'ditto, if in perpart of the subject, because there appears petuity, 51. The whole spirit of the presio be a strong prejudice among churchmen ent establishments is necessarily mercenary, against cemeteries altogether, mainly aris- and smacks strongly of half-yearly dividends ing, no doubt, from the objectionable con- and Copthal Court. The scale of prices stitution and practice of many of those al- varying according to the items of reserved ready established, and partly from the notion and open ground, extra depth, private grave of their being a modern and unecclesiasti- and public interment, ise of screen and cal innovation, adopted like our farces and chapel, desk service, &c. &c., are of the fashions, second-hand from revolutionary same character with the dissenting minisParis. Most people's idea of a cemetery is ter, [a wide term,) provided by the compaa something associated with great Egyptian ny,' and ' nionuments, if required, erected' lodges and little shabby flower-beds, joint- by the same accommodating factotum. stock companies and inmortelles, dissent, One great and universal recommendation infidelity, and speculation, the irreverences seems to be that a portion of the ground is of Abney Park, or the fripperies and frigid- unconsecrated ;' and as this is a point upon ities of Père la Chaise. Yet these things which much of the difficulty of forming new are in reality nothing but the passing opin- cemeteries hinges, a short reference to it ions and fasirions of the age reflected on an here may not be out of place. Of course institution as old as the faith which conse- all the bigotry falls on the shoulders of the crates it. The misfortune is, that in this Church, and the conscientious scruples to country we have for ages wanted a model of the lot of the Dissenters. And yet it would the primitive usage, otherwise Abney Park seem a feeling more allied to the bigot than would no more be confounded with the ex- the philosopher, to object to be buried in emplar of a Christian cemetery, than our ground because the bishop has pronounced joint-stock proprietary schools are with his blessing over it. It may in the eye of Winchester or Eton, or a stuccoed 'place the non-conformist have gained nothing by of worship, with the parish church. Yet the ceremonial, but surely it can be none with their many imperfections, even our the worse; we are not yet arrived at the present cemeteries can hardly be consider-point when the ground shall be deemed ed but as a great boon. The earth lies light cursed for the blessing's sake. But there and the sky hangs blue over many a grave is an objection to the burial-service; yet we which would otherwise have been subjected know of no canon that necessarily enforces to the foul compost, and heavy tread, and the reading of it over every corpse consignsulphurous canopy of a London church-ed to consecrated ground; and in the case yard; and a real mourner may, without of a suspected schismatic, most clergymen distraction or disgust, cherish and renew would rather be relieved from the office, his communion with a lost friend, and, like than insist upon it. But suppose it enforcMary, steal to the grave and weep there.ed; then comes in the objection, which we The hopeful manly sorrow of a Christian do not hesitate to designate the most marwill hardly, however, take up with the al- vellous cant that ever stood the test of half ready conventional modes of modern cem- a century. The objection is to the expreseterial sorrow. Custom, like a buld peas- sion of a sure and certain hope'—it is nothantry,' when 'once destroyed, can never be ing more-of the resurrection to eternal supplied' by mere Chinese imitation; the life,' which the priest ministerially prospirit of it is Pythagorean in its nature, and nounces for the Church over all who die though it shifts from body to body, it will in her communion. Now, in this hope never re-animate its once deserted shell, till the friends and relations of a person, how

ever wretched in his life or death, would finother world : the blame must rest with scarcely be supposed to refuse to in those who raise the offence and cause the dulge: the scruple must clearly be all on schism. The Church has never denied her the other side; it may, indeed, be a matter burying-ground even to those who have reof serious doubt and trembling with the fused to maintain it; and many a one, it clergyman, how far he may be justified in may be feared, has entered her walls the thus pronouncing over one whom (we omit first time as a corpse. What country cuthe more difficult cases) he may know not rate has not felt his charity warmed, and the at all, or know only for evil. And this, in- asperities of his religious zeal softened, to deed, was the origin of the objection. It view in his parish churchyard the graves of was urged in the first instance by the Puri- the Churchian, the Romanist, and the Distan clergy as a personal grievance, and then senter, side by side, and returned to the in blind perversion, taken up by the whole work of his calling with more hopeful feeldissenting body. Thus a conscientious ings for those who separate themselves, scruple which an over-charitable clergy may and more solemn considerations of the aphave been too remiss in urging in their own pointed season of the one fold and the defence, has been adroitly laid hold of by one Shepherd? But the arrangement of their opponents and turned into a weapon our present cemeteries excludes these softof attack against them. The final and only ening influences, and the dissenter has barpresentable grievance is, that in consecrat- red himself out a portion, lest he should be ed ground they are not allowed to introduce thought to identify himself in death with the whatever manner of service or ceremony church he has through life opposed. Since their own unrestricted fancies may devise- the Churchman cannot be buried in uncona regulation which, comely and expedient secrated ground, and the Dissenter will not at all times, has now been rendered abso- in ground that has been blest, surely charity * lutely necessary by the mummeries attempt- would suggest the entire separation of their ed of late years by bodies unconnected with cemeteries as less likely to perpetuate painthe 'four denominations,'—Oddfellows and ful and bitter feelings, than the present neIndependent Brethren, of the more inno- cessarily antagonistic expression of juxtapocent kind-Chartists, Socialists, and the sition. When the conventicle is built withlike, of the more pernicious.

in a stone's-throw of the cathedral, the winIt is a curious fact, but surprising only to dows of either are more likely to be broken. those who have never studied the shifting It is this among other reasons that leads system of the non-conformists, that the us to urge strongly upon the Church to take original objection was not to the denial of a up the subject of Cemeteries for itself. service of their own, but to any service at The joint-stock establishments at present all, whereby, as they alleged, prayer for the existing, objectionable on many grounds, dead was maintained. The funeral sermon, are wholly unavailable to the mass of the now so rigidly exacted by them of their population, by reason of their expense. preachers on the death of every paying sit- They are nothing more than the exclusive ter, was another of their original abomina- luxury of the indulgent few. Two guineas tions. It may serve the purpose of a party would scarcely cover the very lowest charges to decry the burial service of the Church, as at the cemetery, for what the poor man in lately that for the solemnization of mar- the country gets for nothing; and two addiriage;* but the love for the Church's last of- tional guineas are exacted for the commonfice, in preference to the long extempora-est headstone. The rich and vain are neous effusions with which the dissenters sconced in like proportion; but against bruise the broken reed of sorrow, still keeps the very poor the cemetery door is inexa firm hold even among the dissenters of the orably closed. How inconvenient that rural population.

Death makes all equal landholders, and that It is sad to think that our differences the pauper requires as many inches of and distractions cannot end with this life, ground as the owner of ten thousand acres ! but must be carried into the confines of this has been a sore puzzle to parish ves

tries; and though ten or fifteen (Sup. Rep.) The marriage service was a while ago the may be buried in the same grave, these stalking grievance. The law was altered to meet cemetery companies have not yet offered that out of 122,496 marriages in 1841,5582 couples sufficiently cheap terms. One company has only availed themselves of the new registered actually put forth a calculation that seven places of worship.'

acres, at the rate often coffins in each


would accommodate 1,335,000 paupers ! field rented on a twenty-one years' lease, of This agreeable scene for the contemplation such an extent as to be filled with graves in of a Christian nation, a member of the

fourteen years. At the end of seven years

inore it House of Commons would turn into a dis- cultivated, planted, or laid down in grass, in

may revert to the landlord, and be solving view of the shortest possible dura- any manner that may be thought proper.' tion, by the prompt application of quick

And again : lime; the following question, with slight va

Nor does there appear to us any objection riety of expression, having been again and

to union workhouses having a portion of their again repeated in committee :

-Do you garden-ground used as a cem-rery, to be rethink that there would be any objection to stored to cultivation alier a sufficient time had burying bodies with a certain quantity of elapsed.?-Cemet., p. 50. quicklime sufficient to destroy the coffin and

The atrocities of the common pits at Nathe whole thing in a given time ?' How

ples and Leghorn, into which the corpses unconsciously does the irreverent euphem- of the poor are indiscriminately tumbled, ism which we have italicised, unveil the

are to our mind less revolting than these revolting nature of the question !

nice calculations of getting rid of the greatFinding Mr. Loudon justly indignant at est nuinber of troublesome bodies at the this cheap burial cry, what shall we say least possible expense, and to the greatest when he himself proposes to convert pau- possible advantage. They do these things pers into manure!

Yet such is actually no better in France. The goodiy show bis plan of employing the surplus corpses of that strikes the eye of the hurrying visitor London to fertilize the poor soils in its vi- at Père la Chaise is but the screen of whited cinity. These are his very words :

sepulchres that hides the foulness and cor"This temporary cemetery may be merely a ruption of the background. There, as in

* We had mended a hard pen to deal with Mr Poland, the bodies of the poor are trenched. Loudon's book on Cemeteries, his least, and, we in, one upon another, in the most revolting add with regret, his last work. While we write, his subject has become to liim a stern reality; and

disorder ! the grave, which he so lately discussed, has clos-Hoc misere plebi stabat commune sepulchrum!" ed over bim This must needs take the edge off any censure we were prepared to pronounce on

Nothing will secure to the poor of our him. His most laborious works have been repeat- great cities the decent sepulture which is edly and favorably noticed in these pages-while their right by nature and the Gospel, but we deem it our duty to protest against the insin- transferring the management of cemeteries uation of certain pernicious opinions which were from private persons and dividend-paying too clearly traceable in his earlier writings. We doubt not that the severe sufferings of mind and companies, into the hands of a public body body, and the latter were grievous indeed—with uninterested in regarding them as a source which he was latterly chastened, lofi bim a wiser of profit. Mr. Chadwick's arguments are and a happier man; for his last work, which afford to us conclusive against the plan of separate ed greater scope for its introduction, is found to contain less objectionable matter. Still it was im- parochial burial-grounds as recommended possible for a mere utilitarian mind rightly to em

by Mr. Mackinnon's bill of last session, and brace a subject which hangs so closely on the con other similar schemes. All the present fines of another world. His book, therefore, evils, moral, physical, and economical, though useful in many of its suggestions, falls al

would, we together short as a guide to what a Christian ce

are convinced, by a parochial metery ought to be. We would, however, now agency, be ultimately increased; but, on rather call attention to his more useful labors as the other hand, we see great objections to an horticultural writer. After all his unequalled Mr. Chadwick's own proposition of placing toils, with such over-zealous earnestness did he them under the direction of the Commisdevote himself to his great work, the • Arbore-sioners of Woods and Forests. We should tum Britannicum,' that at his death he had nothing to leave his widow and child but the copy.

be loth to see our burial-grounds severed right of this and other works. On this one book from the Church, and intrusted to purely alone he is said to have expended 10,0001. A secular officers. It would be the abandonmeeting of his friends has been held to endeavor ment of a great and hopored principle, and to dispose of the remaining copies of his works in the hands of his widow; and we cheerfully re- a great practical discouragement to church commend the plan proposed to all who do not al. membership. The Ecclesiastical Commisready possess his works, and who may thus com sioners are the body to which people will bine their own advantage with an act of real naturally look when the absolute necessity charity. Dr. Lindley has warmly advocated Mrs. of providing additional burial-grounds has which very useful paper we must refer our readers become, as it soon will, universally ackn wfor the details of the proposal.

ledyed. Any attempt on the part of Gor

ernment to devote public money to an ob-Church, and a district assigned the officiaject trenching upon religion, will be meting clergyman for spiritual cure. with the same difficulties and outcry that Then we might see a Cemetery worthy assailed them on the question of factory ed- of the Church of England. The painful ucation. They would have to sacrifice ei- associations of exclusiveness, and disunion, ther the Church or their plan. The Dis- and traffic, which are connected with the senters strenuously opposed even the latitu- present establishments, would be removed. dinarian provisions of Mr. Mackinnon's Rich and poor might lie side by side, and a bill; and we feel convinced that the most due snpervision of emblems and epitaphs liberal adoption of Mr. Chadwick’s plan exclude the offensive sculptures and inscripwould meet with a yet more virulent oppo- tions which now meet the eye. sition from the same quarter. The Eccle- Mr. Milman has made a suggestion which siastical Commissioners will be enabled to we think most excellent; that the funeral take a far more unsettered course. Their procession should not be formed at the funds may be devoted to the formation of house of the deceased, but at the gates of cemeteries on strictly ecclesiastical princi- the cemetery. To any one who has underples, without hurting the interest or con- gone the pain of accompanying a funeral science of any one, but greatly facilitating through the heedless and irreverent crowds the present right which every p'rishioner of the metropolis, the relief of this procehas to burial in his own churchyard. If it dure is at once apparent, while to the poor, be urged that there are higher and more on the score of expense alone, it would be pressing claims

upon their revenues--that almost indispensable. It would relieve the ihe living must not be neglected for the immediate thoroughfares to the cemetery sake of the dead-we answer, that the from the unceasing passage of the signs of adoption of cemeteries may, with proper death, and add greatly to the solemnity and care, be made a source of increase rather impressiveness of the scene, by concentrathan of diminution in their income. The ting, as it were, those wholesome considerhigh profits* realized by the existing com-ations appropriate to the occasion, which panies clearly show, that even with very are now too often frittered away by the great reductions in the fees of the rich, and trite and pointless conversation of the gratuitous interment to the poor, a consid- mourning coach. The coffin might be reerable surplus would remain above the or moved early on the day of burial—in the dinary interest on the original outlay. case of the poor it would be a great boon They have every encouragement to ask for to remove it much sooner-to a chamber of increased powers from Parliament, from the lodge of the cemetery, in the vestibule the fruits, already ripening, of the legisla- of which the friends of the deceased might tion of last session. A sum might in the meet at the appointed hour to robe.—The first instance be raised on the security of advantages of this arrangement would be the Commissioners, to be repaid by instal- immense. In the funerals of the more ments. Nor can there be any doubt that if rich, the whole cavalcade of mourningthe Church were to take the matter in coaches would be swept away; each mournhand, with the especial object of giving a er would reach the cemetery in the way less costly and more decent interment to the most convenient to himself— would use his poor-having respect to vested parochial own carriage, if he had one, instead of acand clerical rights, and devoting any sur-quiescing in the unmitigated absurdity of plus that might accrue to ecclesiastical pur- letting it' follow,' while he puts the friends poses—many Churchmen would be found of the deceased to the cost of providing the to come forward either freely to give or fair- one in which he rides. We should be ly to sell ground for a district cemetery, as spared, too, the folly of hiring four horses to they now offer it for a district church. draw, at a snail's pace, the corpse of him One expense would be avoided in the aban- who perhaps when alive never sat, at full don ment of the double chapel arrangement; trot, behind more than one; and be relievand we do not see why the suburbs mighted at the same time from the opposite specnot be benefited by making the Cemetery tacle, lately introduced, in the shape of a Chapels available for the full services of the Cruelty-van, with a long boot under the

driver for the coffin, and a posse of mourn* In one cemetery the actual sale of grav.g is at the rate of 17,0001. por acre.

ers crammed into the Clarence behind, all

A calculation made for another gives 45,3741

. per acre, without drawn along by one poor horse at a very the fees for monuments, &c.

respectable trot.

The chapel of the cemetery should be admission of every new-fangled and patentnear the entrance, and thither each band of ed contrivance into the sepulchral pale. mourners might follow the corpse of their King Death's is a very ancient monarchy, own friend, and after hearing the psalm and quite of the old regime. The lowering and lesson read, proceed to the grave-side therefore of the coffin from the chapel into service, which-as the burial would be in the crypt by means of Bramah's hydraulic discriminate, and no reserved ground for press, so highly extolled for its solemnity in the rich, or neglected corner for the poor some of the cemeteries, has too much of the -might either be read once over the ad-trick of the theatre about it for the stern joining graves, or, we would much prefer, realities of the grave. Nor is there any separately over each. Norman architec- thing much better in Mr. Loudon's castture, from its massive and solemn character, iron tallies for gravestones, temporary railwould seem the most appropriate style, es- road cemeteries, and co-operative railpecially for the construction of crypts; and road hearses.' We think that some of the a cloister connected with the church, should metropolitan clergy have spoken rather unrun round the whole inclosure, which advisedly in advocating music as enhancing would serve for the erection of memorial \'the attractiveness of a national service of tablets, and as a covered passage for mourn-the dead ;'—and we hardly suppose that ers to the more distant parts of the cemete- Dr. Russell, when pleasantly recurring to ry. A portion of this would only be neces- his boyhood recollections of the ' ambitious sary in the first instance, to be afterwards choir' of his native village attempting Viextended as the ground was occupied. tal spark of heavenly flame,' seriously meant

A bold and simple Cross should rise on to recommend the general revival of such the most elevated point of ground; and in- aspiring flights. stead of Mr. Barber Beaumont's and Abney Psalıns and Hymns at funerals, which Park Cemetery, or the like, they might be have neither propriety nor rubric to recomcalled after the apostle or the evangelist in mend them, are now very rightly falling inwhose name they were consecrated And to disuse, even in rural districts, from the this consecration, it should be remembered, melancholy experience of their unsolemn is not only a religious rite, but a security effect. of its perpetual reservation and mainten- Liverpool and Glasgow are fortunate in ance as a place of interment. The most the site of their burial-grounds, but the Gerrespectable of our present cemeteries are man cemeteries are those which seem to established under an act of Parliament, and offer most suggestions for the improvement the whole of the ground, blest and unblest, of our own. The Court of Peace,' or is, we suppose, perfectly safe from future God's Acre,' to give the German names violation. But there are many others, and literally translated, is generally well worAbney Park is one, the epherneral property thy a visit. A recent traveller sayseither of one or several private persons. These, according as the market varies, 'It is a place of public resort at all hoursmay be burial-grounds to-day, and Prospect its gates stand always open. It is planted with places or Railroad-stations to-morrow. In

a few trees, so that its aspect may not be altofact, when they are quite full, they must al. ed with crosses, gravestones anil monu

gether cheerless; but it is more thickly plantmost of necessity be turned to some other ments congregated together, thick as a forest, use. At Abney Park, we were told on inqui- slowly advancing foot by foot, year after year, ry, that though not an inch of ground is to occupy all the vacant space. Gravestones consecrated, an 'Episcopal clergyman' of various shapes, with lengthy epitaphs, are reads the burial-service of the Church of common among us; here, however, the more England. We should like to know the touching and trustworthy symptoms of continbishop that this reverend Episcopalian ac- the fresh chaplet or nosegay, the little horder

ued recollection are every where observed in knowledges. In one of those called Dis- of flowers newly dug, the basin of holy water, senters' burial-grounds, the numbers inter- all placed by the side of the funeral hillock.' red are at the rate of more than 2,300 per acre per annum! In another 'an unedu- All this is perfectly natural and national cated a man generally acts as minister, puts in the people to whom it belongs, and is on a surplice, and reads the church-service, very striking and instructive to the English or any other service that may be called for.' traveller; but the attempt to transplant the -Sup. Rep. 156.

sentiment here, presents, in the hands of a We should be very scrupulous as to the Glasgow author, the following serio-comic

« PreviousContinue »