תמונות בעמוד



It is plain that there are frequent suppressions in the letters which are printed-partly perhaps from their personal bearings, but frequently also, we should suppose, in the letters of this period— from the sentiments which they express. We conceive Mr. Cuthbert Southey has done what his father would have wished donehe has made a confession once for all, honest and sincere, and then has withdrawn all those words which the writer would himself have wished that he had never written, and for the evil influence they might have on others, would desire to be blotted out for ever. In sending out therefore for general circulation the Remains of his father, Mr. Southey suppresses what would be injurious to the faith or painful to the right feelings of his readers. For a fair estimate of what Southey was it seems scarcely necessary ever to dwell on these aberrations, for he outgrew them, in a great degree, though in his real inner character the weakening effects of them must always have continued.

On the whole, we have been much gratified by the manner in which Mr. Southey has executed his task. He has, in this respect like the greatest of poets, allowed his hero to speak for himself. He has shown that very rare, but excellent quality, not to say too much: we are never annoyed by the obtrusion of editorial remarks, or the exhibition of knowledge. He modestly tells us just what is necessary, and we have met with very few places where an ordinary reader would feel a want of information. Perhaps it will be an advantage if a chronological table of the events of his life, and the times of the publication of his works be appended. Fuller information with respect to the literary history, the public events, and the different people who are mentioned, would be out of place in such a work. It may hereafter be the work of another and a less interested author to write a life of Southey in his connection with the literary history of his times, or to form a just estimate of bis intellectual and moral characteristics. His son presents us to him as he was, so that we seem to live with him—we see him in his daily occupations—we hear his cheerful and informing conversation—bis friends, his wife, his brother, appear to be as old and familiar acquaintances : and we are so carried along with the charming flow of his writing, that we should no more think of stopping and wishing for notes and illustrations, than we should rudely have broken in upon his conversation by a blunt question, or demand for explanation.


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The whole subject of interments has lately been brought before us by that most ghastly monitor, the pestilence that walketh in darkness : and the public mind has been roused to consider the various abuses, moral as well as physical, which derange the existing system. Truly they are crying evils which the Destroyer has exposed. That the graveyards are choked with half-decomposed bodies that the earth around the church is, even in country parishes, many feet above the level of the floor inside—that every fresh applicant for a narrow home can be admitted only by the ejection of some corpse already in possession — that Christian burial has become a name, since the body is covered not by earth, but by something only one degree farther removed from the living than itself—that thus the very air we breath bears the stench of corruption, and the quick inhale the dead,—these are facts so eloquent of disease, so startling in their grim nakedness, that when the cholera comes and makes them his text, and for months harangues us on them, the most callous of us all cannot choose but hear. The year that has gone by has drawn fearful pictures of the famine, and vice, and woe, that walk our streets; and the eyes of the rich and great have gazed, for the first time perhaps, on the filth and desti. tution of the poor ; but there have been no more loathsome disclosures than the sexton has made of the constant desecration of the graveyard. Barely covered by the mockery of a sod, the coffin is placed in its shallow bed, a foot or two of earth is all that confines the deadly gases ever evolving from the mass of putrefaction beneath, and a fair stone tablet tells of the virtues and benevolence of the deceased, while from his tomb the benefactor of mankind rises to destroy the life he once adorned. The unconscious passer by little dreams of the poison he is drinking in, or surely he would burry on the faster; the tenants of the neighbouring houses see their children sicken, droop, and die, but they cannot tell the reason, or surely they would quit. In some old coffins, deep laid beneath a weight of earth, and by accident disturbed, bodies have been found turned over, and their disorder has suggested horrible surmisings of wretches buried alive, who, waking from their trance, have found themselves they knew not where, and in their agony, writhing to break loose from their prison-house, have thus distorted their limbs with the fury of their unavailing struggles. But science has referred their change of posture to the violence of pent up vapours generated in the action of decomposition. There will be no such discoveries in the coffins of 1849. Those vapours owe their force to confinement --but now every grave is provided with its own safety valve. Through many a chink and cranny in the


loose mould the gases issue forth, and sow the seeds of death : hovering it may be round their birthplace, and densest there; but free to load the air with pestilence, polluting the pure atmosphere which affluence breathes, as well as the close and crowded hovels

of the poor.

There is no disguising or disputing this disgusting state of the majority of our urban graveyards : and every public journal, from the Times downwards, has enlarged on the necessity of reforming it. The world, however, go no farther than the natural feelings of humanity may lead them. Extramural cemeteries is the limit of their aspirations; and the nature and construction of the new burial grounds is of course a question left to be decided afterwards : only fresh places of interment we must have, and those beyond the walls. Now we think that this is not a question to be discussed by the sanitary Commission alone. True the change may be due to the demands of the public health, but Christian burial is a religious rite, and it is the province of the Church to see that the interests of religion are secured in every general revolution. If the large towns of Great Britain are to be supplied with fresh burying grounds, it becomes a matter of the highest consequence that they be such as shall promote those ends. The connection of church and churchyard forms a very important part of the parochial system, and in these days one of the chief sources of ecclesiastical influence. We have but to recall the affection with which mankind regard the resting place of their departed friends, to see the necessity of taking measures to secure the operation of that feeling in her favour. On the other hand conceive the future burial grounds based on a purely secular foundation, and it will not be difficult to predict their effect on the people's affections. The same hereditary love which binds the present parishioners to the old churchyard, the generations to come should gradually imbibe for the new cemetery. Under any circumstances this must be a work of time. It is impossible that at first an enclosure at some distance will be regarded with the veneration which honours the graves clustering round the old church. The pride of ancestry is as strong a passion in the humble as in the great,—the graves of their fathers are the family portraits of the poor. There side by side generation after generation sleep together, and the illegible inscription on one sunken stone is said to bear the same name with the white monument that was erected yesterday. It will not be without a sigh that the tottering old man who comes of the same family hears that the churchyard is to be closed, and that he must be the first to lie away from his kinsfolk. But it will be some consolation to him to think that his children and grandchildren after him shall repose beside himself in the new ground. Therefore some steps should be taken by the Church to prevent townships, consisting of several parishes, from providing a general burial ground for the whole population without



reference to ecclesiastical divisions. Kensal Green is the


last model that should be chosen. And yet most of the existing cemeteries attached to large towns have no parochial constitution. Some, as two of those in Liverpool, are not even consecrated, though they are used by many church people. The proportion of funerals of churchmen to those of dissenters at the Necropolis is about one in ten, but at S. Mary's the majority of funerals are stated to be those of churchmen.* There is another cemetery at Liverpool, in S. James' parish, which is open to all comers. This is consecrated. . Kensal Green is partly unconsecrated, and a Dissenting Minister is provided by the company to attend funerals. What can be more wholly at variance with the Church system than this, and yet Kensal Green is established by Act of Parliament. The first point to secure is, that each parish have an exclusive right to the use of some one burial ground. A number of such grounds may be contiguous, but they must be distinct. By this means the parishioners will be taught to regard the new cemetery as an enlargement of their former churchyard, not as a substitution for it. And if the existing cemeteries are not so constituted it is from no legal restriction : on the contrary, the enactments in force are all framed with an especial regard to the parochial system. The church building commissioners have the power of declaring any land conveyed to a parish for a burial ground to be part of the parish for the use of which such land shall have been obtained, although territorially situate in another parish; and by another statute the freehold of lands added to any existing churchyard and burial ground is, upon the act of consecration, vested in the person or persons in whom the freehold of the ancient burial ground is vested. The Bishop, on consecrating a large enclosure, has the power of ordering bound-stones to be laid down for marking the boundaries of the several parish plots. So that whenever a clergyman is anxious to provide for his parish a cemetery that shall be under his own control, and subject to the same laws and regulations as the old one, he has for once the law to assist him. At Oxford there are three , such cemeteries for different quarters of the city. These are all subdivided into sections, one of which is assigned to each parish, and the burial is performed by the parish priest. The system is found to work so well, that it has been recommended for general adoption by the commission appointed to consider the subdivision of parishes under Lord Ashley's bill.

To carry out the principle entirely would be impossible in these cold irreverent times. Yet the simple removal of a burial ground to a farther distance ought not to affect the duty of a parish church. It is obvious that the more Catholic mode of performing burials would be to bring the body first to the church, and thence pass in

• “Christian Burial and Unconsecrated Cemeteries." A Sermon by the Rev. J. Martin. (Masters.)



procession to the grave. But the days of processions are gone,they are Popish, fanatical, intolerable. The priest who preceded a corpse in his surplice through the streets of the city would be hooted by the crowd. No! we must have recourse to an expedient for which necessity must supply the grounds which cannot be found in authority: Each cemetery must be provided with a chapel. The Bishop is able by law to declare a chapel set apart for the performance of burials, and when several cemeteries adjoin, the commissioners have the power of deciding that one chapel shall be sufficient for all the parishes having interest in those contiguous plots. Nevertheless when only two or three parishes are united, it would be desirable that each parish should have its own chapel. But although processions are in general so obnoxious, yet there are many country places in which they might be allowed : and perhaps the priest may carry his point by representing that by using the parish church, the expense of building a chapel will be avoided. But in any case no chaplain is required. The parochial clergy must bury their own dead. No stronger tie now unites Clergy and Laity than the office for the departed. To sever the performance of the last rites from the duties of the parish priest were infallibly to loosen his hold upon the affections of his flock. A chapel, however, is forced upon us by popular prejudice. And this being so, it will be requisite to adapt it especially to the service for which it is intended. Some very admirable remarks are made on this subject in an article in the Ecclesiologist, (Vol. I. N. S. p. 8,) to which we refer our readers. It must have a consecration distinct from that of the cemetery. By law if a chapel is declared by the Bishop appropriated to the performance of burials, the consecration of the enclosure is held to be sufficient. But the Catholic Churchman looks forward to the celebration of the Holy Communion when the remains of the faithful are committed to the ground, and to him therefore the particular consecration of the building will be an essential. Three burial chapels have been built at Oxford, of which two at least are duly fitted up with the Instrumenta of Christian burial, bier, pall, &c., where the office is performed with all the solemnities of which our ritual is capable.

So integral a part of parish duty is the burial of the dead, that we are surprised some steps have not been taken towards securing for district churches in London, and other large towns, cemeteries without the walls. If, as is probable, it become necessary to interdict all intramural interments, there is no reason whatever why every district, as well as every mother parish, should not have an appropriated cemetery. The clergy of all new parishes know how long their people cling to the mother church where their friends and relations lie, and how few and seldom comparatively are the burials which fall to them. But they can always trace a corresponding increase between the number of funerals and the growth

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