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put them in graves dug in the ground, or in sepulchres cut in the rock, or otherwise made.
The ancient Greeks and Romans generally, but not universally, burned the bodies of their dead. This practice also formerly prevailed among the Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, and other nations; and among the Hindus, until very recently, it has been the common practice to burn the dead body of a husband, with the living body of his wife, bound and placed upon the pile of wood, to be consumed by fire. The practice of thus burning widows has been suppressed in British India--but we suppose that the burning of the dead is continued. In some countries, it has been the custom-after burning the body—to collect its ashes, and put them into urns, of various degrees of costliness, according to the rank or wealth of the deceased, and to deposit the urns in some place of safety.
Burying in graves, dug in the earth, is the mode of disposing of the dead which has been most generally adopted from the earliest ages. In most civilized countries burial-grounds are provided. Almost every parish has a burial-ground; generally the parish churchyard is used for interments; and the clergyman of the parish has the legal right to conduct the funeral service therein, and to prohibit any other person, than such as he shall permit, from conducting the service-and it is unlawful for any but ministers of the Established Church to conduct
religious service in, what is termed, a consecrated ground. This is a great injustice, for, generally, parochial burialgrounds are provided by means of a tax levied on all the householders in the parish—and the parishioners ought to have the right to have the services of their own ministers at the time of the interment of their dead. What is termed the rite of consecrating the ground is a mere popish relic and absurdity. Recent acts of parliament provide, that upon the formation of new Metropolitan parochial burialgrounds, part of the ground shall be left unconsecrated, and in the unconsecrated portion, dissenters from the Establishment may have their own ministers to conduct funeral services. We would recommend all our friends who have the
opportunity, to avail themselves of the liberty thus afforded them, and when they bury their dead, have the funeral service conducted by their own ministers. Too long have the clergy of the Established Church been allowed to assume the exclusive right to conduct the religious services at the marriages and the interments of dissenters.
Within a few years, many public cemeteries have been provided, in which provision is made for the interment of dissenters, and for the conduct of the religious service by dissenting ministers. The religious services at funerals cannot be any way beneficial to the dead, but they may be useful to the living. At the grave of a departed relative or friend, the mind is prepared to receive impression from the teachings of God's word, and devotional exercises; and funeral services properly conducted are therefore likely to produce beneficial results.
Affection towards the deceased prompts the desire to give to the bodies of our relatives and friends decent interment -to place their remains where they may rest undisturbed. Affection also excites the desire to raise some memorial to | their memory. Hence those who can afford the expense, usually provide a grave-stone, which they inscribe to the memory of the deceased. Another most simple and yet expressive mode of manifesting affection for the deceased, is that of planting evergreens or flowers on their graves. This has very extensively been practised. The Greeks ornamented their dead with a chaplet of
and carried flowers in their funeral processions. The Romans strewed and planted roses on the graves of their friends. In many countries it is now usual to adorn graves with various plants and flowers. In Germany and Switzerland, the practice of thus adorning graves is very
and some of the burial-grounds there have beautiful appearance.
We are told that the usual fashion in Germany and Switzerland is, to erect at the grave, wood or iron ornaments in the manner described in
engraving, and to these, sometimes, bunches of flowers are attached. Evergreens and flowers are also planted round the graves, and frequently flowers are strewed
thereon. Children may thus be seen ornamenting the graves of their parents, and mothers adorning the graves of their children. A person who, a few years ago, visited the churchyard of the little village of Wirfin, says that he found six or seven persons thus employed in garnishing the graves of their friends.
In most parts of England, the practice is, to keep the graves neatly raised and covered with grass turf; and in some places, the practice of planting evergreens and flowers on the graves is adopted. Brand, in his “ Popular Antiquities,” says
“ It is a very ancient and general practice in Glamorgan, in Wales, to plant flowers on the graves, so that many churchyards have something like the splendour of a rich flower garden. Besides this, it is usual to strew the graves with flowers and evergreens thrice at least every year,” Only sweet-scented flowers are then used for this purpose. The white rose is planted on a virgin’s grave. The red rose on the grave of any person of superior goodness and benevolence. At Easter, new flowers and evergreens are planted. At Whitsuntide, or the week before, the graves are carefully attended to, and what is required done to them. This work is done by the nearest relatives of the deceased, and not by servants. Should a neighbour or friend assist, he will not accept of any payment. The flowers that grow on the graves are not plucked, except it be a single flower or sprig for a relative or friend ; otherwise, to pluck or injure them would be regarded as a very wicked act. This custom of adorning graves chiefly exists in retired villages.
We confess that we look with pleasure at such manifestations of affectionate regard to the deceased; but we deem it much more important that we should give proofs of our love to our relatives and friends while they live, than that we should adorn their graves. Love and obedience, on the part of young persons towards their parents and teachers, are duties which none but the wickedly disposed will neglect. Love, as between brethren and sisters, ought ever to be cultivated. We are indeed commanded to do good to all our fellow-creatures, that is, so far as our means extend; but our near relatives and friends have special claims on our affectionate regards.
Flowers are emblems of the frailty of human life; they fade, wither, and die. Man also soon loses his bloom and beanty. Disease and death soon come and the young are frequently made to fade away. The planting of evergreens and flowers on the graves of departed friends may also be regarded as expressive of the expectation of their living again ; of their being raised from the dead ; and of their being again restored to the companionship of those by ' whom they are kept in affectionate remembrance. Happy are the righteous dead.
THE SCOTCH SHEEP-DOG.
The mouth of the shepherd's dog is sharp, the ears short and erect, the tail is long and bushy, like that of a fox ; and he is generally covered with thick, shaggy hair, particularly about the neck. He is usually black, or black prevails, mixed with gray or brown. The true sheep-dog is regarded by the sheep as a guide and friend, but some | dogs belong to ferocious races, and are objects of dread, and often injure the sheep by fright and violent attacks upon them, especially under a brutal shepherd. In such cases the dog is worse than useless.
The sheep-dog is distinguished for his intelligence, fidelity, obedience, and sagacity, performing naturally what other dogs would do only after a long course of training.
many cases this dog will do more in assisting a shepherd than several men, and often performs what is not in
power of men to do. The following remarks, showing the fidelity, sagacity, and intelligence of this valuable animal, will be read with interest.
Mr. James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, living in his early days among the sheep and their quadruped attendants, and an accurate observer of nature, as well as an
exquisite poet, gives some anecdotes of the colley (the Highland term for sheep-dog), with which the reader will not be displeased. “My dog Sirrah,” says he, in a letter to the editor of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, was, beyond all comparison, the best dog I ever saw. He had a somewhat surly and unsocial temper, disdaining all flattery, and refusing to be caressed ; but his attention to my commands and interest will never again be equalled by any of the canine race. When I first saw him, a drover was leading him by a rope. He was both lean and hungry, and far from being a beautiful animal; for he was almost black, and had a grim face, striped with dark brown. I thought I perceived a sort of sullen intelligence in his countenance, notwithstanding his dejected and forlorn appearance, and I bought him. He was scarcely a year old, and knew so little of herding that he had never turned a sheep in his life; but, as soon as he discovered that it was his duty to do so, and that it obliged me, I can never forget with what anxiety and eagerness he learned his different evolutions; and when I once made him understand a direction, he never forgot or mistook it."
On one night, a large flock of lambs, that were under the Ettrick Shepherd's . care, frightened by something, scampered away in three different directions across the hills, in spite of all that he could do 10 keep them together. Sirrah,” said the shepherd, “the’re a'wa!”
It was too dark for the dog and his master to see each other at any considerable distance, but Sirrah understood him, and set off after the fugitives. The night passed on, and Hogg and his assistant traversed every neighbouring hill in anxious but fruitless search for the lambs; but he could hear nothing of them nor of the dog, and he was returning to his master with the doleful intelligence that he had lost all his lambs. “On our way home, however,"
we discovered a lot of lambs at the bottom of a deep ravine called the Flesh Cleuch, and the indefatigable Sirrah standing in front of them, looking round for some relief, but still true to his charge. We concluded that it was one of the divisions which Sirrah' had been unable to