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bodies are partners of that spiritual and eternal redemption; Gal. iv. 4, 5. Ephes. i. 7. Lo, our bodies, as they are naturally the slaves of sin, and, by sin, of corruption, are, by that great autpuTy's, redeemed from both: and if the Son of God have bestowed so much cost on them, they are not to be thrown aside of us, as worthy of nothing but contempt. That God, who made and redeemed it, hath also sanctified it: know you not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you ? 1 Cor. vi. 19. and, which is in effect all one; Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? verse 15. The body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the body; and true sanctification (like as Aaron's ointment did not rest upon the head, but descended to his skirts, so) doth not rest in the soul, but diffuseth itself to the body also: That your whole spirit, soul, and body, may be kept blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; 1 Thess. v. 23. Being therefore co-partner with the soul in creation, redemption, sanctification, there is good reason, that the body should be comely and respectfully bestowed.
Secondly, in respect of each other. The bodies of our deceased friends lately animated, were they, with whom we have had sweet commerce, dear conversation; and they, by whom their souls have expressed themselves to us upon all occasions, and by which they have exercised all their functions, to the atchieving of those worthy things which they have done upon earth. Hence was the ancient manner of kissing the dead bodies of eminent saints; as Denis of Areopagus. The body of that loving wife, whom the kind husband hath lost, was that, which he had wont to entertain with dear and comfortable embracements: the body of that child, whom the tender parent hath lost, was a colony deduced out of their own flesh; the body of that brother or sister, which we have lost, what was it, but a piece of the same substance with our own? the body of some dear friend, what was it, but ourself divided with a several skin? the body of some great commander, or some worthy patriot, what was it, but the living instrument of their noble victories and exploits ? the body of some painful messenger of God, what was it but the tubulus, “ the earthen conduit-pipe,” whereby God would convey spiritual comforts unto our souls? In regard then of what they were to us, there is good reason there should be care had of their comely and honourable reposition.
Thirdly, in respect of the parts themselves: the body in relation to the soul; both what it was, what it is, what it must be.
It was here the receptacle of the divine soul, and partner with it in all her actions. Our brother body, as Francis of Assise had wont to term it; yea, our twin; yea, our half-self. What doth the soul, yea what can it do here without it? That, which is in the understanding, must be first conveyed through the senses thíther; and what the soul acts, it performs by the body: it sees by the body's eyes, hears by the ears, works by the hands; insomuch as the rule of our last judgment must be, according to what we have done in our body.
But what was, is easily forgotten: what is it, now that it is turned to dust; and says to the grave, Thou art my father, and to the worms, my mother, and my sister ? Job. xvii, 14. Even now, still there is an indissoluble relation betwixt that dust and that glorious soul. As it was with our Blessed Saviour, the Eternal Son of God; even in triduo mortis the union was not dissolved of that dead body to the all-glorious Deity : so it is with his members in this lower union, by virtue whereof our Saviour argues the still-existence of the blessed Patriarchs; I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of - Jacob: he says not of their souls, but of their persons: whereupon it was, that the Jews call their burial places, not b'na na, the house of the dead, but " na the house of the living.
In regard, therefore, of that inseparable relation, wherein the body stands to the soul, it is well worthy of good terms from us: but chiefly in regard of the future estate of the body; for it is sown in corruption, shall rise again in honour. In reference hereto, were those solemn and costly obsequies of the dead of old: for though heathens, that did not acknowledge a resurrection, had some ceremonies of respect to the corpses of their friends; as the old poet could say, Tarquini corpus bona fæmina lavit et unxit; yet God's people bestowed their cost, with relation to a resurrection, In which sense is that of St. Paul not unprobably taken by some; , 1 Cor. xv. 29: Else, what should they do, that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And, surely, all their precious ointments had been but cast away, if they had not been bestowed with the hope and expectation of a future estate. In the full account whereof, the Jews, even at this day, returning from the funeral of their dead friends, are wont to pull up grass and cast it behind them, with those words of the Psalm lxxii, 16. They shall flourish and spring forth like the grass of the earth. As, therefore, those, who find a great heir in a mean condition of
rags for the present but are assured of a rich and plentiful inheritance which he shall once infallibly enjoy, are ready to regard him, not according to his baseness present but his greatness ensuing ; so must we do with this body of ours, honour it for the glory which shall be put upon it in the resurrection of the just, and not despise it for the present earthliness and vileness.
(2.) Now, as Abraham's example shews us there must be a meet burial-place provided for the dead; so, in the second place, that it must be a Set and Designed Place; not at random, or variable uncertainty; but appointed, and put apart for that use. So we see was this of Abraham. He did not bury one in Chaldea, another in Canaan; one in Sichem, the other in Machpelah; but settled this ground to this good and only purpose : which, because it is a holy employment, in regard of the bodies of the saints that are there buried, it is locus sacer, “holy:" not for that the dust of it hath in itself any inherent quality of sanctity, but for that it is destined and set apart for this holy use. Hence these places were called of old, noullytyqız, “the sleeping-places” of Christians: and even those High Priests and Elders, whose consciences would serve them to barter with Judas for the blood of his Master; yet would pretend VOL. V.
so much charity, as with the redelivered silverings of Judas to buy a field for the burial-place of strangers, called thereupon ’Axendaus.
Out of the consideration of the holy designation of these peculiar places, came both the title and practice of the consecration of Cemeteries; which, they say, is no less ancient than the days of Calixtus the first, who dedicated the first cemetery, about the year of our Lord two hundred and twenty: although these cemeteries, being then only the outer courts of the Churches, perhaps seemed not to need any new or several forms of consecration, but took part of the dedication with the holy structures; and, indeed, by the Council of Arles it was decreed, 'That if any Church were consecrated, the Churchyard of it should require no other hallowing than by simple conspersion.
But superstition hath been idly lavish this way. The various and unnecessary ceremonies of which consecration whoso desires to see, let him consult with Hospinian in his Tract De Origine Dedicatienun, 10 cap: where he shall have it fully recounted, out of the Puntifical of Albertus Castellanus, what a world of fopperies there are, of crosses, of candles, of holy water, and salt, and censings. Away with these trumperies. But, thus much let me say, that, laying aside all superstitious rites, it is both meet and necessary, that these kind of places should be set aside to this holy use, by a due and religious dedication, as we do this day.
You must know, first, that no creature is, in and of itse'f, holy: it becomes so, either by an infusion and participation of holiness, if it be a creature cap:ible thereof; or, by destination, to some sacred
purpose, and by prayers and holy actions tending thereunto. This latter way we find in usual practice, both with God's people; and, in their way, with strangers from the commonwealth of Israel.
Thus Moses, by God's command, when he had erected the Tabernacle and furnished it with utensils, did, by holy anointings, hal. low both the priests, and it; and the tables, and altars, and vessels thereto appertaining. Thus did Solomon, when he had built and perfected the Temple, with the altars, and all other the sacred appurtenances. And this feast of the Dedication of the Second Temple was honoured by our Saviour with his presence and celebration,
And his father David, when he had built a house for himself, would not take possession of it without a kind of dedication; as ye may find, Psalm xxx. in the title, A Psalm or Song, at the dedication of the house of David. Neither was this, as ye may perhaps think, a matter proper to David, as who was a prophet of God; but ye
shall find, that it was both of ancient and general use among the Jews: insomuch as Moses is bidden to proclaim, Deut. xx. 5. If there be any man, that hath built a new house, and not dedicated it, let him return lest he die, and another dedicate it.
And, if this were done to those private and momentary dwellings, how much more fit is it to be done to our common shy na, the house of our age! and, if it were thus in merely civil things, how much inore in matters afpertaining to God!
Neither do I hold it an ill argument of Durand, however censured by some, if the Jews used these dedications, how much more we! For, however the Jewish Church abounded more with rites and ceremonious observations than the Christian; (it was the fig tree in the vineyard, all leaves;) yet we must learn to distinguish of such ceremonies as were in use with them. They were of two sorts : some were of a typical prefiguration of things to come, and especially of the Messiah, and matters pertaining to his Kingdom; others were of a moral use and signification, conducing to religious decency and good order.
The former of these were long since abrogated; neither can we revive them without great prejudice and injury to that Christ, who was the end of the Law: and whoever doth so, I must, in seconding the zeal of St. Jerome, say, In barathrum diaboli devolutum iri.
The other are of eternal use; and either may, or must be, co?tinued in the Church till time shall be no more, according to the nature and quality of them. Of this kind are the decent forms of administration of God's public services, and the appendances thereof; in the fashion of buildings, of habits, of solemn music, and this of meet consecration, of those things which are to be devoted to any holy use.
And this is done these two ways: first, by the public prayers made and used for that purpose; secondly, by a public declaration of those, to whom that authority is committed, of the designation of that place or thing, to the uses intended, together with a separation or sequestration of it thereunto. After which, that place becomes holy ground; and is so to be accounted and employed thereafter: whereupon, to fight or quarrel in a Church-yard, is by law more penal than in the field or street: and what the privileges of these sanctuaries have been of old, you well know.
Perhaps some of you are ready to boggle at this, as if it were an uncouth point. It is an error, ascribed by Gabriel Prateolus to the Waldenses or poor men of Lyons, Asserunt nihil interesse quâcunque tellure corpora humana sepeliantur, sive locus sacer sit, sive non; • That there is no difference of burial-places, whether a man be interred in a holy place, or not:" wherein I know you will be willing to receive a satisfaction. Know then, that we must distinguish betwixt those things, which are essential to the good estate of the soul; and those, that are of meet convenience for the person.
As ye see it is in respect of the bodily life; some things are necessary and essential to it, as meat, and drink, and raiment; other things are of meet use for the convenience of the man, as housing, fashions of attire, bedding, forms of diet, and the like: so it is in respect of the soul: there are some things essential to the well-being of it; as repentance, faith, perseverance in both; the soul that departs thus endowed cannot fail of glory and happiness, whatever is done to the body, or wherever it is bestowed: there are other things of convenience to the person, both of the dead and living; thus is a decent interment of those that die in the Lord.
As, therefore, burying or not makes nothing to the state of the soul, but much to the honour or disgrace of the person, and, by way of relation, therefore, reaches to the soul; so, burying in consecrated, or unholy ground: we do, therefore, hold it a right and privilege of the faithful, that they are laid in Christian burial; and an aggravation of the punishment of malefactors, self-felons, and excommunicated persons, that they are buried out of that com
I remember Hospinian tells a story of a German Bishop, that, having, upon a large fee, consecrated the whole Church-yard, was asked by some of the parish, where they should bestow the children that died unbaptized, or those that die under censure: he saw his error, and, to correct it, did unhallow one piece of ground, for a new fee, of that which he had formerly consecrated.
Surely it is very expedient, that God's faithful people should be interred together: neither is it a small contentment to think, that we have good company, even in that region of desolation: whence it was, that the Patriarchs desired to be marshalled together in their graves; and the old Prophet, i Kings xiii. 31. gave charge, as in way of approbation of that young Seer whom he had seduced, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre, wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones : and Ruth would be buried where Naomi lies: although our main care and consolation must be, that our souls are gathered to the spirits of just men, in that glory to whose partnership the body shall once happily attain. The principal draws in the accessary: labour thy soul may be safe and happy, the body cannot fail of blessedness. But it is justly lamentable to see, some especially of a more eminent rank, that spend their care upon their body, to have it hearsed, churched, and chancelled; to have curious and costly tombs; how to set forth their monument with rance, jet, alabaster, porphyry, and all gay stones the earth can afford; and, in the mean time, make no provision for the happy estate of their souls. These are true spiritual unthrifts: gloria animalia, as Tertulliau's word is; whose bodies are not left so loathsome, as their names unsavoury, and their souls miserable.
Hitherto, that there must be a meet place, a place fixed and designed, for the burial of the dead.
(3.) Now let us a little look into the Choice of the place. It was a field, and a cave in that field: a field, not sub tecto, but sub dio; a field before Mamre, a city that took his name from the owner, Abraham's assistant in his war; before it, not in it.
And indeed both these are fit and exemplary: it was the antienteșt and best way, that sepultures should be without the gates of the city. Hence you find that our Saviour met the bier of the widow's son, as he was carried out of the gates of Naim to his burial: and hence, of old, was wont to be that proclamation of the Roman funerals, Ollus ecfertur foràs. And we find that Joseph of Arimathea had his private burial-place, in his garden, without the city; for it was near to Calvary. And so was Lazarus's sepulchre without Be