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An Endeavour to Classify the Sepulchral Remains in Northamptonshire, or a Discourse on Funeral Monuments, in That County

An Endeavour to Classify the Sepulchral Remains in Northamptonshire, or a Discourse on Funeral Monuments, in That County

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Excerpt from An Endeavour to Classify the Sepulchral Remains in Northamptonshire, or a Discourse on Funeral Monuments, in That County: Delivered Before the Members of the Religious and Useful Knowledge Society, at Northampton

I would prevail on you to accompany me to the narrow resting-places of the dead. Let us enter reverently, as such spots should ever be approached, and contemplate the silent sanctuaries where the great and the good lie entombed. Their bones are mouldering into dust, and the monuments that decorate their shrine partake of the same fate. The hoary hand of time has spread mildew on the busts and effigies that have escaped the ravages of human despoilers, and with difficulty their fair proportions can be traced. We shall behold the pomp of marble mutilated and over thrown, and monumental brass corroded and defaced. Yet amid this'scene of havoc and death, we shall find still lingering the vestiges of genius and taste, and see the creations of the artist struggling for preservation, rising as it were superior to the shocks of dissolution and decay. Many a damp and neglected edifice yet testifies, by its shivered and disfigured monuments, that these places of worship were once more religiously guarded; they present vivid proofs of the piety of those whose names may be forgotten, but whose charity in erecting them is still a blessing. Nor, if we enter these holy places with a sober and chastened mind, shall we fail to gather therein some godly re?ections, which will teach us to moralize on the vanity of earthly greatness, that will shew us our kindred with corruption, and remind us that we ourselves once bore a more intimate and close resemblance to a brighter image, though now it is dishonoured and broken.

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