Monday, 11 June 2012

God's Acre - 1898

Ecclesiastical Curiosities - (1898)
Editor: William Andrews
Project Gutemburg
"Among all classes of English people there are mixed feelings relating to our churchyards. They are either places of reverence on the one hand, or superstition on the other. The sacred plot surrounding the old Parish Church carries with it such a host of memories and associations, that to the learned and thoughtful it has always been God’s Acre, hallowed with a tender hush of silent contemplation of the many sad rifts and partings among us. We almost vie with each other in proclaiming that deep reverence for this one sacred spot, so dear to our family life, and affections, by those mementos of love which we raise over the resting-places of our lost ones gone before. This is strangely apparent in the stately monument, where the carver’s art declares the virtues of the dead, either by sculptured figure, or verse engraven, as well as in the ofttimes more pathetic, and perhaps more beautiful, tribute of the floral cross or wreath culled by loving hands, and borne in silence, by our poorer brethren, as the only offering, or tribute, their slender means allows them to make. Be sure of this one fact, that our English Churchyards are better kept—more worthy of the name of God’s Acre than in the times past, for what is a more beautiful sight, than to see the kneeling children around the garden grave of a parent, or a child companion, adorning the little mound with flowers for the Eastertide festival. Here we have a living illustration of the truth of the concluding words of our Great Creed: “I look for the Resurrection of the Dead and the Life of the World to come.”

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