chapter  XXVI
14 Pages

Of Funerals

THE war being ended, humanity doth invite us, to bewail for the dead, and to bury them. It is a work wholly of piety, and more meritorious than any other. For he that giveth succour to a man whilst he is a-life may hope for some service of him or a reciprocal kindness; but from a dead creature we can expeCt nothing more. This is that which made that holy man Tobias to be acceptable to God; and for that good office they that employed themselves in the burying of our Saviour are praised in the Gospel. As for tears and mournings, behold what saith the wise son of Sirach: "My son, pour forth tears over the dead, and begin to mourn as if thou hadft suffered great harm thyself; and then cover his body according to his appointment, and negldl not his burial. Make a grievous lamentation, and be earneft in mourning, and use lamentation as he is worthy, and that a day or two, left thou be evil spoken of" [Eccles. xxxviii. 16, 17].