Tombs decked by the arts can scarcely represent death as a formidable enemy; we do not, indeed, like the ancients, carve sports and dances in the sarcophagus, but thought is diverted from the bier by works that tell of immortality, even from the altar of death.
I have completed a monument more lasting than brass, and more sublime than the regal elevation of pyramids, which neither the wasting shower, the unavailing north-wind, or an innumerable succession of years, and the flight of seasons, shall be able to demolish.
The monument means a world of memories, a world of deeds, a world of tears, and a world of glories. * * * By the subtle chemistry that no man knows, all the blood that was shed by our brethren, all the lives that were devoted, all the grief that was felt, at last crystallized itself into granite, rendering immortal the great truth for which they died, and it stands there to-day.
When we see the many grave-stones which have fallen in, which have been defaced by the footsteps of the congregation, which lie buried under the ruins of the churches, that have themselves crumbled together over them; we may fancy the life after death to be as a second life, into which man enters in the figure, or the picture, or the inscription, and lives longer there than when he was really alive. But this figure also, this second existence, dies out too, sooner or later. Time will not allow himself to be cheated of his rights with the monuments of men or with themselves.