Attempting to Escape the Resurrection

In the city of Hanover is a graveyard which has been closed for a number of years—the Garden Churchyard. Owing to its antiquated monuments and the fact of its being the resting place of a number of celebrated characters, it awakens the liveliest curiosity. A few paces east of the unassuming little church in the graveyard is a monument tottering from its foundation. It is built in the form of steps, and the massive stones are secured by heavy iron clasps. The monument was erected in the year 1782.

Beside the usual family inscriptions, at the base of the monument are engraved these arrogant lines: “The sepulchre, purchased for all eternity, is not permitted to be opened.” Opposed to this determination of man, a beech seed, perhaps carried by the wind, found its way into a crevice of the foundation.

In the course of years this little seed grew to be a strong, luxuriant tree, mocked the proud inscription of the monument, raised the massive stones from their foundation, and rent the strong iron clasp asunder.

This open grave reminds the visitor of the mutability of earthly scenes, and the fallacy of man’s resolution to project plans to last for “all eternity.”

Dictionary of Anecdote, Incident, Illustrative Fact, Selected and Arranged for the Pulpit and the Platform, Walter Baxendale

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