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Tenting By A Graveyard
B. Carradine
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Life In This World, Its Vanity and Brevity.

TITLE: Tenting By A Graveyard

The meeting here is being held in a quiet sylvan spot, just beyond the suburbs. It is quite a pretty place, with its wooded valley and green hillsides dotted with trees. I had my tent moved up from the dale to the top of one of the broad, low hills, and find that my nearest neighbor is a family cemetery, filled with gleaming marble slabs and pillars. I visited it this afternoon, being surprised at its presence on the hill. I found it to be the burial lot of a single family.

The father, mother, sons and daughters were all here, making a dozen mounds in all. Each grave had a marble headpiece, showing the family to have been one of means; while the dates revealed that all had been dead quite a while. The large size of the cedar trees, the utter destruction of the original fence, and two of the slabs lying upon the ground corroborated the statement of the dates. Formerly the public road had run by it, but a new highway had been opened years ago to town and the old road was now washed in gullies, unfenced and growing up with elder bushes and golden rod. The melancholy picture my eyes looked upon was a forgotten family lying in a neglected spot, by the side of a forsaken road.

Truly we do not have to go far to get the most solemn lessons of life! And so many of them seem to teach the vanity of everything but Heaven. How soon we are forgotten on earth. How quickly our places are taken in life, and we are scarcely missed. How the heart yearns as we grow older, to have the journey of life over. How we envy sometimes the pale-faced sleepers in these quiet burial grounds! Their battles have been fought, their toil is over, and, if saved, their sorrows are ended forever. I came away from the place with a strange sensation, as though I had seen a milepost close to heaven.

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