THE manner of burial of the dead among different nations is various. Each one has a way of interring or disposing of the deceased which to other nations seems peculiar and superstitious.

The followers of Thales buried their dead in water, because water was believed to be the origin of all things, and the destiny of man. The disciples of Heraclitus built the high funeral pile, and amid sacrificial incense, burned the dead bodies of their friends upon it. When the fire was kindled, the face was averted from the spectacle to evince the grief felt in ministering the melancholy office; and the eye was uplifted toward the blue heavens as a recognition of a supreme power, and as an evidence of the expectation of reunion there.

The first cemetery of which we have any account is that which existed beyond Lake Acherusia, or Acharejish, in Egypt; 

(this name signified "the last state of man.") 

On the border of this lake a tribunal, consisting of forty-two judges, was established to inquire into the nature and character of the deceased. If the individual had led a wicked life, he was not allowed a burial place within the cemetery, but was cast into a large ditch called Tartar. It had received this appellation on account of the lamentation this sentence caused among the friends of the departed. If, on the other hand, he had lived an honest, upright life, his friends, by paying a small sum for ferrying the remains across the lake, could secure their interment in the cemetery.

One of the customs relating to the dead, that is universal among all nations, is that of wearing some ensign of mourning for the deceased. Various colors are worn by different nations. In Europe and America the ordinary color worn on such occasions is black. In China it is white, the same as was worn by the Spartan and Roman ladies. Blue or violet is worn in Turkey, yellow in Egypt, and brown in Ethiopia. 

Each nation assigns a reason for the different colors, which they wear. Black, which is the privation of light, indicates the privation of life; white is an emblem of the purity of the spirit; yellow represents the end of all our earthly hopes, as it is the color of leaves when they fall, and of flowers when they fade; brown denotes the earth to which the dead return; blue is an emblem of happiness, which it is hoped the deceased enjoys; and purple or violet expresses a mixture of sorrow and hope.

What in China is worn to express the bereavement of the heart for the loved and silent dead, is worn in America to celebrate the marriage festivity. The costume that is worn as an emblem of sorrow, does not always bespeak the truthfulness of the emotions within. It is the heaving sigh, the flowing tear, that marks the anguish of the grief-stricken soul. But how the blessed hope cheers the mourner's heart as he anticipates a glorious meeting by-and-by with the same one that was borne to thevillage of the silent dead! Oh, Heaven, the Christian's home! In that beautiful and no ensign of mourning is worn, and no church bell tolls the death-knell of departed friends. No eyelids droop in the sleep of death, and no tear-stained eyes are seen.