The memory of the just [is] blessed
Men to whom he has been useful, either in temporals or spirituals, bless him, or wish all blessings to him while alive, whenever they make mention of his name; and after death they speak well of him, and pronounce him blessed; for such are had in everlasting remembrance; the memory of them is sweet and precious; their name is famous and valuable, and always spoken of with honour and commendation; see ( Psalms 112:6 ) . The Jewish writers take it for a command, and render it, "let the memory of the just be blessed"; and say, that he that transgresses it breaks an affirmative precept; they make an abbreviation of the word by the initial letters, and join them to the names of their celebrated men;
but the name of the wicked shall rot;
shall be forgotten, be buried in oblivion, and never mentioned: and though they may call their houses, lands, and cities, by their own names, in order to transmit their memory to posterity; yet these, by one means or another, are destroyed, and their memorials perish with them; see ( Ecclesiastes 8:10 ) ( Psalms 49:11 ) ( 9:6 ) ; and if their names are mentioned after they are gone, it is with detestation and abhorrence, as things putrefied are abhorred; so they leave an ill savour behind them, when the good name of the righteous is as precious ointment, ( Ecclesiastes 7:1 ) . It is a saying of Cicero F1, that
``the life of the dead lies in the memory of the living.''
F1 Orat. 51. Philip. 9.