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to discard both. Even the term germ itself implies prematurity and imperfection; and we have as much reason to suppose that this imperfection and prematurity applies to the formality, as well as to the completion of existence.
When we turn our thoughts to the germ of future being, as it applies to the bodies which shall be hereafter; there are two views in which it may be contemplated. The first of these, is to view the germ as being a fixed principle, to which extraneous atoms shall adhere to complete the frame; and the second is to view this germ as including all those particles, which are necessary to constitute that body which shall survive the grave. On both of these we will make some remarks. In the first of these views, a germ can only be considered as a radical or seminal principal, which becomes the foundation of the future body; and is that, from whence future life shall emanate. That it is that fixed principle which shall survive the grave; around which future atoms shall rally, and to which they shall adhere, to form that body which we shall possess for ever.
If the germ of being, which constitutes the characteristic of animals and plants, and which in reality seminally contains their essential powers, were to contain within itself in the present life, the formal parts of those bodies, which are to succeed in future generations; then nothing more than simple developement would be necessary to complete the future mass ; nor would the adherence of any additional atom, be necessary to give a completion which must be supposed to be inherent. But, to admit this supposition, would be to make an end of all distinctions between degrees of ponderosity and degrees of magnitude; it would be to annihilate those degrees which exist in each, in proportion to the specific quantity of matter that they contain. This would, in fact, involve an absurdity; because it would make a part to contain a whole. But to admit only a mode of material existence, which includes wichin it a virtual, or potential energy to produce a future body, and from which, all degrees of magnitude and ponderosity are perfectly excluded in the consideration ; the supposition will exclude the absurdities of the last sentence, while the germ itself will retain the capability of becoming the foundation and permanent principle of that future body, which is presumed to result from it. bona
That all causes include their effects, will, perhaps, be denied by none; but we cannot conceive, from admitting this axiom, that effects reside in their causes in a formal manner; or that the effect can exist in its cause in the character of an effect. All that we can possibly conceive by such language, is, that a virtual energy resides in the cause, adequate to produce that effect which we attribute to it, when brought into actual operation.
Were we to suppose, that the fruit which any given tree should produce, actually existed in the tree itself in a formal manner; the effect would, in many cases, be much greater than its cause, which we are well assured is totally impossible. And, in like manner, could we suppose, that all the individual parts of all the posterity of Adam, were actually and formally resident within t'le loins of our great progenitor ; it would raise him into a state of being monstrous and absurd. It seems, therefore, more congenial with our understandings and judgments, to suppose that Adam possessed the power of biegetting his posterity, than to conceive that all his posterity, to the latest periods of time, were actually included or resident within him. It is in this view, that an effect may with the utmost propriety, be said to reside within its cause. The cause must possess a virtual energy, which it is capable of exerting; in order to produce those effects, which time only can ripen into maturity, and which must look back to this cause as the origin of their existence.
But, even admitting, in the progress of reasoning, that all effects actually reside within their causes; and that the germ of being, for which I contend, as applying exclusively to the human body, contains within it all the minute and insensible parts ofthat body which shall be; I say,admitting that these effects have this formal existence, yet I have no conception that this supposition would involve the resurrection in any difficulty. For, in the case before us it could not be said to contain within it, the numerical particles of the body which now is, but of that body which shall be ; and, therefore, those difficulties which may be inseparable from this mode of accounting for seminal existence in the present life, can have no kind of application beyond the grave. I now proceed to the second view.
The bodies, which shall be raised hereafter from
the sleep of death, we are fully satisfied, will be of a refined and spiritual nature; so far as matter in its most exalted state can be abstracted from its grossness, without losing any essential property of its nature. Under these circumstances, the real number of particles which is necessary to form that immortal and spiritual body which shall be, may be considerably less than that which is necessary to form those bodies which we have in the present life. With the powers of expansion we are but little acquainted ; it is a term, when applied to the particles of matter, to which we can hardly annex any precise idea ; and we are therefore unable to calculate upon its extent. How far those particles which shall compose our bodies hereafter, may be capable of dilation, and of admitting vacuities in their minute recesses, in order to give extension to the extremities of the body which they shall compose, it is impossible for us to say. But, even simple extension may supply the place of matter; and tend to spiritualize the body which shall survive the grave. On these grounds, an inconsiderable number of particles may be sufficient to form the body; and that portion which now constitutes its identity, may perhaps contain within it all those atoms which may be neces. sary to the formation of a spiritual body beyond the grave.
The power of expansion, when applied to matter, will open to our view a field of wonders which we cannot fathom ; and, like that space which suggests to us the idea of its existence, it seems an ocean without bottom and without shore.
It is a pathless region, in which we may wander in endless excursions, till we completely lose ourselves in our own contemplations.
As the future bodies, which we expect to possess beyond the grave, will be light, active, and volatile ; and as the matter of which they will be composed, will be so far refined, that it will become comparatively spiritual in its nature ; we are led immediately to conclude, that the specific quantity of matter which will be necessary then, can bear but a small proportion to the quantity which is now requisite. The changes which our present bodies must undergo corroborate this truth; and induce us to believe that we have more particles now, than we shall have then.
The particles expanded into a tenuity, with which we are but imperfectly acquainted, may sustain their relative positions in the future system ; and complete that organization' which will be necessary for the state which these bodies shall inherit. And, while the density of the parts which are so necessary in the present economy of life, shall be removed ; the particles themselves which constituted it, must be removed also, because not wanted. This removal must therefore lighten the mass of its cumberous load; and contribute towards that activity, tenuity, and energy, which shall remain for ever. Our uniform expectations tend to confirm these observations; because they find a mirror in every feeling heart.