« 이전계속 »
The precise quantity of matter which may be necessary to complete that organization which our bodies will then possess, may be but exceedingly small. For, as the present organs themselves will undergo surprising changes, and those parts which required the greatest compactness and density of materials, will, in all probability be done away; a small portion of matter may be sufficient to fix those organs in a state of perpetual vigour, which have ripened in the grave, and which shall flourish in eternity. And, therefore, the germ which is now lodged within us in some secret and unapproachable recess of our bodies, may contain within itself all those numerical particles, which may be necessary to form that future spiritualized body, which shall succeed to this which we now possess.
The modification, indeed, of those particles which shall remain, must be totally changed ; and perhaps they may be differently combined ; so that what now forms but an invisible portion may be diffused on every side. And, by the peculiar configuration of the parts, and exquisite disposition of the constituent materials; this portion may be capable, through the power of expansion, of engrossing the same superfices of space as our present bodies now engross.
It may, perhaps, be said, “ that the above observations will make a part to contain a whole.” I admit the fact, but deny the absurdity which perhaps may
be inferred. The utmost that can be said is this, that these observations make a part of that body which now is, to contain the whole of that body which shall be hereafter, which may be done without absurdity or contradiction.
Of the various changes which our bodies shall undergo, we can form but inadequate conceptions ; and these conceptions must be much confused. Even the stations which our future bodies are destined to occupy, demand an important change in their constitution ; and afford much corroborating evidence to support the sentiment now before us.
When all the intestines shall be destroyed, and blood shall be no longer necessary to repair the system--when the mediums of nutrition shall be done away-when the organs of respiration, and of generation shall be for ever removed,--and all distinctions of sex shall be abolished we see convincing reasons why a large proportion of our present materials may be spared. The removal of these organs, and consequently of the materials of which they are formed, must make a considerable deduction from the general stock, as well as form a new epoch in human existence. On these considerations, the reduction in real quantity may be so great, as to leave no occasion for more particles than what the
be able to supply, without the admission of any new atom into any part of the spiritualized system.
In the mean while, the exterior of the human figure may pe preserved entire, in all its parts ; and even the particular turn of those features, and coun
tenances, * by which we shall be able to recognize our departed friends, will be secured from the injuries of death, and the dissolution of the
grave. They will, in all probability, be considerably improved by the changes which the body shall have undergone ; at once heightened by the flush of youth which shall never fade; with vigour which shall never decay; and with life which shall never end.
The particular manner, in which this radical principle, which now constitutes the identity of the human body exists, is too obscure for our developement; too mysterious for our researches. It may be so far distended as to pervade the whole mass of matter of which our bodies are composed; or at least, may form those attenuated outlines, which give permanency to our features; and to which extraneous matter adheres in the present life. To this portion the organs may be annexed; or perhaps within its confines they may be lodged ; and those particles which are vitally united to it, in any stage of our present being, in all probability become parts of our bodies, from partaking of that common life which appears to be connected with it. In this view, it becomes a medium of action, through which the exterior organs communicate intelligence to the immaterial spirit, with which it is connected, and to which it is allied. And, when the immaterial spirit which is most probably united to this principle of identity, shall be removed ; then this principle of identity shall be withdrawn from its distention, or at least shall cease to operate; and retiring into itself, the whole body shall sink into a lifeless mass.
* Against the supposition, that the same exterior figure, and particular turn of features and countenances will be preserved, notwithstanding the changes which the body will undergo, it may perhaps be objected, “ That bodily defects and deformities will be perpetuated also.” To this I answer, that what is thus presumed,' is by no means a necessary consequence of the theory for which I contend. It is more than probable, that those deformities which we now behold, are lodged in those extraneous parts which are but mere appendages to the principle of bodily identity. We are confirmed in this opinion, by circiimstances of daily observation. When we compare the shri. velled muscles of fourscore, with the blush of beauty which the age of nineteen exhibits; we cannot but perceive comparative deformity. And yet we are fully assured that sameness of person has continued under all the stages of variation. The same observations may be made on the complexion of those countenances, which shall be preserved. In this also, we behold in the present life some diminutive changes. The
of corruption may therefore renovate the complexion as well as the body, and bring the whole of the human race to a standard of external beauty, of which we are incompetent to form adequate conceptions.
From the latent properties of this principle, it is highly probable that it may diffuse its attenuated fibres, through those parts which may be considered as the principal seats of life ; while even that flexibility of texture which is inseparable from its nature, may add to the permanency of its being, and unite its materials with an adhesion which shall continue for ever. Capable of retiring within itself, when any
of the organical parts are wounded, through which it had been diffused, it will lose no part by such exterior mutilations. Like the sensitive plant, it will shrink from the touch of violence, and hang upon its own centre like the world which we inhabit. The lobes of matter, through which it had been diffused, but from which it is now driven by force; no longer able to perform the functions which were peculiar to their station, while united to the principle of identity, may remain while the uses of them are totally withdrawn, and nothing continues but the configuration of parts. This
germ, in which the identity of the body is lodged, having retired from the forsaken part, removes with the removal of itself, all that energy which can dintinguish the organs from the mere modification of matter; and will be prepared to diffuse this energy which now resides within itself, through any new particles which may be vitally united to it. And, as all matter is in its own nature incorruptible, and therefore placed beyond the influence of dissolution and decay; when this germ, either with or without new particles of matter which shall collect around it, uniting with its immaterial partner, shalt retire into a more permanent region, where it shall be for ever removed from those external causes which in our present state are capable of destroying the adhesion and cement of matter in almost every form; it shall commence a mode of being which shall continue through eternity. For, what being soever shall inhabit a state into which nothing shall enter, and in which nothing can exist that is capable of conducting it towards a state of dissolution, that being, whatsoever may be the mo