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SECT. X. A solution of the objection taken from hence, that the bodies after their dissolution cannot be restored.

BESIDES the objection which we have now answered, it is commonly alleged, that the bodies of men, after their dissolution, cannot be restored to the same frame again; but this is said without the least foundation. For most philosophers agree, that, though the things be ever so much changed, the matter of them still remains, capable of being formed into different shapes;238238   If any one be not satisfied with this account of Grotius, he may be answered, that it is not at all necessary that the matter which is raised should be numerically the same with that which the dying man carried to the grave with him; for he will be as much the same man, though his soul were joined to matter which it was never before joined to, provided it be the same soul, as a decrepit old man is the same as he was when a child crying in the cradle, though perhaps there is not in the old man one particle of that matter there was in the infant, by reason of the continual effluvia which fly from the body. It may very well be called a resurrection of the body, when a like one is formed by God out of the earth, and joined to the mind; therefore there is no need of reducing ourselves to so great straits, in order to defend too stitily the sameness of the matter. Le Clerc. and who will affirm, that God does not know at what places, though ever so far distant, the parts of that matter are, which go to the making up of a human body? or, that he has not power to bring them back and reunite them? and do the same in the universe, 95that we see chemists do in their furnaces and vessels, collect those particles which are of the same kind, though separated from one another? And there are examples in nature, which shew, that though the shape of things be ever so much changed, yet the things themselves return to their original form; as in seeds of trees and plants. Neither is that knot, which is objected by so many, such as cannot be loosed, viz. concerning human bodies passing into nourishment of wild beasts and cattle; who, after they are thus fed, are eaten again by men. For the greatest part of what is eaten by us is not converted into any part of our body, but goes into excrements or superfluities, such as spittle and choler: and much of that which has nourishment in it is consumed by diseases, internal heat, and the ambient air. Which being thus, God, who takes such care of all kinds, even of dumb creatures, may have such a particular regard to human bodies, that if any part of them should come to be food for other men, it should no more be converted into their substance, than poison or physic is; and so much the rather, because human flesh was not given to be food for men. And if it were otherwise, and that something which does not belong to the latter body must be taken from it, this will not make it a different body; for there happens a greater change of its particles in this life:239239   See Alfenus, in lib. Proponebar. D. de Judiciis: “If any one should think, that, by altering the parts, any thing is made different from what it was before; according to such reasoning, we ourselves should be different from what we were a year since: because, as philosophers say, those small parts, of which we consist, continually fly off from our bodies, and other foreign ones come in their room.” And Seneca, ep. lviii. “Our bodies are in a continual flux, like a river; all that we see runs away as time does: none of those things we see are durable. I myself am changed, while I am speaking of their change.” See Methodius’s excellent dissertation upon this subject, whose words Epiphanius has preserved in his confutation of the Origenists, number xii. xiii. xiv. xv. nay, a butterfly is contained in a worm;240240   See Ovid in the last book of his Metamorphoses:— “Wild moths (a thing by countrymen observ’d) Betwixt the leaves in tender threads involv’d, Transform their shape into a butterfly.”
   We may add something out of Pliny’s natural history, book ix. chap. 51. concerning frogs: he says, “For half a year of their life they are turned into mud, and cannot be seen; and, by the waters in the spring, those which were formerly bred, are bred again afresh.” And in book x. chapter 9. “The cuckow seems to be made of a hawk, changing his shape in the time of year.” And book xi. chap. 20. “There are who think, that some creatures which are dead, if they be kept in the house in water, will come to life again, after the sun shines hot upon them in the spring, and they be kept warm all day in wood ashes.” And again, chap. 22. speaking of silk-worms, “Another original of them may be from a larger sort of worm, which shoots forth a double kind of horns; these are called canker-worms, and afterwards become what they call the humble-bee; from whence comes another sort of insect. termed Necydalus, which, in six months time, turns into a silkworm.” And again, chap. 23. speaking of the silk-worm of Coos, he says, “They were first small and naked butterflies.” And chap. 26. concerning the grasshopper; ” It is first a small worn, but afterwards comes out of what they call Tettygometra, whose shell being broke, they fly away about midsummer.” Chap. 30. “Flies drowned in liquor, if they be buried in ashes, return to life again.” And chap. 32. “Many insects are bred in another manner. And first the horse-fly, out of the dew: in the beginning of the spring, it sticks to a radish-leaf, and being stiffened by the sun, it gathers into the bigness of a millet. Out of this springs a small worm, and, in three days after, a canker-worm, which increases in g few days, having a hard shell about it, and moves at the touch of a spider; this canker-worm, which they call a chrysalis, when the shell is broken, flies away a butterfly.”
and the substance of herbs, or of wine, in some very little thing, 96from whence they are again restored to their true bigness,241241   If Grotius had lived till our days, he would have spoken more fully; since it is evident that all animals, of whatever kind, spring from an egg, in which they are formed, as all plants do from seeds, though never so small. But this is nothing to the resurrection, for bodies will not rise again out of such principles. Le Clerc. Certainly, since these, and many other such like suppositions, may be made without any absurdity, there is no reason 97why the restoring of a body, after it is dissolved, should be reckoned amongst the things that are impossible; especially since learned men, such as Zoroaster amongst the Chaldeans,242242   See Clemens, Strom. v. almost all the stoics,243243   Clemens, Strom. v. “He (Heraclitus) knew, having learnt it from the barbarian philosophy, that men who lived wickedly should be purified by fire, which the stoics call ἐκπύρωσιν, whereby they imagine every one shall rise again such a one as he really is: thus they treat of the resurrection.” And Origen, book v. against Celsus: “The stoics say, that, after a certain period of time, the universe shall be burnt, and after that shall be a renovation, in which all things shall continue unchangeable.” And afterwards: “They have not the name of the resurrection, but they have the thing.” Origen here adds the Egyptians. Chrysippus, concerning Providence, quoted by Lactantius, book vi. of his Institutions, has these words; “Which being thus there is evidently no impossibility, but that we also, when we are dead, after a certain period of time is past, may be restored again to the same state in which we now are.” He that is at leisure may look into Nathaniel Carpenter’s sixteenth exercise of free philosophy. and Theopompus,244244   Concerning whom, see Diogenes Laërtius in the beginning of his book. “And Theopompus in his eighth Philippic relates, as the opinion of the wise men, that men shall live again, and become immortal, and every thing shall continue what it is.” among the peripatetics, believed that it could be, and that it would be.

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