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such modifications and qualities, as may fit some of them to nourish any part, so that the grosser food may serve only as a sieve, or rather as a mill, to extenuate them into their first atoms or elements, and by consequence put them into a capacity to make up any part, either flesh or bone and hence perhaps it may be that the body consumes and wastes in diabetes, when the liquids pass out uncocted or unaltered, as Riverius and others observe. But that I may not seem to maintain a perfect paradox, I shall briefly recount to you this one experiment of a learned Author, (Helmont. til. complex. atque elementalium mixt. figm. 5. 30.) which, being of another nature, may not be so proper for this place; nevertheless, I believe it will serve well to illustrate our assertion. A small tree of five pounds weight was set in two hundred pounds of dried earth; and having been watered constantly for five years, was then taken up, when it weighed above an hundred and sixty pounds; but the earth in which it grew had not lost full two ounces of its weight. Now if water only, strained through the earth, can produce a tree, why may not any drink do the like as to the body ? especially if we look on a peculiar guidance of providence all along to accompany the action. And as to the difficulty which many make as an appendix to this third objection, (where you are to take notice that the proving the thing but possible will quite destroy this objection,) that there have been, or in time may be, more bodies of men to be raised than the whole globe of the earth will equal; I think it seems but a very frivolous instance, if we consider that there is no necessity at all for the parts of bodies deceased to be confined only to this earth, and by consequence from thence again to be received ; since the far greater part do manifestly expire into the air. 4. That there is an identity of body to be expected and believed, is manifest from the Apostle's words: he tells us expressly, ver. 53. this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’ Surely, perfectly another body, whether fantastical or philosophical, cannot be said properly to be rô p0aprow rowro, rö 0Unroy rooro, this very corruptible, this very mortal body : neither let this identity seem a thing either strange or impossible: the matter will be plain, if we once settle the right notion of identity, or when we may truly call a thing the same.
In a common and vulgar sense then, a thing is truly the same when most of the essential parts remain unchanged, or as many of those are left as denominate the thing this or that being: therefore a river is called the same, not from the water, but from the channel; and so long as that remains, we call it the same river, though the greater part of the water be dried up : for identity must arise from something permanent (call it form or what you please; form by Aristotle is defined Adyos ris ovoias, from which form proceeds identity) even in things successive or transitory in their parts; and so we say it is the same commonwealth, whilst the laws and polity, the principal denominations of it remain unaltered, notwithstanding all its administrators have been buried over and over : for both in these successive, and in permanent beings, there is a plain distinction between &AAolov and āAAo, altered, or changed and clear another thing. A building repaired, or newly beautified with paint, is altered indeed, but still the same house; and thus the body of man, though it becomes corpulent or lean, may though it be maimed to the loss of a limb or two, yet as long as the principal members remain intire, is called the same body, as HEneas said of Hector,
—— quantum mutatus ab illo
Aristotle surely intimated substantial form as the only principle of identity, when he defined it, Adyos drow ri ovel»at, the ground from whence a thing is what it was: but if we would speak in a strict philosophical sense, numerical identity depends on the same individual for matter as well as form; and from this notion is the objection started, that though there be, perhaps, in a man the same form both inward and outward, yet the matter of his body continually suffers a flux and change; and by consequence he will not, at thirty years of age have one dust of what he at first brought into the world, and therefore his body is not the same : to which it may be answered, that all the constitutive and denominating parts, from the cradle till we arrive at our full growth, remain the same, only suffering euch additions as can no way destroy their identity; as a ball of snow, that by rolling swells to twice the former bigness, is still the same; it having all it had at first, albeit there is an accession of as much more. If there was not this identity, how comes it that scars and maiming of limbs, or shrinking of sinews, or especially crookedness of any bone, or the like, happening to us in our infancy, should so surely attend us to the grave, notwithstanding we may have had above half an age to outgrow or shake it off? If every part daily decays and is daily renewed, the greatest deformity need not despair; nor ought the most admirable features to grow proud ; for a little time might easily make there an angel, and here a monkey: but that I may say no more, the very fracture of a bone seems to put the thing beyond dispute; for if every piece of it were changed in the space of ten or twenty years, the glassy cement which knitted the broken shivers together, would in that time be quite worn out; whereas in skeletons learned anatomists tell us they have more than once observed the contrary : the change therefore which is daily wrought in our body, is not in any thing which may properly be called its parts, if we will stand to its definition given by the soberest philosophers : they are but humors and spirits, fat and blood, and the like, wherein our greatest alterations consist ; all which are no more strictly to be esteemed parts than our meat or drink newly received, or turned to excrement: therefore to say there will be an identity of body in the resurrection implies thus much, that all which is then properly its part, when it dies, shall be again restored in the latter day. Neither ought this to seem strange to any one who shall reflect on that wonderful and celebrated experiment, the proper emblem of a resurrection, recorded by many learned authors, and practicable enough among us ; I mean Hermes's tree, or the philosophical plant, when an intire vegetable reduced into dust and ashes is again resuscitated to all its pristine proportions and similitude, and may in a strict sense be truly called the same plant, in as much as the very same parts which were calcined, are again numerically reformed after the same manner. Therefore, that I may conclude in the words of a learned author, (Dr. Browne, Rel. Med.) what the art of man can do in these inferior pieces, what blasphemy is it to affirm the finger of God cannot do in those more perfect and sensible structures 1"
In this discourse I have all along followed the Apostle's example, in making use of instances only from the book of nature; for those alone must needs be sufficient to satisfy any reasonable ingenious man, if he but considers that they are the common effects of natural causes, whilst the whole business of the resurrection is committed to the power of God. Hitherto we have been concerned in rescuing and asserting the possibility of the resurrection of the body, in such manner as the Scripture expresses it, from the most remarkable exceptions made against it; now with like ease might be shown the necessity of the resurrection, both that our faith may appear reasonable, and the Christian religion be advantageous to its followers: for did man die like a beast, and his soul perish when his body was dissolved; were his being and existence to cease with this life, nor he possessed with the belief of any thing after it; then certainly would our faith be vain and groundless; our religion fond and romantic; and we most indiscreet in our choice, and unhappy in our end : ‘for if in this life we only have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable;’ (1 Cor. xv. 19.) inasmuch as God's promises and all our hopes are bottomed on the resurrection, as their only basis and foundation. And methinks there should not be the least appearance of reason why we should scruple the certainty thereof, did we but observe the two infallible supporters of our belief, God's omnipotence, and our Saviour's example : now if the resurrection, neither in respect of God nor us, implies a contradiction, then it is possible for his power to effect it; and whatever is possible is easy with him; for difficulty proceeds from want of power, which want can find no place in omnipotence: but that the resurrection is possible appears from our Saviour's example, who is already risen.
* 1 Cor. xv. 12. “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?'
Wherefore, 1. this should highly encourage us to run our Christian race with constancy and resolution. If our afflictions be sharp, and such as are contrary to flesh and blood, we should both consider that they will be momentary, and meditate on the large recompenses which God has designed us for doing our duty; large, in respect of their duration, for they shall be endless; “the righteous shall go into life everlasting;’ large, if you regard their quality and intenseness, “such as eye hath not seen, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive.” If the unkindly assaults of malice and envy be so violent as to seem unsupportable, we may reflect on God's promise, (and what he has promised will certainly be, because truth is his inseparable attribute,) that “he will not suffer us to be afflicted above what we are able.”
2. This should engage us to pay the greatest measure of thanksgiving and gratitude to our Saviour, for having done so much for us who deserved so little. The excellency of the Christian religion above the heathen philosophy consists in this; that it has not only given more clear and distinct notices of virtue and natural laws, but also powerfully enforced our submission thereunto, in having promised rewards to our obedience, and threatened severely to punish our neglect: for though it be true that virtue is a recompense to itself, and that we cannot conceive what should put more fervor into our zeal and flame into our devotion, than the reasonableness of our religion, and the inherent lustre shining in all its laws; (its precepts being worthy of the wisdom of God, and suitable to the nature of man, rectifying our reason, purifying our natures, and perfecting our understandings;) yet since our nature is corrupted, and our body so closely united to the soul, it does by reason of that union, if not fatally determine, at least so strongly incline our will to comply with its brutish motions, that were there no resurrection, no heaven nor hell, no reward for virtue or punishment for vice, it would be highly probable that we should be very slack and languid in our pursuance of goodness and piety, seldom embracing virtue but when our bodies by sickness or age were indisposed to vice.
Wherefore, for as much as our blessed Saviour, neither al