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from the powerful controul and influence of some invisible agent, yield a ready obedience to the laws of chemical affinity ; and, separating from that confederacy in which they had been bound, pass into a variety of new combinations, causing an entire decomposition of the body which they, so lately, constituted. What, then, has occurred, in this one moment, to produce this mighty change? We are told, that the animal has died, has been deprived of life. What, then, was this Life? Where was its peculiar seat ? Whither has it gone ?
? What was its essence; what its mode of acting; why, and how, did its action cease? We know not. But, this body, which we are contemplating, has lost, not only its life, that something which controuled, and moulded, and gave energy
and impulse to, the matter of which the body was composed ; it has, also, lost that other something, which, also, was, in some way or other, connected with it, which dwelt in it, and made use of the several bodily organs as media of sensation or as instruments of action ; that, also, has quitted the body. What was this late inmate of the living body? Where was its peculiar seat ? What the tie that linked it to the living frame ? How was that tie broken, and whither has this late inmate of the body flown? We are utterly ignorant as regards all these points. We observe, that, so long as an animal body preserves its life and its sentient intelligent inmate, so long, also, is the process of respiration or breathing carried on in that body. We have acquired the habit of dating the existence of an animal from the moment of its birth--at that moment, it inspires ; and the process of respiration (consisting of alternate inspiration and expiration) continues in the body of that animal until the animal dies; when it dies, it ceases to respire,when it ceases to respire, it dies.
Thus, ignorant though we are as to what life is, and as to what the sentient and intelligent inmate of a living animal body is ; we observe the fact, that these co-exist in an animal body so long as the process of respiration is maintained in that body; and that, when death takes place, respiration ceases, and life, and feeling, and intelligence, cease to exist in the non-respiring body. We, thus, learn to connect the presence of life and of sentient intelligence in an animal body, with the process of respiration as carried on in that body. We observe, that inspiration is the first act after birth, and that expiration is the last act, and that with the final expiration is connected the departure of life and of sentient intelligence from the body. When, therefore, that mighty and astounding change takes place in an animal body which is denominated its death, we express what has occurred, by saying, that the animal has expired, has breathed its last breath, has made its final expiration. We fix upon that which is cognizable by our senses, and we say, that the animal has expired, because we observe that it no more inspires ; and, in this statement of a sensible fact, are included, the departure of life, and the departure of sentient intelligence, from the body of whose expiration we are speaking. For, as animal life, and the sentient intelligent principle which dwells in the living animal body, are things known only by their effects ; things, of which, in themselves, no sense which we possess can take any cognizance; things, of whose essence, or mode of being, we know not anything, and with regard to whose essence, or mode of being, we cannot form anything approaching to a conception ; so, are we utterly unable to perceive the departure of these things from the body;
but, we, at once, come to the conclusion that they have departed, merely from observing, that the process of respiration has ceased, and that there no longer is any
manifestation of their presence. Thus, is the breathing of an animal body intimately associated in our minds with the existence of life and intelligence in that body; and, thus, do we acquire the habit of dwelling on the contemplation of that respiratory process which is cognizable by our senses, until it absorbs, as it were,
into itself that life and sentient intelligence of whose essence our minds cannot form any idea ; so that we are led to regard the departure of breath from the body, as the principal feature in that marvellous change which is called death. And, having thus accustomed our minds to associate the loss of breath with what is termed the death of an animal body, until we have learned to regard loss of breath as identical with death ; we are led to regard the act of breathing, or the breath, as constituting the leading distinction between a living animal body and a dead animal body. Thus, we term the former an animate body, and the latter an inanimate body; yet, what do these words, taken in their strict import, imply? An animate body,
is a body endowed with animation or anima'; anima being a Latin noun feminine, which, as well as the Latin masculine noun animus, is formed from the Greek noun avenos,
wind or breath ; and the body derives its name animal from the anima which appears to animate it; so that, strictly speaking, an animal body, so soon as it becomes inanimate, loses all title to the appellation animal. Thus, do breath and life become associated, not only in our minds, but also in our language. But, the body, whose sudden transition from an animate to an inanimate state we are contemplating, has not only parted with its breath, and with its life ; but it has lost, also, that something which we have spoken of as having resided in it as an intelligent inmate. By what term, then, do we denote this mysterious and invisible thing, of whose essence, or mode of being, whether as connected with the animate body, or, as separated from it, we are altogether ignorant ? As we are totally unable to form anything like a conception of the essence, or mode of being, of this mysterious thing, we ought to designate it by some arbitrary term, quite distinct from any term made use of to designate any sensible object or any other thing respecting which we can