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terior part: the body becomes extremely lean; the strength fails; the decrepid wretch is unable to support himself; he is obliged to reinain on a seat, or stretched in his bed; the bladder becomes paralytic; the intestines lose their spring; the circulation of the blood becomes slower; the strokes of the pulse no longer amount to the number of eighty in a minute as in the vigour of life, but ate reduced to twenty-four and sometimes fewer; respiration is slower; the body loses its beat; the circulation of the blood ceases; death follows; and the dream of life is no more.
The separation of the soul from the body has been called, by poets, in the flight of their imagination, by the following fanciful
Last benefit of nature,
Glover. Ditto. Ditto, Swift. Dryden.
Pope. . Virgil. Cowley. Young. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.
Lee. Mrs. Roue.
Pope. Hervey. Cowley.
Hervey. Insatiate archer.
Ditto. The separating stroke
Ditto, Last, leaden sleep.
Rowe, The thing that ends all other deeds,
Shakspeare. Infallible cure of all.
Montaigne. Dissolution of our nature.
, Dryden. Law of nature, fix'd by fate.
Duck. Extinguisher of all properly,
Addison. A step from the grave to eternity
Trusler. Gentle end of human sorrows
Rowe. The long-join'd lovers' sad divorce
Ditto. The first statute of Magna Charta.
Sterne. An everlasting Act of Parliament
Ditto. An eternal sleep, without a dream.
Dryden, Eternal sleep. . .
. Fate of all mankind.
Ditto. Freed from the prison of their clay.
Spenser. Wrapt in the cold embraces of the grave.
Ditto. What is death? A sort of sleep.
Yet is he nought but parting of the breath ;
The other shape,
What art thou, O thou great mysterious terror?
'Tis what the guilty fear, the pious crave,
O harmless Death! whom still the valiant brave,
Death we should prize as the first gift of nature ;
Whate'er death is, Some dreadful thing, no doubt: for well thou know'st God hath pronounc'd it death to eat that tree. Milton.
To-day man's drest in gold and silver bright,
To-day he's honour'd, and in vast esteem,
The present moment is the life of man. Death generally comes without being called, and gives us go respite. He
goes his rounds, day and night, and yet we live in as much security as if we thought he never would come near us.
Pliny. Had we eyes sharp enough, we should see the arrows of death flying in all directions, and account it a wonder that our friends escape them but a single day.
Cowper. , He that would live a little longer this day, would be as loth to die a thousand years heuce. Go we must at last ; no matter how soon. It is the work of the Almighty to make us live long, but it is our business to make a short life safficient; for people waste it, either in doing nothing, or doing that which does not belong to them.
Bulstrode's Essays. It is the will of God and nature, that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life. This is but an embryo state, a preparation for living. A man is not completely born, till he is dead. Why, then, should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society? We are spirits, and bodies are lent us to aid us in doing good; it is a kind of benevolent acl of God. When the reverse takes place, and the body is an inconvenience, a way is provided, by which we may get rid of it. Deatle is that way.
Death is the king of terrors, and the terror of kings ; 'tis the most terrible of all terribles. Wherever this horrid monster comes, he stagnates the movements of the blood, drives the breath out of the lungs, destroys all sensation in the nerves, puts an entire stop to all voluntary motion, tears the soul and body asunder, commands the man to leave the world and all his friends and sweetest enjoyments, turns the body to rottenness and asbes, summons the soul to appear before the great God in an invisible world, declares the good or bad qualities of the heart, seals up the character of all men, and bids us enter into a vast eternity, with the exercise of all our thinking powers, in a new way of perception and sensation, never beo fore known or heard of in the whole history of man.
Ryland on the Beauties of Creation.
People form the most singular conception of the last struggle, the separation of the soul froin the body; but this is all void of foundation. No man, certainly, ever felt what death is; and as insensibly as we enter into life, equally, insensibly do we leave it. To die, means nothing more than to lose the vital power, by which the soul communicates sensation to the body; when that power Ceases, man can have no sensation, of course no pain.
In proportion as this power decreases, we lose the power of sensation and of consciousness; and we cannot lose life, without at the same time, or before, losing our vital sensation, which requires the assistance of the tenderest organs. Experience tells us, that all those who ever passed through the first stage of death, felt nothing of dying; but sank at once into a state of insensibility. It is a mistake, to suppose that the convulsive throbs, the rattling in the throat, and the apparent pangs of death are painful; they are so; doubtless, to spectators; but the dying are not sensible of them.