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carnall sepulture, corruptions seem peculiar unto parts, and some speak of snakes out of the spinall marrow. But while we suppose common wormes in graves, 'tis not easie to finde any there ; few in Churchyards above a foot deep, fewer or none in Churches, though in fresh decayed bodies. Teeth, bones, and hair, give the most lasting defiance to corruption. In an Hydropicall body, ten years buried in the Church-yard, we met with a fat concretion, where the nitre of the Earth, and the salt and lixivious liquor of the body, had coagulated large lumps of fat, into the consistence of the hardest castle-soap; whereof part remaineth
After a battle with the Persians, the Roman Corps decayed in few dayes, while the Persian bodies remained dry and uncorrupted. Bodies in the same ground do not uniformly dissolve, nor bones equally moulder; whereof in the opprobrious disease we expect no long duration. The body of the Marquesse of Dorset seemed sound and handsomely cereclothed, that after seventy-eight years was found uncorrupted. Common Tombs preserve not beyond powder : A firmer consistence and compage of parts might be expected from Arefaction, deep buriall or charcoal. The greatest Antiquities of mortall bodies may remain in putrefied bones, whereof, though we take not in the pillar of Lot's wife, or Metamorphosis of Ortelius, some may be older than Pyramids, in the putrefied Reliques of the generall inundation. When Alexander opened the Tomb of Cyrus, the remaining bones discovered his proportion,
whereof urnall fragments afford but a bad conjecture, and have this disadvantage of grave enterrments, that they leave us ignorant of most personal discoveries. For since bones afford not only rectitude and stability, but figure unto the body; it is
1 Of Thomas, Marquesse of Dorset, whose body being buried 1530, was 1608, upon the 'cutting open of the Cerecloth, found perfect and nothing corrupted, the flesh not hardened, but in colour, proportion, and softnesse like an ordinary corps newly to be interred.-Burton's descript. of Leicestershire,
2 In his Map of Russia.
no impossible Physiognomy to conjecture at fleshy appendencies; and after what shape the muscles and carnous parts might hang in their full consistences. A full-spread Cariolal shows a well-shaped horse behinde handsome formed sculls give some analogy to fleshy resemblance. A criticall view of bones makes a good distinction of sexes. Even colour is not beyond conjecture; since it is hard to be deceived in the distinction of Negro's sculls.2 Dante's3 Characters are to be found in sculls as well as faces. Hercules is not only known by his foot. Other parts make out their comproportions and inferences upon whole or parts. And since the dimensions of the head measure the whole body, and the figure thereof gives conjecture of the principall faculties; Physiognomy outlives ourselves, and ends not in our graves.
Severe contemplators observing these lasting reliques, may think them good monuments of persons past, little advantage to future beings. And considering that power which subdueth all things unto itself, that can resume the scattered Atomes, or identifie out of any thing, conceive it superfluous to expect a resurrection out of Reliques. But the soul subsisting, other matter, clothed with due accidents, may salve the individuality: Yet the Saints we observe arose from graves and monuments, about the holy City, Some think the ancient Patriarchs so earnestly desired to lay their bones in Canaan, as hoping to make a part of that Resurrection, and, though thirty miles from
1 That part in the skeleton of a horse, which is made by the haunch-bones,
2 For their extraordinary thickness.
3 The poet Dante in his view of Purgatory, found gluttons so meagre, and extenuated, that he conceited them to have been in the Siege of Jerusalem, and that it was easie to have discovered Homo or Omo in their faces : M being made by the two lines of their cheeks, arching over the Eye-brows to the nose, and their sunk eyes making 0 0 which makes up Omo.
Parén l'occhiaje anella senza gemme :
Mount Calvary, at least to lie in that Region which should produce the first-fruits of the dead. And if according to learned conjecture, the bodies of men shall rise where their greatest Reliques remain, many are not like to erre in the Topography of their Resurrection, though their bones or bodies be after translated by Angels into the field of Ezechiel's vision, or as some will order it, into the Valley of Judgement, or Jehosaphat."
CHAPTER IV CHRISTIANS have handsomely glossed the deformity of death, by careful consideration of the body, and civil rites which take off brutall terminations. And though they conceived all reparable by a resurrection, cast not off all care of enterrment. And since the ashes of Sacrifices burnt upon the Altar of God were carefully carried out by the Priests, and deposed in a clean field ; since they acknowledged their bodies to be the lodging of Christ, and temples of the holy Ghost, they devolved not all upon the sufficiency of soul-existence; and therefore with long services and full solemnities concluded their last Exequies, wherein to all distinctions the Greek devotion seems most pathetically ceremonious.
Christian invention hath chiefly driven at Rites, which speak hopes of another life, and hints of a Resurrection. And if the ancient Gentiles held not the immortality of their better part, and some subsistence after death; in severall rites, customes, actions and expressions, they contradicted their own opinions : wherein Democritus went high, even to the thought of a resurrection, as scoffingly recorded by Pliny. What can be more expresse than the expression of Phocyl
1 Tirin, in Ezek.
3 Similis **** reviviscendi promissa Democrito vanitas, qui non revixit ipse. Quæ (malum) ista dementia est, iterari vitam morte ?Plin. 1, vii. c. 55.
lides ?1 Or who would expect from Lucretius? a sentence of Ecclesiastes ? Before Plato could speak, the soul had wings in Homer, which fell not, but flew out of the body into the mansions of the dead; who also observed that handsome distinction of Demas and Soma, for the body conjoyned to the soul, and body separated from it. Lucian spoke much truth in jest, when he said that part of Hercules which proceeded from Alchmena perished, that from Jupiter remained immortall. Thus Socrates3 was content that his friends should bury his body, so they would not think they buried Socrates, and regarding only his immortall part, was indifferent to be burnt or buried. From such Considerations, Diogenes might contemn Sepulture. And being satisfied that the soul could not perish, grow carelesse of corporall enterrment. The Stoicks who thought the souls of wise men had their habitation about the moon, might make slight account of subterraneous deposition; whereas the Pythagoreans and transcorporating Philosophers, who were to be often buried, held great care of their enterrment. And the Platonicks rejected not a due care of the grave, though they put their ashes to unreasonable expectations, in their tedious term of return and long set revolution.
Men have lost their reason in nothing so much as their religion, wherein stones and clouts make martyrs; and, since the religion of one seems madnesse unto another, to afford an account or rationall of old Rites requires no rigid Reader. That they kindled the pyre aversely, or turning their face from it, was an handsome Symbole of unwilling ministration; That they washed their bones with wine and milk, that the mother wrapped them in linnen and dryed them in her bosome, the first fostering part, and place of their nourishment; that they opened their eyes towards heaven, before they kindled the fire, as the place of
1 Και τάχα δ' εκ γαίης ελπίζομεν ες φάος ελθεϊν λείψαν απoιχομένων, et deinceps.
% Cedit enim vetro de terrå quod fuit ante in terram, etc.—Lucret. 3 Plato in Phæd.
their hopes or originall, were no improper Ceremonies. Their last valediction, thrice uttered by the attendants, was also very solemn, and somewhat answered by Christians, who thought it too little, if they threw not the earth thrice upon the enterred body. That in strewing their Tombs the Romans affected the Rose, the Greeks Amaranthus and myrtle; that the Funerall pyre consisted of sweet fuell Cypresse, Firre, Larix, Yewe, and Trees perpetually verdant, lay silent expressions of their surviving hopes. Wherein Christians, who deck their Coffins with Bays, have found a more elegant Embleme. For that he seeming dead, will restore itself from the root, and its dry and exuccous leaves resume their verdure again ; which, if we mistake not, we have also observed in furze. Whether the planting of yewe in Churchyards hold not its originall from ancient Funerall rites, or as an Embleme of Resurrection, from its perpetual verdure, may also admit conjecture.
They made use of Musick to excite or quiet the affections of their friends, according to different harmonies. But the secret and symbolicall hint was the harmonical nature of the soul; which delivered from the body, went again to enjoy the primitive harmony of heaven, from whence it first descended; which according to its progresse traced by antiquity, came down by Cancer, and ascended by Capricornus.
They burnt not children before their teeth appeared, as apprehending their bodies too tender a morsell for fire, and that their gristly bones would scarce leave separable reliques after the pyrall combustion. That they kindled not fire in their houses for some dayes after was a strict memoriall of the late afflicting fire. And mourning without hope, they had an happy fraud against excessive lamentation, by a common opinion that deep sorrows disturb their ghosts.2
That they buried their dead on their backs, or in a supine position, seems agreeable unto profound sleep,
1 Vale, vale, nos te ordine quo natura permittet sequemur.