Continuous life of a man, after the death of the body as shown by the manifestations of nature, is not conclusive
I am here, Samuel.
I desire to write for a short time on a subject that is of importance to those who are in doubt as to the reality of the future life.
I know that a vast majority of mortals believe in a future existence and the immortality of the soul, but there are a considerable number of mortals who do not know these facts or who have no belief regarding the matter, and simply say "I don't know." It is to these latter persons that I wish to write.
In the first place, all persons know, if they know anything, that they are living, and that sooner or later what they call death is inevitable, no matter from what cause it may take place. To live then, implies that there is such a thing as continuous life; and to die, to these people, demonstrates that the life with which they are acquainted ceases, and that the material body in which this life manifests itself gradually disintegrates into the original elements that composed that body.
Now a man being a materialist purely, would seem to be correct in his conclusions that when life, which could be manifested only through the material things of nature, ceases and the body becomes inanimate and dead, that then is the end not only of the body but of the individual. And if there existed no other manifestation of life than this physical one, there would be no foundation upon which to base the assumption that the death of the body does not end all.
I know it has been asserted in the way of argument, that even though the material parts of vegetation die, yet as Spring comes round, these materials show forth again the life that had previously manifested itself, and therefore, by analogy, the death of the human body merely means that its life will appear again in evidence in some other body or form.
But upon close investigation and exact reasoning, it will be seen that the two subjects of demonstration are not alike, because while the material of the vegetable kingdom apparently dies, yet it does not all die, for even though you may apparently see the particular body of the tree or plant or every part of it go into decay or rottenness, yet as a fact, this is not true. The whole of the material plant which enclosed or manifested life, does not die until, out of it a new body arises and grows, and the life that animated the body that appears to have died, continues in it awaiting the new growth for its display of existence.
The flower dies and the bush upon which it grows may appear to die, yet the roots continue to enclose the life principle which causes the bush to grow again, and which has its genesis in these roots, and is the same life that originally existed in the bush. Pluck up the bush by the roots and expose them to the elements until they die, and commence to disintegrate, and then replant them, and you will find they will not grow for the reason that the life which had animated them has departed.
And the same conclusions will be reached when you apply the same investigation and reasoning to every species of the vegetable kingdom. The grain of corn though apparently dead, is in reality not dead, but continues to contain the life principle which was the cause of the growth of the stalk and the blade and the ear in the blade. Nothing of the vegetable kingdom will be reproduced or form the basis of a new growth, unless some part of the old growth retains in it the life force.
In man's investigation of the wonders of vegetable life, he has discovered that a grain of corn that had been entombed in the hands of an Egyptian mummy for more than three thousand years, when planted in the ground reproduced the stalk and blade and ear of corn, just as the original material body had produced. And why? Not because when the grain of corn was planted in the earth it received unto itself new life, or any force that was not already in it, but because the grain had never ceased to be without the life that existed in it as it grew from the original seed to the perfect grain.
The grain had never lost its life and had never died, though apparently it had. Always, there was some part of the original body that continued to exist and that held enclosed in itself the life principle. Without the preservation of some part of the original body, there could never have been a manifestation of the life that caused the growth of that body.
This phenomena, as you call it, was not the resurrection of a material body that had died and become disintegrated and nonexistent, but was merely the resurrection of that part of the old body, that had never died but had always retained in it the life principle. And this I say, is no argument for the future existence of man, as viewed from a purely material aspect.
When the body of a man dies it is eternally destroyed, either by natural decay or by incineration or, so that no portion of his body remains in which the life principle may be preserved; and so far as the material body is involved, it utterly disappears--no roots remain in the ground and no grain or seed of it is preserved from which a new body may arise.
So I say, the phenomena of the vegetable apparently dying and after a season springing forth again and producing a body similar to the one that had formerly lived and died, furnishes no demonstration or argument from which, logically, can be drawn the conclusion that when a man dies he will not cease to exist, or will live again.
From the purely material standpoint, the materialist has the better of the argument, and he may well ask the question: "When a man dies shall he live again?" and answer the inquiry by saying, nature furnishes no proof that he will.
It may be said that life permeates all nature and is the basis of all existence, and that assertion is true; but it does not follow therefrom that any particular manifestation of life, such as the individual man, when once ceasing to manifest will again be reproduced in that particular identity of material manifestation, or in that form or existence that will make itself the identical being that had ceased to exist.
So to show man that there is a continuous existence after the death of the body--and I mean an individual, identical existence--something more is required than the argument of analogy in nature, or to the material things of nature in which life appears and then apparently disappears and then reappears. As the discussion on this phase of the matter will require more time than you have tonight to receive it, I will defer the treatment until later. With all my love I will say good night. Your brother in Christ,
Previous message continued on the continuity of life.
I am here, Samuel.
I desire to continue my message on the subject of the continuous life of a man after the death of the body, as shown by the manifestations of nature.
As I was saying, the apparent death and resuscitation of things of the vegetable kingdom, do not furnish any argument that man will continue to live after the death of the physical body.
Now I know it is difficult to understand what there can be in the manifestations of nature to prove such persistent life, and that the people for whose benefit I am writing, this will not be willing to use evidence of things. of a spiritual nature to prove this continuous life, and hence, I will confine myself to matters material.
Well, in the first place, there is no such thing as the death of anything in all the material universe of God.
Every primal element has life in it, even though that life may not be apparent to the consciousness of men, but it is a fact. Every atom or electron, as the scientists term these particles of matter that are reduced to their infinitesimal proportions, is pregnant with life, and the very apparent decay of material substances is nothing more, nor less than the results of the operation of the life, that they contain working out the changes of form or expression.
If the scientists will investigate and analyze the constituents of particles of all matter, notwithstanding that they appear to be devoid of the life principle, he will find that life in some of its expressions is contained in these particles, and that there is nothing in the material things of nature that is completely inert. There is no such thing as inertia--it only appears to exist; and while it may not be apparent to the natural eye that every thing in the material has life within itself, and as a result therefrom, there is force and motion, yet such is the fact.
This life principle permeates everything--applies to and forms a part of everything that has the appearance of natural existence. The grain of sand on the seashore or the dust of the decayed tree has within it life, and this life is no more nonexistent or absent from these material things, than are the elements that compose this visible form of matter ever lost or without existence. It is true that these elements change their forms and their compositions, yet they never cease to exist, or become nothing. Nothing means a void, and in God's creation there is no void. Everything is of substance and there are no vacancies unfilled.
And hence, as life is the foundation principle of existence and life exists everywhere, and there being no void in nature, life permeates everything, whether visible to the mortal eye or senses or not.
When that which is material decays or disintegrates, it does not do so as the result of the absence of life, but as the result of the operation of this principle of life upon the material, in such a way as to cause the separation of its elements, and their change into new forms and appearances.
I know it is said that the workings of the elements, that is fire, water and air and chemicals, known and unknown, cause the disintegration or even the disappearance of things material, but this is not strictly true, for these elements do not affect these things themselves, as a primary result of their workings, but what they affect is the life within these materials, and as that life lessens or changes, the materials of which that life is a part, disintegrate or dissolve, as is sometimes said, into thin air, and never does any part of the material substance, no matter how minute it may come to be, die--that is in the sense of losing life.
Life is a thing of such delicate nature, and is so susceptible to a division or reduction to a smallness almost to infinity, that no substance can become so small that life is not a part of it and the vital principle of its existence.
As is known, the solid rock may be reduced not only to dust but to a liquid, and then to a vapor and then to a gas, and then to that that is not sensitive to the consciousness of men, and yet the life principle exists in all these forms of that material rock; and that which ultimates into apparent nothingness, contains life just as does the original rock or any of its subsequent forms in the process of reduction to seeming extinction.
The materialist accepts these phenomena as true, and blindly and with full assurance announces that nothing in creation is ever lost or annihilated. This being true, why is not the conclusion logical that the apparently inanimate rock, or the animal without reasoning powers, or the man with the reasonable faculties, is never annihilated or lost; or in other words, never dies the death that results in nothingness?
But they say, while this may be true, yet the materials which form these various aspects of existence do not necessarily, or probably come together again and reform the identical being that once appeared, as an existing thing and then dissolved into the elements that composed the thing; and hence, while the elements in some form may continue to live forever, yet that form in which they once existed will not again appear. I know that this is a reasonable conclusion and one in accord with the demonstrations of science, and is applicable to the merely physical man just as to any other manifestations of the material things of nature.
But even these materialists admit that in the case of man, there is something in his formation and essential being that is more than, or in addition to the merely physical portions of him, and while they may say that this something is wholly of a material nature, yet they admit, that it is of a material different and distinct from the material, that forms the visible physical body.
I do not speak of the soul or spiritual part of man, but of the intellect and of the five senses and of the reasoning powers, all which, of course, includes the memory. That part of man that embraces these things, the materialists must admit, is distinct and different from the mere body, and, even though it were here to be conceded that they are material, yet no man has ever seen them or felt them or in any way perceived their existence as he has that which he knows to be of the material. He has seen and heard and known the effects of the existence of these invisible material qualities, as he may call them, but has never demonstrated that they died when the physical body died.
The furthest that he can go in this direction is that they disappeared and became lost to his consciousness; but that they disintegrated or dissolved or were reduced to a gaseous substance or thin air, in which he has seen the visible physical body disappear, he cannot affirm. The limit of his knowledge is that with the death of the physical body this other, as he terms it, material part of man disappears and never again reappears to his physical senses.
While as I say, he has never observed, and has no knowledge of any disintegration of these invisible material parts of man, into any primary elements or atoms or electrons as he applies such terminology to the physical body, and hence he is not justified in concluding that any such results to this invisible material follows the death and dissolving of the flesh and blood and bones of man. To so conclude is more of a speculation than to hold that the invisible material did not dissolve into forms more invisible, if such an expression can be used.
As I have said, life is in all things, visible and invisible, and there is no vacuum in nature. While man is living it is demonstrated that life is in this invisible part of man, and more abundantly that in the merely visible body; and as life continues after death in the elements of this latter body, why cannot we declare that after death life continues in the invisible part of man? Nothing is ever lost or annihilated, and hence these parts of man cannot be annihilated, and existing they must contain life.
Has the materialist ever been able to demonstrate to his own satisfaction even, that this invisible part of man, which he says is material, ceases to live? He cannot say that the elements of the physical body, no matter what form they may assume, cease to live, but on the contrary, affirmatively asserts that they are never annihilated and continue to exist; and as life is necessary to existence they must continue to have life.
So according to their own arguments and demonstrations and ultimate claims, the death of the physical body does not destroy the elements which compose that body, but only the form in which these elements were combined. Then from this, the most that they can claim as to the invisible material part of man is, that while the material which composed this part is not dead or annihilated, yet their formation may be disintegrated or changed, and hence the identity of the man, as to this portion of him, no longer exists. But this conclusion does not follow as a logical sequence, and the materialist has nothing upon which to base this conclusion, except that he has seen and knows that when the visible body dies, it disintegrates and ultimately disappears.
He has never seen the disintegration of this invisible part of man, though he has seen its manifestations decay and even destroyed; but the cause of this is shown to be some decadence, or disorganization of some part of the visible body, through which the invisible manifested.
These materialists have knowledge of the facts, that men have been deprived of their arms or legs, or other parts of the body, and yet the invisible parts remained perfect, performing their functions. Also it is true, that men have received injury to their physical organs of sight or hearing, and, as a consequence the invisible organs of sight or hearing did not function, but that fact constitutes no proof that they were dead or had ceased to preserve the form they had before the physical organs were impaired, for when the defects of the physical organs were removed, and these organs again came into condition to do their functioning, the invisible faculties of sight and hearing manifested their existence again, just as they had existed before the physical organs were impaired. And so many similar instances might be referred to show that death, or destruction of any or many parts of the visible body does not destroy, or disseminate into its elements the invisible material part of man.
And besides, let the materialists consider the great difference in the powers and objects of the creation of these visible and invisible parts of man, and they will realize that the purely physical, is wholly subordinated and used merely to enable the invisible parts to manifest themselves and show that the real man, is the invisible part, and that man can lose part of his physical vestment, and yet exist and perform his functions and exercise his powers.
I have thus tried to show that while no argument can be drawn from any analogy between the vegetable things of nature, dying and coming to life again, and man's dying, yet neither can any argument be drawn from the fact that the visible body of man dies and goes into its elements, never to be resuscitated again as the same body, to show that the invisible body of man dies and is dissolved into its elements, and that man ceases to be the individual that he was, before the death of the physical body.
I may not have made my message as plain and convincing as I would desire, but in discussions of this kind it is difficult to transmit the various shades of thought through the medium of a mortal. I thank you for your courtesy and will stop now.
So with all my love and the blessings of the Father, I will say good night.
Your brother in Christ, SAMUEL.