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1. The “ Hippocratic visage.” — In this “the nose is pointed ; eyes are sunk; temples hollow; ears cold and shrivelled, and with lobes turned up ; skin of forehead hard, tense and dry; color of face pale, black, livid, or of a leaden hue.” 2. The “
rigor mortis," or stiffening of the limbs and body. Carpenter (“Human Physiology," p. 864) requires this rigidity to be well marked.
3. Putre faction generally begins by a discoloration of the abdomen. Its odor places the fact beyond doubt.
4. Other signs are : loss of elasticity in the eyelids, which remain as they are placed ; absence of breath or pulse, though these are not positive indications of death ; and the coldness and insensibility of the body. [See further on these points Am. Med. Recorder, V., p. 39; “ Medical Aspects of Death,” by Harrison, London, 1852 ; “On Trance and Catalepsy,” Quart. Journal Psychological Medicine, III., 647; Wharton & Stillé, or Beck's, “Medical Jurisprudence,” or any reliable work on Human Physiology.]
5. If doubt exists as to death, refuse the ice-00x. If color, heat, flexibility of limbs, etc., remain, do not permit burial. · Josat gives 162 instances of recovery from a trance or cataleptic condition. Apparent death was longest in hysteria, and shortest in concussion of the brain. It lasted in 7 cases from 36 to 42 hours ; 20 cases from 20 to 36 hours; 47 cases from 15 to 20 hours ; 58 cases from 8 to 15 hours; 30 cases from 2 to 8 hours.
Cataleptics feel pain, hear, and think as usual, but are motionless and helpless. Use no barbarous methods to re. suscitate them. Proper care will prevent all mistakes. Bodies turn in their coffins from other reasons than a struggle for life, e.g. development of gases.
After death the hair and beard and nails frequently grow; food sometimes digests; the kidneys and liver occasionally secrete as before ; and it is reported that the teeth increase, now and then, in size.
XXX. THE LAW OF BURIAL.
From a report presented by Samuel B. Ruggles (see H. T. Tuckerman's article in the Christian Examiner, November, 1856, p. 338) we take the following concise statement of the rights inherent in relatives of the deceased. It is there demonstrated :
1. That neither a corpse, nor its burial, is legally subject in any way to ecclesiastical cognizance, nor to sacerdotal power of any kind.
“ 2. That the right to bury a corpse and to preserve its remains is a legal right, which the courts of law will recognize and protect.
“ 3. That such right, in the absence of any testamentary disposition, belongs to the next of kin.
'4. That the right to protect the remains, includes the right to protect them by separate burial, and to select the place of sepulture, and change that at pleasure.
“5. That the place of burial be taken for public use, the next of kin may claim to be indemnified, for the ex
pense of removing and suitably re-interring the remains.” Cemeteries have rules of their own which can be easily obtained, and which no general guide could well supply.
The word “cemetery’’ itself means “sleeping-place. In a similar manner the Jews called their burial-places by such names
“house of assembly," "hostelry,' “place of rest," "place of freedom." "field of the weepers, “house of eternity,' “house of life.”
“O eloquent, just, and mighty DEATH! Whom none could advise, thou hast persuaded ! What none have dared, thou hast done! And whom all the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and despised! Thou hast drawn together all the far-fetched greatness, all the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man: and covered it all over with these two narrow words :
“The life of a Christen man is nothynge but a readines o dye, and a remembraunce of death."
Hugh LATIMER: Seventh Sermon before Edw.VI.
I. THE DUTIES OF THE CLERGYMAN.
The late Rev. Enoch Pond, D.D. (Professor for many years in the Theological Seminary at Bangor, Me.), has given such explicit and capital directions concerning funeral services, that we condense them here from his “Young Pastor's Guide."
1. A minister has no option ; he must attend them. They are matters in which his feelings, duties, and interests are equally involved.
2. The mode of attending funerals is different in different places. But the services embrace always an address and a prayer. In the country they are often of more general importance than in town.
3. The services, including hymns and Scripture, should be appropriate. There should be no sameness and uniformily. Let the peculiarities of the case direct the minister how to adapt his services.
4. Let the manner of the speaker be sympathetic, sub. dued, and tender. If a man love his people it can hardly be otherwise. He can be faithful and tender, too. 5. The services should be short.
Most funeral prayers, Dr. Pond thinks, are too long, either because they are too general, or too particular. 6. The reasons for brevity are
There must be
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