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vouring to cherish and revive latent Life, but to previde for its extinction, and to secure absolute and Pu. trefactive Death.
I have produced in the present Volume a few extraordinary Stories relating to the subject, which I discuss; yet I have purposely refrained from introducing any Narratives but those, which were absolutely necessary for the elucidation of my argument. A collection of these Narratives might supply the contents of another Volume, by detailing, among other matters, the history of those persons, who have retained their perceptions under the Signs of Death,or who have revived when these signs have been exhibited, sometimes before, but commonly after Interment. The warm genial Earth possesses, I believe, mighty virtues for assisting the Resuscitative process,and I grievqusly fear, that the examples of revival in the Grave are more fre, quent than the World, amidst all their alarms existing on Premature Interment, has yet ventured to conceive,
Every one is enabled to form some judgment on this matter from the same species of evidence, which has considerably operated in impressing such an opinion on the Writer of these Enquiries. I may safely affirm,
that that I scarcely ever communicated with ang intelligent person on the subject, who has not been able to supply a Narrative applicable to the occasion, either by personal knowledge, or by connections more immediate or remote with the object of the Narrative,
If the curiosity of the Public should be excited into due attention from the appearance of this work, another Volume might be published at some future period, of great interest and importance. It might contain a collection of these Stories, which should be derived from printed documents of authority, already extant, or from the private accounts of individuals, if they were communicated to the Author of this Work, or published for the common benefit of enquirers into this subject. The story of the German Lady, detailed in the follow ing pages, ( 201.) who was witness to the preparations for her own funeral, may be illustrated, I fear,by many Narratives of a similar kind; and I have already heard, that our own country can supply us with some portentous examples of a similar nature.
I have endeavoured, in the course of my enquiries, to explain the pretensions, by which a Writer,not en
rolled in the Medical order, has ventured to deliver his opinions on the doctrines of that Art. I have conceived that a freedom from this Professional yoke has not imposed the disabilities of a penalty, but has conferred even the immunities of a privilege, and I have imagined, that I am from hence enabled to address the Public on this subject, in a form more unrestrain. ed, and in a tone of discussion more plain, intelligible, and efficient. I look with full confidence to the cooperation of this enlightened order of men ; though I cannot but foresee some impediments, which may arise on the occasion, and which may obstruct some portion of my hopes.
The fear of deserting the accustomed path, and of pursuing what some might consider as a wild and visionary conception, may perhaps deter' the Practitioner,more advanced in age and more established in his fortune, from engaging in a new project, as yet unsanctioned by Professional authority. But to the young Artist, zealous in his pursuit and unestablished in his practice, such a Project opens to the view a splendid commencement of his career, at once most propitious to his fame and to his fortune.. .
The Artist, who shall first recall to life a Human being in a case of Natural Death, by the same Resuscitative process, which is applied to cases of Violent. Death, becomes the Founder of a new æra and of a new name in the annals of Humanity—of Medicine and of Science.
In such a cause we may be permitted to indulge the zeal of proselytism, without any fears of delusion in our estimate of the possible evil, which may be annex. ed to the probable good. Some difficulties are to be encountered, and some prejudices are perhaps to be subdued; but I still apply with confidence to the tribunal of Public sense and Public feeling. I look around on every side, and I call for co-operation and support in the adoption of my Project, on all Professions, and
all Orders of the Community. It is a great cause, on · which hang the issues of Life and Death: It is a
cause alike common to all, and it is established by an argument, which is alike intelligible to all,simple in its form and invincible in its force.
If Life be the greatest of blessings, as all confess by die dread of losing it, and by their arts and devices to
preserve it, which are sometimes doubtful and sometimes dangerous, that Project must surely stand preeminently distinguished, which seeks this blessing, when the good may possibly be attained and when no evil can possibly be incurred. If ever Project was received among men, assuredly such a Project should be hailed with universal acceptance, and be admitted to a fair and full trial of its effect, which,cheered by some pros. pects of hope and secured from all dangers of hazard, professes not to commence its operation, till the last evil has already occurred, and till every other Art, adopted for the prevention of that evil, has been exhausted in vain.
Norfolk, May 3d. 1819.