John Donne on Friday

From a sermon preached on Easter Day 1626

[Re-Compacted Bodies]

In natural death, there is Casus in separationem, The man, the person falls into a separation, a divorce of body and soul; and the resurrection from this fall is by re-union, the soul and body are re-united at the last day. A second fall in natural death, is Casus in dissolutionem, The dead body falls by putrefaction into a dissolution, into atoms and grains of dust; and the resurrection from this fall, is by re-efformation: God shall re-compact and re-compile those atoms and grains of dust, into that body, which was before: And then a third fall in natural death, is Casus in Dispersionem, This man being fallen into a divorce of body and soul, this body being fallen into a dissolution of dust, this dust falls into a dispersion, and is scattered unsensibly, undiscernibly upon the face of the earth; and the resurrection from this death, is by way of re-collection; God shall recall and re-collect all these atoms, and grains of dusts, and re-compact that body, and re-unite that soul, and so that resurrection is accomplished…

Where man’s buried flesh hath brought forth grass, and that grass fed beasts, and those beasts fed men,and those men fed other men, God that knows in which box of his cabinet all this seed pearl lies, in what corner of the world every atom, every grain of every man’s dust sleeps, shall recollect that dust, and then recompact that body,and then re-inanimate that man, and that is the accomplishment of all.

 

 

Selection take from: John Donne: A Critical Edition of the Major Works,  edited by John Carey; Oxford: OUP, 1990

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