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dood. 175 years, Louisa Truxo, a negress, Brazil, in 1780 ; 152 years, Thomas Parr, Shropshire, England, in 1635. In the Petersburg Gazette, a Russian paper published in 1812, the case is recorded of a man who died in the diocese of Ekateroios who attained an age between 200 and 205 years at death.

The age of Dr. Parr, as he was called, appears to be well authenticated. It has the testimony of Harvey, who dissected his body and found all the organs in a sound and healthful condition. Charles the First sent for Dr. Parr, who had become famous by reason of his extreme age.

Dr. Parr went to court, where he was feasted, and, eating too much, died from a fit of indigestion. He might have lived many years longer-in fact, he may be said to have died from an accident.

There would then seem to be abundant evidence that, not only among the patriarchs who lived after the flood, but among those who lived in modern times also, instances are not wanting of deaths approaching the age of 200 years, which would seem to be about the extreme limit possible for man to attain.

Scientific research has demonstrated some remarkable physiological facts which bear upon the duration of human life. It is demonstrated that species never change. Their physiological characteristics are fixed and unalterable. Man at the present day has precisely the same formation, the same organs, the same type in fact, as may be found in mummies embalmed centuries before the Christian era. The fossil horse is the same as the living animal. Siberia was once peopled by elephants. These elephants have disappeared, but their fossil remains present precisely the same physiological characteristics as those of the living elephants. America was once peopled by mastodons. They have disappeared, but they have not left in their places other or different mastodons. The type of man, of the horse, of the elephant, and of every other animal, living or extinct, has remained unaltered by the revolutions and mutations of the globe.

Buffon, the celebrated naturalist, first enunciated the theory that the natural life of all animals bears a certain relation to the periods of their growth. This period is defined by the union of the bones with their epiphyses. When this union

takes place, the bones, and consequently the animals, cease to grow. M. Flourens, accepting this ingenious theory of Buffon, and having the advantage of later and more correct physio. logical knowledge, made a series of very interesting experiments by which to determine the length of time after birth when this union of the bones with the epiphyses takes place in different animals. He then found that the natural limit of life in all animals is about five times the period of growth.

Thus the union of bones and epiphyses and the consequent natural life of different animals is as follows:

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Buffon states : “ The man who does not die of accident or disease lives everywhere to go or 100 years of age.” Hufeland says : “Nearly all those deaths which take place before the hundredth year are brought on artificially—that is to say, by disease or accident." Dr. Farr in the Sixteenth Annual Report of the Registrar General of England says : “The natural term of human life appears to be 100 years." Finally, the prophet Isaiah says, 65: 20, “ There shall no more thence be an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days, for the child shall die an hundred years old.”

The extreme limit of life appears to be about twice the natural limit or term. Thus instances have occurred of man living to 200 years, or very nearly ; and Buffon relates, with much minuteness, the history of a horse that lived 50 years, and died February 24th, 1774.

How are we to account for the ages recorded in Genesis of Adam, his sons, and Methuselah ? We cannot disregard the teachings of science, nor need we doubt the statement in Holy Writ. Each has Divine authority. By what theory can we reconcile the two ? Simply that the year, or unit of time, among the early patriarchs differed from that adopted since

the Deluge, which has been twelve calendar months. Hensler, a high authority, shows the strong probability that the year, till the time of Abraham, consisted of three months only, and that not until the time of Joseph was it extended to twelve months. "This assertion," says Hufeland, a still higher authority, “is to a certain degree confirmed by some of the Eastern nations who still reckon only three months to the year," and besides it would be altogether inexplicable why the life of man should have been shortened three fourths immediately after the flood. Moreover, the recorded ages when the early patriarchs married was about four times the usual age. Again, with the period of Abraham, we find mention of a duration of life which can still be attained, and which no longer appears extraordinary, especially when we consider the temperate manner in which the patriarchs lived. We think, therefore, that Hufeland has arrived at a correct conclusion when he says that “man can still attain to the same age as ever.

By the census of 1851, there were living in England and Wales 319 persons (111 males and 208 females) whose reputed ages ranged from 100 to 119 years.

At the instance of Mr. James Thom, a parliamentary commission was appointed to visit each of these alleged centenarians in order to examine the evidences upon which their reputed ages were based, as well as to inquire into the particulars as to their habits, modes of life, etc.

A singular instance of the thoroughness with which Mr. Thom and his commission conducted their inquiries was afforded in the case of a Greenwich pensioner who had served in the Royal Navy, and whose age was reputed to be 107 years. This sailor, whose name we will assume to have been John Smith, asserted that he was the son of Mary and Thomas Smith, and that the date of the marriage of his parents, as well as the date of his own birth and christening, could be found in the parish registers, of his native place. Mr. Thom examined these parish registers, and found the several dates agreed with the old sailor's statements, and there appears to have been no doubt that he was the son of the Thomas and Mary Smith, as claimed. Mr. Thom, however, was not entirely satsfied. A further examination of the same registers

showed that a year or two after the recorded birth of John Smith, son of Thomas and Mary Smith, the child died and was buried in the parish churchyard. A year or two subsequently another son of the same Thomas and Mary was born and was christened John. This John afterward died and was buried, and a further search showed the record of the birth and christening of a third John, son of Thomas and Mary Smith, and this was undoubtedly the old sailor himself, who was thus proved to be only 97 years, instead of 107, as claimed.

Mr. Thom and his commission visited every one or nearly every one of the alleged centenarians, and examined the evidences of age, mode of life, etc., in each case. It is remark able that the evidences as to actual age were defective, or entirely wanting, and also that great diversities appeared as to modes of living, diet, etc. Some of the oldest used spirits and tobacco--others abstained entirely. In two particulars they were all alike-in the habit of early rising and in the avoidance of undue excitements or excesses of any character.

This same Mr. Thom investigated the case of a Captain Lahrbush who created quite a sensation in New York, where he died some twenty years ago, at the alleged age of 111 years. This Captain Lahrbush claimed that he was an officer in a certain Scotch Regiment, British Army, and was present with his regiment at the treaty of Tilsit, which was signed in 1807. Mr. Thom first proved that the Scotch Regiment named was not on the Continent in 1807. He then searched the records of the British Army, and found that the only officer named Lahrbush who had been entered on its rolls was cashiered for youthful indiscretions in 1818. A full discus. sion of these points was published in the New York Tribune.


There are some things which the mind of man cannot compass. Life, death, annihilation, eternity, space, are all beyond our comprehension. At the utmost we can only grasp some of their attributes. Of their essence we must always remain in ignorance.

One attribute of life is that it does not commence with each new individual or each new being. Life commences only once for each new species. Reckoning from the first created

pair of each species, life never begins again, it is continued. Life is transmitted in each species by parents to their offspring, and with life certain unalterable, unchanging characteristics which belong exclusively to that species, which are never found in any other species. Species remain with unaltered organs, formation, etc., and species disappear, but their peculiar physiological characteristics never reappear in any other animals or beings.

Lord Bacon compares life to a flame. “Man is constantly consuming and being consumed." Hufeland says : “ Destructive and creative powers are engaged, with a never-ceasing activity, in a continuous struggle within us; and every moment of our existence is a singular mixture of annihilation and new creation. As long as the vital power retains its freshness and energy, the living plastic power will have the superiority and the body will increase and approach nearer to perfection, and at last, the vital power being lessened, the consumption will begin to exceed the renovation, and decay, degeneration, and in the end total dissolution will unavoidably follow. The life of man has been divided into two nearly equal parts, one of increase, the other of decrease. Each of these parts is divided into two others—hence the four ages, infancy, youth, manhood, and old age. Lastly, each of these four ages is sub-divided into two. A first infancy from birth to age 1o. A second from 10 to 20 ; this is adolescence. A first youth from 20 to 30; a second from 30 to 40. A first manhood from 40 to 55 ; a second from 55 to 70. A first old age from 70 to 85 ; a second from 85 to 100. The first infancy is the period of dentition. The second infancy ends at 20, when the bones cease to grow and are united with their epiphyses. Youth is prolonged to 40 because it is only about that age when the body has attained its greatest strength-it is the virile epoch of life. The first manhood from 40 to 55 is the period of invigoration, which continues, however, until 65 or 70. At 70 old age begins. This is the period when the forces in reserve are drawn upon. When there can be little if any recuperation, when man lives upon his reserve. The unknown force of life diminishes more and more as age advances. The duration of life in any being will be proportionate to the innate quantity of vital power, the greater or less

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