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“ thereof die in the ground : yet through the “ scent of water it will bud, and bring forth “ boughs like a plant.” The seed which is deposited in the earth, first dies, corrupts and decays; but after a short period of dissolution, we see it again revived in a new form, and producing grain of a nature and appearance altogether similar to itself.
In like manner, the human body is sown in the earth as a grain of seed for the future harvest : and, when the period of revivification arrives, it sprouts forth and produces a new body of the same nature and properties. Such is the forcible reasoning of St. Paul on this subject. “That which thou “ sowest is not quickened, unless it die. And " that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that
body that shall be, but bare grain, (it may “ chance of wheat, or of some other grain) “ but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased
him, and to every seed his own body. So " also is the resurrection of the dead." For if God so clothe the grass of the field, how much more shall he clothe our mortal bodies with a glorious robe of immortality.
But we need not wait so long as the revolution of a whole year to behold the revival of nature; the death and resurrection of man is
plainly shadowed forth in the course of every twenty-four hours. “ In the evening, the
day, with its labours, dies into darkness and “ the shadow of death. All colours fade, all
beauty vanishes. All labour and motion “ cease, and every creature, veiled in darkness, “ mourns in solemn silence the interment of - the world. Who would not say, it is dead, or “ it shall not rise. Yet, wait only a few hours, “ in faith and patience, and this dead and en“ tombed earth, by the agency of heaven
upon it, shall burst asunder the bars of that sepulchral darkness, in which it was im
prisoned, and arise, and be enlightened, and “ its light shall come. The day-spring from “ on high shall revisit it, and destroy the cover
ing cast on all people, and array universal “ nature with a robe of glory and beauty,
raising those that sleep, to behold themselves " and the world changed from darkness to
light, and calling them up to give glory to “ God, and think of the glorious morning of “ the resurrection."*
The resurrection of the body, then, is not absurd and contradictory, for it is perfectly analogous to what happens in every day's experience. And happy are they to whom day unto day thus uttereth speech, and night unto night teacheth knowledge, who employ the changes and revolutions of nature as arguments in support of religion, or as motives to think of heavenly and divine things.
* Bishop Horne,
2. The objectors to the doctrine of a resurrection of the body, consider not the power of God. Notwithstanding the idle fable of one who formed a man of clay, and stole fire from heaven to animate him, we feel no reluctance to confess that to frame an organized body out of a mass of earth, and to communicate to it life and motion, is wholly beyond the human powers to perform. But though we cannot raise the dead, or even conceive how this can be done, it by no means follows, that, this is a work impossible to him whose power
and wisdom are infinite, who, at first, spoke all things into existence out of nothing-who made man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life so that he became a living soul, who successively calls into being and preserves in life the various generations of the animal and vegetable worlds—who turneth nian to destruction, and
saith, return, ye children of men—and who with the breath of his lips can annihilate the universe, With God nothing is impossible. All seeming difficulties vanish before him. In whatever quarter of the world the ashes of the dead are deposited, he can find them out. Though they be scattered to the four winds of heaven, or entombed in the caverns of the earth, or swallowed up by the roaring ocean, these are all the repositories of the Deity, and shall yield up their charge to him whose commands universal nature obeys; at whose voice the sea shall give up its dead, and they that are in their graves shall come forth.
Such a consideration silences every objection arising from human unbelief or weakness. It diffuses light over that metaphysical darkness and obscurity in which the philosophy of this world would involve the subject. Let the vain reasoner lose himself in endless mazes, disputing about personal identity, and solving the difficult problem, how that same body which is Jaid in the grave and which in the process of time may be converted to a thousand different purposes, or may enter into the composition of many other bodies that are likewise to be raised, can be reanimated at the last day: we are satisfied with that simple idea of personal sameness which we acquire from common sense—and we find no more difficulty in believing that the same bodies which are laid in the grave shall be raised, than, in thinking that he who to day is tried for a murder is the same identical person who committed it ten years ago, though probably, owing to the attrition and waste to which all living bodies are subject, there may not remain one particle of the substance of which his body was then composed. Above all we rest assured, that, he who has declared that he will raise the dead, is well able to perform what he hath promised. He hath said it and he will bring it to pass.
3. The opposers of the resurrection do not consult the scriptures of truth.
There we find not only, that, God can raise the dead, but that he has actually done it. For how many of those who had even seen corruption, do we read of being restored to life, and enabled again to enter into the business and transactions of the world. Nor was it individuals only who were distinguished in this manner. Upon the occasion of our Saviour's passion, a great multitude are said to