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istence, is seen to weave its own winding sheet and its shroud, and then to lie in its chrysalis or coffin throughout the dreary season of winter, is, indeed, a very striking emblem of human mortality and interment: and when, revived by a genial sun, the same reptile is afterwards seen, on the return of spring, to burst its cerements in another form, a glorified form, certainly, compared with its pristine humble state; a mind endued with common powers, previously enlightened with a belief of the doctrine concerning the soul's continued existence, must perceive, in such a reptile, a significant illustration of the resurrection of man. But it is only an illustration in "a thing of naught, whose time passeth away like a shadow," whose renewed improved state of being is to last no longer than a few summer suns; a faint illustration, bearing some resemblance only to a being, who, when revived, is to live for ever. As such an humble reptile, after its death-like sleep, becomes a winged insect, gifted with new habits and new

pursuits, moving in a new element, and a higher sphere, regaling on the essences of flowers, and sporting with apparent pleasure in the rays of light; so, the contemplative naturalist, whose mind is illumined by the truths of Revelation, will feel an additional assurance that even the material part of man will become, after its resurrection from the grave, a glorified being, in a far more noble and dignified state of existence.

In the vegetable kingdom, likewise, such a pious observer of nature perceives similar illustrations. When he sees trees and plants, which shed their leaves in autumn, and seemed as if dead through the winter, put forth fresh verdure, and assume new beauty at the return of spring, he certainly may ask the unbeliever, "Why it should be thought a thing incredible with him that God should raise the dead?" For there is nothing more wonderful in the resurrection of man out of the dust of the earth, than there is in his first creation out of it: and we are surely of more value than

trees and plants, or than the reptile insect just spoken of, on which God bestows a new glorified form, and works a comparatively-transcendent change in its nature: a change as widely different, perhaps, as that which will be wrought in the human frame, when "raised a spiritual body," it ascends to the realms of bliss.

Let us hear the reasoning of an apostle on this subject:-" Some men will say, How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" And let us well observe what he calls the sceptic who asks such questions; asking them we must conclude, in an "evil heart of unbelief:"-" Thou fool," says he, "that which thou sowest not that body, (i. e. that same body,) that shall appear again, but bare grain: it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body-a new body— as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." * For instance, he giveth, not a scanty single grain, as the re-production of the single one deposited

* St. Paul.

in the earth; but an abundant cluster of grains in many an ear. Thus every seed sown in a field or in a garden, rots and becomes decomposed in the ground; and from it shoots a germ, which animates a future plant or flower, of the same species, indeed, but probably of a. surpassing nature. For instance, the seed of a single-leaved flower, of small beauty, will often produce a plant bearing double flowers, of far greater beauty and perfection. "So, also, is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.” Here we may allowably use the words of a pious writer:

"Shall man be left forgotten in the dust,

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When fate, relenting, lets the flower revive? Shall nature's voice, to him alone unjust, Bid him, tho' doom'd to perish, hope to live? Is it for this fair virtue oft must strive, With disappointment, penury, and pain?

* St. Paul.

No! heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive, And man's majestic beauty bloom again, Bright thro' the eternal year of love's triumphant reign !*

On the same interesting subject, He, " in whom were hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge," thus addresse's us: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:"¿. e. it is solitary, unproductive, and unuseful: "but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." If we know these things, happy are we if, from them, we learn instruction; those persons, more especially, with whom such occurrences are familiar. When the husbandman or the gardener, after committing seed to the ground, soon beholds the blade springing, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear, how natural is it to apply, and how instructive would it be if such striking appearances were more frequently applied, as Jesus Christ does apply them, to the resurrection of the dead! "The field," says he, "is the

* Beattie.

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