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of insensibility,—that at the moment of doing this, it will construct for itself a species of shell or tomb,—and that while thus enclosed, it will be dissolved into a mass of semi-transparent water, exhibiting no trace of life, and no promise of a future revival; but that nevertheless, it will at length become re-animated, -break away from its confinement --and burst upon your astonished and delighted view, in all the ease and gracefulness and splendour of a winged insect. You admit that the grain of corn which you behold deposited in the earth, will lose its external configuration, and with the exception of one small particle will completely perish; but that this particle, fed by the corruption of the rest, will in due time send forth the blade, then the ear, and in that ear thirty, sixty, or a hundred grains similar in nature to itself, and of equal bulk. You admit that the towering and majestic tree, which every one admires, and every one pronounces to be “ the forest's pride,” was once a tender sapling, and yielded to the faintest breeze, -and that that sapling was once a yet more tender plant,-and that tree, and sapling, and plant, all sprang from an acorn. These you unhesitatingly regard as facts which it would be preposterous to doubt. And yet they are not less mysterious, nor less inexplicable than the fact we are endeavouring to support; and had you been told of them to-day for the first time, there is probably not an individual among you
but would have pronounced them incredible and impossible.
Suppose this to have been the case ;-suppose it to have been told you to-day for the first time, that the parched and brittle skin of the chrysalis which you perceive attaching to the sheltered plant, or like a pendant coffin hanging by the spider's web, contains the relics of a former worm reduced to a fluid, and that within a few weeks, or perhaps a few days, that skin will split, and though the aperture thus occasioned, will spring up into existence, out of what was apparently insensible and inanimate, the elegant and active butterfly. Suppose it to have been told you today for the first time, that the seed scattered by the husbandman, and buried in the soil, will dissolve and perish; and that having done so, it will pass into a new and different form, will again rise to the surface of the ground, spreading over it a carpetting of the richest and the loveliest verdure, and will at last become matured, and be identical with what you shall see in the whitened and waving corn-field. Or suppose yourselves to have been, until this morning, altogether unacquainted with the production of trees, and to hear now, for the first time, that the stately and umbrageous oak has come to be what it is, in consequence of the planting of an acorn. Do you not imagine that you would prove incredulous ? do you not feel that these statements would strike you as idle tales ? and is it not most likely that every one of you would be disposed to exclaim, “Such things cannot be !” No reasoning, however, is necessary to convince you that such things are; nor we presume, is any requisite to show that in believing this, you believe what cannot be explained. If, therefore, you admit what cannot be explained, in thousands of instances continually occurring, why hesitate to admit what cannot be explained in an instance between which and those alluded to, the principal difference may probably be, that you have never witnessed it. If scepticism be constrained to acknowledge one thing to be a fact, which is nevertheless wholly unaccountable, why let it refuse to acknowledge the possibility of another fact because unaccountable? Why not perceive in the transformations we have referred to, evidences of what can be effected? Why not conclude that the bands of death may be as easily loosened, as vegetation educed from corruption ? and thus favored by the voice of nature, as the event assuredly is, “ Why should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead."
3. We appeal likewise, in behalf of our doctrine to the nature of that power, by which the resurrection is to be effected. It is the Omnipotence of Deity; or a power adequate to the accomplishment of whatever does not involve a contradiction; or, in other words, of whatever can, in any sense, be an object of power. And that the resurrection of the body does imply no contradiction, is evident from the changes to which matter has already submitted, and from that life which God has communicated to all animal substances. What has been created, may be restored. What has been preserved through a century, may be preserved through eternity. Materialism which has been brought into existence, and kept in existence during a definite period, can undoubtedly be brought into existence again, if necessary, and kept in existence through an indefinite period. That power which produces a compound being, and by operations limited to time, makes it continue for a season, can re-produce a compound being, and by operations not limited to time, make it continue for ever. The resurrection, therefore, is an event, not only not impossible, but an event against the possibility of which, supposing it to be according to the will of God, no argument whatever can militate; because, inasmuch as it does not include in it a contradiction, infinite power is able to perform it.
4. We appeal further, in behalf of our doctrine, to what every thinking person must regard, as in numerous instances, the unquestionable destiny of moral evil. Moral evil is the primary cause of all the degredation, which human nature in this probationary state, is destined to undergo;
and death in whatever light contemplated, can only be considered as acting in subordination to it.
That the soul is placed beyond the reach of death, is a truth generally admitted, and capable of proof. It must, therefore, exist in a state of consciousness throughout eternity; and, if so, the sensations we are hereafter to experience, must be either pleasant or painful; for into no other forms can consciousness be resolved. This immediately brings before our attention, a future state of rewards and punishments. To investigate the nature of those rewards and punishments would be remote from our design. It will suffice to presume, that a state of felicity awaits the righteous; and from this ground, important evidence will arise, that all moral evil must be done away from the soul, before it can possibly inherit the kingdom of God.
Whatever the abstract nature of that happiness may be, which we hope to enjoy beyond the grave, it is certain thạt it must be derived from the Deity. His perfections are the only fountain of excellence to which created beings. can apply. It is in Him that “ we live and move and have our being." And since God, from his exalted and immutable perfections can communicate that only which is congenial to his nature, we cannot avoid concluding, that there must be an agreement between Him who confers, and the object which receives the felicity con