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modifications and arrangements, which constitute its organic body. The incipient germination, and all the subsequent growth, have been effected by no mere potency of matter, but by that peculiar, mysterious, inexplicable vegetable life, which constitutes the oak proper, in distinction from its material body, the tree; so that we can say, with propriety, the tree is but the creature of the oak-life. That is, the vital force is the energizing power which is the immediate efficient cause of the tree, and develops its roots, trunk, branches, foliage, and fruit, and impresses upon it its laws, its phenomena, and its destiny. The tree, therefore, is a development of the life within it, and the life not a development of the tree. Hence it is possible that the life may subsist independently of the tree which it develops, for the cause is always before the effect; the oaklife precedes, in the order of being, the oak-tree, which is the creature of the oak-life. It may be said that a cause can not be a cause, except as productive of an effect-that cause and effect are correlative terms, the one always supposing the other, and therefore that there can be no cause as antecedent to its effect, because separate from an effect it is no cause. This is logically true. But there may be a causal power without a caused effect. The causal power may be latent, for want of the conditions requisite to render it operative; and it is no less really a power on this account. Let the requisite conditions transpire, and the power, drawn forth from its latency, ceases to be merely causal, and becomes a cause by the production of its appropriate effect. In this case, the causal power is an antecedent principle; the caused effect, a subsequent result. So the life principle in vegetable and in animal organisms, is a cause of which the organisms respectively through which it manifests itself, are an effect; but this lifeprinciple may, possibly, exist as a causal power without the effect which, under certain conditions, it is capable of producing. And if so, is it not possible also that the effect may be destroyed, and the causal power survive the destruction of the effect? And if this power may survive such an event, may it not again, on some future occasion, renew its legitimate effect, and become a cause? The effect is but a contingency, dependent on the cause. Now, for sake of perfecting the analogy, let us suppose the oak-life to be immortal; and this
supposition is not absurd, nor intrinsically inconceivable. It is assumed, therefore, that the oak-life, or soul-principle of the oak-tree, ever lives whatever may befall its bodily organism, the tree. We believe, for the present, the soul-life of the tree to be immortal; just as we are assured the soul-life of the human body is immortal. But notwithstanding such is our faith upon this subject, we see the tree sicken and die, and eventually become uprooted and dissolved, or that not a trace of it is left behind to attest that it ever had an existence. What now becomes of our immortality doctrine? The tree is dead and wasted away, and where is it? Nowhere. But the tree's life-principle-where is it? If that is immortal, it still lives, though not in its material body as heretofore. And it lives, not as a mere principle of life irrespective of its nature, but as oak-life, in distinction from other species of life in the vegetable world, and as its own individual oak-life in distinction from every other life of the same order.
And is it not conceivable, and might it not be credible that this oak-life, in its immortality, might possibly resume its material manifestation in its own oak-body, now dead and decomposed, but then correctly represented as raised from the dead? Let that life be commissioned, as in the acorn, to exercise the prerogative, under Divine appointment, of taking for itself a body-of which it may have been divested for thousands of years out of the material world, and is it incredible that it can be done? And if this be admitted to be possible, are we obligated to maintain that the resumption of the raised body must be effected first in the form of an acorn; then of a little plant; then of a shrub, and then, after a long period, of a giant tree! And also, must we believe that every particle of the material elements that had ever before entered the organized constituency of the old and dead tree, must find its place in the constituency of the new and risen tree? Neitber of these conditions are indispensable. And the tree, thus reassumed by its own oak-life-thus raised from the state of death and dissolution-would infallibly be an oak-tree, and not an ash, nor a beech, nor a sycamore-would be the oak's own true body, once dead and reduced to an elemental state, now reorganized and made alive by its own true oak-life, and henceforth the oak-life and the oak-tree would be one
organic existence, sustaining, through the medium of its lifeprinciple, an identity of being with all the former periods and states of that existence.
3. So man, as a terrestrial animal, is compound in his nature-consists of soul and body. The soul is the tree, selfconscious, active, thinking principle of his nature; the body is the mere material organism of the soul. As long as the soul inhabits the body, so long the body lives, and amid all the physical and constitutional changes of which it may be the subject, never loses its identity as the organism of the same living, indwelling principle. But death comes at length. The soul takes its departure from the body; and as the body exists exclusively for sake of the soul, and by virtue of the soul's vivifying and conserving power, whenever the soul departs, that vital force which had hitherto sustained its vital functions and preserved it from decomposition, is withdrawn, and the body returns to the earth as it was. But the soul does not die. This is immortal. And this living, where is the incredibility of the doctrine which teaches that God shall raise the dead?
4. Some seek to relieve this difficulty by looking for the germ of the future body in the dust of the dead body. What ridiculous ideas of this description have been promulged! What is the germ of anything but its life? Undeveloped life it may be called, but it is no less certainly life. The germ of a plant or an animal is susceptible of being developed with the plant or the animal of which it is the germ, only because the potent life is in the germ. An organic germ is not essential to the subsistence of a life which is immortal in a condition separate from all material organisms, as is the case with the human soul after death. That life first subsists, and then the germ subsists for the life's sake, while it is no more a part of the life's essence, than is the house which a man inhabits a part of the essence of its inhabitant. The true living germ is not a mere aggregation nor chemical combination of certain material elements sustaining certain peculiar modes and forms of organization, but it is a potent life, which, in dwelling in certain definite forms of matter, develops potentially a continued and growing organization, and other phenomena of organic existence, through the instrumentality and medium of these definite and peculiar forms.
Hence we affirm that the real germ or life of the future risen body is that which is the germ or life of the present body; namely, the soul. The soul, we say, never dies. It goes to God who gave it, and continues with him for a period. But when that period has elapsed, God will restore to every soul its own body; a body, it may be, organized of other and far more glorious elements than those which entered into the constituency of the dead body, for it will be a far more glorious body; a body far more vigorous and untiring in its capabilities, for it is to inhabit a sphere forever, where there is no night, and where they serve God without ceasing; a body far more in harmony with the character and wants, and far more obedient to the behests of its immortal occupant; for in the future state no redeemed sinner will have occasion to lament that he finds a law in his members warring against the law of his mind; a body freed from all that is gross and offensive as pertaining to it in its present mortal state, and from being a mortal or mere animal body, as dependent upon the temporal resources, and subject to the trials and limitations of this life, shall become a spiritual body subsisting upon resources far above and superior to anything of which we are now able to form any adequate, or even approximate, conception; a body formed anew and of elements adapted to its future and more glorious and felicitous destination, and modified in all its functions, and organs, and properties by the vital force—the immortal soul-which is to be its eternal occupant, and for whose sake it is reproduced from the state of death and dissolution—the soul's own true body, once dead, but now alive to die no more forever.
5. Grant the immortality of the soul, and there can be no rational difficulty in granting the resurrection of the body. The credibility of such an event, in view of all the ascertained circumstances in which it is proposed to be effected, is no more preposterous than the credibility of the growth of a grain of wheat which has been sown in the earth for this specific purpose ; and the difficulties pertaining to the question of identity between the dead and the risen bodies are no more incomprehensible than the same difficulties pertaining to the same question in regard to the living body through any two successive moments of its existence. If the life remains unimpaired in the grain of wheat, though it may have been latent for three thousand years, while slumbering in an Egyptian catacomb, yet whenever it is placed in favorable conditions, it will vegetate and produce; and that body, which it will produce, will be infallibly its own body, and not the body of another, for God gives it a body as it pleases him, and to every seed its own body:
Thus analogous events in nature, familiar to our daily observation, furnish their silent but effective testimony in vindication of the credibility of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and the charge of incredibility against it fails in every particular. God's Word and God's works harmonize with each other; what the one affirms or teaches, the other corroborates and elucidates. And the mysteries of the one are no greater than the mysteries of the other, and of all mysteries, whether of doctrine or fact, God himself is the chief and most incomprehensible. It would, therefore, be supremely absurd on our part, as rational beings, and on distinctively assumed rational grounds, to repudiate-simply because of its mystery—the clearly enunciated doctrine of God's Word, that "there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust;" that “all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall come forth, they that have done good to a resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to a resurrection of damnation."
Let God be true, and every man who contravenes his declarations, a liar. His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure. “The dead shall be raised incorruptible.”
VIII. We conclude with some practical observations ad. dressed to the reader.
1. Are you a Christian? If so, in view of your belief in this wonderful and sublime doctrine pertaining to your future destination, how should you be consecrated to the Divine serv. ice and glory, by all the capabilities with which, as a compound being, you have been endowed? Can it suffice for you to render to the Lord a mere bodily service, or a mere soul service ?-to separate between your soul and body in obeying God's will?-to reserve the one for sensual uses, while the other only is consecrated to Jehovah? No; your obligation is to glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are