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cific quantity of time necessary to ripen those bodies which shall be, for that state of perfection to which they tend, must be determined by those previous periods, in which their constituent parts were lodged in a seminal state. And how various or multiform soever these stages might have been, they are evidently such as will suit the whole succession of time, and place the bodies of all the human race on an even scale. On this ground we can rationally conceive, how the general resurrection may take place in one and the same instant; though the bodies which shall rise had been deposited in the grave through all the preceding ages of the world.

The introduction of moral evil into the world I have already admitted to be the cause of death, and the primary cause of that dissolution which immediately succeeds. But as, when death takes place, and by separating soul and body, destroys the identity of man, moral evil must cease to act upon that individual; the latent powers must begin to operate, and move onward towards that perfection which the future body shall possess and enjoy through eternity.

But, as those parts of immoveable matter which constitute the identity of the body here, and shall be the germ of that which shall exist hereafter, must have been deposited in the grave in distant periods ; so they must have been deposited in different stages of progression; and, consequently, must require different portions of duration in the grave, to ripen for the grand result of things. And,

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as those bodies which were first deposited in the grave must require the longest time because they existed the shortest in a seminal state; so those which have been interred more recently, having been lodged a much longer period in their seminal state, will require a comparatively shorter season to bring them forth into a state of complete perfection. And, as that germ which shall constitute our future bodies must be in a state of immaturity, whensoever deposited in the

grave;

those

ages become requisite to ripen it, which shall elapse from the time of its interment, until the sound of the trumpet shall awaken the dead. And, therefore, though moral evil be the cause of death, and though it cease when soul and body are separated from each other, it will be impossible that the body should immediately

rise from the grave.

Nothing that is in embryo can be in a state of maturity. Maturity, therefore must be the work of progression; and progression in such cases, must be incompatible with instantaneous action. The germ in embryo cannot be matured, while it is in embryo, and while it is a germ; if it were so, it would no longer be a germ in embryo, but a germ in maturity, which in this view is a contradiction in terms. An embryo, it is true, may be perfect, as an embryo; but while it is an embryo, it must be distinct from that body which it shall hereafter constitute. And to suppose that which is an embryo of a future body, to be that future body in completion, is to suppose it to be what it is not, and what, under existing circumstances it cannot be: in short, it is to suppose it to be an embryo and not an embryo at the same time. It must therefore follow, that the permanent principles of our bodies cannot be immediately raised; though the cause of their being deposited in the grave be totally done away.

The germinating powers of its radical parts, may begin immediately to operate, because delivered from the primary cause which held them in a state of torpor and inaction; but these radical parts cannot ripen into full perfection, until the time appointed when the sea and the grave shall give up their dead. Those portions of matter which constitute the identity of our bodies in the present life, and which will become the foundation of those which we shall possess for ever, must, when deposited in the grave, be destitute of that maturity which can alone ensure immortality.' And this maturity cannot be attained, unless those bodies undergo those chianges in the grave, through which the Judge of quick and dead hath appointed them to pass. But, when the bodies of the whole of Adam's posterity shall have moved through those evolutions which are necessary to ensure their immortality; and shall have undergone those varied modes of being which form so many links in the vast chain which ends in perfect existence; then all, ripenod with immortal energy, for an immortal state, shall come forth from the mansions of death, to sleep no more. And in this state, being reunited to their imipaterial partners, they shall

enter upon those rewards or punishments which flow from the mercy and retributive justice of God.

SECT. V.

In which it is proved, That St. Paul, when illus

trating the Doctrine of the Resurrection, by the Process of Vegetation, speaks the Language of Philosophy and Reason.

To illustrate the doctrine of the resurrection, by the analogy which subsists between it, and the process of vegetation, St. Paul (1 Cor. xv. 35.) has stated this question,—But some man will say, How are the dead raised up, and with what bodies do they come? and in the following verses he has given this answer,—Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die; and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body which shall be, but bare grain; it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain.

However excellent this illustrative argument may appear, in the eye of unprejudiced reason, it is one of those excellencies which has met the common fate of almost every thing which is truly great ; and has been exposed to censures of the most illiberal and acrimonious nature.

Thomas Payne, in his “ Age of Reason,” has taken occasion to hold it up to ridicule and contempt, and without entering into the nature of the

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comparison which the Apostle has made, or estimating the merit or demerit of the argument, which has been drawn from the general analogy subsisting between the two subjects, he has not hesitated to denominate St. Paul "a fool.Perhaps, when Thomas Payne dropped this expression from his pen, it was with him an age of dogmatism, as well as an age of reason ; so that in this, as well as in a variety of other instances, he has strangely permitted his prejudice to eclipse the intellectual ray.

“Sometimes (observes Payne) Paul affects to be a naturalist, and to prove his system of resurrection from the principles of vegetation. Thou fool, says he, that which thou sowest, is not quickened except it die. To which one right reply in his own language, and say, thou fool Paul, that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die not ; for the grain that dies in the ground, never does nor can

On this point St. Paul and Thomas Payne are fairly at issue, and the question is which of them is right.

It appears evidently from the face of the above quotation, that the Apostle's meaning has been either grossly mistaken, or wilfully misrepresented; because nothing can be more evident than this, that his language has been perverted to serve no good purpose. In the passage, 'which has been quoted from his page, the Apostle was not speaking of the annihilation of any simple substance, but of the

vegetate."*

* Age of Reason, part the second, p. 73.

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