Page images

is the consciousness of our alienation from God that renders us miserable it is the consciousness of our restoration to God that makes us happy. In our unregeneracy, fear is tyrannical and regnant: in our justified state, it becomes softened and subdued. It is written, "love is the fulfilling of the law;" but it cannot be affirmed that fear is the violating of that law. "Perfect love casteth out fear "-the fear that hath torment in it, or, rather, the tormenting quality—that which gives to fear its sting; but fear as an affection of the human mind, fear as an element in the new birth, fear as a stimulus to watchfulness and prayer, still remains. It yields to other and higher feelings, but still exists. It descends from a higher to a lower place, and occupies a subordinate position in Christian experience. In conversion fear receives a different colouring and a calmer tone, and blends with other emotions in contributing to perfect the inner life. We may witness fear operative and restrained in the case of the Disciples when overtaken by a storm on the Galilean sea. With those mariners selfpreservation was the engrossing thought. Their fear invested the danger with greater nearness and reality. They came to Jesus because they were afraid. The terror of death prompted them to seek his intervention. Their cry was that of drowning men: "Lord, save us: we perish;" and the calm which immediately succeeded was a type of that ineffable serenity which overspread their agitated souls. They were saved not by their fear, or by their cry; but by the presence and power of the Master. So is it with the penitent sinner. The terror of the Lord may cause him to break forth, "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments;" but when Jesus speaks forgiveness to his troubled conscience

"Fear gives place to filial love,
And peace o'erflows the heart."

T. P.




LL Christians believe in the resurrection of the body. doctrine is plainly stated in the Bible. There is, however, a profound mystery surrounding this great question: "How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come ?" Paul, in meeting that question, has turned our attention to the germ-life of a grain of corn: "That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die. Thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare


grain, it may chance of wheat, or some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." A grain of wheat is put into the ground, it germinates. One set of tender fibres, fed by the part of the grain that makes our bread, creep away from the light and spread themselves out under the surface of the earth, while other fibres rear their little points above the earth and grow and feed in the light. How strange that from one minute germ there should be two classes of fibre, both fed by the same grain. Yet one class is designed to feed on the cilica of the earth; the other, on the carbon of the atmosphere. A grain of wheat contains much; the roots, the stem, the blade, the ear, the seed basket, the chaff-scales, the blossoms, and the full corn are all wrapt up in their germinal elements, in that one grain. More than this, they are all enclosed in that minute granule, which annually finds its way, when the wheat is in blossom, into the ovarium, where the germ, fructifying, forms the grain of corn. In that small granule, which cannot be seen by the naked eye, there lies the germ of future corn. So also is the resurrection, or springing up, of the dead. "It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption." The Apostle points to the germ-life of a grain of corn, and applies the principle to the resurrection of the body. The grain may die, or it may be kept from decomposition; in either case the germ has in it the power of life. The corn-grain is the body of the germ; the body dies, but the germ lives. We intend, in this paper, to point out the teachings of Nature on this subject, and to show the harmony of physical science with the teachings of the Bible.

I. Science teaches that there is a germ connected with every organized body, whether vegetable or animal.

Paul speaks of a vegetable body, and then applies the principle to animal life. This may appear strange to some men, but in the scientific aspect of the question, there are common grounds of agreement in vegetable and animal bodies. Each body is the development of a germ. Out of three-hundred-thousand different species of bodies, vegetable and animal, not one has ever been found except a germ has been connected with it; therefore all organized bodies agree in this particular, that they are the outgrowth of different germs. Plants feed also, just as much as animals do, only in a different way. And they provide food for their young. A grain of corn contains a quantity of starch, which, during germination, is converted into sugar, and the young plant feeds upon this store of sugar until it is able to draw food from the soil. Plants breathe air as really as animals, only in a different manner. Animals respire by the contraction and expansion of the lungs; and as the animal takes in air by the lungs, so does a plant by its leaves. Further, plants can be poisoned. Narcotic poisons

have destroyed plants as really as the same poisons have destroyed animals. On these physiological principles, therefore, the Apostle's argument loses none of its power. There is great difficulty in drawing the line of distinction, in many instances, between plants and animals, for the germ-life of each is, in a great measure, beyond the power of human investigation.

Many of these germs cannot be examined, even under the most powerful microscopes; yet the germ, though it may not be the forty-thousandth part of an inch in size, is the necleus of the body. But the germ is not found alone; it is surrounded by a mysterious covering called a cell. Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S., speaking on this subject, says :-"Between the animal and vegetable cell there seems to be no other essential difference than what relates to the chemical composition of the membrane which forms its wall. A cell is a minute bag, or vesicle, formed of a colourless membrane, in which no structure can be detected, and having its interior filled with some kind of fluid. The original form of the cell is globular, or oval; but when there are a number in contact with each other, and pressed together, their sides become flattened, so that when they are cut across no intervals are seen between them, but their walls are everywhere in contact. such tissue, the whole plant, in the lower tribes of the vegetable kingdom, and all the softer portion in the higher, is composed. It does not form so large a part of the structure of animals, but we shall find that their vital functions are as much dependent upon the agency ef cells as are those of plants."


The leading men in physical science have pushed their inquiries in search of the germ, which is the principle of life, as far as they can, and all they can state is, that all kinds of life, whether animal or vegetable, commences in a cell. During the spring of the year, the trees, plants, weeds, and flowers, put forth millions of pollen-grains. And what are pollen-grains? Are they not the development and outgrowth of the original germ of the plant or tree? Does not each anthera contain a vast number of pollen-grains? And does not each grain contain the germ of life? One celebrated physician says: "If the structure of the pollen-grain be considered, it will be perceived to correspond pre cisely with that of other cells of cellular tissue; differing chiefly in its power of separating itself from the rest, and of sending forth little granules which are to form new plants, instead of adding to the number of cells in the parent structure. Every cell of the confervæ, it will be recollected, may be regarded as essentially a pollen-grain." The little granules put forth by each pollengrain contain the power of life. Now, how much physical bulk is there in one of these granules? Some pollen-grains are so small that five thousand of them, put in a straight line, would not reach

an inch in length; or it would take twenty millions of them to cover the surface of a shilling. Yet in one of these grains there are several little granules, and these granules contain the germs of life. So, whether we examine pollen-grains and trace them into the ovarium of the plant, or examine the action of separate cells, we come to the same conclusion, namely, that the germ of life is so exceedingly small as to baffle all attempts of analysis. Still the germ is there.

Every body has its own germ: "God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." The vegetable body of an oak tree cannot be produced by the vegetable germs of the catkins of the hazel, or ash, or any other tree. There is a physical law unifying the various forms of life. This law is stamped upon every germ. All the diversity of organized life is caused by some peculiar power. Each body in the universe is marked off in some way from every other body. Two kinds of wood grow on the same soil, yet the one appropriates the earth and the gases and turns them into delicious fruit, which are carried to a gentleman's table; while another tree growing by its side, turns the earth and air into poison. The gardener cannot alter this. The earth and the air are not the cause of the difference. The reason why one tree differs from another is, because God has given to every seed its own body. The difference is in the germ; therefore, the law of identity is connected with the germ of life. This is evident from common observation. The farmer not only knows wheat, when he sees the fields whitening for the harvest, but he knows the grain of wheat from every other grain. This mark of distinction is connected with every other stage of life. Even the pollen-grains differ both in size, shape, and colour; but when the subject is pushed further, and we come to life in its germinal originality, there is no difference manifest between vegetable and annual cells. But the difference is there. All the peculiarities of the future body are connected with the original cell, from which that body proceeds. These original elements of life were created by the power of God. He did not cause the vegetables to grow spontaneously to perfection out of the earth, but created them before they were put into the soil. The Bible teaches this truth very beautifully: "God made the earth and the heavens, and every herb of the field before it grew; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground." Gen. ii. 5. After this, he planted the garden, and caused the earth to bring forth abundantly.

II. Science teaches that the germ is the moulding and controlling power of the body.

The miniature oak tree is within the acorn. Not a root, branch, bud, or leaf of the tree can exist apart from the power

of the acorn. True, no roots, or fibres, may be seen by the human eye within the little acorn, but they are all there, and from them the complete tree will, in due time, be developed. But the acorn is an organized substance in a certain stage of development. The vital germ elaborated life-cells for months before the acorn was formed. The germ enclosed in the acorn has assumed a position independent of the tree. A thousand acorns may be carried from the tree to another part of the world, and each of these acorns may, in time, become a perfect tree. The same idea holds good in reference to animal life. Take, for example, the larvæ, chrysalis, and perfect butterfly. In each of these stages of life the germ is vitalizing and turning other organized substances to a definite end. The life of the insect first commences in a cell, the cell becomes developed in ova, and the little eggs, not much larger than the point of a pin, are placed by the mother insect on some appropriate vegetable. On this vegetable the little egg stands in the same position as the acorn does when placed in the soil. Within the little egg is the germ of life. Now, put that egg on a man's hand; he cannot feel it, neither can he see it, unless he has remarkably good eyes. As he looks at that little point of life, tell him that it contains twenty legs and feet, two kinds of bodies, two hundred yards of silk, sixteen thousand eyes, or lenses of sight, a vast number of veins, nerves, and joints, four beautiful wings, which are two or three inches across, and belonging to these wings some three hundred thousand beautiful feathers, and each of these feathers marked by some of the most beautiful pencillings in nature. Science teaches us this. Now, can a man really believe these lessons of nature, and yet doubt the teachings of the Bible on the resurrection of the body? First of all, the germ appropriates the food provided by the parent within the little egg, then the developed germ, in the form of a tiny reptile, bursts through the shell and begins to feed on the leaf; after the common changes of the caterpillar, the insect assumes the form of a chrysalis, but there is the same germ of life in all these stages, and at length, the perfect insect, in all the glory of insect perfection, moves through the air clothed in robes of beauty. Where is the crawling caterpillar now? Where is that unseemly body that marked the early stages of life? Where is the identity of this living thing? The body of the caterpillar is nothing like the body of the butterfly. But the germ of life is the same through all the stages of development. Therefore the identity of being is in the germ. The vital germ turned vegetable life into caterpillar, and then turned caterpillar life into a life of beauty and perfection. These principles are the same under other circumstances, and in reference to every animal organization.

The germ of life repeats itself in every part of the body. The

« PreviousContinue »