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people cast out the cannon from the battle-ships, and filled the disarmed frigates with bread, and sent the black-hulled messengers, as the raven to the prophet, on errands of mercy. Such a people may be seduced by the glitter and pomp of arms, and trained to desire conquest; but it must be in violence to their better feelings, and an offence against their conscience.
There are indeed discordant elements among us. One is slavery; an evil which pollutes the soil it touches. New England and many other of the States are free from the curse; and by their rapid advance, and the triumph of free labor, struggle mightily against it. Slavery must bow. In the old world, errors are hallowed by age; but in our land progress makes continual innovation. Before the advancing wave, slavery must be washed away. Blessed when it comes will be the year of Jubilee.
War is raging. Our statesmen differ as to its causes and its ends. But we believe it to have been commenced needlessly, and blame both the Executive and Congress for hasty action. Let all deference be shewn to the powers that be; but where truth and justice are concerned, we speak without fear. And should the ministry of New England ever fail in such emergencies, let the people slay them on the altar, and no cry of innocent blood will ascend to heaven. All the glories of Monterey and Buena Vista do not compare, in our opinion, with the sentiment expressed by General Taylor at New Orleans: "He knew not how others felt; but for himself, how much soever he might forget, in the hour of battle, the sad consequences of the strife, they always rushed upon his mind afterwards, making his heart to sink, and causing him to feel like a child." How deep an odium should rest on a system, which degrades such a man into a murdering machine. And such are many in our armies; men worthy of a better fate. Nor can we avoid a feeling of mortification, while contrasting the strength of our nation with the weakness of the foe. The Mexican for centuries has been crushed and broken. The Castilian ground him to the dust; and he escaped the yoke of Spain, only to be the prey of contending factions. A lordly and pampered priesthood has kept him in ignorance and degradation, till the whole nation is depressed and dispirited. Alas! that the American eagle should strike beak and talons into a victim already torn and bleeding; and whom it were more worthy of his strength to bear on his wing, and carry as his young.
The war with Mexico is to be lamented as being a border war. Oh, that there might have grown up on this continent a brotherhood of nations, who had never lifted up the sword against each other! Europe is afflicted with ancient and hereditary feuds. France and England cherish the memory of their old battle-fields. No Frenchman ever forgets the entrance of the allied armies to Paris; nor does the Prussian forget Jena, and Napoleon's march into Berlin. What Russian but remembers Moscow? Even in our land, though more than half a century has passed, we do not forget that the British soldier shed the blood of our citizens, in the streets of Boston. Generations pass away, but these old memories remain. Would that no such embittered recollections could be cherished against us by nations on this continent. But, alas! this hope is vain. The Mexican has seen our troops in his capital, the conqueror in his palaces. For ages that memory will be a root of bitterness, which cannot be plucked up.
Amid these discordant elements, it is consoling to think, that the recording angel writes on the same page with the Mexican the charities rendered to famishing Erin. Like the patriarch, we have sent forth from the ark the raven and the dove! The raven is not returned. The bird of ill-omen is yet croaking over the blood-deluged plains of Mexico. But the dove is come back with the olive-branch, the gratitude and blessing of them that were ready to perish. More precious is the prayer which goes up from the humblest cottages of Ireland, invoking a blessing on America, than all the triumphs of Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo. May God hear that prayer, and pardon our sin!
RESURRECTION OF THE BODY.
AMONG those who enjoy the light of revelation and profess submission to its doctrines, various sentiments are entertained concerning the resurrection. Some suppose that every particle of the body, as it is laid in the grave, will be revived; and thus the very body which was the temporary residence of the spirit here on earth, will become its habitation in the future state. Probably this is the view which is entertained by most people; and it suggests some inquiries worthy of consideration.
It is the opinion of others, that at the moment of death, there is eliminated from the expiring body an impalpable, indestructible part which at once becomes the spiritual body, and in which the soul enters upon its destiny and abides forever. This theory has been set forth of late with much learning and confidence, and has gained some converts. But we cannot regard it with favor, for it seems incompatible with the Scriptures; and is by no means necessary to obviate the difficulties attending the common view of the resurrection. According to the new theory, there is no one time for a general resurrection; but every man receives his spiritual body at the time he dies. But the Scriptures inform us of a certain period when all the dead will be raised together: "Every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits; afterward, they that are Christ's, at his coming." "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first." In these passages we are explicitly informed that the resurrection of all Christians, except those that may then be on the earth, will occur at a particular time; and that time is the closing of the Christian dispensation. Moreover, the new theory does not connect the resurrection at all with the grave. If there is eliminated from the dying body the spiritual body, in which the spirit ascends and dwells forever, then there is surely no resurrection; nothing which can be properly mentioned in connection with the grave. But the doctrine of the Bible is, that the dead arise from the grave, that their resurrection bodies are derived from those mortal remains which repose in the dust. The declaration of the prophet Daniel is: "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." And the kindred doctrine of Christ is: "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves, shall hear his voice; and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." The natural, obvious and unavoidable import of these passages is, that, at Christ's second coming, all the dead will be raised from the grave, and enter on their final destiny.
The Bible doctrine of the resurrection is, That from the remains of these earthly bodies, our spiritual bodies will be formed and raised from the grave.
By this we do not mean, that every particle is to be revived in the same nature and form which it had in death. The grain which is cast into the earth, corrupts and dies, and afterwards springs up entire. But all the particles of seed are not in the fruit; though the fruit is produced from the seed. This is the familiar illustration which Paul uses to set forth the nature of the resurrection, in reply to the inquiry: "How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" He says: "Thou fool! that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." From this the apostle proceeds to speak of the different kinds of flesh among animals; of the different degrees of glory possessed by terrestrial and celestial bodies, and also by the sun, moon and stars. All this variety of illustration was designed to aid our conception of the resurrection body, as something far different from, and far more exalted and glorious, than the clayey tabernacle which returns to the dust. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorrup tion: it is sown in dishonor; 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." From this whole passage, two points are fully established. One is, that the resurrection body is formed out of, or is derived from, the mortal body, which dies and moulders back to dust; the other is, that the resurrection body is very different from, and very superior to, that from which it springs.
Is any one ready to inquire, How it is possible, that such a spiritual, incorruptible and glorious body can be formed from such a frail, base and corrupt material as that which composes our earthly body? Remember there is nothing too hard for the Lord. Do not distrust his wisdom and power. Consider what he hath done and is continually doing; and you will have no doubt that the glorious things revealed in the Scriptures, will yet be accomplished. Let such as are troubled on this subject, look abroad, at this season of the year, on the face of nature. How desolate and dreary! A pall of sadness seems to be spread over everything abroad, and we are compelled to retreat from the natural world, to find anything to cheer the eye and gladden the heart. To one
who never witnessed how God causes the seasons to revolve, and makes everything beautiful in its season, it might seem impossible that the earth should ever revive again, that the trees should ever resume their foliage and clap their hands, and that the air should ever be filled again with fragrance and melody. But wait a little time, and the flowers will appear on the earth again, with their sweet breath, and their soft, beautiful dress; the fields and trees will be clothed with their accustomed verdure; and the singing of birds and the voice of the turtle will be heard once more. We shall be called forth from our retreats to behold, to admire and adore! All this life and beauty have sprung from the death of winter, year after year, for nearly sixty centuries; and who now will regard it as a thing incredible, that God should open the graves of the dead, and call forth from their sleeping dust bodies of immortal vigor and heavenly beauty? Every spring shews us an exhibition of powers equally wonderful with that, by which the doctrine of the resurrection will be illustrated at the second coming of Christ!
Let us contemplate our bodies as they now are, weak, perishable; but yet the fairest forms in the whole visible creation. What an exhibition of wisdom, skill, power and benevolence in the human frame! "We are fearfully and wonderfully made." But whence sprung these earthly temples in which we tabernacle? They were reared from the dust, the inert, base and formless dust, which we tread beneath our feet. If from such material our Creator could construct and fashion these bodies, so as to be the most beautiful forms that move on the earth, can we doubt his ability to raise from their ashes bodies which will be spiritual, powerful, incorruptible and glorious!
The diamond is one of the most precious stones. It is harder than any other, and can be polished so as to possess a most brilliant and perfect lustre. But it is derived from a base material. It is composed of charcoal. God can arrange the component parts of that soft, porous, unsightly substance, so as to produce a gem most beautiful and precious. And shall we doubt his ability to take our vile bodies, and fashion them like unto Christ's glorious body? "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." But that Power which created them at first, can re-create them, and fashion them as it may please him.