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Can you use it as both ?
If we use it as a fruit, what shall we do with it?
We have already stripped off the husk : how are the husks of corn usually separated ?
What shall we next do with the grain ?
What is the outer part of the grain called, when separated from the inner ?
What is the use of bran ?
Does the inside, after being ground, remain as it was ? Into what is it divided ?
Has every particle an use ?
What is bread called, Ps. cv. 16? [Read in connection Lev. xxvi. 26; Ezek. iv. 16; xiv. 13.]
Would this single grain produce much flour? But would it not produce a portion ?
Think how many grains of corn are necessary, in order to supply a single loaf! Yet are not multitudes of the human race constantly supplied with bread ?
Are there not several grains of corn in an ear ? And what must there be in a field ?
And who supplies every grain? And with what design?
Reflect upon all that the Power of God effects from the first awakening of life in the seed, to its maturity in the full ear. Reflect upon that
Love which has prepared every particle of our necessary subsistence.
Has God appointed a seed time ?
And what promise has God given with respect to these seasons? (Gen. viii. 22.)
Has the divine promise ever failed ?
How great is the goodness of God, in giving bread year after year, to the several generations of men! From the time the promise was made to the present hour, the earth has been the parent of man's nourishment-it yearly produces millions of millions, and millions of millions of ears of corn.—There have indeed been times when, for some crying sin, the bounteous hand of God has been closed towards à part of mankind; but how few have been the seasons of scarcity and famine, compared with those of plenty ?—Perhaps we have seen a plenteous harvest, without any emotion of gratitude: we may have seen the fields waving with yellow corn, and yet have never raised our hearts in thanksgiving, nor thought of opening wide our hand to our poor brother. *
* The mind may be led into different trains of thought by such a subject. We might often mourn that when God sends abundance, the sins of men should cause want amongst so large a portion of His creatures. We may also be led to take a serious view of the evil of waste. It should be constantly impressed on the youthful mind, that it is wrong to waste a piece of bread; and a reference should be made to the example of our Saviour, John' vi. 12. The universal application of such a principle, might have a strong influence on the temporal and spiritual welfare of whole families.
We said that the grain of wheat might be used either as fruit, or as seed: as which did we consider it ?
How then shall we now consider it?
If we'use the grain of wheat as seed, what must we do with it?
What will become of it in the ground?
say the seed will die ; do you mean that its power of life will be lost ? The seed will undergo a temporary corruption, which we call death; but God has given it a power of germinating again.]
Observe that in corrupting it is made to give forth life—by what is life preserved in, and called forth from the seed, during its process of corruption?
What are the outward means of drawing forth its life? (The earth and its juices; the rain and attendant moisture; the power of the sun and air which penetrate the seed, all contribute to vivify and fertilize the little germ : the divine power gives efficacy to these means.]
What first, visibly springs from the seed ?
And how many grains do you suppose the ear might contain ?
Of what then would the little seed we put into the earth be the parent? Observe that by dying, and having its life called forth from death, its power and its use are multiplied
Now read John xii. 24; and 1 Cor. xv. 36–38; 42-44.-The resurrection of the body of the believer is illustrated by the consideration of the state of the grain of wheat in the earth, and its state after it has been fertilized through temporary death. Let us dwell in spirit upon the import of each contrasted expression used by the inspired Apostle. Read with attention and prayer, verses 42—44.
There might be a still farther application of the comparison of the grain of wheat, which though not adviseable to propose to young and inexperienced minds, we would venture to suggest to the more advanced Christian.
We have considered the grain of wheat as fruit, and as seed : may not Christians be used by their heavenly Father, either as fruit or as seed?
In considering the grain of corn as fruit, we alluded to the process it must undergo, in order to contribute its share, however small, to the purposes of general good—and to the end which it might serve after it had been thus prepared.--Some Christians are as fruitrich in gifts and usefulness, early manifesting the graces imparted to them by God.
In considering the grain as seed, we remarked that it has to pass through a state of death ; that in this state the in-dwelling germ of life is fertilized and nourished through the medium of the elements; and that after this process, the renewed and invigorated power of life puts itself forth in manifold forms, the seed having through death acquired a higher and stronger life.
God may choose some of His redeemed, to be for the present not fruit, but seed-choose them to undergo a farther process to be effected only in death-unseen, unnoticed by men, known only to Him who works life in death, and out of death brings forth life. Such souls having passed through the death of the old nature, may arise in newness of life indeed, a life in vigour and in usefulness multiplied seven-fold.
Let it be observed, that in each of the above cases, we speak of converted persons, we do not allude to that process which takes place in every soul during conversion."
Out of the multitude of grains of corn, few comparatively are used as seed. It becomes not Christians to choose, or even to desire for themselves, but committing themselves wholly to God, leave it to His determination, whether they shall be used as fruit, early manifesting His glory to men,-or whether as seed, they are to undergo a death, in which THE LIFE OF GOD shall wholly take the place of their own life, and in due time, though perhaps that time may be long, manifest itself in them, in the power of its own divine qualities.We may conclude that the individual will receive an increase of fruitfulness, in proportion as his state acquires more of the life of God; his former state, though converted, contained a great proportion of the own life: his after state manifests the divine life completely ruling over the own life :- his fruit, then, will be that of heaven, and the strength and activity he puts forth, will be that of God alone, working in him, and by him.