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The Corn of Wheat Dying.

The Corn of Wheat Dying.

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** Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a com of wheat fall into the
ground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bnngeth forth much
fruit"— St. John xii 24.

** Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a com of wheat fall into the
ground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bnngeth forth much
fruit"— St. John xii 24.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE COR OF WHEAT DYIG.BY THE REV. D. HOWELL, VICAR OF WREXHAM.** Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a com of wheat fall into theground and die, it abideth alone ; but if it die, it bnngeth forth muchfruit"— St. John xii 24.A "COR of wheat" — how small — how insignificant!And yet what a mystery is containedlfin it ! A littlechild may hold it on the palm of its tin^ hand; and yetnot all the science and philosophy of ^his world couldproduce it ! The production of even a single " com of wheat" depends on the strict preservation of aU thegreat laws and influences of our own and of other worlds ;for if even one of these laws, that of gravitation for in-stance, were interfered with, the sun would cease to shineupon us, the rain would refuse to descend, the moistureof the earth would be dried up, and aU vegetable andanimal life would sicken and die. Such are the forcesengaged in the production of a single " com of wheat."In the text we have our Lord teaching, from a kindof object-lesson, one of the profoundest truths of God'smoral government. Some will have it that the wordswere spoken on the day of His triumphal entry intoJerusalem — others the day after. In any case, our Lord'sdisciples were probably excited by the enthusiasm withDigitized by VjOOQICTHE COR OF WHEAT DYIG. 215which He was accompanied into the holy city, and theirold expectations of a reigning and conquering Messiahhad doubtless once more been stirred up within them.
Our Lord, knowing their thoughts, with inimitable wisdomand tenderness reminds them of His approaching deathand departure from them. And He does this by anappeal to a fact in nature familiar to them all. "Excepta corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abidethalone ; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."The great truth which is here declared is this : thatlife comes through deaths and that humiliation is the cov/-dition of eocaltcUion. Again and again had our Lordgiven expression to this same truth; but the discipleswere slow of heart to apprehend it For three yearshad they been in close fellowship with Him, and Hehad become the very life of their life. Day by day hadthey been drinking in from His Divine lips the greattruths of the new dispensation. They had lived, as itwere, in a blissful dream, miracles and parables flowingin upon them day after day, so that they hardly had athought of their own. And now, when their hopes stoodhighest. He tells them mysteriously, that " Except a cornof wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone."In other words, that except He die, the grand purposeof His mission to this world would and could not beaccomplished; but that, if He died, there would be arich harvest of redeemed souls. Was it to be wonderedat that the disciples should be perplexed and bewilderedby such a declaration ? And is it not so still with nota few disciples in our own day ? otwithstanding thatwe stand on the vantage-ground of more than eighteenDigitized by VjOOQIC2i6 THE COR OF WHEAT DYIG.hundred years of Christian history, this truth is still astumblingblock to many — viz., that life comes through
death, and that humiliation is the condition of exaltation.But it is so. For — Of what use is the com of wheat except it die ? Initself it is almost useless. It would hardly supply ameal for the smallest bird or the tiniest insect. Put itin a golden casket, and of what use will it be ? True,it is a thing of beauty in itself, so perfectly shaped andso exquisitely formed. Still it is practically worthlessso long as it is kept " alone." But place it in the earth,where the sunshine and the showers may reach it, andwho can tell what may not come out of it ! We haveall read of the corn of wheat which was found hermeti-cally sealed in the hand of an Egyptian mummy, andhow it was taken out and planted in a suitable soil, and,notwithstanding that it was more than two thousandyears old, how it sprouted, and grew, and multiplieditself, until, after a while, it supplied seed-corn forthousands of acres. The germ of life was in it still,and it soon multiplied itself a millionfold.And was it not so with Him who compared Himself to a "corn of wheat"? The disciples would havewished to keep the corn of wheat to themselves. Theyshuddered at the thought of seeing it put into the ground.Peter went even so far as to rebuke His Master forsuggesting such a thing as possible. Peter would havekept the com of wheat "done." A suflfering and adying Messiah was a thing repugnant to his thoughts.The mere earthly life of our Lord wa^ indeed in itself most inestimably precious. ever had anything like itDigitized by VjOOQICTHE COR OF WHEAT DYIG. 217

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