The vilest reptile and the proudest prince?
(Henry Law, "Numbers" 1858)
"All your life you will sweat to produce food, until
your dying day. Then you will return to the ground
from which you came. For you were made from
dust, and to the dust you will return." Gen. 3:19
What is our body?
It is nothing but clay!
These bodies have one origin; the dust.
The vilest reptile and the proudest prince
are composites of one poor mire. Is it not
folly, then, to pamper and admire this flesh?
How soon our bodies crumble back to dust!
No care; no thought; no art can lengthen out
The countless families of foregone ages;
where are they now? Dust they were. To
dust they are gone back!
The many families of this our day; where are
they speeding to? Dust they are. To dust they
hasten! How fleeting is life's day!
The bodies must fall. But when?
Perhaps this very hour!
Is he not then the fool of fools, who
boasts himself of tomorrow's dawn!
Happy the inhabitants of these crumbling
bodies, if only they are Christ's!
They now are vilest dust! They soon will
shine more brightly than ten thousand suns!
Their vile bodies shall be changed!
Weakness and frailty shall put on unfading
freshness! The lowly bud shall bloom into a