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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1752
AUTHOR: William Jennings Bryan (1860–1925)
QUOTATION: If that vital spark that we find in a grain of wheat can pass unchanged through countless deaths and resurrections, will the spirit of man be unable to pass from this body to another?
ATTRIBUTION: WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN, eulogy, Elks Lodge annual memorial service, Lincoln, Nebraska, December 2, 1906, as reported by the Nebraska State Journal, December 3, 1906, p. 3.

In “The Prince of Peace,” a lecture delivered at Chautauquas and religious gatherings, starting in 1904, he phrased the idea this way: “If this invisible germ of life in the grain of wheat can thus pass unimpaired through three thousand resurrections, I shall not doubt that my soul has power to clothe itself with a body suited to its new existence when this earthly frame has crumbled into dust.”—Speeches of William Jennings Bryan, vol. 2, p. 284 (1909).