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Note. The Profits of this little Work, will be given towards the building of a Parsonage House for St. Peter's District Church, Colney Heath, St. Alban's.
This little book is intended as an offering to the lovers of Nature ; and as a persuasive, also, to those who look upon her but with a careless eye, to investigate more closely these minute and somewhat concealed beauties of our bounteous Creator's workmanship.
It is not by a train of argument that the Compiler has endeavoured: to attain her object, but by a multiplication of lively quotations, from wellknown and well-approved Authors ;—not only from those whose minds have been devoted to such pursuits, but also from the writings of men of the soundest piety and the highest intellectual powers; who have ever delighted to set forth the study of the works of God, as improving and ennobling.
By the wisest of men, “who spake of all trees, from the cedar to the hyssop on the wall,” and by that Divine authority which desired us to “consider the lilies of the field,” we are powerfully encouraged to contemplate Nature with a curious eye.
If the sweet sentiments of Poets, and the beautiful lessons of prose writers here collected together, with the Specimens of Wild Flowers afforded by our limited locality, induce to this elevating contemplation, the Compiler's intentions will be happily fulfilled.
ST. ALBAN's, December, 1844.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations,
The whole world is but a seed-field, which contains the eternal decrees of God. It is a garden planted with plants and trees, whose fruit and produce is to be ‘His righteousness;'—it is full of the sovereign purposes of His mercy. Perhaps they may not be recognised in the plant or bud, but they shall be visible in the flower and fruit, which is the glory of the Lord Jesus. How wonderful the thought, to behold all the kingdoms of the universe, all nations of the world, all the people of the earth,—to contemplate in all their workings and changes, in all their pullings down and settings up,-merely the upturnings of the soil, the breakings of the clods, the fallowings of the summerlings, the ripening of the land; the preparing of a garden for the Lord, and the crop,
His glory. The whole world is the Lord's garden ; it has its winter, its spring, its summer, and its autumn. The Lord will come for the fruits, and that too in its season. The winter of this world has waned away; the spring has opened into summer; the young green things of the earth have ruffled the furrows, and “the garden has caused the things that are sown in it to spring forth.” How long will it be before the harvest of the earth is fully ripe, and the word go forth, “ Put in the sickle,
the earth”? All these things I see and know, whenever I see a bud on the tree, or spring's first nurslings coming out of the earth's womb in the garden or the