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The Lessons of the Flowers.

The Lessons of the Flowers.

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Published by glennpease

Luke xii. 27. — Consider the lAlies.

Luke xii. 27. — Consider the lAlies.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 17, 2013
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THE LESSOS OF THE FLOWERS.BY REV. JOSIAH D. SMITH, D. D.,Luke xii. 27. — Consider the lAlies.Some men walk through the world with eyes shut, seeingnothing and learning nothing. Persons, things, events withwhich they come in contact, are not studied — are hardly con-ceived of with any distinctness, and are, of course, forgotten.Others, from natural aptitude and from habit, not only see, hutobserve what passes. They note the causes and the consequences,the peculiarities and the relations of actions and events, andacquire a fund of practical philosophy, which is of the highestvalue in the affairs of life. That which is thus seen to be ourwisdom, in relation to the interests of earth, becomes, in thehigher sphere of religion, a duty.God reveals himself in the books of ature and of Revelation,and the same Divine Messenger who bids us " Search the Scrip-tures, ' ' gives this other command — " Consider the lilies. ' ' Thesebooks are emanations from the same source — ^rays from the samesun — and if one shines with a fuller blaze, it is no reason whythe mild radiance or the single beam of the other should be des-pised. ' ' There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars," but all alike borrowtheir glory from the " Father of lights."4*42 TRUTH I LOVE. [Ser.Inviting us to study the lilies, tlie Saviour only mates a spe-cial application of the general duty of considering the works of Grod. It is an act of piety, and a source of pure delight. " Theworks of the Lord are great ; sought out of all them that havepleasure therein. ' ' The consideration of them which is incul-
cated in Scripture, is an exercise of devout meditation, whichbeholds God in his works, sees the Creator in the creature, andrises through the visible and the material, up to the unseen,the spiritual and the eternal.Many consider the works of God in another manner, and for adifferent purpose. The man of science studies nature not as theworkmanship of God, but precisely as a mechanic would study acurious machine which the hand of man had constructed, or asan artist would view a piece of statuary which human genius andskill had conceived and chiseled. Such a man sees nothing butmatter and its laws ; and instead of ascending through natureup to nature's God, many a naturalist loses himself in the laby-rinth of that Divine mechanism which needs only the recognitionof a living and personal Creator to reduce it all to perfect unityand order, and to make it radiant with the beauty of the Lord.There is certainly no inconsistency between the scientific studyof nature, and the exercise of faith and devotion. The naturalsciences, ^s Botany, Geology, and Astronomy, furnish number-less and obvious proofs of creative power, and skill, and good-ness ; and nothing can account for the fact that the student of ature fails to recognize and worship God, but that the humansoul is "out of chord" with the harmonies of the universe.The study of nature tends to piety, and the Scriptures invite toit. The man of deepest learning and widest acquaintance withthe works of God will, most hkely, believe the teachings of Scrip tui-e, because he sees the harmony of nature and revelation.II.] THE LESSOS OF THE FLOWERS. 4SProfessor Henry of the Smithsonian Institute, is reported tohave said that he knew but one thoroughly scientific man in theUnited States, who was an avowed Infidel. "An undevout as-tronomer is mad." The man of sound mind and of right heartwill rather exclaim with the Shepherd of Bethlehem — "WhenI consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers ; the moon andthe stars, which thou hast ordained ; what is man, that thou
art mindful of him ? Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thyname in all the earth !"While this transition from the study of natiire as a Science, tothe religious consideration of it, as a manifestation of God, iseasy and natural, it is not necessary ; and we advert to the difier-ence, just to mark the various grades of interest and points of view from which men look, in studying the works of God. Insome respects, the scientific study is the lowest. ext above this,is that admiration and enjoyment of nature which is experiencedby persons endowed with poetic sensibility, and indeed by almostall persons at some period and in some circumstances of theirlives. The dullest eye will brighten, and the coldest heartawake from its torpor, and rise from the routine of its common-places, when the beautiful, the grand, the majestic, or the terri-ble in nature is suddenly presented : and some minds of exqui-site sensibility will dwell on scenes of material loveliness andsplendour, with a tenderness of feeling, and a mysterious depthof emotion, and with blending and changing shades of thought,which no language, not even the dialect of loftiest poetry can ex-press. The soul's response and sympathy in thus communingwith nature in her varied forms of mild beauty, and majesticgreatness, and terrible grandeur, bears a certain resemblance topiety and worship ; and we admit that it is far higher and purerand more ennobling to the spirit, than the lower studies of na-44 TRUTH I LOVE. [Ser.tural science, whicli analyzes nature, and exhibits the bony ske-leton of her naked laws ; and which does even this for the mate-rial uses to which her laws and forces may be applied. But wemust remind you that admiration of nature is a very differentthing from adoring the God of nature. Dissevering the crea-ture from the Creator, it is, at the best, a species of refined ido-latry, which, like the ancient heathenism, burns incense to the godsof the mountains and the valleys, the groves and the streams, andadores the sun, the moon, and the stars, rather than the eter-nal and invisible God, who is above all, and through all, and in

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