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TO MR. OLIPHANT'S PUPILS.
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
I FEEL much pleasure in complying with your request, that I should dedicate the BOTANY OF THE BIBLE to you.
Many of you remember your Teacher's lesson on the barren fig-tree, which first suggested to me the idea of writing it, and which put me on the plan of drawing the lessons. You will also recognise some
more old friends.
You have been very happy this year collecting and drying plants for Bible and Agricultural Herbariums. I know it will encourage you to go on with them when I tell you, that part of one which you sent to Ballinglen School, Ireland, has been tried, and is likely to prove useful there.
Many who, like myself, have the charge of young people, are equally anxious that they should be taught to study the Works of God through the medium of His Word; and it is humbly hoped that this little work may be of use to such of them as have not the same opportunity of gaining information about plants
that I have; and we cannot do better than recommend to the Teachers of Normal and Agricultural Schools the book which has been of so much use to us, "Lawson's Agricultural Manual."
You all love flowers; they teach very many most beautiful lessons, and it is a good thing to have your minds well stored with these lessons while you are young; you never will forget them, and will seldom see a flower without thinking of them.
Botanists are not agreed as to the identity of some of the plants of Scripture with those now known by the
For instance, they suppose the Lily of the Valley to be quite a different plant; but I have chosen our own sweet little flower of that name, which you all know. The lessons it teaches are very beautiful, and it answers my purpose quite as well as if I had known which was the real plant.
With the earnest and humble prayer that God will make each one of you a blessing to your country and to the world; and that He will accept of and bless this little work,
MY DEAR CHILDREN,
Your affectionate Friend,
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS,
Edinburgh, July, 1850.
WHEN the Moss and Lichen were published, the authoress had no intention of continuing her conversations with the young; but finding they were useful, she has been induced to go on with them. The Moss and Lichen are now published along with "The Botany of the Bible," with the hope that they will make the book more useful; and also to please her young friends, who were unwilling that their first lesson should be kept separate.
MOSSES AND LICHENS.
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper; the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in, from this time forth, and even for evermore."-PSALM CXxi.
Rachel. Our teacher gave us a delightful story to-day for our exercise, about a moss, and we like it so much that we intend to collect as many as we can for his Herbarium. Will you be so kind as to tell us something about mosses?
M. That I shall most willingly; and I am very glad to hear that you intend collecting some. I know nothing will delight your teacher more than to see you make a good use of his lessons; but before I tell anything about mosses, you must repeat his story.
Catherine. He called it, "Trust in Providence." It was about Mungo Park, the African traveller, who, on one occasion, had been stripped by banditti, and left naked and forlorn in the midst of a vast wilderness, far removed from civilized society. The story is best told in Park's own words: "Whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone; surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once on my recollection; and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, aided and supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land; yet I was still under the protecting eye of that Providence who has condescended to call Himself the stranger's Friend. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructuation irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate formation of its