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records more lessons drawn by our Master from a seed or a plant than from a pearl. So I will, as it were, gather simples and try to spell out their lessons: I will adorn the shrines of Christ's friends with flowers, and plant a garden round their hallowed graves. Fuller remarks of a flower : “In the morning when it groweth up, it is a lecture of Divine Providence : in the evening when it is cut down and withereth, it is a lecture of human mortality.” Let us learn something from the grass of the field which God clothes.
Much of my material can only be drawn from uncertain traditions : but after one protest that to such I attach no binding faith, nor even necessarily any credence, I shall not deem it incumbent upon me to guard each sentence as it occurs by a supplementary protest; nor have I hesitated partly to construct my so-called “ Memorials” on a legendary foundation. Such Memorials may, I am not without hope, prove helpful towards realizing each Saint in his special Office on his appointed Day. They took their rise from my own observation of appropriate verses when I joined in our Church Service : one such association succeeded another, until it appeared to me that the Psalms of each Feast might be arranged in more or less apt connection with its special history. In the Scripture texts of the parallel column I have observed or imagined some bearing on the subject in hand, at the least either typical or suggestive: and as in every instance reference is made to chapter and verse, no misapprehension of the
primary drift need ensue even where I may have strained an application.
My work is based on no text more recondite than that of the Authorized Version : nor have I supposed it either essential or edifying to dwell on alternative readings, or on many other disputed points which meet one even in preparing so slight a study. I have, however, felt at liberty to abridge the text, and to combine into one narrative the statements found in (for instance) the separate Gospels; but without verbal alteration, though not invariably without change of punctuation. The references to ch. and v. enable each clause to be traced to its source. My occasional linguistic statements are given at second-hand, as are most of the authorities I cite whether by name or anonymously. No graver slur could attach to my book than would be a reputation for prevalent originality: and I hope my here, once for all, acknowledging how deeply and widely I am indebted to the spoken or written words of many, will be accepted as sheltering me equally from charges of rashness and of plagiarism.
For the learned, then, I have no ability to write, lacking as I do learning and critical practice. But I suppose not that much mischief need accrue from my violating probability so far as, for instance, to accept the precious stones of our Authorized Version as gems now known to us under the same names. And if some points of my descriptions are rather flights of antique fancy than lore of modern science, I hope that such points may rather recall
a vanishing grace than mislead from a truth. Avowing, as I must, a general ignorance of petrology, and even of botany, I ask any who turn to my nature-portraits to accept them as confessedly no more than loving studies from the outside ; elaborated by one who has written partly indeed from her own observation of appearances, but mainly from a little reading; and who is quite prepared to be convicted of numerous mistakes. Nor have I attempted to select my illustrative flowers from the flora of Palestine : I even think that a flower familiar to the eye and dear to the heart may often succeed in conveying a more pointed lesson than could be understood from another more remote if more eloquent. “ Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow."
This near-at-hand land breeds pain by measure :
Of heaped-up good pleasure.
Our land that we see is befouled by evil :
Far from death and devil.
This land hath for music sobbing and sighing :
Of all loves undying.
This land hath for pastime errors and follies :
Of full-chanted “Holies.”
Up and away, call the Angels to us;
And no tears bedew us;
Where that which riseth sets again never,
For ever and ever ;
Where harvest justifies labour of sowing,
Sweet beyond your knowing.
Come and laugh with us, sing in our singing ;
See what we are bringing :
Crowns like our own crowns, robes for your wearing ; For love of you we kiss them in bearing,
All good with you sharing :
Over you gladdening, in you delighting ;
Come to full wrong-righting.
Come, where all balm is garnered to ease you ; Come, where all beauty is spread out to please you ;
Come, gaze upon Jesu.