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NATURE IS A BOOK WRITTEN ON BOTH SIDES, WITHIN AND WITHOUT, IN WHICH THE FINGER OF GOD IS CLEARLY VISIBLE-A SPECIES OF HOLY WRIT IN A BODILY FORM-A GLORIOUS PANEGYRIC, AS IT WERE, ON GOD'S OMNIPOTENCE, EXPRESSED IN THE MOST VIVID SYMBOLS. THE OUTER PART OF THIS SACRED VOLUME ATTESTS THE SUPREME POWER, WISDOM, AND GOODNESS, OF THE CREATOR, IN CHARACTERS TOO CLEAR AND LUMINOUS TO BE UN PERCEIVED OR MISREAD BY THE DULLEST OR THE MOST VITIATED EYE. THE INNER PAGES COMPRISE A STILL MORE GLORIOUS REVELATION, BUT THEIR LANGUAGE IS MORE MYSTERIOUS.
FREDERICK VON SCHLEGEL.
In the present little work, it has been the author's aim to relate, in a plain and familiar manner, all that is most interesting and instructive in the natural history of the various animals mentioned in Scripture, and more especially to note whatever sheds light on the passages in which they are introduced. With this view he has collected, from the narratives of the most recent travellers who have treated of the natural history of the East, as well as from other sources, some of them not readily accessible-accounts of the habits and instincts of such animals as came within the limits of his design. He has thus, he hopes, been enabled to add both to the value and interest of his little work, by blending anecdote and adventure, observation and disquisition. He has, however, studi
ously avoided the introduction of discussions turning on mere grammatical niceties, which could be intelligible only to the student of a branch of learning which has never yet been cultivated with the ardour which its importance demands.
To some of the anecdotes he is aware it may objected, that they have but little bearing on the Scripture History of the animals. It was, however, part of his plan to introduce such interesting narratives, &c. as would tend to fix the attention of his young readers. He knows no better means of arresting their notice, and leading them to more important inquiries, than thus to strew the path of knowledge, if he may so speak, with the flowers of interesting anecdote and adventure.