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REV. FRANCIS MASON, A. M.,
AND OF THE LYCEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, NEW YORK.
This work owes its origin to the wants experienced by a translator of the Bible.
Ever since the day that man was sent to dress the garden of Eden, and to give " names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field," he has in erery age, and in every clime, been a lover of nature. It has been remarked of the Hebrews especially, that “they make such frequent recurrence for metaphorical expressions to natural objects, and particularly to plants and trees, that their poetry may almost be termed the botanical poetry.” The Ilebrew and Greek Testaments contain between seven and eight hundred names of natural productions, found in the countries where the books were written ; and Michaelis says
there are upwards of two hundred and fifty botanical terms." These names, and terms enter into many thousands of verses, THE PROPER RENDERING OF WHICH DEPENDS UPON A CORRECT KNOWLEDGE OF THE THINGS And how much more lucid and interesting will appear the Book of God, if these terms be rightly translated !
'Throughout the inspired writings of the Ancient Scriptures, and in all the teachings of the Apostles, we find constant allusion to the works of nature. And our Sa. viour in his parables and similitudes continually draws frons the natural scenes of earth which his almighty hand had fashioned, that “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world might be clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made." But had his hearers been unacquainted with the particular names and properties of the plants or animals to which he referred, they could never have felt as they did, the overwhelming power of his arguments and illustrations. And yet, by some translators, a very considerable propor