of God is manifest, his mind returns to them again and again, he gathers simile and illustration from them with readiness and freedom, he seems to stand before his congregation with the written word in his right hand, and the unwritten word in his left, and to read from the written, and then turn to the unwritten as the exponent of the other. Nature was not then supposed to be antagonistic to Revelation, but to be its Apocrypha, hidden writings full of the wisdom of God, and meet “for examples of life and instruction of manners.”
The great Bernard used the heart-language of every mediæval theologian when he said, “Believe me who have tried it; you will find more in the woods than in books: the birds will teach you that which you can learn from no master.”
In like temper did Philip von Hartung preach to a courtly audience on the text, “Consider the fowls of the air,” and drawing them away from the glitter of the palace, and the din of the city, set them down in a meadow to hear the lessons taught them by the lark.
“Consider the fowls of the air, and look first to the lark (alauda), drawing its very name, a laude, out of praise; see how with quivering wing it mounts aloft, and with what clear note it praises God! Aldrovandus says that he had been taught from childhood, that the lark mounted seven times a day to sing hymns to its Creator, so that it sings ascending, and singing soars.
“St. Francis was wont to call the larks his sisters,