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THE WOODS.   13

 

seed ; but that is the manner in which the Creator operates. Because an oak-tree, for in-stance, was not suddenly called into existence loaded with leaves and acorns, but, through millions of years, has been produced, is none the less a creative act.

Our vast ages are God's days. The computations of his calendar, are not to be fitted into our petty almanacs. The philosophy of evolution clothes the Deity with greater grandeur than the theory of sudden creations permits. It enables us to see not only the plan or design of the structure, but its upbuilding ; not only the finished product, but the various steps of its development. We are not merely moved to throw up our hands in pious admiration of the completed object, be it tree or man, but we are moved to reverent wonder, or religious awe when viewing the marvellous transformations through which it was guided to completion. When we study the evolution of any kind of tree we are soon in the midst of a wonderland of captivating charms. We thus enter the laboratory of nature ; we see not only the moving wheels, but the " life within the vast ma-chine ; " we may even realize a real presence in leaf, and blade, and bloom, making and unmaking, till —


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