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18   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

and wrought out by prayer and penance a royal road for suffering man, and more than three hundred million people call him the " Blessed One " after the lapse of all these centuries. The Bible has frequent allusions to sacred trees and groves. It has a tree of knowledge of good and evil, on which grew the fateful " fruit of finest colors, mixed ruddy and gold." It was Abraham who " planted a grove in Beersheba and called there on the name of the Lord." Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that the burning bush in which Moses saw Jehovah's presence was a sacred tree before that event. It was a natural stick that Moses had in his hand, and was afterwards used for miraculous purposes as a magic rod. Hezekiah cut down the sacred groves, and his great-great-grandson cut down another growth in his effort to root out the foreign worship that clung to the forests.

The Greeks had sacred groves, and many of their gods had trees sacred to them in popular estimation. Thus the oak fell to Zeus, the greatest of all, to Apollo the laurel, to Athene the olive, etc. The ancient Germans worshipped in groves. The Celtic druids of France and England, Ireland and Scotland had their religious sanctuaries in the deep forests. The Norse-men, of Norway and Sweden, told wondrous


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