THE ORNITHOLOY OF THE BIBLE:
OR, GOD AMONG THE BIRDS
T. DeWitt Talmage
Matthew, 6: 26: " Behold the fowls of the air."
There is a silence now in all our January forests,
except as the winds whistle through the bare branches.
The organ-lofts in the temple of nature are hymnless.
Trees which were full of carol and chirp and chant
are now waiting for the coming back of rich plumes
and warbling voices, solos, duets, quartets, cantatas,
and Te Deums. The difference between the forests in
summer and the forests in winter is the difference be-
tween an academy of music with enchanted throngs
listening to an inspired cantatrice and an academy of
music empty. But the Bible is full of birds at all sea-
sons, and prophets and patriarchs and apostles and
evangelists and Christ himself employ them for moral
and religious purposes. My text is an extract from
the Sermon on the Mount, and perhaps it was at a
moment when a flock of birds flew past that Christ
waved his hand toward them and said: "Behold the
fowls of the air." And so, in this course of sermons
on God Everywhere, I preach to you this sermon con-
cerning the Ornith olgy of- the Bible, or God- among
Most of the other sciences you may study or not
study, as you please. Use your own judgment, exer-
cise your own taste. But about this science of ornith-
ology we have no option. The divine command is
positive when it says in my text, "Behold the fowls of
the air!" That is, study their habits. Examine their
colors. Notice their speed. See the hand of God in
their construction. It is easy for me to obey the com-
mand of the text, for I was brought up among this
race of wings, and from boyhood heard their matins
at sunrise and their vespers at sunset. Their nests
have to me a fascination, and my satisfaction is that I
never robbed one of them, any more than I would
steal a child from a cradle; for a bird is a child of the
sky, and its nest is the cradle. They are almost ...
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