John Gerard - Herbal 1597
Type of spiritual experience
John Gerard, also spelt John Gerarde, (c. 1545–1612) was a botanist and herbalist. He maintained a large herbal garden in London. His chief notability is as the author of a big – 1480 pages – and heavily illustrated Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes. First published in 1597, it was the most widely circulated botany book in English in the 17th century
A description of the experience
For if delight may provoke men's labour, what greater delight is there than to behold the earth apparelled with plants, as with a robe embroidered work, set with Orient pearls and garnished with great diversity of rare and costly jewels?
If this variety and perfection of colours may affect the eye, it is such in herbs and flowers that no Apelleo, no Zeuxis, ever could by any art express the like; if odours or if taste may work satisfaction they are both so sovereign in plants and so comfortable, that no confection of the apothecaries can equal their excellent virtue.
But these delights are in the outward senses, the principal delight is in the mind, singulalry enriched with the knowledge of these visible thing, setting forth tous the invisible wisdom and admirable workmanship of Almighty God.