This section is from the book "The Florist And Garden Miscellany". Also see: All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space!.
The coming on of spring has lately reminded me of the fact, that only two divisions of the year are noticed in the Bible, which, as our translators render them, are summer and winter. In searching into the reason of this, I could neither be satisfied with the thought that seed-time and harvest, mentioned in the first text of the Bible wherein these words occur (Gen. viii. 23), pointed to our spring and autumn, nor with the reflection that the transition from summer and winter is, in the clime where the Bible was written, too sudden to afford the mention of intermediate seasons; I was convinced there was some deeper reason than either of these, and accordingly searched into the meaning of (kitz) and (chireph), the two words which are always translated ' summer' and ' winter.' The result of the investigation is so interesting, that I shall request the Editor of the Florist to lay it before his readers. Kitz, according to the learned Dr. Parkhurst, is derived from the verb to awake, as found in a very interesting series of Hebrew texts, including Daniel xii. 2, where the awaking plainly signifies the resurrection. Kitz therefore assuredly signifies spring as well as summer: and if I might venture to point out the spiritual instruction to be gained through one word being made to comprehend the whole period from the first bud of spring to the full blush of summer noweriness, I observe that the awakening of any soul is the all-important point to be ascertained, because that ensures and includes all the rest. There may be but a little symptom of spiritual life, but it is like the first bud of spring, the harbinger of all that is to follow; for when spring arrives, it does notteach us to look back to winter but forwards to summer.
Turning again to my Hebrew Lexicon, I find chireph is as equally expressive, and as large in its signification. It is literally the stripping-season. That it was the time for ploughing we learn from Proverbs xx. 4, "The sluggard will not plough by reason of the cold," where the word is chireph, elsewhere rendered ' winter.' That it was a time of rain, when there were no singing-birds and no flowers, we learn from Cant. ii. 11, 12, where those pleasant things are mentioned as signs that winter is past, and its rain over and gone. Let us, then, keep in mind these broad and marked distinctions. There are only two states for the soul, life or death, although these two states may be developed outwardly in different degrees, like the two seasons which are signified by kitz and chireph of our Bibles. Let each one, then, inquire during this spring, whilst all nature is awaking, Is my awakened season arrived? Is my winter past, and over and gone? And if those evidences that are necessary to a joyful reply in the affirmative be now wanting, address yourselves immediately to Him to whom alone the power belongeth to give summer instead of winter.
Many who have admired, and perhaps cultivated the pretty and enduring little flowers that bear the name of Amaranths, do not perhaps know that the word is of Greek derivation, and familiar to the reader of the New Testament in its original language. Let me tell them it is to be found in the first epistle of Peter, chap. i. verse 4. The four words that fadeth not away are expressed by one in the Greek, and that is amaranton. If, then, I say there are Amaranths in the paradise of God, I speak in entire accordance with the Scriptures, because Amaranths simply signify that which is unfading, in other words, pleasures for evermore. Let me invite the readers of the Florist to bestow many thoughts on these Amaranths.