We go, for instance, into a garden and pluck a flower; and, as we permit our eye to wander over it and to behold the various elements of its graceful beauty, we not only see the flower, but the eye of faith, making a telescope of the bodily eye, and reading the invisible in the visible, sees, also, the God of the flower. Often has the devout Christian, in all ages of the world used expressions, which indicate the fact of this divine perception. "The God, whom I love," he says, "shines upon me from these blooming leaves." And the expressions he uses convey a great truth to him, however they may fail to convey it to others. That flower is God's development. It is not only God present indirectly by a material token, by a mere manifested sign, while the reality of the thing signified is absent; but it is God present as a being, living, perceptive, and operative. We do not mean to say, that God and the flower are identical. Far from it. But what we do mean to say is, — that the life of God lives and operates in the life of the flower. It is not enough to say, as we contemplate the flower, that God created it; implying, in the remark, that, having created it, he then cast it upon the bosom of the earth to live or die, as a thing friendless and uncared for. This is the low view which unbelief taken. The vision of faith sees much further than this. God is still in it; — not virtually, but really; not merely by signs, but as the thing signified. God is the "God of the living." And while the flower lives, he, who made it, is still its vital principle just as much as when his unseen hand propelled it from its stalk; not only the author, but the support of its life, the present and not the absent source of its beauty and fragrance, still delighting in it as an object of his skill and care.
The sanctified mind realizes this in a new and higher sense; — so much so that the truly holy man enjoys especial intercourse with God, and enters into a close and divine unity with him, when he walks amid the various works which nature, or rather the God of nature, constantly presents to his view.
— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 6, Chapter 8.