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3. Pleasing is the variety of prospect which the sea at different times affords us. At one time, calm and unruffled, it reflects a bright and beautiful image on the light which shines upon it from above; at another it is dark and cloudy, stormy and tempestuous, agitated from the very bottom, and its restless waters cast up mire and dirt.
4. To behold the ebbing and flowing of the tide is an amusement ever new. By this contrivance of Divine wisdom, the whole mass of sea water is kept in continual motion, which, together with the salt contained in it, preserves it from corrupting and poisoning the world.
5. At one part of the day, therefore, the ocean seems to be leaving us, and going to other more favoured coasts, but at the stated period, as if it had only paused to recover itself, it returns again by gradual advances, till it arrives at its former height. There are an ebb and a flow in all human affairs, and a turn of events may render him happy who is now miserable; the vessel which is stranded may yet be borne upon the waters, may put out again to sea, and be blessed with a prosperous voyage.
6. Nor is the sea more wonderful in itself than it is beneficial to mankind. From its surface vapours are continually arising, drawn upwards by the heat of the sun, which, by degrees form into clouds, and drop fatness on our fields and gardens, causing even the wilderness to smile, and the valleys, covered with corn, to laugh and sing.
7. Barren and desolate as the sea appears to those who only look upon it, and search not into it, yet within its bosom are contained creatures exceeding in number those that walk and creep upon the land. The industry and ingenuity of man have found means to draw forth these inhabitants of the waters from their deep recesses; and while they afford to some an agreeable variety of wholesome food, they support multitudes of others whose business is to secure them,-an employment healthy, honest, carried on in peace and quietness, without tumult, noise, strife, and bloodshed.
8. By the invention of shipping, and the art of navigation, the sea is made, in reality, to join those nations which it appears to divide, the communication being often far more easy and expeditious by water than it would have been by land.
9. The riches of both the Indies are wafted to our shores; we sit at home and feast upon the productions of every country under heaven, while the superfluity of our own commodities is disposed of to advantage abroad. A friendly intercourse is opened between the most distant lands; savages are humanized, and become skilled in the arts and sciences. A large vessel, with all its conveniences, constructed in such a manner as to go upon the surface of the water, and to brave the fury of the winds and waves, is, perhaps, the masterpiece of human contrivance.
10. The sea may likewise be considered as an emblem of the world, and what passes therein.
Under a smiling, deceitful surface, both conceal dangerous rocks and quicksands, on which the unskilful mariner will strike and be lost: both abound with creatures pursuing and devouring each other, the small and weak becoming a prey to the great and powerful.
11. In the voyage of life we may set out with a still sea and a fair sky, but, ere long, cares and sorrows, troubles and afflictions, overtake us. The stormy wind ariseth and lifteth up the waves; we are carried sometimes up to heaven with hope, sometimes down to the deep with despair, and our soul melteth because of trouble.
12. Then is it that our heavenly Father shows us what poor helpless creatures we are without Him, and tribulation becomes the parent of devotion. If we trust Him, however, He will deliver us out of our distress, and we shall arrive safely to the desired haven, where all the tossings and agitations of human affairs shall cease, and where there shall be “no more sea.”
EDWARD THE FIRST'S GRIEF FOR QUEEN
The borders of the kingdom won,
The shadow of dark death came on.
2. A moment's space he turned aside
From his fixed spirit's steady aim;
Till to grey Westminster they came.
3. They rested nigh Northampton's bowers,
They rested nigh old Watham's shade,
One more sad halting place they made;
ELEANOR'S CROSS, NORTHAMPTON.
Who knows not where King Charles's horse
4. They laid her in the minster shade,
Who should attend his march no more;
The hour of saddening honours o'er,
5. Chronicled in a stirring page,
Ruler of spirits stern and rude,--
Branded by death of Wallace good ;
6. Yet went no lone thoughts wandering back
Away from shrine and monument,
When in that shadowing eastern tent,
7. No dream of that Sicilian shore 4
Crossing the blue sea citron-isled,
To watch beside their dying child;
8. The peasant passes by the way
And looks up to yon graven crest;
Sits down upon its step to rest ;
for The love of good Queen Eleanor.
9. For earthly loves do all pass by,
And little trace of sorrow leave;
Where heavy hearts once stopped to grieve.