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which are washed by the chafing sea? What groves, and fields, and dwellings are so enchanting as those which stand by the reflecting sea.

If we could see the great ocean as it can be seen by no mortal eye, beholding at one view what we are now obliged to visit in detail and spot by spot; if we could, from a flight far higher than the sea eagle's, and with a sight more keen and comprehensive than his, view the immense surface of the deep all spread out beneath us like a universal chart, what an infinite variety such a scene would display! Here a storm would be raging, the thunder bursting, the waters boiling, and rain and foam and fire all mingling together; and here next to this scene of magnificent confusion, we should see the bright blue waves glittering in the sun, and while the brisk breezes flew over them, clapping their hands for very gladness.

Here, again, on this self-same ocean, we should behold large tracts where there was neither tempest nor breeze, but a dead calm, breathless, noiseless, and, were it not for that swell of the sea which never rests, motionless. Here we should see a cluster of green islands, set like jewels, in the midst of its bosom; and there we should see broad shoals and gray rocks, fretting the billows, and threatening the mariner.

“ There go the ships,” the white robed ships, some on this course, and others on the opposite one, some just approaching the shore, and some just leaving it; some in fleets, and others in solitude; some swinging lazily in a calm, and some driven and tossed, and perhaps overwhelmed by the storm; some for traffic, and some for state, and some in peace, and others, alas!

in war.

Let us follow one, and we should see it propelled by the steady wind of the tropics, and inhaling the almost visible odors which diffuse themselves around the spice islands of the East; let us observe the track of another, and we should behold it piercing the cold barriers of the North, struggling among hills and fields of ice, contending with Winter in his everlasting dominion, striving to touch that unattained, solemn, hermit point of the globe, where ships may perhaps never visit, and where the foot of man, all-daring and indefatigable as it is, may never tread.

Nor are the ships of man the only travelers whom we shall perceive on this mighty map of the ocean. Flocks of sea birds are passing and repassing, diving for their food, or for pastime, migrating from shore to shore with unwearied wings and undeviating instinct, or wheeling and swarming round the rocks which they make alive and vocal by their numbers and their clanging cries.

How various, how animated, how full of interest is the survey! We might behold such a scene, were we enabled to behold it, at almost any moment of time on the vast and varied ocean; and it would be a much more diversified and beautiful one; for I have spoken but of a few particulars, and of those but slightly.

I have not spoken of the thousand forms in which the sea meets the shore, of the sands and the cliffs, of the arches and grottos, of the cities and the solitudes, which occur in the beautiful irregularity of its outline;

nor of the constant tides, nor the boiling whirlpools and eddies, nor the currents and streams, which are dispersed throughout its surface. The variety of the sea, notwithstanding the uniformity of its substance, is ever changing and endless.

“ The sea is his, and He made it." And when He made it, He ordained that it should be the element and dwelling place of multitudes of living beings, and the treasury of many riches. How populous and wealthy and bounteous are the depths of the sea! How many are the tribes which find in them abundant sustenance, and furnish abundant sustenance to man. The whale roams through the deep like its lord; but he is forced to surrender his vast bulk to the use of man.

The lesser tribes of the finny race have each their peculiar habits and haunts, but they are found out by the ingenuity of man, and turned to his own purposes. The line and the hook and the net are dropped and spread to delude them, and bring them up from the watery chambers where they were roving in conscious security. How strange is it that the warm food which comes upon our tables, and substances which furnish our streets and dwellings with cheerful light, should be drawn up from the cold and dark recesses of the

sea.

We shall behold new wonders and riches when we investigate the sea shore. We shall find both beauty for the eye and food for the body, in the varieties of shell fish, which adhere in myriads to the rocks, or form their close dark burrows in the sands. In some parts of the world we shall see those houses of stone, which the little coral insect 'rears up with patient

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industry from the bottom of the waters, till they grow into formidable rocks, and broad forests, whose branches never wave, and whose leaves never fall.

In other parts we shall see those “pale glistening pearls” which adorn the crowns of princes, and are woven in the hair of beauty, extorted by the restless grasp of man from the hidden stores of ocean. And, spread round every coast, there are beds of flowers and thickets of plants, which the dew does not nourish, and which man has not sown, nor cultivated, nor reaped; but which seem to belong to the floods alone, and the denizens of the floods, until they are thrown up by the surges, and we discover that even the dead spoils of the fields of ocean may fertilize and enrich the fields of earth. They have a life, and a nourishment, and an economy of their own, and we know little of them, except that they are there in their briny nurseries, reared up into luxuriance by what would kill, like a mortal poison, the plants of the land.

We must not omit to consider the utility of the sea; its utility, I mean, not only as it furnishes a dwelling and sustenance to an infinite variety and number of inhabitants, and an important part of the support of man, but in its more general relations to the whole globe of the world. It cools the air for us in summer, and warms it in winter. It is probable that the very composition of the atmosphere is beneficially affected by combining with the particles which it takes up from the ocean; but, however this may be, there is little or no doubt, that were it not for the immense face of waters with which the atmosphere comes in contact, it

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would be hardly respirable for the dwellers on the earth.

Then, again, it affords an easier, and, on the whole, perhaps a safer medium of communication and conveyance between nation and nation, than can be found, for equal distances, on the land. It is also an effectual barrier between nations, preserving to a great degree the weak from invasion and the virtuous from contamination. In many other respects it is no doubt useful to the great whole, though in how many we are not qualified to judge. What we do see is abundant testimony of the wisdom and goodness of Him who in the beginning “gathered the waters together unto one place.

There is mystery in the sea. There is mystery in its depths. It is unfathomed, and perhaps unfathomable. Who can tell, who shall know, how near its pits run down to the central core of the world? Who can tell what wells, what fountains are there, to which the fountains of the earth are in comparison but drops? Who shall say whence the ocean derives those inexhaustible supplies of salt, which so impregnates its waters, that all the rivers of the earth, pouring into it from the time of the creation, have not been able to freshen them?

What undescribed monsters, what unimaginable shapes, may be roving in the profoundest places of the

sea, never seeking, and perhaps from their nature unable to seek, the upper waters, and expose themselves to the gaze of man ! What glittering riches, what heaps of gold, what stores of gems, there must be scattered in lavish profusion on the ocean's lowest

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