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dered pure and healthful : whereas if, otherwise, the surface of the globe had been level, they would have stood stagnated, and proved rather prejudicial than helpful and nourish-, ing to plants and animals,
Besides, do not the mountains beautify the landscape, and keep the eye from being fatigued with space, and likewise constitute a proper temperature of the air? where the climate is cold, keeping the vallies warm ; and in hot countries preserving a refreshing cooling breeze, on their summits, for the benefit and health of those who regale themselves therewith. Also from their tops they afford an agreeable prospect of the lowlands; and enable to descry enemies at a distance in time of war, and so timely to provide for safety.
To this we may add, they are admirably adapted for the accommodation of wild-fowl and beasts, nay, even serpents, which otherwise would prove troublesome to man. There the adder and snake in wanton curls can sport among the heath, and bask themselves amid the sunny beams, without either much annoying man, or being annoyed by him:
« The high hills are a refuge for the wild “ goats, and the rocks for the conies,” Ps. civ. 18. Come we now to the vales, which are so well adapted for culture and vegetation : here again appeareth the goodness of God; for if all had been hills and mountains, how fatigued would man and beast. have been in culturing them for their sustenance ? But, blessed be the Lord, though, in consequence of the fall, he said man should eat bread in the sweat of his face, he did not say he should eat it in the blood thereof, which doubtless would oft have been the case if this had been the form of the globe.
Let us then adore his name for its commodious figure : and, while we culture our valleys, admire his handy-works : for not a plant, herb, nor flower, grows in them, but sheweth forth the glory and wisdom of their Maker. · And seeing we cannot fully comprehend how a single pile of grass begins to vegetate and strike forth its roots in the earth, let us lie low in the valley of humility, nor dare to arraign the divine decrees, but saying, with the father of the faithful, “ Shall “ not the Judge of all the earth do right ?"; Gen. xviii. 25.
Next, the majestic appearance of the forests should strike our minds with a due sense of that majesty and power which made and reared their lofty plants ; and of that goodness which hath made them of such utility to man and beast. And as for the rivers, not to speak of what use they are for preserving and nourishing their finny inhabitants, which so plentifully furnish our tables ; they are of absolute necessity for the support and nourishment of both animal and vegetable life.
In them, not only all men, but all the beasts of the earth, may freely quench their thirst: which sheweth the boundless beneficence of our almighty Creator. Rivers are thereby fit emblems of the water of life, to which all the sons of Adam are invited to come and drink freely, without money and without price. Isaiah ly. 1.
Isaiah lv. 1. Rev. xxi. 17.
It is wonderful, that all the rivers are exhaled in vapours from the sea by the heat of the sun; refined in the clouds, distilled in gentle showers on the earth, and return thither again. Doth not the wisdom and
goodness of God appear greatly in this ? For, if the vapours were not thus drawn forth from the deep, refined and distilled, we could neither have fresh water nor rivers, and so no life or vegetation on the earth. And, on the other hand, if those vapours did not return again to the ocean in rivers, the earth would soon be deluged, and become unfit for the habitation of man or beast ;-nay,
process of time, become a sea itself, while the ocean became a dry land.
Let us then bless the most high God for this wise disposal of things; and, as we have our life and being from him, as the showers accomplish the end for which they are sent on the earth, and then again return to the sea ; so may we answer the end for which we were sent into the world, and at last return, through the merits of Christ, to God in heaven, the fountain of our being and happiness!
Turn we now to the ocean itself: what a world of waters are there! and what a water of wonders! In this "great and wide
sea are things creeping innumerable, both
“small and great beasts : There go the ships ; " there is that leviathan, whom thou hast
made to play therein," saith David, Ps. civ. 25, 26.
This heap of great waters would soon prove the death of all the inhabitants in the earth, as well as its own, was it not kept from stagnating, and thereby putrifying, hy the continual flux and reflux of the tide, every wave of which bespeaketh the wisdom and power of its almighty · Maker, while they lash the shore, and threaten to overwhelm the world. No sooner do they reach the decreed place, than they begin to retreat with apparent reluctance, still renewing their hostile attempts, and as often losing ground; till at length, by an invisible power, they are entirely beat back to the main ocean.
If it were not for the seas, how could commerce be carried on with the different parts of the world ? If all were dry land that would be next to impracticable; nor could the gospel and civilization be spread through the globe. And may we not see a manifestation of divine wisdom in making every sea to have communication one with