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5. What a sublime conception ! He inhabits eternity, occupies this inconceivable duration, pervadesa and fills throughout this boundless dwelling. Ages on ages, before even the dust of which we are formed was created, he had existed in infinite majesty; and ages on ages will roll away, after we have returned to the dust whence we were taken, and still he will exist in infinite majesty, living in the eternity of his own nature, reigning in the plenitude of his own omnipotence, for ever sending forth the word which forms, supports, and governs all things, commanding new created lights to shine on new created worlds, and raising up new created generations to inhabit them.
6. The contemplation of this glorious attribute of God, is fitted to excite in our minds the most animating and consoling reflections. Standing as we are amid the ruins of time, and the wrecks of mortality, where every thing about us is created and dependent, proceeding from nothing, and hastening to destruction, we rejoice that something is presented to our view which has stood from everlasting, and will remain for ever.
7. When we have looked on the pleasures of life, and they have vanished away; when we have looked on the works of nature, and perceived that they were changing ; on the monuments of art, and seen that they would not stand; on our friends, and they have fled while we were gazing; on ourselves, and felt that we were as fleetinge as they ; when we have looked on every object to which we could turn our anxious eyes, and they have all told us that they could give us no hope nor support, because they were so feeble themselves; we can look to the throne of God: change and decay have never reached that; the revolution of ages has never moved it; the waves of an eternity have been rushing past it, but it has remained unshaken; the waves of another eternity are rushing toward it, but it is fixed, and never can be disturbed.
The Sea and its Inhabitants. 1. The sea carries indubitabled evidences of a most wise and gracious ordination. How grand, surprisingly grand and majestic, are the works as well as the attributes, of an omnipotent Being! What are the canals in all the couna Per-vades', passes through.
C Fleet'-ing, transient, flying away. 6 Plen'i-tude, fullness, completeness. d In-du'-bit-a-ble, admitting
of no doubt
tries of the earth compared with this reservatory ! - What are all the superb edifices, erected by royal magnificence, compared with yonder concave of the skies! And what are the most pompous illuminations of theaters and triumphant cities, compared with the resplendenta source of day!
2. Let us examine a single drop of water-the very least quantity the eye can discover. In this almost imperceptible speck, a famous philosopher computes no less than thirteen thousand globules. Amazing to conceive! Impossible to explicate ! If, then, in so small a speck abundantly more than ten thousand globules exist, what myriads of myriads must float in the unmeasured extent of the ocean !
3. Let the ablest arithmetician try to comprehend in his mind, not the internal constitution, but only the number of these fluid particles. As well may he grasp the winds in his fist, or mete out the universe with his span, as execute the task. Great then, inconceivably great, is that adored and glorious Sovereign, who sitteth upon this flood as upon a throne; nay, who holds it, diffused as it is from pole to pole, in the hollow of his hand, and before whom, in all its prodigious dimensions, it is but as the drop of a bucket.
4. Nor are the regions of the ocean without their proper and peculiar inhabitants, who are clothed and accouterede in exact conformity to the clime--not in swelling wool, or buoyantd feathers; not in a flowing robe, or a well trimmed suit-but with as much compactness, and with as little superfuity as possible. They are clad, or rather sheathed with scales, which adhere closely to their bodies, and are always laid in a kind of natural oil-than which apparel, nothing can be more light, and at the same time nothing more solid.
5. It hinders the fluid from penetrating their flesh; it prevents the cold from coagulating their blood ; and enables them to make their way through the waters with the utmost facility. They have each an air bladder, a curious instrument, by which they increase or diminish their specific gravity ;sink like lead, or float like a cork; rise to what height, or descend to what depth they please.
6. It is impossible to enter on the musterroll of those scaly herds, and that minuter fry, which graze the sea weed, or stray through the coral groves. They are innumerable as the sands which lie under them; countless as the waves which cover them. Here are uncouth animals of monstrous shapes, and amazing qualities. Some that have been discovered by the inquisitive eye of man, and many more that remain among the secrets of the hoary deep.
a Re-splen'dent, bright, very splendid.
d Buoy'-ant, that will not sink.
7. Here are shoals and shoals of various characters, and of the most diversified sizes, from the cumbrous whale whose flouncing tempests the ocean, to the evanescenta anchovy, whose substance dissolves in the smallest fricassee. Some, lodged in their pearly shells, and fattening on their rocky beds, seem attentive to no higher employ than that of imbibing moist nutriment. These, but a small remove from vegetable life, are almost rooted on the rock on which they lie reposed; while others, active as the winged creation, and swift as an arrow from the Indian bow, shoot along the yielding flood, and range at large the spacious regions of the deep.
8. In this region is the tortoise, who never moves but under her own penthouse —the lobster, which, whether he sleeps or wakes, is still in a state of defense, and clad in jointed armor --the oyster, a sort of living jelly, ingarrisoned in a bulwark of native stone,—with many other kinds of sea reptiles, or, as the Psalmist speaks—“Things creeping innumerable." How surprising are the varieties of their figure, and charming the splendor of their colors.
9. Unsearchable is the wisdom, and endless the contrivance, of the all-creating God! Some are rugged in their form, and little better than hideous in their aspect; their shells seem to be the rude production of a disorderly jumble, rather than the regular effects of skill and design; yet we shall find, even in these seeming irregularities, the nicest dispositions. Their abodes, uncouth as they may appear, are adapted to the genius of their respective tenants, and exactly suited to their particular exigencies. Neither the Ionic delicacy, nor the Corinthian richness, nor any other order of architecture, would have served their purpose half so well as their coarse and homely fabric.
10. Some, on the other hand, are extremely neat. Their structure is all symmetry and elegance. No enameld in the world is comparable to their polish. There is not a room of state in all the palaces of Europe, so brilliantly adorned, as the dining-room and bed-chamber of the little fish that dwells in the mother of pearl. Such a lovely mixture of red, and blue, and green, so delightfully staining the most clear and glittering ground, is no where else to be seen.
The royal power may covet it, and human art may mimic it; but neither the one nor the other, nor both united, will ever be able to equal it.
& Ev-a-nes'-cent, vanishing, fleeting
Fric-as-sce', a fried dish.
Sym'-me-try, proportion of parts to Banca other.
d En-am'-el, a mubstance like glass.
11. But what we admire more than all their streaks, their spots, and their embroidery,a is the extraordinary provision made for their safety. Nothing is more relishing and palatable than their flesh. Nothing more heavy and sluggish than their motions. As they have no speed to escape, neither have they any dexterityb to elude the foe. Were they naked or unguarded, they must be an easy prey to every freebooter that roams the ocean.
12. To prevent this fatal consequence, what is only clothing to other animals, is to them a clothing, a house, and a castle. They have a fortification that grows with their growth, and is part of themselves. By this means they live secure amidst millions and millions of ravenous jaws; by this means they are impraked as it were in their own shell; and, screened from every other assault, are reserved for the use and pleasure of mankind.
13. How admirable is the ordination of that great Being who thus causeth all to minister together for good, and who while he protects the most defenseless, provides for the pleasures of the most distinguished of his creatures. tender mercies are over all thy works, O Lord ! and thou neglectest nought thou hast made."
Description of Jerusalem and the surrounding country.
1. Although the size of Jerusalem was not extensive, its very situation, on the brink of rugged hills, encircled by deep and wild valleys, bounded by eminences whose sides were covered with groves and gardens, added to its numerous towers and temple, must have given it a singular and gloomy magnificence, scarcely possessed by any other city in the world.
2. The most pleasing feature in the scenery around the city is the valley of Jehoshaphat. Passing out of the gate of St. Stephen, you descend the hill to the torrent of Kedron, a bridge leads over its dry and deep bed: it must have been a very narrow, though, in winter a rapid stream. On the left is a grotto, handsomely fitted up, and called the tomb of the Virgin Mary, though it is well known she neither died nor was buried near Jerusalem.
3. A few steps beyond the Kedron you come to the garden a Em-broid'-e-ry, variegated needle work. C Grot'-to, a cavern. 6 E-lude, to escape, avoid by artifice.
of Gethsemane, of all gardens the most interesting and hallowed; but how neglected and decayed! It is surrounded by a kind of low hedge; but the soil is bare; no verdure grows on it, save six fine venerable olive-trees, which have stood here for many centuries. This spot is at the foot of Olivet, and is beautifully situated; you look up and down the romantic valley ; close behind rises the mountain; before you are the walls of the devoted city.
4. While lingering here, at evening, and solitary,-for it is not often a footstep passes by,—that night of sorrow and dismay rushes on the imagination, when the Redeemer was betrayed and forsaken by all, even by the loved disciple.Hence the path winds up the Mount of Olives: it is a beautiful hill: the words of the Psalmist,“ the mountains around Jerusalem,” must not be literallya applied, as none are within view save those of Arabia. It is verdant, and covered in some parts with olive-trees.
5. From the summit you enjoy an admirable view of the city: it is beneath and very near; and looks, with its valleys around it, exactly like a panorama. Its noble temple of Omar, and large area planted with palms; its narrow streets, ruined palaces and towers, are all laid out before you. On the summit are the remains of a church, built by the Empress Helena; and in a small edifice containing one large and lofty apartment, is shown the print of the last footstep of Christ, when he took his leave of earth.
6. The fathers should have placed it nearer to Bethany, in order to accord with the account given us in Scripture; but it answers the purpose of drawing crowds of pilgrims to
Descending Olivet to the narrow valley of Jehoshaphat, you soon come to the pillar of Absalom: it has a very antiqued appearance, and is a pleasing object in the valley; it is of a yellow stone, adorned with half columns, formed into three stages, and terminates in a cupola.
7. The tomb of Zecharias, adjoining, is square, with four or five pillars, and is cut out of the rock. Near these is a sort of grotto, hewn out of an elevated part of the rock, with four pillars in front, which is said to have been the apostle's prison at the time they were confined by the rulers, The small and wretched village of Siloa is built on the rugged sides of the hill above; and just here the valleys of Hinnom and Jehoshaphat meet, at the south-east corner of Mount Zion: they are both sprinkled with olive-trees.
8. Over the ravinee of Hinnom, and directly opposite the a Lit'-e-ral-ly, with adherence to words. CA'-re-a, the superficial contents. Pan-o-ra'-ma, complete view, a paint. d An-tique, ancient, old.
e Rav-ine, a long deep hollow.