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to be taken literally? Yes : even as in the same chapter, at the fourth verse, he promises “no more death,” and at the twenty-fifth verse, “no night;" and in chapter xxii. 3,

he assures us " there shall be no more curse.” An old master of the CharterHouse, Dr. Thomas Burnet,* imaginatively supposes the appearance of Ocean's bed, if the waters were dried


“ If we should suppose the Ocean dry, and that we looked down from the top of some high cloud upon the empty shell, how horridly and barbarously would it look! And with what amazement should we see it under us like an open hell, or a wide bottomless pit! So deep, and hollow, and vast ; so broken and confused ; so every way deformed and monstrous. This would effectually awaken our imagination, and make us inquire and wonder how such a thing came in nature. · Nor is it the greatness only, but that wild and multifarious confusion which we see in the parts and fashion of it that makes it strange and unaccountable. It is another chaos of its kind; who can paint the scenes of it? Gulfs, and precipices, and cataracts ; pits within pits, and rocks under rocks ; broken mountains and ragged islands, that look as if they had been countries plucked up by the roots, and planted in the sea.”

A Christian Poet, who loves the Ocean, and by its shore occasionally finds well-merited repose, in this fashion depictures his feelings, t were it gone for


“Summer Ocean ! idly washing

This grey rock on which I lean ;
Summer Ocean ! broadly flashing

With thy hues of gold and green ;
Gently swelling, wildly dashing

O'er yon island-studded scene :


“The Sacred Theory of the Earth ; containing an Account of the Original of the Earth, and of all the General Changes which it hath already undergone, or is to undergo, 'till the consummation of all Things." London : 1691.

+ “Hymns of Faith and Hope." By Horatius Bonar, D.D. First Series, pp. 10-12.

Summer Ocean ! how I'll miss thee,

Miss the thunder of thy roar,
Miss the music of thy ripple,

Miss thy sorrow-soothing shore-
Summer Ocean ! how I'll miss thee,

When the sea shall be no more. At Elijah's sacrifice (1 Kings, xviii. 38) the fire of the Lord fell, and licked up the water that was in the trench; even so, beneath the influences of the final conflagation, this present Ocean shall wholly disappear.

It were idle to suppose that, the purposes of God being accomplished in the burning up of the earth and the works thereof, the incandescent mass would precisely re-assume all its present lineaments; and the modern poet, as well as the olden metaphysician, clings overmuch to the world's present constitution, and the continuance of things just as they are. Rather let us rejoice that they are “passing away." Continually “there is sorrow on the sea;” (Jer. xlix. 23 ;) and the absence of the Ocean, instead of being a defect, will be only harmonious with the new earth's quietness and assurance for ever. So thought Mrs. Hemans, in whose mind (as her biographer reminds us*) “the sight and sound of the sea were always connected with melancholy associations, with images of storm and desolation, of shipwreck and sea-burial ;" and whose impressions were thus given in a letter to a friend :

“Did you ever observe how strangely sounds and images of waters—rushing torrents, and troubled ocean waves, are mingled with the visionary distresses of dreams and delirium? To me there is no more perfect emblem of peace than that expressed by the Scriptural phrase, “there shall be no more sea.””

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“Memoir of Mrs. Hemans. By her Sister.” Edition of 1839,

page 86.

I look around me, saying, " The Sea is His;" and I know that He who made it, can rightfully unmake it at His will. There is a fitness in His doing this. The heavens shall depart, as a scroll; the earth shall wax old, like the garment; and it is not unmeet that the Ocean should share their destiny. When the sea gives up the dead that are in it, its work is done. It thenceforth belongs to the Past. The Apostle held but the historian's pen, when he traced these words :




“It is our wisdom and our peace to resign all things into His hands, to have no will nur desires, but only of this, that we may still * wait for Him.' . . Before He [the desire of all nations] came, they were from one age to another waiting ; and, more particularly at the time of His coming, God stirred up the expectation of believers to welcome Him, being so near. And in all times, before and after that, He is the happiness of souls; and they only are blessed that 'wait for Him.'”


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IFFUSED through this lower world is the

mysterious sense, that things shall not con

tinue as they are; and, for one cause or another, the inhabitants of earth are in a state that awaits a change. Where higher motives are not felt, lower reasons are found. Suffering is universal. Its existence is not controverted even by the sceptic. Its origin is well understood by the believer. God's Word declares that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together; and that, in earnest expectation, it waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

And they—the children of the Most High-are in ’rapt expectancy. All their thoughts of true blessedness, all their hopes of consolation, all their aspirations for rest and peace, are involved in a change, even in the coming of the great Deliverer. Believers rejoice in anticipating His Advent. They are as servants that wait for their Lord. They are looking for, and hastening unto, the coming of the day of God.

At times, the thought steals over me sweetly that waiting for Christ is happier than even working for Christ. Perhaps it betokens a richer experience of His love, and indicates a closer attachment to His sacred person. Toil for such a Master is our high privilege; but attendance on Him is something yet more blessed.

In“ much serving" may, sometimes, be seen Martha's care and cumber; but in sitting at His feet, and hearing His Word, will be found Mary's benediction.

It may be, too, that man's spiritual life has in it an analogy to his natural existence. When maturity is come, action hitherto incessant, is insensibly exchanged for reflection; and a composure, until now unknown, is comfortingly experienced. Relative duties are better comprehended, and things are more generally estimated at their right value. In the ripened life of the believer, similar wisdom is manifested. Outwardly there may appear to men a diminution of ardour ; but inwardly will be felt a concentration of thought and affection for the Lord.

His work was originally the ruling passion. He is become Himself “all and in all.” The initial inquiry was, Domine, quid me vis facere ?” “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?(Acts, ix. 6 ;) but the longings of experience are otherwise told, and are breathed forth in the ejaculation,“ Salutem tuam expectavi, Jehovah !(Genesis, xlix. 18)-"I have waited for thy salvation O Lord.”

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