« السابقةمتابعة »
The idea of this book is one with which we are familiar in science, and to which we are not strangers in history, but which has been seldom applied to any subject of sacred meditation. It is that of a monogram-a monogram of all devout thoughts upon the Sea-and excellently, in compass, selection, and arrangement, is it carried out. It is arranged under various leading heads; and for each of these are drawn together the notices of the sea in the Canonical Scriptures and the Apocrypha ; and these are illustrated by what the compiler has termed “ Annotations”; which consist of extracts from the best writers, both in prose and verse, who have found in the sea, its shores, its rivers, or its accidents, matter for pious meditation, spiritual comfort, or aids to holy living
We have no doubt that this volume will be a favourite, not only with tarriers or dwellers by the sea-side, but with all (and how few are not such in sea-girt England) who by memory, association, or affection, have some special interest in the great deep. So it is with her whose widowed hand compiled these pages. With ocean life the currents of her own being had mingled; and her thoughts still rest upon it; though its latest memories, which speak to her evermore of the distant death of one of England's heroes, are those of lasting sadness and bereavement. Such indeed, in spite of some sunlit waves and sparkling shores, is the general character of the Great Sea and all which concerns it. There is a depth about it which seems at war with merriment. Its own tones, when they are not aroused into the roar of the tempest, are ever plaintive, if not sad. The very sounds of life which belong to it are all pitched in a plaintive, if not mournful, note. The voices of its birds never fill the air, like the songsters of the grove, or of our inland downs, with bursts of jubilant rejoicing. The sea birds' utterances, from that of the mighty albatross, or the great gull, down to that of the smallest stint which runs restlessly or flits unevenly over its sands, are all a shriek, a cry, or a wail.
It is not a little remarkable how this same tone may be traced in every mention of Ocean in the Word of God. It is the symbol of vastness, and in its greatness is called upon to praise its Almighty Creator. But it is never connected with any idea of jubilee, as are the fruitful valleys, which “laugh and sing.” It is fierce, stormy, restless, raging, roaring : it is the figure for the tossings of a curbed and rebuked ambition; for grief in its utmost swelling, when “deep has called unto deep,” until "all God's waves and storms are gone over" the troubled soul:
it is even the figure for the tossing disquietness which is bred of sin; for “the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” And what is even more remarkable, it is never spoken of, in its mere natural state, as the subject of any future restitution.