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DISC. around it in it's course, and is finally fwal

lowed up and lost in the boundless ocean of infinite perfection.


Barren and desolate as the sea appears to those who only look upon it, and search not into it, yet within it's bosom are contained creatures, exceeding in number those that walk and creep upon the land; infomuch that in the facred language, they have their name from a word which signifies to multiply. The ingenuity and industry of man have found means to draw forth these inhabitants of the waters from their deepest recesses. And while they afford to some an agreeable variety of wholesome food, they support multitudes of others, whose employment it is to procure them, an employment healthy, honest; carried on in peace and quietness; without tumult, noise, strife, and bloodshed ; affording to those who are engaged in it, continual opportunities of beholding the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Persons of this occupation, men of plain sense and good hearts,



were chosen by our blessed Lord, to preach DISC. the word of life to the nations, to cast abroad the evangelical net, and to become, as he himself expresses it, Fishers of men.

By the invention of shipping, and the art of navigation, the sea is made in reality to join those nations, which it appears to divide; the communication being often far more easy and expeditious by water, than it would have been by land. The riches of both the Indies are wafted to our shores; we fit at home, and feast upon the productions of every country under heaven; while the superfluity of our own commodities is disposed of, to advantage, abroad. A friendly intercourse is opened between the most diftant lands. Savages are humanized, and become proficients in the arts and sciences. The gospel is preached among them, and the light of truth made to Thine upon those who fate in darkness and the shadow of death. They are taught the art of arts, and the science of sciences; the art of holy living, and the science of salvation. A large



Disc. vessel, with all it's conveniences, constructed

in such a inanner as to go upon the surface of the water, and to brave the fury of winds and waves, is, perhaps, the masterpiece of human contrivance. And the psalmist, when contemplating the wonders of the ocean, cries out in admiration, as if placed in a situation like this of ours

There go

the ships.

But while we meditate upon the advantages accruing to mankind from a part of the creation, which, at first sight, might seem incapable of affording any, let us not be unmindful of the circumstance which brings us now together, and gives occasion to this discourse. Let the medicinal powers and falutary virtues with which the Almighty hath endued the waters of the sea, be always had in remembrance by those who have happily experienced them. Let praise and glory be rendered to the great Physician, who hath made the ocean a magnificent mineral-bath, in which, as formerly in the pool of Bethesda, the weak become strong,



and the sick whole. And when we behold disc. the mighty works thus wrought for the bodies of men, let us reflect upon that sovereign mercy, which, in like manner, strengthens the infirmities, and heals the diseases of our minds; and let us be equally diligent in using the means appointed to restore them to vigour and purity; that so, thus doubly benefited and blessed, we may express the gratitude of our hearts in those divine words of David-Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me praise his boly name. Praise the Lord, O my foul, and forget not all bis benefits: who forgiveth all thy fin, and healeth all thine infirmities. Who saveth thy life from destruction, and crowneth thee with loving kindness and mercy. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that tby life is renewed like the eagle.

The last use I shall mention which we are to make of the sea, is that which the Holy Spirit himself hath so frequently made of it in the Scriptures, viz. to consider it as an emblem of the world, and of



DISC. what is passing therein. Under a smiling

deceitful surface, both conceal dangerous rocks and quicksands, on which the unskilful mariner will strike and be lost. Both abound with creatures pursuing and devouring each other, the small and weak becoming a prey to the great and powerful; while in both there is a grand destroyer, a Leviathan, taking his pastime, and seeking the perdition of all. In the voyage of life, we may set out with a still sea, and a fair sky; but ere long, cares and sorrows, troubles and afflictions overtake us. At God's word, either to punish us, or to prove us, from some quarter or other, whence perhaps we least expected it, the stormy wind ariseth, and lifteth up the waves. We are carried sometimes up to heaven with hope, sometimes down to the deep with despair, and our soul melteth because of trouble. Then it is, that our heavenly Father shews us, what poor helpless creatures we are without him ; and tribulation becomes the parent of devotion. If we cry unto the Lord in our trouble, he will deli

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