Psalms from the Sea
King James Bible What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? Holman Christian Standard Bible Why was it, sea, that you fled? Jordan, that you turned back? International Standard Version What happened to you, sea, that you fled?
Jordan, that you ran backwards? American Standard Version What aileth thee, O thou sea, that thou fleest? Thou Jordan, that thou turnest back? Darby Bible Translation What ailed thee, thou sea, that thou fleddest? Young's Literal Translation What -- to thee, O sea, that thou fleest? Now had he looked to the science of the Bible would have discovered that the " perfect man of Uz," moved by inspiration, had proclaimed the fact thousands of years before-" He maketh weight for the wind.
The persecutors of the old astronomers would also have been wiser and far more just had they paid more attention to this wonderful book, for there they would have learned that He "stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing. Here is another proof that Job was familiar with the laws of gravitation , for lie knew how the world was held in its place ; and as for " the empty place " in the sky , Sir John Herschel has been sounding, the heavens with his powerful telescope, and gauging the stars ; and where do you think lie found the most barren part--" the empty places " of the sky?
In the north, precisely where Job told Bildad, the Shuhite , empty place was stretched out. It is there where comets most delight to roam and hide themselves in emptiness. I pass by the history of creation as it is written on the tablets of the rocks and in the Book of Revelation, because the question has been discussed so much and so often, that you, no doubt, are familiar with the whole subject. In both the order of creation is the same.
First, the plants to afford subsistence, and then the animals, the chief point of apparent difference being as to the duration of the period between "the evening and the morning. It was a day that had its " evening and morning " before the sun was made. I will, however, before proceeding further, ask pardon for mentioning a rule of conduct which I have adopted in order to make progress with these physical researches, which have occupied so much of my time and so many of my thoughts. The rule is, never to forget who is the Author of the great volume which Nature spreads out before us, and always to remember that the same Being is the Author of the book which revelation holds up to us, and though the two works are entirely different, their records are equally true, and when they bear upon the same point, as now and then they do, it is as impossible that they should contradict each other as it is that either should contradict itself.
If the two cannot be reconciled, the fault is ours, and is because, in our blindness and weakness, we have not been able to interpret aright either the one or the other, or both.
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Solomon, in a single verse, describes the circulation of the atmosphere as actual observation is now showing it to be. That it has its laws, and is obedient to order as the heavenly host in their movements, we infer from the facts announced by him, and which contain the essence of volumes by other men. To investigate the laws which govern the winds and rule the sea is one of the most profitable and beautiful occupations that a man -an improving, progressive man- can have.
Pecked with stars as the sky is, the field of astronomy affords no subjects of contemplation more ennobling, more sublime, or more profitable than those which we may find in the air and the sea. When we regard these from certain points of view, they present the appearance of wayward things obedient to no law, but fickle in their movements and subject only to chance.
Yet, when we go as truth-loving, knowledge -seeking explorers, and knock at their secret chambers and devoutly ask what are the laws which govern them, we are taught, in terms the most impressive, that " when the morning stars sang together the waves also lifted up their voice ," and the winds too, joined in the mighty anthem. And as the discovery advances, we find the mark of order in the sea and in the air that is in tune with the "music of the spheres," and the conviction is forced upon us that the laws of all are nothing else but perfect harmony.
Maury's address at the laying of the corner-stone of the University of the South, on the Sewanee Mountains in East Tennessee, was delivered at the request of Bishop Otey on Nov. Of all the departments in the domains of physical science, it is the most Christianising. Astronomy is grand and sublime; but astronomy overpowers with its infinities, overwhelms with its immensities. Physical geography charms with its wonders, and delights with the benignity of its economy. Astronomy ignores the existence of man physical geography confesses that existence, and is based on the, Biblical doctrine 'that the earth was made for man.
The astronomer regards the light and heat of the sun as emanations; -is forces to guide the planets in their orbits and light comets in their flight - nothing more. But the physical geographer, when he warms himself by the coal fire in winter, or studies by the light of the gas-burner at night, recognizes in the light and heat which lie then enjoys the identical light and heat which came from the sun ages ago, and which, with provident care, have been bottled away in the shape of a mineral, and stored away in the bowels of the earth for man's use, thence to be taken at his convenience and liberated at will for his manifold purposes.
They are also mighty ministers of the Creator. Take this water " holding up a glassful " and ask the student of physical geography to explain a portion only of its multitudinous offices in helping to make the, earth fit for man's habitation. There may be in it a drop of the very same for in the economy of nature nothing is ever lost or wasted which watered the Garden of Eden when Adam was there; escaping thence, through the veins of the earth into the rivers, it reached the sea.
Psalms from the Sea
Passing along its channels of circulation, it was conveyed far away by its currents to those springs in the ocean which feed the winds with vapour for rains among these mountains; taking up the, heat in these southern climes, where otherwise it would become excessive, it bottles it away in its own little vesicles. These are invisible; but, rendering the heat latent and innocuous, they pass like sightless couriers of the air through their appointed channels, and arrive in the upper sky.
This mountain draws the heat from them; they are formed into clouds and condensed into rain, which, falling to the earth, make it soft with showers, causing the trees of the fields to clap their hands, the valleys to shout, and the mountains to sing. Thus the earth is made to yield her increase, and the heart of man is glad.
Nor does the office of this cup of water in the physical economy end here. It has brought heat from the sea in the, southern hemisphere to be set free here for the regulation of our climates; it has ministered to the green plants, and given meat and drink to man and beast. It has now to cater among the rocks for the fish and insects of the sea. Eating away your mountains, it fills up the valleys, and then, loaded with lime and salts of various minerals, it goes singing and dancing and leaping back to the sea, owning man, by the way, as a task-master-turning mills driving machinery, transporting merchandise for him-and finally reaching, the ocean.
It there joins the currents to be conveyed to its appointed place, which it never fails to reach in due time, with food ill due quantities for the inhabitants of the deep, and with materials of the right kind to be elaborated, in the workshops of the sea, into pearls, corals, and islands-all for man's use. I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography.
The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore, of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. What would you think of the historian who should refuse to consult the historical records of the Bible, because the Bible was not written for the purposes of history?
The Bible is true and science is true and therefore each, the truth of the other if truly read, but proves the truth of the other. The agents in the physical economy of our planet are ministers of Him who made both it and the Bible. The records which He has chosen to make through the agency of these ministers of His upon the crust of the earth are as true as the records which, by the hands of His prophets and servants, He has been pleased to make in the Book of Life.
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They are both true; and when your men of science, with vain and hasty conceit, announce the discovery of disagreement between them, rely upon it, the fault is not with the witness of His records, but with the worm who essays to interpret evidence which lie does not understand. When I, a pioneer in one department of this beautiful science, discover the truths of Revelation and the truths of science reflecting light the one upon the other, how can I as a truth-loving knowledge-seeking man, fail to point out the beauty and rejoice in its discovery? Reticence on such an occasion would be sin, and were I to suppress the emotion with which such discoveries ought to stir the soul the 'waves of the sea would lift up their voice,' and the very stones of the earth cry out against me.
As a student of physical geography, I regard earth, sea, air, and water as parts of a machine, pieces of mechanism, not made with hands, but to which, nevertheless, certain offices have been assigned in the terrestrial economy ; and when, after patient research, I am led to the discovery of one of these offices, I feel, with the astronomer of old, 'as though I had thought one of God's thoughts, and tremble.
Thus as we, progress with our science, we are permitted now and then to point out here and there the physical machinery of the earth a design of the Great Architect when He planned it all. Where do the fragile creatures go? What directing hand guides them from sea to sea? What breeze fills the violet sails of their tiny craft? And by whose skill is it enabled to brave the sea, and defy the fury of the gale? What mysterious compass directs the flotilla of the graceful Argonauts?
Coming down from the Indian Ocean, and arriving off the stormy Cape, they separate, the one part steering for the Pacific, the other standing for the Atlantic Ocean.
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Soon the ephemeral life that animates these little Navigators will be extinct; but the same power that cared for them in life, now guides them after death; for though dead, their task in the physical economy of our planet is not yet finished, nor have they ceased to afford instruction in philosophy.
The frail shell is now to lie drawn to distant seas by the lower currents. Like the leaf carried through the air by the wind the lifeless remains descend from depth to depth by an insensible fall, even to the appointed burial-place, on the bottom of the deep, there to be collected into heaps, and gathered into beds -which at some day are to appear above the surface, a storehouse rich with fertilizing ingredients for man's use.
Some day science will sound the depths to which this dead shell, has fallen, and the little creature will perhaps afford solution for a problem as yet -unsolved ; for it may be the means of revealing the existence of the submarine currents that have carried it off , and of enabling the physical geographer to trace out the secret paths of the sea. The Church, ere yet physical geography had attained to the dignity of a science in our schools, and even before man had endowed it with a name saw and appreciated its dignity, the virtue of its chief agents.
What have we heard here in this grove by a thousand voices this morning? A song of praise, such as these hills have not heard since the morning stars sang together the 'Benedicite' of our mother Church invoking the very agents whose workings and offices it is the business of the physical geographer to study and point out.
In her services she teaches her children in their songs of praise to call upon certain physical agents, principals in this newly-established department of human knowledge; upon the waters above the, firmament, upon the showers, dew, wind, fire and heat winter and summer frost and cold ice and snow, night and day, light and darkness, lightning and clouds, mountains and hills, green things, tree and plants, whales and all things that move in the waters fowls of the air, with beasts and cattle, to bless, praise, and magnify the Lord!
As our knowledge of the laws of nature has increased, so have our readings of the Bible improved. But such allusions are often so wrapped in the folds of the peculiar and graceful drapery with which its language is occasionally clothed that the meaning, though peeping out from its thin covering all the while, yet lies in some sense concealed, until the lights and revelations of science are thrown upon it; then it bursts out and strikes us with exquisite force and beauty. As our knowledge of Nature and her laws has increased, so has our understanding of many passages in the Bible been improved.
The Psalmist called the earth the round world;" yet for ages it was the most damnable heresy for Christian men to say the world is round; and, finally, sailors circumnavigated the globe, proved the Bible to be right, and saved Christian men of science from the stake. Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades Astronomers of the present day, if they have not answered this question, have thrown so much light upon it as to show that, if ever it, be answered by man, he must consult the science of astronomy.
Exposition on Psalm 114
It has being recently all but proved, that the earth and sun, with their splendid retinue of comets, satellites, and planets, are all in motion around some, point or centre of attraction inconceivably remote, and that the point is in the direction of the star Alcyon, one or the Pleiades.
Who but the astronomer, then, Could tell their " sweet influences? In Maury was appointed master of the sloop-of-war 'Falmouth,' which had been ordered to the Pacific Station. In the 'Falmouth' Maury had a cabin to himself, and in addition to his own small store of books he had the use of a fine collection belong to a richer messmate William Irving brother to the author of the 'Sketch-book'. But he was never a great reader. He was often heard to say that it was not until he had been put repeatedly to the blush because.
His was eminently an original mind, and he delighted to spend hours in meditation, working out his own great ideas. But he had the Bible and Shakespeare at his fingers' ends, and his many writings abound in quotations from both. It was during this voyage in the 'Falmouth' to Rio de Janeiro, on his way to the Pacific, that he conceived the idea of the celebrated Wind and Current Charts, which have since accomplished so much for the commerce of the world. This was the first occasion in which he accepted the responsibility of sailing-master and lie was naturally anxious to make a quick voyage.