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    PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

    Physical geography of the sea, as well as of the land, will be a study in all Christian schools: that is the science of the winds and the waves, the atmosphere, the rain, the dew, the ocean tides, the ocean itself. One of the texts may be: “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.” Ecclesiastes 1:6. With that as the text, the teacher will lead the students into the study-book of the course of the winds as they come out of the north, as they go toward the south, as they whirl about continually, and as they return again according to their circuits. He will lead the students into the books that give the science of the winds, and so will conduct the students along the course of the circuit of the winds. Then the students will know that the wind has a circuit as certainly as the sun a course, and that the gentlest breeze that fans the cheek on a summer’s day is wafted by the hand of Him who “causeth His wind to blow,” and “maketh the winds His messengers.”PBE 197.3

    Another text may be: “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rives come, thither they return again.” Ecclesiastes 1:7. That will be the text: the study-book will be whatsoever in the science, the philosophy, and the literature of the subject will give to the student the actual facts, the procedure, and the means by which God, in calling “for the waters of the sea, and” pouring “them out upon the face of the earth” (Amos 5:8), picks up the water from the sea, transports it over the earth, and pours it out again—two hundred and fifty-five cubic miles of water every twenty-four hours: how “He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth,” till “by watering He wearieth the thick cloud,” and then “maketh lightnings” to pierce the thick cloud “for the rain,” causing “it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy.”PBE 198.1

    As thus there is studied how God “calleth for the waters of the sea” that He may pour “them out on the face of the earth,” the sea itself will be found a wonderful study-book. Why is it that the waters that are called from the sea and poured out upon the face of the earth are perfectly fresh, while the waters of the sea are extremely salt? Why is the sea salt? What wonderful and vital consequences flow from the fact that in the beginning God made the sea salt instead of fresh? How is it that the greatest rivers of the world, and of water as warm as 86 degrees Fahrenheit, are in the oceans, one in the Atlantic and one in the Pacific: the one making the soft and beautiful climate of the British Isles, and the other that of the North Pacific Coast of America, while both these regions are in the latitude of bleak and frozen Labrador. How is it that by this mighty river in the Atlantic alone, there is transported and discharged perpetually a quantity of heat “sufficient to raise mountains of iron from zero to the melting point, and to keep in flow from them a molten stream of metal greater in volume than the waters daily discharged from the Mississippi River”? How is it that in God’s calling for the waters of the sea, and pouring them out upon the face of the earth in the form of snow, in producing a quantity of those fragile crystals that a child might easily hold in his hands, there is exerted power sufficient to pick up one of the mightiest of Alpine stone avalanches and toss it to twice the height whence it started?PBE 199.1

    “In the pursuit of this subject, the mind is led from nature up to the Great Architect of nature; and what mind will the study of this subject not fill with profitable emotions? Harmonious in their action, the air and sea are obedient to law and subject to order in all their movements. When we consult them in the performance of their manifold and marvelous offices, they teach us lessons concerning the wonders of the deep, the mysteries of the sky, the greatness, and the wisdom, and the goodness of the Creator, which makes us wiser and better men. The investigations into the broadspreading circle of phenomena connected with the winds of heaven and the waves of the sea are second to none for the good which they do and the lessons which they teach. The astronomer is said to see the hand of God in the sky; but does not the right-minded mariner, who looks aloft as he ponders over these things, hear His voice in every wave that ‘claps its hands,’ and feel His presence in every wind that blows? Unchanged and unchanging alone, of all created things, the ocean is the great emblem of its everlasting Creator. ‘He treadeth upon the waves of the sea,’ and is seen in the wonders of the deep.” “The seas lift up their voice,” “the waves clap their hands,” at the presence of the Lord; and “deep calleth unto deep at the noise of Thy waterspouts;” for “The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.”PBE 200.1

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