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have the art of swimming, and of navigating their little boats near those shores, where an European is sure of instant destruction.
In places where the force of the sea is less violent, or its tides less rapid, the shores are generally seen to descend with a more grazlual declivity. Over these the waters of the tide steal by a'ınost iinperceptible degrees, covering them for a large extent, and leaving them bare op its recess. Upon these shores, as before observed, the sea seldom beats with any great violence, as a large wave has not depth sufficieni so Heat it onwards, so that there are only to be seen gentle surges making calınly towards land, and lessening as they approach.
As the sea, in the former description, is generally seen to present prospects of tumult and uproar, here it more usually exhibits a scene of repose and tranquility. Its waters when surveyed from the precipice, appear of a mudy greenish hue, arising from their depth and position to the eye; when regarded from a shelving shore, near the colour of the sky, and seem rising to meet it. The deafening noise of the deep sea, is here converied into gentle murmurs; instead of the water's dashing against the face of the rock, it advances and recedes, still going forward with but just force enough to push its weeds and shells, by insensible approaches, to the shore.
Beside these already described, there are still other shoros, which either have been raised by art to oppose the approaches of the sea, or from the sea gaining ground are threatened with eminent destruction.
The sea being thus seen to give and take away lands at pleasure, is, without question, one of the most extraordinary considerations in all Datural history. In some places it is seen to obtain the superiority by slow and certain approaches; or, to burst in at once, and overwla:Im all things in undistinguished destruciion; in other places it departs from its shores, and where its waters have been known to flow, it leaves fields which are soon covered with the most beautiful verdure.
The formation of new lands, by the sea continually bringing its sediment to one place, and by the accumulation of its sands in another, is a circumstance easily conceived of. We have had many instances of this in England. That fine that country in Lincolnshire, called Holland, was produced in this manner : and the sea is receding still along that coast, so that the inhabitants of that part observe continually new and valuable lands added to their former possessions. That tract of country betwixt Lincolnshire, and Norfolk, called the Wash, and which for centuries has been overflowed at high water, is gradually rising. The sea does not now cover the extent of it which it formerly did, and even where it continues to overflow, the water is less deep than formerly. Probably, therefore, in a few years, by a little help from human industry, there will be a considerable portion of rich lạnd recovered from the ocean to the use of man, in this part. The Dogger Bank, a well known sand betwixt England and Holland, receives fresh accumulations every day, so that in time the place may probably become habitable earth.
We could mention many other places where the sea has been known to recede and leave considerable portions of habitable land; but a great part of Holland exhibits the most remarkable instance of this: for this country appears almost universally to have been in foriner days overflowed by the sea. Buffon says, that the surface of the earth in Holland is below the level of the sea. “ I remeinber (says he) upon approaching the coast, to have looked down upon the country, as into a valley.' Some part of our own country exhibits the same appearance. I have seen, when standing upon Dimchurch Wall, in Rumney Marsh, that the sea has, at high water, appeared ten or fifteen feet higher than the land within.
The industry of the Dutch people is incredible; they have embanked their territory at vast expence, and with continual labour and care are. forced to keep up their dams in order to prevent the sea from reclaiming its ancient possession.
The large province of Jucatan, a peninsula in the gulph of Mexico, is said to have been formerly a part of the sea ; this tract, which stretches out into the ocean an hundred leagues, and is above thirty broad, is every whese, at a moderate depth below the surface, composed of shells, which shew that its land once formed the bed of the sea.
Thus numerous are the instances of new lands having been produced from the sea, which is brought about two different ways; first, by the waters raising banks of sand and mud where their sediment is deposited, and, secondly, by their relinquishing the shore intirely, and leaving it to the industry of man.
But as the sea has been thus known to recede from some lands, so has it, by fatal experience, been found to encroach upon others; and probably these depredations on one part of the shore, may account for their departure from another; for the current which rested upon some certain bank, having got an egress in some other place, it no longer presses' upon its former bed, but pours all its streams into the new entrance, so that every inundation of the sea may be attended with some correspondent dereliction of another shore.
However this may be, there are instances of the sea having buried whole provinces in its bosom. Many countries which have been thus destroyed, still beat inelancholy witness to the truth of history, which relates their inundation, and the remains of houses, churches, and castles are yet perceived at the bottom of the water.
One of the greatest inundations which have happened in England is that which formed the Godwin Sands, by overflowing the vast estates of Earl Godwin. Those sands are well known to those who navigate the English Channel. They are very dangerous, and have swallowed up many gallant ships.
In the year 1546 an eruption of the sea destroyed an hundred thousand persons in the territory of Dort; and a yet greater number round Dullart. In Friezland and Zealand there were more than three hundred villages overwhelmed, and the ruins continue to be seen at the bottom of the water in a clear day. The Baltic Sea has, by slow degrees, covered a large part of Pomerania; and, among others, destroyed and overwhelmed the famous port of Vinetta. In the same manner the Norwegian Sea has formed several little islands from the main land, and
still daily advances upon the continent. The German Sea has advanced upon the shores of Holland, near Catt, so that the ruins of an ancient citadel of the Romans, which was formerly upon this coast, are now actually under water. And it is a fact well known, that in the bay of Brighthelestone, in Sussex, and especially at the town of Brighton, the sea is continually encroaching upon the land, and yet the cliff is
from twenty to forty or fifty feet in' height along that shore. The depredations which the sea commits at this place, are owing to the vast weight of the waves, which, in a strong south-west wind, come in from the Atlantic, and fall with incredible force upon the land, I myself remember a large and massy battery for heavy cannon, being torn up, overturned,' and destroyed, by the prodigious force of the sea, at Brighton.
To those we might add many more instances from our own historians, or those of other countries, all of whom abound in them--but these may suffice.
There are some shores on which the sea has made temporary depredations. It has overflowed a country, and after remaining perhaps some ages, it has again retired of its own accord, or been driven back by the industry of man. The Isle of Ely, in the days of the venerable Bede, about a thousand years ago, was one of the most delightful spots in the whole kingdom. It was not only richly cultivated, and produced all the necessaries of life, but grapes also that afforded excellent wine. The accounts of that time are copious in the description of its fertility; its rich pastures covered with flowers and herbage; its beautiful groves and wholesome air. But the sea, breaking in, overwhelined the whole country, took possession of the soil, and totally destroyed one of the most most sruiiful vallies in the world. Its air, from being dry and healthful, became most un wholesome, and clogged with vapours; and the small part of the country, which, by being higher than the rest, escaped the waters, was soon rendered uninhabitable from the noxious vapours of the neighbouring parts. Thus the whole continued under water for some centuries; till, at last, the sea, by the same caprice which had prompted its invasion, began to abandon the country in like
It has now continued, for some ages, to relinquish its former conquests; and although the present inhabitants cannot boast the luxuries of the former, yet they find ample means of subsistence. The country is continually improving in air, soil, and productions, and the fenny parts are yearly retrenched, and brought more into cultivation by the industry of the inhabitants in draining them.
Although history be silent as to many other inundations of the like kind, where the sea has overflowed the country and afterwards retired, yet we have numberless testimonies of another nature that prove it beyond the possibility of doubt; namely, those nuinerous trees that are found buried at different depths in places where either rivers or the sea have overflown. "Buffon says, that, at the mouth of the river Ness, near Bruges, in Flanders, at the depth of fifty feet, are found great quantities of trees, lying as close to each other as their branches will let them. The trunks, the branches, and the leaves are in such perfect preservation,
that the particular kind of each tree may be instantly known... Something more than five hundred years ago this very ground was known to have been covered with the sea; nor is there any history or tradition of its before that time having been dry ground, which yet must have been at some time the case. Like
appearances occur not unfrequently along our own coast. I have seen in Peveney Level, and in other marshy places near the sea, in Sussex, many different trees lying horizontally at the depth of from four to ten or twelve feet, under the surface of the ground. These were discovered in cutting ditches for the drainage of the marshes. I observed also that they uniformly laid with their heads towards the sea.
Thus we see lands flourishing in verdure, producing large trees of different kinds, overwhelmed by the sea. We see this capricious element despositing its sediment pften to a great height. We see it again, after it has sunk the land so deep beneath its slime, retiring from the same coasts, and leaving that habitable which it had before destroyed. All this is surprising, and, perhaps, instead of endeavouring to assign the cause, it will become us more to rest satisfied with the fact.
TO BE CONTINUED.
LETTER TO A FRIEND,
ANSWERING QUERIES ON THE RESTORATION.
CONTINUED FROM OUR LAST.
I PROCEED to the second instance which I proposed noticing. It is
my opinion that all the iniquity that ever existed from the foundation of the world to the time of the breaking off of the Jews, did not equal the rebellion and obduracy of that people; yet even to that people, to the murderers of the Lord Jesus, was the gospel sent-God determined to miłe use of every mean, which was consistent with the freedom of their will, to effect their happiness; but though the means made use of were ineffeétual, did God entirely give them up, and cease to desire and seek their happiness ? No; I affirm he did not. It is true, he concluded them all in unbelief-he gave them up into the hands of their enemies, to be exposed to the severest calamities; but it was, as Paul affirms, that he might have mercy upon all; they were still beloved for the father's sakes; all God's severity towards them is intended to subserve his gracious designs respecting them. Well might the apostle exclaim while contemplating these things, (Rom. xi.) "0 the depth both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments !". I hope you will not pass over those things without careful investigation : inderd, my friend, I have more confidence in your integrity and nobleness of soul, which induces me the more chearfully to bring them before you; but the time would fail me to mention all the divine promises upon this subject. We read in Ezek. xvi. that God will restore Sodom and her daughters, Samaria and her
daughters, Jerusalem and her daughters; that though he took themaway as he saw good, (observe, goodness had to do with their removaly yet he will as certainly effect their recovery. In like manner God hath spoken by his prophets in every age since the world began. In the New Testament the doctrine of the restoration is not only stated, but also the means by which'it shall be effected, and the happy consequences represented: so that this truth is not so obscurely hinted at as you imagine; but having trod the same ground, I know why it
appears obscure—it is because we have been long accustomed to think and look at things differently.
Did we carefully observe the divine conduct, trace the footsteps of infinite wisdom, justice, and goodness, we should discover the divine hand stretclred forth for the prevention, (so far as consistent with the freedom of rational intelligences) and removal of sin. For what purpose were the angels which sinned cast down to Tartarus, was not one thing which justice had in view in casting them down the preventing the spreading of the contagion? For what end did God destroy the old world, but that he might put a stop to the horrid scenes of iniquity which then prevailed? Why is the life of man contracted by the allwise parent of nature to the narrow limits of seventy years, but to weaken the force of teinptation, that man, being made sensible of his frailty, the emptiness of all sublunary things, might be induced to set his hope in God? For what end doth the Most High cut short the lives of his rational offspring in the Hower of their days, by so many different calamities, but because he knows where they suffered to continue they would heap up wrath against the day of wrath. So he shut up the Jews in unbelief, and gave them up into the hands of their eneinies, for what end? that he might annihilate them, or damn them to all eternity? No, but with a view to their recovery, " that he might have mercy upon all," saith the apostle. It is on this ground, and on this only, I conceive, we can account for the many awful imprecations of the servants of God'upón his and their enemies : for instance the various expressions of this kind in the Psalıns, and the cry of the souls under the altar: reconcile, if you can, their conduct with the fear of God and the spirit of Christ, upon any other ground. Indeed, my friend, you will find this no easy task. You cannot shew their conduct to be consistent, unless you admit with the Psalmist, that mercy hath to do with the rendering to every man according to his work; but if the notion of endless punishment be true, I see not how mercy can ever operate in the giving every man according to his works.
You remark, that “ Reason has often suggested why chd not God prevent sin, having power to have done it, and to have carried on his designs without the introduction of so much disorder?" Undoubtedly if we speak of God's power, nothing could, or ever can, be too hard for him, for his power is infinite; but I will affirm, and I think I am authorized by evidence, that God could not have prevented sin without destroying the freedom of his creatures, whereby his glorious purpose of making his creatures happy by choice, and the free exercise of their powers, had been frustrated. God formed his creatures moral agents, rational intelligences, fixed them in such a state as afforded opportunity