“HOW I love to look at the sea! It is grander than anything I ever saw or thought of" exclaimed Edward Stanton, as he stood with his uncle, gazing out upon the broad Atlantic.

Edward was a Chicago boy; he had been born and brought up in the West. He had sailed over the blue waters of Lake Michigan, and had driven over the rolling prairies, but he had never seen the ocean. He was a good scholar, and day after day, as he studied in his geography about the great wide waters that separated America from Europe on the east and from Asia on the west, he longed to see them. So his father had promised him that he should spend a part of his vacation with his Uncle Edward in Boston, and have a sight of the Atlantic Ocean; "and a touch and taste of it too," said his father, "for you can bathe in it."

And here he was at the very sea-shore, with the gray, solid rocks beside him and the salt marsh grass in tufts at his feet, while his eyes feasted on the broad blue waters of the ocean, over which so many ships were continually coming and going to and from his native land.

"There is a stiff breeze today, as the sailors

say," remarked his uncle, "and the sea is dotted with white caps."

"What makes them?" asked Edward.

"It is the foam-crest caused by the breaking of the top of the wave by the wind."

"How beautiful they look!" exclaimed Edward.

"Sometimes the waves are much higher than today, and at others the sea is so tranquil that no white caps are to be seen. Your Aunt Mary, when she sees them, is always reminded of the words of David's joyful psalm: Oh, sing unto the Lord a new song; . . , let the floods clap their hands;' and she says it seems to her as if every wave was glad, so that they clap their hands and laugh for joy. She calls such a sea as this the laughing sea."

"That is nice, I think; it is like poetry. I shall remember it when I read those verses in my Bible; and I shall never, forget how the laughing waves look."

"But you must see the ocean in other moods.

This great and wide sea presents many aspects, my boy."

Not long after this they came again to the seaside, and this time it was with a party of friends.

There were grandpa and grandma, Aunt Mary and little Genie, Aunt Louisa and Cousin Helen. It was a very warm day in August, and when they started from home, the sun was as scorching as a great fire; but clouds arose as they rode along, and when they arrived at the seaside, the wind blew a gale. The water looked dark—almost black —and the billows tossed fiercely as they rose and fell, and with a heavy roar broke upon the sand.

Dear little Genie, not two years old and just beginning to talk, seemed timid and afraid. The sight and sound of the angry waters quieted her natural merriment, and she sat in her mother's lap, and gazed as if fascinated by the scene. Presently an immense wave, higher than any that had preceded it, rolled in and dashed upon the sand. She raised her tiny hands, and, bending forward, shook them at the sea, crying, "Don't! Don't!" as if her little voice and strength and will could calm the power, and silence the voice, of the mighty waters.

"Dear child!" said mamma soothingly. "Genie needn't be afraid.  God holds the waters in his hands."

The baby looked up into her mamma's face and smiled. "God," she repeated, "holds—waters;" and she leaned back, contented and fearless.  She was safe as long as God, the dear heavenly Father, held the waters. They all smiled at the little incident.

"No," said Uncle Edward, standing near, "Genie need not fear the waves;" and then he repeated those grand words of Jeremiah:—

"Fear ye not me?  saith the Lord.  Will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it? and though the waves toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it."

"They toss themselves and roar today," said Edward, as another tremendous wave, with deafening noise, dashed upon the beach.

"Yet these are nothing," said his uncle. "And think of ships being tossed about on these billows!

The wonder is that any vessel can outride a storm at sea."

"But," asked Aunt Louisa, "do not the waves sometimes exceed their appointed bounds? We read, of floods and tidal waves that cause great desolation."

"No; the sea never forgets the command of Jehovah: 'Hitherto shalt thou come and no further,

and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.' We can have no better illustration of the restraining power of God than by looking at the sea. It heaves and tosses, and now and then, as if by a spasmodic effort, throws its water in upon the shore beyond its usual bounds, but it quickly subsides, and holds its place obedient to the Almighty will. We are told, He weigheth the waters by measure; "He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap.'"

"I wonder of what use the sea is?" said Edward. "We are afraid of it, we can't manage it, and what do you suppose, uncle, it was made for?

It separates us from other countries, and—"

"Where would the fishes live?" asked Cousin Helen.

"We could live without fishes," said Edward.

"The ocean has a more important use than simply as a home for fishes," replied Uncle Edward.

"God has a wonderful system of equalizing the temperature—as it were of ventilating our earth_ by means of it, and it is the chief source of all the vapors or clouds that are wafted around the globe and fall in rains and snow."

"And these feed the rivers," suggested Aunt Louisa.

"And then return and fall back into the ocean.

So the water is going round and round all the time—up in the clouds, down upon the earth, back to the sea. It is perpetual. Who could have devised such a system but God?

All is done without any trouble on the part of man, and no machinery is needed."

"God needs no machinery," said Aunt Louisa.

"His agencies are simple. Everything he does is done easily."

"I can't help thinking how little I am, as I stand here by the seaside,' said Edward. "I am so glad I came here and have seen this great Atlantic Ocean! I shall never forget it. The very word 'sea' will seem different to me after this."




S. S. Visitor.