The Gardens of the Sea
T. DeWitt Talmage
Jonah, 2: 5: "The weeds were wrapped about my head."
In all our theological seminaries, where we make ministers, there ought to be professors to give lessons in Natural History. Physical Science ought to be taught side by side with Revelation. It is the same God who inspires the page of the natural world as the page of the Scriptural world. What a freshening up it would be to our sermons to press into them even a fragment of Mediterranean seaweed. We should have fewer sermons awfully dry if we imitated our blessed Lord; and in our discourses, like him, we would let a lily bloom, or a crow fly, or a hen brood her chickens, or a crystal of salt flash out the preservative qualities of religion. The trouble is that in many of our theological seminaries men who are so dry themselves they never could get people to come and hear them preach, are now trying to teach young men how to preach, and the student is put between two great presses of dogmatic theology and squeezed until there is no life left in him. Give the poor victim at least one lesson on the Botany of the Bible. That was an awful plunge that the recreant prophet Jonah made when, dropped over the gunwale of the Mediterranean ship, he sank many fathoms down into a tempestuous sea. Both before and after the monster of the deep swallowed him, he was entangled in seaweed. The jungles of the deep threw their cordage of vegetation around him. Some of this seaweed was anchored to the bottom of the watery abysm, and some of it was afloat and swallowed by the great sea monster, so that, while the prophet was at the bottom of the deep after he was horribly imprisoned, he could exclaim, and did exclaim in the words of my text: "The weeds were wrapped about my head." Jonah was the first to record that there are growths upon the bottom of the sea, as well as upon land. The first picture I ever owned was a handful of seaweed pressed on a page, and I called them "The Shorn Locks ...
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