The Ministry of the Sea
George H. Morrison
One of the lessons of our modern knowledge is the littleness of the world in which we dwell. It is no longer a stupendous sphere; it is relatively a tiny habitation. There was a time when humans conceived our world to be the center of the created universe. The sun arose simply to give it light, and the stars were flung abroad to be its ornaments. But now by the ruthless hand of exact science our earth has been displaced from that centrality, and we are the tenants of a tiny planet.
Well now, this little planet-what do we call it? We say it is our earth. That is just as if we spoke of Lanarkshire,1 when what we really meant to say was Scotland. For of all the surface of this globe of ours to which we cling so passionately and which we call our earth, four-fifths at least is covered by the sea. Now if "God formed the world to be inhabited" (Isa. 45:18), that is a fact of most profound significance. God formed this world to be inhabited by making more than three-quarters of it uninhabitable. For every man who really believes in the divine significance of things, that is a fact which merits consideration.
Of course, the contrast between land and sea is not so perfect as we at first conceive. We recognize that in our common speech when we talk of the harvest of the sea. When we look out over the miles of water or when we listen to the surf upon the shore, the first thought to creep into the mind is that of nakedness and loneliness. And we have always to correct that first impression by other thoughts which follow in its train, as of the millions who live upon the sea, and of the mighty revenues which are derived from it. In spite of all that, the contrast is a real one which no after-thinking can dispel, the contrast between that waste of waters and the orchard and the meadow and the glen; between the bosom of the eager earth responding to the magic touch of summer and the sea that never thrilled to any sp ...
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