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nature, than the compelling the Red Sea to draw back that Israel might pass by. We imagine the Deity in like manner rolling the waves of the greater ocean together on a heap, and setting bars and doors to them eternally. But there is a far deeper meaning than this in the solemn words of Genesis, and in the correspondent verse of the Psalm, “His hands prepared the dry land.” Up to that moment the earth had been void, for it had been without form. The command that the waters should be gathered was the command that the earth should be sculptured. The sea was not driven to his place in sudden restrained rebellion, but withdrawn to his place in perfect and patient obedience. The dry land appeared, not in level sands forsaken by the surges, which those surges might again claim for their own; but inrange beyond range of swelling hill and iron rock, for ever to claim kindred with the firmament, and be companioned by the clouds of heaven. What space of time was in reality occupied by the “day” of Genesis, is not, at present, of any importance for us to consider. By what furnaces of fire the adamant was melted, and by what wheels of earthquake it was torn, and by what teeth of glacier and weight of sea-waves it was engraven and finished into its perfect form, we may, perhaps, hereafter endeavor to conjecture; but here, as in few words the work is summed up by the historian, so in few broad thoughts it should be comprehended by us; and as we read the mighty sentence, “Let the dry land appear,” we should try to follow the finger of God, as it engraved upon the stone tables of the earth the letters and the law of its everlasting form; as gulf by gulf the channels of the deep were ploughed, and cape by Cape the lines were traced, with Divine foreknowledge of the shores that were to limit the nations; and chain by chain the mountain walls were lengthened forth, and their foun

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dations fastened for ever; and the compass was set upon the face of the deep, and the fields and the highest parts of the dust of the world were made; and the right hand of Christ first strewed the snow on the Lebanon, and smoothed the

slopes of Calvary. # is not always needful, in many respects it is not possible, to conjecture the manner or the time in which this work was done; but it is deeply necessary for all men to consider the magnificence of the accomplished purpose, and the depth of the wisdom and love which are manifested in the ordinances of the hills. For, observe, in order to bring the world into the form which it now bears, it was not mere sculpture that was needed; the mountains could not stand for a day unless they were formed of materials altogether different from those which constitute the lower hills and the surfaces of the valleys. A narder substance had to be prepared for every mountain chain, yet not so hard but that it might be capable of crumbling down into earth fit to nourish the Alpine forest and the Alpine flower; not so hard but that, in the midst of the utmost majesty of its enthroned strength, there should be seen on it the seal of death, and the writing of the same sentence that had gone forth against the human frame, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.” And with this perishable substance the most majestic forms were to be framed that were consistent with the safety of man; and the peak was to be lifted, and the cliff rent, as high and as steeply as possible, in order yet to permit the shepherd to feed his flocks upon the slope, and the cottage to nestle beneath their shadow. And observe, two distinct ends were to be accomplished in the doing this. It was, indeed, absolutely necessary that such eminences should be created, in order to fit the earth in any wise for human habitation; for without mountains the air

could not be purified, nor the flowing of the rivers sustained, and the earth must have become for the most part desert plain, or stagnant marsh. But the feeding of the rivers and the purifying of the winds are the least \of the services appointed to the hills. To fill the thirst of the human heart for the beauty of God's workings—to startle its lethargy with deep and pure agitation of astonishment,-are their higher missions. /They are as a great and noble architecture; first giving shelter, comfort, and rest; and covered also with mighty sculpture and painted legend. It is impossible to examine in their connected system the features of even the most ordinary mountain scenery, without concluding that it has been prepared in order to unite as far as possible, and in the closest compass, every means of delighting and sanctifying. the heart of man. “As far as possible,” that is, as far as is consistent with the fulfilment of the sentence of condemnation on the whole earth. Death must be upon the hills; and the cruelty of the tempest smite them, and the briar and thorn spring up upon them; but they so smite, as to bring their rocks into the fairest forms; and so spring, as to make the very desert blossom as the rose. Even among our own hills of Scotland and Cumberland, though often too barren to be perfectly beautiful, and always too low to be perfectly sublime, it is strange how many deep sources of delight are gathered into the compass of their glens and vales; and how, down to the most secret cluster of their far-away flowers, and the idlest leap of their straying streamlets, the whole heart of Nature seems thirsting to give, and still to give, shedding forth her everlasting beneficence with a profusion so patient, so passionate, that our utmost observance and thankfulness are but, at least, neglect of her nobleness, and apathy to her love. But among the true mountains of the greater orders the Divine

purpose of appeal at once to all the faculties of the human

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spirit becomes still more manifest. Inferior hills ordinarily interrupt, in some degree, the richness of the valleys at their feet; the grey downs of southern England, and treeless coteaux of central France, and grey swells of Scottish moor, whatever peculiar charm they may possess in themselves, are at least destitute of those which belong to the woods and fields of the lowlands. But the great mountains lift the lowlands on their #: the reader imagine, first, the appearance of the most varied plain of some richly cultivated country; let him imagine it dark with graceful woods, and soft with deepest pastures; let him fill the space of it, to the utmost horizon, with innumerable and changeful incidents of scenery and life; leading pleasant streamlets through its meadows, strewing clusters of cottages beside their banks, tracing sweet footpaths through its avenues, and animating its fields with happy flocks, and slow wandering spots of cattle; and when he has wearied himself with endless imagining, and left no space without some loveliness of its own, let him conceive all this great plain, with its infinite treasures of natural beauty and happy human life, gathered up in God's hand from one end of the horizon to the other, like a woven garment; and shaken into deep falling folds, as the robes droop from a king's shoulders; all its bright rivers leaping into Cataracts along the hollows of its fall, and all its forests rearing themselves aslant against its slopes, as a rider rears himself back when his horse plunges*3-and all its villages nestling themselves into the new windings of its glens; and all its pastures thrown into steep waves of green

sward, dashed with dew along the edges of their folds, and sweeping down into endless slopes, with a cloud here and there lying quietly, half on the grass, half in the air; and he will have as yet, in all this lifted world, only the foundation of one of the great Alps.

[They seem to have been built for the human race, as at

once their schools and cathedrals; full of treasures of illuminated manuscript for the scholar, kindly in simple lessons to the worker, quiet in pale cloisters for the thinker, glorious in holiness for the worshipper. And of these great cathedrals of the earth, with their gates of rock, pavements of cloud, choirs of stream and stone, altars of snow, and vaults of purple traversed by the continual stars,—of these, as we have seen, it was written, nor long ago, by one of the best of the poor human race for whom it was built, wondering in himself for whom their Creator could have made them, and thinking to have entirely discerned the Divine intent in them—“They are inhabited by the Beasts”) Mountains are, to the rest of the body of the earth, *\ violent muscular action is to the body of man. The muscles and tendons of its anatomy are, in the mountain, brought out with fierce and convulsive energy, full of expression, passion, and strength; the plains and the lower hills are the repose and the effortless motion of the frame, when its muscles lie dormant and concealed beneath the lines of its beauty, yet ruling those lines in their every undulation. This, then, is the first grand principle of the truth of the earth. The spirit of the hills is action; that of the lowlands, repose; and between these there is to be found every variety of motion and of rest; from the inactive plain, sleeping like the firmament, with cities for stars, to the fiery peaks, which, with heaving bosoms and exulting limbs, with the clouds drifting . like hair from their bright foreheads, lift up their Titan hands to Heaven, saying, “I live forever!”. A f But there is this difference between the action of the earth, and that of a living creature, that while the exerted fimb marks its bones and tendons through the flesh, the excited earth casts off the flesh altogether, and its bones come out

from beneath. Mountains are the bones of the earth, their

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