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forms ; it is painfully attentive to ceremonies, as though it would thus conceal from itself the strange want of spirituality which exists. But if the piety and the power of the Church were revived, mere ritualism would disappear, the glorious doctrines of the Gospel would prove themselves so mighty, that none would require to be taught the doctrine of the atonement by the shape of the church, or need the lighted candles on the altar to teach that Christ is the Sun of Righteousness. Men's hearts would be filled with a rich and blessed experience of Divine fellowship, which would supersede all such external modes of teaching truth. We cannot calculate the effect produced upon the faith of the Church by such a manifestation of the Holy Spirit's presence. We hesitate to trust God for success upon our efforts ; in fact, we have forgotten too often that success was to be desired or expected. But in such a blessed effusion of holy energy, we would never engage in any labour in the Church without realizing that a blessing must result from it. The numerous promises will claim our faith, and our faith will answer the call. The results will be glorious; the Divine Master will speak to us, saying—“Ob, brethren, great is your faith ;, be it unto you even as ye will.”
In this way also would concentration be given to all the power the Church possesses or can exercise. If the dormant strength possessed by all the members were developed, and all this power concentrated for one object, the Church would be irresistible, obstacles would disappear, armies of aliens would be brought into the fold, and the Millennium would soon dawn upon the world. If the strong and yearning desire were generally awakened in the Church for the conversion of souls, if every prayer were directed to this object, if sermons were preached with this inspiring theme, if holy enterprises were framed to lay hold upon the perishing multitudes, our despondency would quickly give place to songs of gratitude, and the Church would go forth crowned with glory and honour. “Behold, the Lord's land is not shortened that it cannot save, neither his ear heavy that it cannot hear.” “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”
“God be merciful unto us and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us ; that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations."
AFFECTATION.-A curate who adopted a monotonous whine in his prayers, on being remonstrated with by his diocesan, pleaded that he thought such a tone was very proper in acts of supplication, because
beggars always assumed a whine when they asked for alms. The bishop replied: “Yes, but when they do I always know that they are impostors, and give them nothing."
A SNOW-DRIFT. .
BY THE REV. GEORGE GRUNDY. No particular drift of snow is here intended, but rather a being driven by the snow. The writer may be said, for the moment, to have snow upon the brain, and is taking this means of obtaining relief from the pressure. Mental philosophy unfolds the law of the association of ideas. There is the association of resemblance, and the association of contrast. This subject has been suggested by the force of contrast. At a recent tea-meeting, an esteemed colleague made a speech on “Fire," and this suggested one to the writer on “Snow;" and at this time, when, in this northern metropolis at least, we seem to have a Russian winter-sleighs, with tinkling bells, gliding along the streets—a brief homily or article on Snow will neither be out of place, nor perhaps unprofitable.
The first thought that presents itself to us is, that snow illustrates a very important peculiarity of the works of God-namely, that the more closely they are inspected, the more beautiful and the more perfect they appear. The snow-fakes have no defined shape, no symmetry to the naked eye ; but when examined through the microscope, they present a wonderful variety of crystallized forms. About a thousand differently-shaped crystals have been noticed by careful observers, displaying an infinite fertility of conception and invention (if such a term may be applied to the Divine workmanship), and an equally boundless power of execution. What delight God must have in beauty, since in a department of Nature where it could have been so little expected, we find it in such abundance ! Captain Scoresby, who delineated nearly a hundred of these forms, and who dwells on their amazing variety and beauty, says: “The particular and endless modifications of these classes of crystals can only be referred to the will and pleasure of the First Great Cause, whose works, even the most minute and evanescent, and in regions the most remote from human observation, are altogether admirable.” There is something to be learnt from the fact that this perfection of form is microscopic, and cannot be seen by superficial observers. It teaches the necessity of mental effort in exploring the works of God, with the certainty that in every department careful, research will be richly rewarded. Thus the microscope reveals a universe of creatures, with wonders of contrivance, and splendours of colour, and beauty of finish, which the observer with the naked eye would never have suspected. It impresses on us also the importance of thoroughness in whatever work we undertake, that, according to its order, it may bear the test of examination.
Snow illustrates “the power of the feeble.” A snow-flake, how insignificant it seems ! how softly and silently it falls ! how powerless it appears! Yet snow-flakes can block roads, delay railway trains, and, in the avalanche, bury whole villages. Snow-flakes were more terrible to the first Napoleon than a host of living foes, burying a large proportion of the vast army with which he invaded Russia. Its work of destruction, however, is only incidental. Its true ends are useful, and illustrate the benevolence of the Divine arrangements. From its loose texture it is a bad conductor of heat, and, in times of extreme cold, the soil it covers is sometimes many degrees warmer than the upper surface of the snow itself. It thus becomes a warm garment, thrown over thousands of square miles of land : and the spring grass may have a deeper green, and the summer flowers a brighter hue, and the harvest be more abundant for its having been there ; while in mountainous districts it is a natural reservoir, melting in summer, when there is little rain, and thus carrying fertility into regions which would be otherwise barren. In this we have illustration of a great and comforting truth in the Divine economythe truth declared by the apostle, that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Uninterrupted sunshine would scorch the earth-would turn it into a desert. Clouds, frost, snow, and stormy winds, as well as summer sunshine, fulfil the word of the Lord; and as grass, flowers, fruits, and harvests are the rich result, so "good,” of the highest kind, and of endless duration, is intended in the crosses and trials of life; for “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” The Divine benevolence further appears in the relation between snow and the human mind. See how it strikes one of the finest thinkers and most eloquent writers of the age. “In the range of inorganic Nature, I doubt if any object can be found more perfectly beautiful than a fresh deep snow-drift seen under warm light. Its curves are of inconceivable perfection and changefulness; its surface and transparency alike exquisite; its light and shade of inexhaustible variety and inimitable finish—the shadows sharp, pale, and of heavenly colour; the reflected lights intense and multitudinous, and mingled with the sweet occurrences of transmitted light. No mortal hand can approach the majesty or loveliness of it."*
In association with snow stand the closing chapters of Cowper's “Task,”-chapters which contain some of the most exquisite pictures of English scenery, and some of the purest gems in English literature. Instead of quoting passages, however, which relate to snow, we will give one of his reflections, which could never be more in place than at present, while so many thousands of brave men are perishing as the
• Ruskin, “Modern Painters.”
victims of imperial recklessness and kingly ambition, and so many homes being filled with desolation and woe. The poet has been describing a magnificent ice-palace, built to gratify the fancy of a Russian empress, and after describing it in its transient continuance as an undesigned reflection
“On human grandeur and the courts of kings," he adds :
“Great princes have great playthings. Some have played
At hewing mountains into men, and some
Because men suffer it, their toy, the world.”
“What prodigies can power Divine perform,
And all in sight of inattentive man?” And he goes on to draw lessons from the successive seasons of the year, calculated to heighten admiration of the arrangements of God in creation, and to nourish a healthy piety as well as gratify the sense of beauty.
Coleridge has enforced the same conclusion in connection with Alpine snow scenes, in one of the noblest strains in our language. In the presence of Mont Blanc before sunrise, the poet's soul is dissolved in “mute thanks and secret ecstacy," or, rather, uplifted into a frame of adoring rapture, and makes the “piles of snow,” as well as the pine-groves—the “living flowers that skirt the eternal frost”the eagles—"playmates of the mountain-storm”—and even the lightnings-—" the dread arrows of the clouds ” —
“Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !” Travellers among the Alps dwell with rapture on the effects of the rising and setting sun on the snow-covered mountain summits.
e rising and setting sun on the other sonushes the snow are The tints of pink and rose with which the sun flushes the snow are of unearthly loveliness. With as much propriety as beauty, therefore, do the poets give “tongues” to the snow as well as to the “ trees," with which to utter the Creator's praise. In this they are in unison
with the sacred writers : “ He saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth.” “ He giveth snow like wool.” “ He bringeth the snow out of his treasures.” Thus, though it brings a wintry chill, it is a fatherly gift, a bestowment from the treasures of infinite wisdom, power, and benevolence. It is employed also to convey spiritual instruction. Creation is a system of symbols to illustrate spiritual truth, and the Bible is full of images drawn from this inexhaustible storehouse. The pure and spotless whiteness of the snow is thus employed to express the extent of God's forgiving mercy, and the sanctifying effect of the truth as it is in Jesus, of the precious blood of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit (Isa. i. 18; Psa. li. 7). It is also used to set forth the resplendent glories of the Saviour's person. On the Mount of Transfiguration “ his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them;" and as seen by John in Patmos, “one like unto the Son of Man, his head and hairs were white like wool, as white as snow.” The very snow is glorified by being employed to represent His glory; and well may we be encouraged exceedingly to find the very same image which is used to set forth the dazzling splendours of the Saviour's body employed to represent the holiness to be attained by ourselves. The view of Christ, even by faith, is transfiguring. “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” “We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
“Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Sinner, despair not: Christ stoopeth low
Is there mercy for me? will be heed my prayer?
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.'"
EDITORIAL NOTES. DAVID FARNELL, of Birmingham, writes as follows:
Jan. 3, 1871.
you have already had; yet, having been a reader of your Magazine for many years, I can hardly omit doing it. I submit them with diffidence, and remain, with kind regards, and hopes for your success as "our new editor,” Truly yours,