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be exceedingly pestered with divers rccts and heresies, si of David George, Anabaptists, Libertines, and other errors contrary to the purity of God's Word, and again«t which they cannot use those remedies that are most desired; and yet, on the other hand, this synod did exceedingly rejoice at the'glad tidings of their care and diligence in opposing and resisting those anti-scriptural heresies, subversive of divine doctrine, order, and discipline; and it did most earnestly entreat them to persevere in the confutation and condemnation of them; as it would also, on its part, cordially join with them in so doing, and would give, as it doth now give, an unquestionable proof thereof, by subscribing unto their confession of faith and Church discipline. And forasmuch as this holy union and concord established between the Churches of France and those of the Low Countries, seems necessarily to demand their mutual loves and assistance, this assembly doth judge meet, that the Churches of both the nations shall lend and jorrow their ministers reciprocally, according as their respective necessities shall require."
It were easy to refer to many other pleasing features in the character of the Church of France at this period of her history; such as her loyalty to her Sovereign, ;md anxiety for his salvation, (Henry IV.)
"All ministers are exhorted to be earnest with God in their public prayers for the conversion, preservation, and prosperity of the King; and whenever they be at court, and have access unto his Majesty, they shall do their duty in reminding him seriously of the great concerns of his soul's salvation. And the pastors orclin.■irily residing at court, or in its neighbourhood, shall he writ unto by this synod, more especially to put this our counsel into practice."
I might refer to her spirit of love for the suffering and oppressed; the prayers which she requested for the Churches of the Low Countries j her missionary spirit, recommending to the brethren of Languedoc, "that they do their endeavour to advance the kingdom of God, as much as in them lieth, not only at home in their own Churches, but, if it may be done without incommoding their own docks, abroad also." I might refer to her zeal in the cause of education, her anxiety that a college should be erected in each of the provinces; the selection of the city of Saurnur as a convenient place for one of them, and the earnest entreaty addressed to Governor De Plessis to aid in this good cause. But I have space only to allude to the unfavourable change which had already taken place in the character of many of the Protestants of France, and which became deeper and more lerioua as we approach the termination of the period of which we at present speak.
pleasing and delightful as are the aspects of the
Church which we have been contemplating, it is
veil known that the forms of truth may remain after
lie spirit which originally established them has in
line measure disappeared, and that fair outward fea
ir^rs in a Church, as a body, are quite consistent with
ie degeneracy of many of its individual members. The
■ •;-&dful persecution to which the Church of France had
•ed subjected on St. Bartholomew's day, did not im
owe her character or call forth new energies. Though
e wonderfully maintained her place amid the adverse
[-.••imsrjiiiivs with which she was surrounded, it would
erm that she had been seriously deteriorated. The
rpetual reference which is made during the space of
enty-six years, and especially towards its close, to
e difficulty of supporting ministers, and the destitution
d desolation of many of the Churches, as well as the
rious expedients, some of them ineffectual, which
re resorted to for rearing young men for the ministry,
shew that the people had declined in their religious
ixracter and diminished in number. From a very
'ly period we read of Churches being advised to suc
-»r their ministers in their necessities, and to raise
maintenance for them and their families, "because foreign countries have been exceedingly scandalised at the neglect and ingratitude of divers Churches even in this particular." We read, too, of ministers being "given in loan" to Churches for six months. But it is at a later day, and after the persecution, that we meet with the most frequent and affecting notices of this kind. Express canons were passed by the Synod of 1579 to prevent the ingratitude of many Churches to their ministers; the people are required to advance a provision for the pastor for so many months, and, in the event of failure, the minister is authorised to withdraw, and " the ungrateful Church shall not be provided with any other pastor till it shall have first given plenary satisfaction unto its former minister." Notwithstanding that in many cases two or more congregations had been joined together, and put under the charge of one minister, still the support of the pastor was becoming more and more precarious, so that the Synod of Montauban, in 1594, was constrained to pass the following resolution: "Forasmuch as the ingratitude of divers persons, in not contributing to their minister's subsistence, is more notorious than ever, and that this crying sin threatens the Churches with a total dissipation, after mature deliberation, we do decree, that in case these ungrateful wretches, having been several times admonished by their Consistory, ( KirkSession,) do persist obstinately in this their sin, their Consistory shall deprive them of communion with the Church in the Sacraments." This was a very strong step, but it proves how general and severe was the evil against which it was directed, and also bow seriously the numbers and the Christian spirit of the French Protestants had declined. A few years later, in 1598, we read of "the great desolations and dispersions of the Churches in Provence ;" of a minister, "by reason of the great necessities of the Churches," being appointed to serve two Churches; and of another, "forasmuch as he receiveth a very small salary from his Church, and hath been many years in their service," being granted license to teach youth for his better maintenance,—a practice to which the Church was strongly averse. But what, perhaps, is still more impressive and affecting, it was decreed, "Because of the present distress and poverty of our Churches, and till such time as the Lord shall have blessed us with greater abilities, it is ordained by this present Synod that the National Synod shall be convened only once in three years, unless it be in case of very great necessity, as of heresy and schism." So that such was the poverty of the ministers, arising from the weakness of their congregations, and the declining piety of their people, that tbey could not bear the expense of carrying on the business of the Church in the way which their consciences judged most scriptural. After all, it is not wonderful that the character and strength of the French Protestant Church should have been seriously impaired. Any Church which, by a stroke, loses between sixty and seventy thousand of its best members, may well be weak, the more especially if as many, or a greater number, of the well-disposed and timid are, by the same stroke, driven into apostasy. What Christian Church, at the present day, could stand such a trial unhurt? How many congregations would be broken up and dispersed altogether! How many of the strong would be damped and discouraged into weakness I Accordingly, we have reason to believe, from an enumeration which was made of the French Protestant Church in 1598, by authority, that it was reduced to less than one thousand congregations. The number is given so low as seven hundred and sixty. What a change from the two thousand of Bera, twentysix years before! Even admitting that the early number was too great, and the latter too small, still it is plain that a very serious diminution had taken place in the numbers of the French Protestants.
And it was not persecution alone which wrought the change. Henry IV. had been educated a Protestant, and had been much indebted to the Protestant party, but when the prospect of the throne opened before him, he abandoned the faith which he had been taught, and became a Roman Catholic. As Henry does not 9eem to have had any religious convictions, but was a mere man of the world, and of expediency, his adoption of Popery, when he came to power, may be regarded as a proof that he considered the Romish party not only the stronger but the gaining one, and that Protestantism was losing ground. And this quite accords with the representation which has been given. But the king was not alone in his apostasy, (if apostasy it can be called, where there was no previous faith,) multitudes of the aristocracy went along with him, and indeed, almost the whole Protestant class who had any political influence. While this shews the power of royal example for evil, —and why not for good ? it proves also how unsound and degenerate was the religion of a large body of Protestants. Had their religion been any thing better than a name, or a poor political feeling, they would not have deserted the Protestant cause. In such circumstances as these, it is not wonderful that the distinction between the Reformed Church and the Church of Rome began to lose its distinctness, and that many were ready, especially when encouraged by bribes, to propose a union of the two Churches. All these influences were trulydisastrous. But amid these mournful symptoms, we must not forget that a far larger body of the Protestants remained firm and stedi'ast, and that, as a Church, they "ontinued to adorn the doctrines of the cross.
From the brief review which has been made of an interesting period in the history of the French Protestant Church, one may learn how strong is the tendency to, and how rapid the operation of, religious degeneracy. In a few years the Church rose to greatness and glory, and in a few years she declined into comparative weakness. So it was in primitive times with the Churches of Asia Minor; the vigour of their piety did not survive the death of the Apostles, and so it not unfrequently happens with the individual Christian. His first are his best days, and that so generally, that many good men have concluded that in every life of faith there is necessarily a season of backsliding. What the more immediate causes of this may be, we arc not here called upon to state; but one can scarcely fail to remark that such cases strikingly shew the amazing depravity of human nature, even among good men; the necessity of the continued agency of the Holy Spirit to the spiritual prosperity of individuals and of Churches, and the sovereignty of the Divine dispensations towards the Church of the Redeemer.
Minister of the Scotch Church, Oldham Street, Liverpool. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth. "—John xi. 11.
The feelings with which Christians regard the departure of their friends, depend very much on the reasons they have for entertaining hope respecting their present state. Their principles, indeed, do not raise them entirely above natural sorrow. They feel acutely the loss of those with whose countenance and kindness they have been long familiar, nor do they conceive regret for their removal incompatible with holy resignation and submission. At the same time, they have been accustomed to regard the present life but as the introduction to an eternal one. It has never been viewed apart from it, and they anxiously seek to know how far the char
acter of those who have been removed entitles iL.a to believe they are happy. With such anxiety fie world has little sympathy. It would, against eridence, believe well of all; nor do the ressm? which satisfy the Christian form an important element in any degree of submission to which it itrives. Its language is, restore the object, or forgetfulness alone will render us superior to the loss, It realises but indistinctly a futnre state of existence, or it evinces little interest whether that state is blissful or miserable. But should the Chrv tian discern proofs of a departure to a better world, he feels he ought not to give limself up to sorrow entirely. The character of the death-bed is altered. lie hopes and strives to meet again with those who have died in the Lord; and, as the last breath is drawn, seems to have before him a traveller in calm repose after the evils of s journey, whom he ought not but to congratulate on escaping the difficulties to which he has been exposed. "Our friend Lazarus is not dead, bat sleepeth."
The words are used, in a beautifnl simplicity, with reference to the miracle our I^ord was aboat to perform. He was going to give evidence fa he was tho resurrection and the life somewhat earlier than mankind were expecting. He could raa the dead, at any period; and was now abor,t t» exercise the power in behalf of his friend, for pwposes for which he performed other roiradfc n those days.
The words, however, may justly be extend. in their application. The miracle now wrourit on Lazarus, is but the same that is to be wToufh; one day on mankind generally. Christians too of every age, like him but sleep; and it is onr comfort to dwell on the pleasing image wherever « believe those who are removed have died in the Lord.
It suggests rest from trouble, positive enjoyment, and the prospect of our arising.
In the first place, the image of sleep, employed, with reference to believers, suggests rest fros trouble.
The traveller has at length come to the end of his journey, and reposes, therefore, from all tw toils he has endured. These, in the Christian tVare of two kinds; those arising from sin, andtW which affect his outward condition.
The former of these occasion little grief to worldly men. They know sin only in its exces; and wherever it prevails greatly, their conn**'" tions are not deep, and soon pass away, and t«T are surprised at, and pity those who grieve o«f evils they do not see, or which, if they see at ifi they esteem but lightly. No trouble, however-t so painful to the Christian as sin, in any fa* whether it consist in the omission of what s cormanded, or the commission of what is forWi* His views of sin have been greatly extended, regards himself as bound not merely to fa** vice, but to cultivate every kind of moral i'3-':" ment, yea, even to aspire to be holy, as C* s holy, and that too, not only by outward crt'*' mity to his will, but by having his very thoughts and feelings moulded according to it. Through the principles he has imbibed he loathes whatever would defile him, in his extended view of what sin is. He commits it, but reluctantly. He is ashamed of himself for acting contrary to his better feelings, and desires to have every lust sacrificed, and himself, in soul, body, and spirit, altogether conformed to the law of God.
To such exalted attainment too he is constrained, not merely by his better feelings, but by necessity. He cannot sufficiently express his obligations to Christ for the sufferings he has undergone in his behalf, and the inheritance he has provided for him, and would therefore exercise yet greater pains to imitate his example, and walk in his steps. "The love of Christ constraineth me," is his language, "because I thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, that they who live might not live unto themselves, but to him who died for them and rose again."
This desire to be holy increases as he approaches an eternal world; so that, when on its borders, he painfully reflects on the little attainment he has made, and earnestly prays that ere he go hence he may be thoroughly qualified to enjoy the pure pleasures of the heavenly state. Now the moment of transition is a relief from all such anxiety, and from all further cause of it. Laying aside his body, he lays aside a sinful nature, and is no longer disturbed by a law in his members warring against the law of his mind. But one principle reigns triumphant—a feeling of ardent and devoted conformity to God's will. He enjoys, therefore, a rest of all others most desirable to him; and as he bids an eternal adieu to his greatest enemy, may be said to sleep rather than ta die.
Inferior to trouble from sin, is trouble arising from outward circumstances, though still very painful to him ; and from this he experiences a blessed relief on leaving the body. Though a Christian, he has his share of this like other men. He has his difficulties to secure a provision for himself and those who are dependant on him, and may be dependant on his own unaided exertions. The cares of the world often oppress his spirit. His better principles, too, are continually exposing him to opposition and reproach. He may be widowed of objects nearest his affections, and may carry with him a frame which every wind shatters, and that occasions many a pain ere it be laid in the dust. Such trouble, however, does not follow the spirit to the heavenly mansion. It has, indeed, experienced a happy release; and fever, and pain, and weakness are unknown in that climate, whither it has sped. They are thought of only as evils never again to be borne, and with the joy, therefore, of one who is taking his rest after hours of tribulation. He is not dead. He is but asleep.
But, secondly, the image suggests positive enjoyment.
The sleep of a moral and rational nature is a xcry different thing from simple rest. Even in
bodily sleep the functions are going on, and the mind is active, it may be more active than when awake. But the rest of a spirit is the most blessed activity, consisting in a free exercise of its powers, in a place and among objects adapted to its nature. Here it has not scope, or is fretted or hindered in its motions, finds no congenial intercourse or employment. The hour of death, therefore, is to it the hour of agreeable repose. Now it expands, as in its proper element, and ceaselessly asserts its glorious liberty. Of its condition, mode of intercourse, and pursuits, we know but little; but the little we do know, gives us elevated views of its enjoyments. It is employed in contemplation. It is fixed on that one object on which all the attention of all the heavenly inhabitants is fixed,—Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and thence it draws aliment for wonder and praise. It is fixed on the deep things of God, acquiring clearer insight into his character and ways. It enjoys a most blessed society. Society is the great source of enjoyment here. We cannot live alone, and we find a higher relish in sharing our feelings with those around us. But within the vail is the companionship of all who are really valuable,—our friends who have slept in Christ, whom, it is reasonable to believe, we shall recognise,—the good also, whom we have notknown, but whose faith has invigorated, praises excited, or deeds inspired us ;—we see all sit down in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the worthies of every age. Who, on reading their lives, would not wish to meet with them? The mind gives them a presence of its own. But in heaven they exist, and new joy is imparted by sharing with them in the praise of the Redeemer.
Employments too are, no doubt, furnished in the heavenly world, though of these we know little, because unable to appreciate them. Praise, we are satisfied, as most delightful, is one; and, besides this, active duty is another, at the bidding of the Almighty, and for the benefit of his creatures. _
And this meditation, intercourse, and activity, which is its repose, commences with the departure of the spirit from the body. It is now free, and enters on its blessed state at the moment of death. Is it not, then, a delusion to be taken up with the outward appearance of the body of a believer in Christ, whose spirit has been removed? He is not there. There lie before us but the memorials of a misery for ever escaped. And as we trace the spirit up its ascending path, and consider its present condition* we feel our friend is not dead, but asleep. We made a mistake. The chamber where the pious meet their fate, is their disrobing room. They are now emancipated, and theirs is that glorious repose, the liberty of the sons of God.
Thirdly, The image suggests the prospect of arising again.
On retiring to rest, we hope to begin again the duties of the day. And that profound repose, into which some weary traveller has fallen, brings to our mind the idea of coming out with freshness and vigour, to enter on other toils, that may be followed again by invigorating repose. And this idea, too, holds good with regard to the death of the Christian. His spirit is happy, and therefore he is happy indeed. But his happiness may be increased, may be more complete, and we are informed of a day on which his very dust shall break the slumber of the tomb, and arise to a glorious condition.
The grave is a loathsome dwelling to man. It is so dark; it is so chilly; it is so repulsive. Must we bury a form there which awakened so much delight in our minds, which we cherished with so much fondness, beneath which the hand of affection has often smoothed the pillow, and whose most trifling movement was the spring of such anxiety? It must be. The fairest form must one day say to corruption, "Thou art my father, and to the worm, thou art my mother." But are we not to turn our eyes away from the grave as too repulsive for our view? Is it, after all, so dark and dreary a place? And do we cherish the hope of one day beholding its inhabitant coming out of it like Lazarus iu increased freshness and beauty?
My friends, the resurrection has often appeared to me a singular proof of the strength of that consolation the Gospel imparts, as I have often reminded those who have lost their Christian friends. The heathen knew no such consolation. They could conjecture; they borrowed emblems; but they had only a vague hope. Christ, however, has put the matter beyond a doubt; and how does he do so? By telling us we shall rise again? That were enough for faith, but the faith must be strong. He goes into the grave. He takes a Lazarus out of it. He asks you to give him food, converse with him, remove his fetters. He goes into the grave, and actually remains under its power a few days; and he himself comes out of it. "Reach hither thy hand," says he, "and be not faithless but believing." He is seen of many. He converses, he eats, he walks, he ascends. Thus he became the first fruits of them that sleep. In his resurrection we see a pledge of his love. The head rose; so will the members. The judge is to ascend the tribunal, all must arise and stand there. "I would not have you be ignorant concerning them which are asleep, for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the rarth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God."
You doubt the fact, you hesitate to believe. Think of the corn. It springs not until it dies. Think especially of the resurrection of Christ. Did he not rise again? Put the witnesses on trial, and say if he did not. And not doubting his resurrection, believe your friends will rise again.
The death of a Christian, then, is aptly signified by sleep, in regard to the change which is yet
to pass on his body. The night may be lon». Our fathers mav not have witnessed the sneweding morning. The streaks of it mav not vetsppear to us. But He who originally made ma out of the dost, whose eye is on everv partick will one day call all from the tomb, and unite eati spirit to its old companion. Our Christian friend are not dead, but sleep. They shall arise agsm. We burv them in hope. They will awake refreshed and invigorated. Sorrow not then, brethren, is those who have no hope. Heathens mav experience such sorrow. You should know better thing*. You see in the death of a Christian bat the glorious repose of a greater than this world's warrior, —a repose succeeded only by a blessed awakening.
Your anxiety should be directed rather to the point of their safety. Were their views of divine truth correct? Did they look to heaven as the reward of their doings, or the purchase of tbos* of Christ? Did they repose unreserved trust in him? Were they enabled to bear their sufferings with meekness and patience? Was it their can to be more and more meet for an inheritance *ith the saints in light? If so, they are not dead is the common acceptation of that word. They are at rest. They are happy. They shall rise again, and cherished as their form may have been, it shall be yet worthier still when transfigured lib that of Christ. Rather do yon look forward to meeting them again; and be persuaded yon mtrt tread the path they trode, otherwise, however piecing it be to natural affection, the prospect of meeting them again will prove a delusion. It is here that we are often led astray. We believe we <taU meet again, because we desire to do so. But fidelity requires me to state very plainly, that this depends on the settlement of a previous question, Are we prepared to die? Are we living for t'other world? Do we inherit the faith, imitate tke example, and follow the footsteps of those vh have slept in Christ?
One object which God has in view in retnoms Christian friends, is to lead us to prepare. H« shelters his own. He calls them to their rest o mercy, and he calls them also in mercy to c* The blank has been made that we may look «t '■ The prop taken that we may lean on a heavft? one. The vanity of the world made appsiw*that we may look for a city which hath foucktions, and not merely muse on it. Is the call •*■ swered in our case? Has it awakened us to meitation, inquiry, and prayer? Another call "».' follow, if it has not already followed; for if" will not cease to strive with God, God will W* cease to strive with us.
And how different are the feelings with wka we regard the loss of Christian friends, wi"0* evidences were clear, from those with which" regard the loss of friends of whom we caa ^ hope, or rather despair! Of. the final end of? latter, we scarcely dare think, or if we think * * we shudder. There is no rest to the wickei'*1 in death. Unjustified and unsanctified, thej*8' be condemned, and who shall describe the a&? 0/ a soul that first discovers the delusion under which it has lived?
Choose ye, therefore, the hetter part, which shall never be taken from you. Already figure to yourselves that hour at which the world will be as nothing to you, and eternity all. Take the side such a prospect dictates. Make an open, hearty, constant, confession of Christ before men. Believe in him, love him, obey him. Let no service interfere with his. Say, not only, let me die the death, but also let me live the life, of a righteous man. And, then, instead of anxious silence, or agitating apprehension, those who gather around vour dying Led will mark its peacefulness, entertain the prospect of meeting you again, and congratulate you on your gain. They will come from your funeral full of the lessons your life has imparted, —» mode of embalming your memory, far more grateful than that too often sought. They will muse over your glorified state. They will reflect with joy on the troubles you have left, the joys you possess, and the bliss you have in prospect; Mrl looking beyond the sad havoc death has made of a form so dear to them,—the glazed eye, and cold forehead, and spare form,—they will exclaim with equal calmness, comfort, and truth, "Our friend is not dead. He is but asleep. Peace to his tubes. He shall rise again."
THE SNOW-STORM IN OCTOBER.
Br The Rev. Samuel Martin,
Minister of Bathgate.
"Hut thou entered into the treasures of the mow."—Job xxxviii. 22.
How beautiful a thing is snow! beautiful it is, enveloping the earth in its fleecy mantle. A dazzling prospect it presents when it appears under the clear sun, making every thing glitter like diamonds, and concealin;.', with its garb of purest white, all that is ugly, filthy, or displeasing to the eye. Beautiful it is in its large flakes, descending on the earth with slow and flickering motion. Beautiful it is in its minutest crystals, all fas close observation shows) most accurately formed, and subject to the most exact laws. Yet it is also most sublime. How grand is it; what an idea of power does it give, when it is swept along on the furious blast, when it renders the viewless wind, as it were, visible, enabling us to trace its motion and its course j and vhen the thought of fear mingles with other reflections, •hat it may prove the winding-sheet of many a hapless rareller exposed to its fury. Well, therefore, did the Lord ask Job, "hast thou entered into the treasures of he snow," when he was mustering from all creation he proofs of his power, the tokens of his majesty and (mighty sovereignty, to produce in the patriarch the umbte spirit, which made him exclaim, " I have heard f tbee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye •--. li thee; wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in list and ashes."
Let us advert, for a moment, to "the treasures of ie snow." Whence comes it? In what storehouse is laid up to be poured forth upon the earth? What nple reservoir do the clouds contain, to hold the mighty lantities which are sent to the earth? What an amount it falls! Flake after flake it comes down, till it covers whole country for many feet deep, nay, till it covers iny countries, till it covers, as it yearly does, a largf rt of the globe. Coming often with little and brief c warning, it will, in a night, hide the earth from us,
and the greater part of its productions. The hedges, that have taken years to grow, are buried; and the works of man, on the earth's surface, almost lost sight of. Where dwells it then? Where is it produced? Where are the treasure-houses in which is laid up its exhaustless provision? By what is its enormous mass sustained, till the day when it is thrown down on the earth?
To such inquiries science may reply, that snow is moisture congealed by the cold in the upper regions of the atmosphere, and when congealed, descending by its greater weight to the earth. And if science seeks, in such an answer, merely to point out the manner of God's operation in the matter, it answers well. But if it pretends thereby to set aside God's working, or even to clear away the mystery and wonder with which it is encompassed, it will but expose itself to an endless series of inquiries, whence comes the moisture, whence the cold, &c.; and to derision, for its silliness in putting a mean for the cause. The Scriptures furnish the answer of true philosophy, as well as of true piety, when they teach, " Fire and hail, snow and vapours, stormy wind, fulfil God's word:" "He giveth snow like wool; he scattereth the hoar-frost like ashes; he castcth forth his ice like morsels :" "God saith to the snow, Be thou upon the earth."
Next attend to its uses. Every thing in God's creation is of use. Every arrangement under his government, though it may be accompanied with temporary inconvenience, or with partial suffering and loss, has some good purpose to accomplish, and does accomplish some widely beneficial end. Harm, perhaps to a considerable extent, will result to many quarters of the land, from the sudden and early onfall of snow this season. And yet its general agency is productive of no little good. It is part of the well-balanced system of nature, subserving important purposes in the economy of providence. It is useful in maintaining the fertility of the earth. It is the great means of replenishing those internal reservoirs of water, which are poured forth upon the earth from countless springs, and which give origin to the numberless streams. Without the latter pervading every district, and almost every field, every one knows that the earth, notwithstanding occasional rains, would become so parched under the heat of the summer's sun, as to be little better than a barren waste. While it thus furnishes the chief supply of that moisture, which is laid up in the bosom of the earth itself, and given forth in measured quantities to refresh its surface, snow, in its slow and gentle melting, assists greatly, more even than rain,—more hastily descending, but also more hastily running off,—to break the tough clod, and prepare it for all the processes of husbandry. It is also useful in protecting the products of the ground. Let the bleak frost of winter come, and no snow ever fall to cover over the surface, and interpose between it and the sharpness and power of the frost, and what would be the effect? The herbage, which we rear with such care for our flocks and herds, would be congealed to its roots, and would die. The crops, which wc sow before winter for our own use, would be cast out of the ground, and would perish. The whole vegetable world would be in danger of destruction. Few, even of its larger and stronger tribes,—the bushes and trees, —would long survive, if their roots were exposed without any protection at all, but that of the soil in which they grow, to the intensity of the winter's frost. And while every spring would thus present to us almost a desolate wilderness, with hardly a living plant on its surface, the earth would be so cooled and chilled by the frost, that spring would always come much later, and that, in many parts, the whole power of the summer's sun would never thaw the ground, which would therefore yield no food for man or beast. The snow furnishes this needed protection. Beneath its surface,