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[98] grave eyes of a Puritan divine. ‘The Seven Stars are the Summer Constellation: they bring on the spring and summer; and Orion is a Winter Constellation, which is attended with snow and cold, as at this Day. Moreover, Late Philosophers by the help of the Microscope have observed the wonderful Wisdom of God in the Figure of the Snow; each flake is usually of a Stellate Form, and of six Angles of exact equal length from the Center. It is like a little Star. A great man speaks of it with admiration, that in a Body so familiar as the Snow is, no Philosopher should for many Ages take notice of a thing so obvious as the Figure of it. The learned Kepler, who lived in this last Age, is acknowledged to be the first that acquainted the world with the Sexangular Figure of the Snow.’

Then come the devout applications. ‘There is not a Flake of Snow that falls on the Ground without the hand of God, Mat. 10. 29. 30. Not a Sparrow falls to the Ground, without the Will of your Heavenly Father, all the Hairs of your head are numbred. So the Great God has numbred all the Flakes of Snow that covers the Earth Althoa no man can number them, that God that tells the number of the Stars has numbred them all. We often see it, when the Ground is bare, if God speaks the word, the Earth is covered with snow in a few Minutes' time. Here is the power of the Great God. If all the Princes and Great Ones of the Earth should send their Commands to the Clouds, not a Flake of snow would come from thence.’

Then follow the ‘uses,’ at last,—the little boys in the congregation having grown uneasy long since, at hearing so much theorizing about snow-drifts, with so little opportunity of personal practice. ‘Use I. If we should Praise God for His giving Snow, surely then we ought to Praise Him for Spiritual Blessings much more.’ ‘Use II. We should Humble our selves under the Hand of God, when Snow in the season of it is witheld from us.’ ‘Use III. Hence all Atheists will be left Eternally Inexcusable.’ ‘Use IV. We should hence Learn to make a Spiritual Improvement of the Snow.’ And then with a closing volley of every text which figures under the head of ‘Snow’ in the Concordance, the discourse comes to an end; and every liberated urchin goes home with his head full of devout fancies of building a snow-fort, after sunset, from which to propel consecrated missiles against imaginary Pequots.

And the patient reader, too long snow-bound, must be liberated also. After the winters of deepest drifts the spring often comes most suddenly; there is little frost in the ground, and the liberated waters, free without the expected freshet, are filtered into the earth, or climb on ladders of sunbeams to the sky. The beautiful crystals all melt away, and the places where they lay are silently made ready to be submerged in new drifts of summer verdure. These also will be transmuted in their turn, and so the eternal cycle of the season glides along.

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