gracefulness are cast about them all,—while the wonderful commonplace-books of those days, which held everything, had accumulated scraps of winter learning that cannot be spared from these less abstruse pages.
Beginning first at the foundation, the preacher must prove, ‘Prop.
I. That the Snow is fitly resembled to Wool
. Snow like Wool
, sayes the Psalmist.
And not only the Sacred Writers
, but others make use of this Comparison.
of old were wont to call the Snow Eriodes Hudor
, Wooly Water
, or wet Wool
The Latin word Floccus
signifies both a Lock of Wool
and a Flake of Snow, in that they resemble one another.
The aptness of the similitude appears in three things.’
‘1. In respect of the Whiteness thereof.’
‘2. In respect of Softness.’
‘3. In respect of that Warming Vertue that does attend the Snow.’
[Here the reasoning must not be omitted.] ‘Wool
We say, As warm as Wool
. Woolen-cloth has a greater warmth than other Cloathing has. The wool on Sheep keeps them warm in the Winter season.
So when the back of the Ground is covered with Snow, it keeps it warm.
Some mention it as one of the wonders of the Snow, that thoa it is itself cold, yet it makes the Earth warm.
But Naturalists observe that there is a saline spirit in it, which is hot, by means whereof Plants under the Snow are kept from freezing.
Ice under the Snow is sooner melted and broken than other ice. In some Northern Climates, the wild barbarous People use to cover themselves over with it to keep them warm.
When the sharp Air has begun to freeze a man's Limbs, Snow will bring heat into them again.
If persons Eat much Snow, or drink immoderately of Snow-water, it will burn their Bowels and make them black.
So that it has a warming vertue in it, and is therefore fitly compared to Wool
Snow has many merits.
, where there is little or no light of the sun in the depth of Winter, there are great Snows continually on the ground, and by the Light of that they are able to Travel from one place to another. . . . . At this day in some hot Countreys, they have their Snow-cellars, where it is kept in Summer, and if moderately used, is known to be both refreshing and healthful.
There are also Medicinal Vertues in the snow.
A late Learned Physician has found that a Salt
extracted out of snow is a sovereign Remedy against both putrid and pestilential Feavors.
Therefore Men should Praise God, who giveth Snow like Wool
But there is an account against the snow, also.
‘Not only the disease called Bulimia
, but others more fatal have come out of the Snow.
give us to understand that in some Countries Vapours from the Snow have killed multitudes in less than a Quarter of an Hour.
Sometimes both Men and Beasts have been destroyed thereby.
Writers speak of no less than Forty Thousand
men killed by a great Snow in one Day.’
It gives a touching sense of human sympathy, to find that we may look at Orion
and the Pleiades through the