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"Therefore let us not fleep, as do others; but let us watch and be fober."- -I THES. V. 6.

THE WINTRY ATMOSPHERE.

The icy mountains here lift up on high
Their barren peaks, toward the arctic sky;
Terrific regions, where grim Winter reigns,
And binds the whirlwind in his frofty chains.

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All life has fled, fave where the shaggy beast
Prowls with intent on human blood to feaft;
'T is nature's tomb; no living voice is heard,
Of murmuring brook, nor cheerful warbling bird;
No leafy tree, nor fmiling fields of green,

Nor corn luxuriant waving, here is seen.

In this cold clime fome mariners are found,—
Two, froze to death, lie ftretched upon the ground;
Others, more wife, to keep themselves awake,
They leap and shout, and strive their friends to wake.
One plies the rod-yet from all anger free-
To route his neighbour from his lethargy ;
Death of his prey, while thus engaged, he cheats,
And finds himself revive the more he beats.
Thefe work and live, although the conflict's fore;
The reft, they slumber and awake no more.

HERE we have a picture of the Polar regions; the accumulating maffes of ice raise to the ky their fnowy fummits. The formation, perhaps, of future icebergs. Here Winter fits fecurely upon his throne of defolation. Unmolested by the Solar King, he fways his icy fceptre. The very winds are hufhed to filence by his power; a defolate and terrible region. It is the sheeted fepulchre of Nature deceased. No figns of life are seen, except the Polar beaft, fitted for his dreary abode. No found of rippling brook, nor voice of joyous bird echoes through the icy cliffs. To blefs the eye, no leafy forefts wave to the breeze, no cheerful fields of living green apTo blefs the heart, no rifing corn, the all-fuftaining food of man, bends with its weight of wealth. In this inhofpitable climate, man, if he poffefs not a ftout heart, foon dies. A drow

pear.

finess steals over him. He feels a very great inclination to lie down, then cold chills, throughout his life's blood, flowly creep. He finks into a lethargy from which he never more awakes. In the picture are seen a few mariners who are thrown into this unfriendly climate. Two of them, in confequence of giving way to their drowsy feelings, have fallen afleep. It is the flumber of the grave. The others, aware of the deadly influence of intense cold, exert themselves to keep it off. They leap about and cry aloud. They are alarmed for their companions. They strive to arouse them from their dangerous fleep. One perceiving his friend to have fome figns of life in him, procures a rod; he lays it on unsparingly; he finds himself benefited by the exercife; he continues it; he is fucceffful; he faves the life of his friend; they continue actively employed until deliverance appears. Thus, then, lives are preserved. The reft, caft into the deep fleep of death, are left to the beasts of prey.

The wintry atmosphere represents that spiritual declenfion that too frequently happens. Piety is in danger of freezing to death. The church has gone too far north. The thermometer of holinefs has funk almost to zero. The Sun of Righteousness cafts but a few feeble flickering rays athwart the gloom profound. Fearful state indeed! The ftillness of spiritual death prevails. The fhaggy one alone is alive and active. goeth about as a roaring lion feeking whom he may devour." The voice of prayer is hushed.

"He

No joyful hallelujahs break the monotony of the awful folitude. Doctrine and difcipline are neglected. Even the all-sustaining word of God is forfaken. Melancholy position! She will foon become a mere iceberg, dafhing herself and others into oblivion. It has fometimes occurred, that by the faithful prayers and active labours of one faint, the church has been brought out of the wintry atmosphere, and been faved. This one living difciple brings the whole church to Jefus, the Sun of Righteousness, and keeps her there by faith, until the whole tide of His rays fall full upon her. Her frozen heart now begins to thaw; foon it melts into penitence and love; now the voice of prayer breaks forth as the morning; the fong of praise again mounts upwards; God's houfe is filled with worshippers; minifters are clothed with falvation; converts are multiplied, and the fons of God fhout aloud for joy.

The wintry atmosphere may furthermore denote

the condition of individual Chriftians when thrown into the fociety of the wicked, when compelled in the order of Providence to dwell in the "tents of Kedar." In the absence of the genial influences of religious ordinances, the freezing influences of ungodly principles and practices prevail. Infidelity itself may perhaps lift up its daring front, and defy the God of the armies of Ifrael; deny the infpiration of the facred page, and laugh the Chriftian to fcorn as a weak enthusiast. If unwatchful, the professor

will at first fall a prey to the ftupor of indifference. Then the chilling influence of fin will creep over him; the life's blood of his piety is arrested in its course; heart and intellect are benumbed; Faith, Hope, and Love are now but indistinct images of the past. He is in danger of spiritual death.

As in the engraving, we fee one aroufing his companions with a rod or ftick, fo the Chriftian fhould endeavour to awaken his brother when he fees him falling beneath the influence of a wicked atmosphere. He may poffefs more Chriftian experience, or more fpiritual understanding; he has a stronger faith, or is better acquainted with the wiles of the devil; these are so many gifts or graces, that he is in duty bound to exert for the falvation of his brother; hence he is to exhort and admonish him with all long-fuffering and faithfulness. If this fails, he is to reprove, nay, to "rebuke him fharply," and in no wife to fuffer fin upon his brother. his brother. Though it may seem harsh, yet he is to persevere as long as any figns of life remain, left he perifh for whom Chrift died; he will tell him of the danger to which he exposes his immortal foul, of the reproach he will bring upon religion if he falls into fin, of the wounds he will again inflict upon the sacred heart of Jefus; that he will cover heaven with fackcloth, and make hell echo with exultations of fiendish delight-he will not spare, in order to arouse him from his flumber. With the hammer of God's word he will strike him, with the fwer

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