‘He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.’ Psalm 147:16–18
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 19:1–6
A man puts his hand into a woolpack and throws out the wool; God giveth snow as easily as that. ‘He giveth snow like wool.’ A man stands upon a heap of ashes, takes up a handful, throws them into the air, and they fall around. ‘He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes’—just as easily. There are wondrous marvels of nature in ice and snow; those who have looked at the crystals, and examined their marvellous beauty, must have been astonished at the inimitable skill displayed in them. ‘He casteth forth his ice like morsels’—just as easily as we cast crumbs of bread outside the window to the robins during these wintry days. When the rivers are hard frozen, and the earth held in iron chains, then the melting of the whole—how is that done? Not by the lighting of innumerable fires or the sending of electric shocks from huge batteries through the interior of the earth—no; ‘He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow’. The whole matter is accomplished with a word and a breath. See the magnificent ease with which God accomplishes all his purposes in nature! If you and I have any great thing to do, what puffing and panting, what straining and tugging there must be; and even the great engineers, who perform great things by machinery, must make much noise and stir about it. It is not so with the Almighty One. Here is this our world spinning round every day in four-and-twenty hours, and yet it does not make so much noise as a humming-top. If I enter a factory I hear a deafening din, but God’s great wheels revolve without noise or friction: all the divine work is simply, easily, and beautifully managed.
Sermon no. 670
16 January (Preached 14 January 1866)