tenderness.Autumn declares, with perhaps still fuller voice than the spring,the divine goodness, but it does not speak so much of God s tender-52OUTLIES O VARIOUS PASSAGESness. God takes this season of the year to tell us especially whattenderness, what delicacy, what colourings of exquisite beauty thereare in His nature. Did God raise with His own hand that flower onits stem, with all those rich minglings of colour ? Then He must lovebeauty. Did He call out in the grass and in the buds and flowersthat exceeding delicacy of texture, that softness almost ethereal,which will vanish if you touch it, which seems to quiver almost if youdraw near ? Then God must be very tender Himself.V. It has a voice of good cheer to all who are serving God faithfully, and seeking good ends for themselves or for others, althoughas yet with little apparent result. For when does it come? Immediately after the winter. The darkest, bleakest, deadest season of all the year is followed by the freshest and most reviving, as if toshow us every year anew that nothing is impossible with God. Sometimes the reign of winter is protracted, and the earth lies torpid andstill beyond the time when she usually awakes. Then the springcomes rapidly. The frost breaks up, the wind shifts round to thesouth, the showers fall, and, amid the glints of the sunshine, theimprisoned vegetation rushes out on the sight. Almost every yearthere are some few days together when there is this clear triumphantpassing from the one season to the other. In such a time each dayis like a joyous trumpet-cry, Winter is dying winter is dead !Summer is coming : the spring is here ! 1* Lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feebleknees. 1 Our God cannot forget, cannot forsake. He needs thewinter for souls to prepare for the spring, but He never forgets tobring the spring when the time has come. Let us toil on then,assured that in due season we shall reap if we faint not, and thatGod has always a spring after a winter.VI. The spring has another voice a voice which sounds away intothe far future and foretells the time of the restitution of all things." 1God, in renewing the face of the earth, seems to give us a visiblepicture and bright image of that blessed moral renovation which iscoming in the fulness of the time.