John 10:22-23
And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.…

Consider it in relation —


1. As a display of Divine power (Job 33:22-30). God humbles the wildest elements of nature by His northern blast. It not only arrests the mountain stream, but congeals into mountains of ice the polar seas; not only withers the flowers, but strips the forest; not only binds up the vegetable powers, but chains the solar heat. Who can stand before His cold? No one, but for the safeguards provided by the God of winter. And if such securities be so valuable, how invaluable the robe of righteousness for the naked and destitute soul!

2. As a display of Divine wisdom and goodness. Frosts purify the air, destroy noxious vermin, etc.; and if it occasion some disorders it prevents many others; and even these disorders by confining us at home, induce reflection.

3. As a display of Divine faithfulness. The fulfilment of the promise to Noah requires the annual preparation of the soil for fertility, and the preservation of seed from destruction. The first is secured by the action of frost, the latter by snow, which affords a warm garment, and cherishes infant growth. Then, touched by the sun, the vesture melts and saturates the pores of the soil with the dissolving nitre, thus replenishing the earth with the principles of vegetable life. Were there only snow the soil would be too damp; were there only frost the seed would perish. So God blends both together.

II. TO MANKIND AT LARGE. It reminds us —

1. Of the condition of the poor. We must not excuse ourselves from benevolence because we have paid the Poor Rate. We are compelled by law to do that; but how dwelleth the love of God in him who, having this world's goods, does nothing but pay his legal dues.

2. Of the reverses of lot to which we are all liable. Often affairs that were once as promising as spring, bright as summer, and rich as autumn, are now desolate as winter. It is not necessary to forget prosperity in adversity. To so remember it as to beget impatience is foolish and sinful, but not if it deepens our convictions of the uncertainty of human affairs, and warns others against trusting in uncertain riches. And then, again, how often is adversity the season when we first began to think seriously.

3. Of the evening and end of life. As winter comes freezing the streams, and weakening the powers of vegetable life, so old age congeals the warm blood and impairs the mental faculties. And yet this is the season to which the soul's weightiest concerns are often left. Old age is not the time for business effort, much less, then, for spiritual.

III. TO THE SPIRITUAL WORLD. Winter should remind us —

1. Of the entrance of sin into the world. For as winter deforms the face of nature, so sin brought a curse upon the earth. Sin quenched light, froze love, destroyed holiness.

2. Of the natural state of the heart in the sight of God. The heart and life of every man ought to be as spring: rich in buds of holiness; as summer, rich in the bloom of holiness; as autumn, rich in the ripe fruit of holiness. But, alas! it is not so. It is winter in every heart withheld from the Sun of Righteousness. And every year of neglect hardens the heart further against God.

3. Of the unhappy state of the backslider; its desolation and despair contrasted with its former fruitfulness and hope.

4. Of the great salvation. God has made the whiteness of winter's snow an emblem —

(1)  Of the purity of salvation, "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."

(2)  Of pardon and sanctification, "Come, now, let us reason together, etc."

(R. Philip, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

WEB: It was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem.

The Origin and Character of the Feast of Dedication
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