THE KING’S BUSINESS “Things Which Are For A Time and Things Which Are For Eternity"
„mm HE one passage of Scripture that has been uppermost in the mind E 5 S of the editor during these Christmas days has been The things which are seen are temporal (literally, “for a season ) but the ^ T h in g s which are not seen are eternal (that is, for eternity). Never before have I been so deeply and constantly impressed with the fleeting character and valuelessness of the things belonging to this present world and of the infinite value of the unseen things which are so soon to be ours as in these days. Christmas eve as I filled the stockings of the two members of the family who were still with me, my wife and the one daughter, I could not but think constantly of the four who were not there, the son in China and the two daughters in Georgia and the other daughter in Heaven and when the day came to an end and I sat alone Christmas night, and thought of the absent ones, the loneliness was followed by a great sense ot exultant joy in the thought of the re-unions and the abiding possessions in that glad day so fast hurrying on when the Lord Himself shall come again and we shall have the things which are unseen now but which shall never pass away. How foolish we are to set our affections on the seen things which are for so short a time., g The Heathen Festival Called Christmas CHRISTMAS, called by another name, was originally a heathen I festival, afterwards adopted by the Church and rebaptized with a Christian name, and the average celebration of Christmas to-day ¡^Jis as heathen as its origin. Judging from the newspapers, the ^ ^ c e le b r a tio n of Christmas in 1914 was more heathen than usual and less of Christ in it. The one passage of Scripture connected with the birth of our Lord that has been most constantly in mind during these so- called “Christmas” holidays has been “There was no room for” Him. The Romans before the time of Christ had a rural festival called Saturnalia. .The Emperor Augustus about the time of our Lord’s birth ordained that the Saturnalia should embrace the whole three days, December 17th, 18th and 19th ; later the number was extended to five and even seven days. Early Christians found this festival had a great hold upon the people and so adopted it and tried to give to it a Christian tone. The festivities of the Saturnalia had many points of similarity to our present Christmas festivities. Virgil in his second Geòrgie, line 389, mentions a tree with its pendant toys and manikins like our present Christmas tree. The Norsemen held their Yule Feast, a heathen festival, from December 25th to January 6th, and the heathen origin of the festival among them still survives in such words as yule-log, yule-tide and similar words. We are not contending that we should give up all celebration of Christ mas though that was the position taken by our Pilgrim Fathers and also for many years in Scotland. But we are contending that if we are to call it Christmas, and keep it in honor of our Lord, we should keep it in a Christian way, that' is in a way that really magnifies^ Christ. There is little that is distinctly Christian about our present celebration. It is true that we do.make
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