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LL the- world
keeps Christ mas day. From the land of the midnight sun to the sunny south of per petual summer he «C4i,t0 is a far cry. But is the long distance there is a where Christ a is kept. Its cele bration is a part of the universal' history of the human race. What ever may have been its origin and whatever peculiarities may have .gathered about it in its adaptation to different people and different circumstances, it is to us Ameri cans to-day a practically national feast. To keep it was at one time, and In our own part of the country, it Is true, a penal offense. It was thought to savor of prelacy and to foster unpleasant memories of po litical servitude. But it has grown with our growth and the broad mindedness of the American people is seen at its best in the hearty commemoration of the na tivity of the Christ from year to year. In some parts of the country, in fact, Christmas day bids fair to supplant Thanksgiving day, and it certainly may already claim an equality of recognition with the time-honored national festival of our New England forbears. People of every creed and every nation •llty within our borders delight to participate in the celebration of the Christmas feast, and many a aclon of old-world stock finds him self back home again as the church bells peal and the candles glim mer on the Christmas trees. It is a time of universal peace and good will. It brightens homes, softens asperities and uplifts us «s it brings "the light that never was on land or sea." The Origin Unknown. of the festival is said 1 to be lost in antiquity. If, LMA the rhpvcn the as held by many, it is a Christian feast grafted on to pagan one, its history is age long The ac tual institution of Christmas as the celebra- nat!rlty °f Je8US Christ dates Ury of the SayS th3t was g' th® ill Stralts the rest.' fom Chrlstian era. St. ^served from according to western practice, Gibraltar, and m°* venerabIe- the mother of But as to the time of the celebration there diversity of observance. The early Christian church naturally kept Easter as com memorative of the resurrection of Christ, which the apostles were especially chosen and Instructed to proclaim, and the feast of Pen tecost, which became the birthday of the church, came next in order. Then to these were added two others, the one commemora Uvs of the baptism of Jesus Christ and the other of his birth. The first of these, the Epiphany, or Manifestation, came from the east to the west. The second, Christmas, or the nativity, came from the west to the east. The two were officially recognized and quite widely kept in both the east and west in the fourth century. In a sermon preached by the Golden-Mouthed in Antioch on December 25, A. D. 386, he speaks of the festival of Christ mas as having first become known there 10 years before and on another occasion he in vites his hearers to participate in its ap proaching observance. But as to the reason for the selection of December 25 as Christmas day, first arrived at by the Hippolytes, there is much difference of opinion. It is held by some that the German name of the festival "Weihnacht," is a literal translation of the Hebrew "Chanuka," the Jewish festival of the purification of the temple by Judas Maccabeus, which begins on December 17, and that as the Passover and Pentecost were perpetuated in Easter and Whitsuntide, so the festival of the Purification has been preserved in Christmastide and the practice of burning candles on the Christmas trees has come from the old Hebrew feast. Early Festivals. But the Purification can hardly be num bered among the greater and important festi vals of the Hebrews and, as Schaff says, there is really no Old Testament feast correspond ing to our Christmas. The weight of opinion as to the time of year chosen by the Chris tian church in the west lies in another and entirely different solution of the question and links the Christian observance to the ancient practice of the heathen world. It must be remembered in this connection that the particular date was first fixed upon by the Roman branch of the church, and at that season of the year a series of pagan fes tivals occurred which were closely interwoven with the civil and social life of the Roman people. These festivals had an import which lent itself to the growth of the Christian faith, and they may have been spiritually adopted by the church in order to counteract their evil tendencies and at the same time ad vance the cause of the new religion. The Saturnalia, for instance, represented the peaceful times of the golden age and abol ished sharp distinctions between citizen and serf. But it was a time of wild and unholy revelry. Then the Brumalia—the feast of the shortest day, or winter solstice—was the com memoration of the birthday of the new sun about to return to the earth. It was the "dies natells invicti soils." In the old mythology of the sun worshipers it was the birthday of Methras himself, and, in fact, the tinr.e of year when from unnumbered ages before the Chris- GINALD H. SJAKRJXD. HE\yASSAIL £»©WL OF .SXVTMMirfG APPLES. tian era pagan Europe, in all its tribes and peoples, had celebrated its chief festival. So here we have the double truth of the golden age and the rebirth of the unconquered sun, as he breaks the power of darkness, refined and enriched in the Christian teaching of "peace on. earth and good will to men," as coincident with the rising of the Sun of Righteousness in the birth into the world of the son of the peasant woman who was also the Son of God. This view of Christmas accentuates the true place of the Christian religion in relation to the ancient and deep-seated religions which preceded it, and at the same time reveals a beauty of development in Its culmination as the completed manifestation of God to man. In the infancy of the race the winter solstice was everywhere a season of rejoicing. No matter what the peculiar form which it as sumed, it expressed the world Joy of the time. So the very idea of the Child God which gives Christmas its meaning may not only have been foretold by sybil and seer and prophet, but prefigured by the infant gods of the Greek and Egyptian and Hindu and Buddhist forms of religion. These to us imperfect an conceptions of the Di vine may have been the rude but honest efforts of the earlier days of the human race to group the idea of a God-man which has been made so real and so full of joy to us in the Nativity and the Epiphany of the Christ. In this sense the early church may have been wiser than she wot of. Her aim was to select the best features of the heathen feasts and em body them for their puri fication in Christian practices and sacred rites and to wean the converts from their old superstitions to the deeper and more real truths of the Christian faith. But in so doing she may have been the un conscious instrument of a divinely guided evolu tion in religious practice and belief which has en nobled and enriched the world. The symbolism of our Christmas to-day certainly lends Itself in many ways to this point of view. In the greenery with which we deck our houses and churches and In the gift-laden fir trees which gladden our chil dren's hearts, we still re-, tain. the symbols by which our heathen fore-, fathers signified, their faith in the power of re turning sun to clothe the earth with green and hang new fruit on the trees. The Christmas carol may be a new birth of the hymns of this Saturnalia. The holly and mistletoe came from the Druid ROASTED Okie/ "Yule" of "Merrie England" is the old Teu tonic name of the religious festival of the win ter solstice, during which Celt and Roman could trace the movements of their deities as they walked abroad in the world. The Story Christmas Tells. The Christian religion is not merely some thing built over the old ethnic religions as the church of St. Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome is built over the ruins of the old heathen temple of Minerva, or as the drove sacred to Adonis was planted by the order of the Emperor Had rian over "the cave close to the village" which is now honored as the scene of the Saviour's birth. It had a larger and a deeper meaning. Christmas tells the story of a gradual but complete unfolding of the divine idea of relig ion as seen in the Christ Child, of its worship and its merry-making in its at once sacred and social feast. The story is told simply but graphically by two of the four evangelists. St. Mark's gospel begins with the baptism of the Christ, so log ically he had no need to tell the story of his birth and boyhood. St. John wrote near the close of the first century, and with the domi nant idea of settnig forth the divinity of unsatisfactory Christ in opposition to the prevailing gnosti- [N EVERY Roman Catholic church and in probably ninety-and-nine out of every hundred Protestant churches throughout Christendom this is the sea son when is heard that grand old hymn whose tender and solemn strains find an echo in the universal human heart—"Adeste Fideles" (Come, All Ye Faithful). It is the anthem sung at high mass at Christ mastide for centuries past, calling Christ's worshipers to Bethlehem, where, the new-born Savior lies. This naive and beautiful Latin anthem is more ancient than its history, and goes back six or seven centuries. Saint Bonaventura, an Italian monk of the thirteenth cen tury, who died in Lyons, France, in 1274, is credited with the authorship of the beginning: Adeste fideles, Laeti triumphantes, Venite, Venite in Bethlehem. Natum videte, Regem angelorum. Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus, Venite adoremus Dominum.. Oh, come all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem. See the new-born Saviour, king of all the angels. Oh, come let us adore him, Ob/come let us aciora him, Oh, .come let us adore him, Christ, our Lord. Saint Bonaventura was a Franciscan scholastic philos AS wrrrt Hr-s* JUWOC.IN© J3BJL.fc.3V worship. The banquet time itself may be a sur vival, purified and refined, of the original feast to the gods and goddesses of the fabled Olympus. The :i:viv cism of the time. But St. Matthew, whose narrative bears traces of hav ing been gleaned from Joseph and St. Luke, who probably got his informa tion from Mary, have given us the story with a directness and a human ness which the grotesque and often meretricious wonder-tales of the apoc ryphal gospelB have but served to ac centuate as a dark background to a touching and reverent picture. Around the story legends natu rally gathered. It was the custom in early days to decorate in this way. the graves of heroes and some or these legends are no doubt the off spring of the "vulgar tattle" of the apocryphal gospel stories. In some parts of the world the bees are said to sing on Christmas eve. The cattle kneel in honor of the manger-bed at Bethlehem. The sheep go in proces sion in commemoration of the angels' visit to the shepherds. The Indians creep through the winter woods of Canada to see the deer kneel and look up to the Great Spirit. In the German Alps the cattle are thought to have the gift of language, and the story is told of an Alpine farmer's servant who hid in the stable on Chrstmas eve and heard the horses talking about his own death which followed a few days later. A Bosnian Legend. There Is a Bosnian legend that the sun leaps in the heavens and the stars dance around it. A great peace comes stealing down ov6r mountain and forest. The rotten stumps stand straight and green on the hillside. The grass is bellowered with blossoms and the birds sing on the mountain tops in thankB God. In Poland the heavens open and Jacob's ladder is set up between earth and sky. In Austria the candles are set in the window, that the Christ Child may not stumble when he comes to bless the home. In north Germany the tables are spread and the lights left burn ing for the Virgin Mary and her attending angel. The English superstition is admirably voiced by the myriad-minded Shakespeare lot "Hamlet:" Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes Wherein our Lord's birth Is celebrated, The bird of dawning singeth all night long, And then they say no spirit can walk abroad. The nights.are wholesome. Then no plao*»ts strike. No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm. So hallowed and so gracious is the ttme." If a man will compliment his wife upon her youthful appearance and tell her that he lovel her, she will forgive other white lies. opher, and was surnamed "Doctor Seraphicus." His pre served writings are of a dogmatic or didactic nature ex clusively, and this hymn is not to be found among them. Doubtless it is to be referred to the seraphic side of his genius and temperament. Its classic Latin cadences are of such lyric felicity that one cannot help but believe they were written to the noble and touching melody ori whose wings they have floated to our time. Surely this is not too fantastic a suggestion, when it is remembered that the original Greek music of the Delphic hymn to Apollo is preserved intact, and that certain familiar phrases of the Gregorian chant, used to-day in the Roman mass, are identified by Hebrew historians as the same which were sung in Solomon's temple many centuries before the time of Christ. The hymn "Adeste Fideles" is not known to have been used in England earlier than the seventeenth century. The musical setting, as we have it in modern notation, is ascribed by Novello to one John Reading, who was organist at Winchester cathedral from 1675 to 1681, and later at Winchester college. Its real origin is lost in the mists of antiquity which probably far antedates the middle ages and the Latin verses to which it *ias beep insep arably wedded. Word-language reaches but the one people or race to whom it is directly addressed. But the language of music is universal—it is "understanded of the people" instantly all the wide world over—it needs not to be written In choice Latin nor translated into many tongues—it is caught up from the heart and echoes on forever. That is why the "Adeste Fideles" has be^rae the Christmas hymn of all the world. to ma AN EXCELLENT REMEDY. Will Break Up a Cold In Twenty-Pour Hours and Cure Any Cough That Is Curable. The following mixture is often pre scribed and is highly recommended for coughs, colds and other throat and bronchial trouble. 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