LL the- world
mas day. From
the land of the
to the sunny
south of per
is a far cry.
But is the long
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
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
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.
the festival is said 1
to be lost in antiquity. If,
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-
Je8US Christ dates
Ury of the
SayS th3t was
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
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.
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-
HE\yASSAIL £»©WL OF .SXVTMMirfG
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
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
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
"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:
Venite, Venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte, Regem angelorum.
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
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
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
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
The English superstition is admirably
voiced by the myriad-minded Shakespeare lot
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
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
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.
AN EXCELLENT REMEDY.
Will Break Up a Cold In Twenty-Pour
Hours and Cure Any Cough That
The following mixture is often pre
scribed and is highly recommended
for coughs, colds and other throat and
bronchial trouble. Mix two ounces
of Glycerine, a half-ounce of Virgin
Oil of Pine compound pure, and eight
ounces of pure Whisky. These can be
bought in any good drug store and eas
ily mixed together in a large bottle
The genuine Virgin Oil of Pine com
pound pure is prepared only In the
laboratories of the Leach Chemical
Co., Cincinnati, and put up for dis
pensing in half-ounce vials.
The Mayor Just think, admiral,
I've married 20 people in two hours.
The Admiral—Well, that's only ten
knots an hour.
SORE EYES CURED.
Eye-Bails and Lids Became Terribly
Inflamed—Was Unable to Go About
—All Other Treatments Failed, But
Cuticura Proved Successful.
"About two years ago my eyes got
In such a condition that I was unable
to go about. They were terribly in
flamed, both the balls and lids. I
tried home remedies without relief.
Then I decided to go to our family
physician, but he didn't help them.
Then I tried two more of our most
prominent physicians, but my eyes
grew continually worse. At this time
a friend of mine advised me to try
Cuticura Ointment, and after using it
about one week my eyes were con
siderably improved, and in two weeks
they were almost well. They have
never given me any trouble since and
I am now sixty-five years old. I shall
always praise Cuticura. G. B. Halsey,
Mouth of Wilson, Va., Apr. 4, 1908."
Potter Drag & Ohem. Corp., Bole Propi., Boston.
Diet of the Old.
A sane diet for a person of 70 or 75
should be made up largely of vege
tables and fruit, some fish, some eggs,
a little meat and simple cereals, if
there is no inclination toward obesity.
Drinking with one's meals is not
considered advisable, especially as li
quids are apt to wash down the food
before it is properly masticated. Two
quarts of water, or more, should be
taken between meals, however, during
the day. Hot water is especially good
for one who does not exercise much,
as it flushes out the entire system.
Stimulants, such as tea and coffee,
should not be very strong.—Harper's
Loss of appetite at this season ac
companied by lassitude is a symptom
of weakened vitality. Improve the ap
petite and digestion and nature will do
the rest says a well-known medical
man. This is highly recommended and
much used in some parts of the coun
try. Ask any good druggist to mix
one ounce compound fluid balmwort
and one ounce syrup sarsaparilla com
pound to a half pint of good whiskey
and take a tablespoonful three to six
times a day. Excellent too as a tonic
Then the Scissors Cut In.
"You may be sharp," said the thread
In the needle, "but I notice you are
always getting it in the eye."
"Oh, I don't know," answered the
needle, "I notice that whenever you
get in a hole I have to pull you
"Hush up, you two," cried the thim
ble. "If it wasn't for my push you
would neither of you get along."
"What makes those two women turn
up their noses at each other so super
"Possibly," replied Miss Cayenne,
"each got a glimpse of the current
novel the other was reading."
A Rare Good Thing.
"Am using Allen's Foot-Ease, and can
truly say I would not have been wfthout
It so long, had I known the relief it would
give my aching feet. I think It a rare good
thing for anyone having sore or tired feet.
—Mrs. Matilda Holtwert, Providence, R.
I." Sold by all Druggists, 25c. Ask to-day.:
The Way It Happened.
Maude—Bigsby literally fell at my
Belle—Aeroplane or intoxication?
Some people suffer continually with
tired, aching and swollen feet. Little do
they know now soething is Hamlms Wiz
ard Oil. Rub it in at night and have
thankful, happy feet in the morning.
There is a place for everything, and
the place for slippers is very often ot
the seat of a small boy's trousers.
AILBN'S LUNG BALSAM
has been used successfully for years for deep-seated
oougbs, colds and bronchitis. Everybody should
know about it. It is simple, safe and sure.
It's easy for a woman to paint a
pretty face—if she has one.
Dr. Pierce's Pleasant Pellets regulate and Inrte*
orate stomach, liver and bowels. Svrar-ooatecL
tiny granules, easy to take as candy.
A good guesser always boasU of
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