Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

CHRISTMAS-DAY, or the day which by some denominations is celebrated as the natal day of the Redeemer of the world, when He was made man and dwelt among us,' used to be characterized by certain methods of salutation--such as, 'A happy Christmas to you,' or, 'I wish you a merry Christmas.' But these methods are now out of fashion. Happily, the failure of the custom by no means detracts from whatever real benefit has been brought into the world by the event which Christmas is intended to celebrate. But the merriest, or rather the happiest, Christmas which this world is to see, is at that time when there shall be a complete fulfilment of that part of the song of the angels who announced the birth of the Great Redeemer: 'On earth, peace-good will towards men.' These few

words, 'good will towards men,' are worthy the attention of every reader, who is either anticipating, or at this moment enjoying, the blessings of a Christmas festival.

There are many whose eyes will rest on these pages, to whom it may be said: God has seen fit to shower on your heads his choicest blessings; and the season of Christmas, which you are wont to dedicate to joy and festivity, calls upon you, while you are enjoying the good things your prosperity may afford, to think upon the wretched condition of those who are ready to perish. Before you raise to your lip the cup filled with mellow wine, or taste the delicious viands your table may supply, resolve to spare something from your superfluity to those who are suffering; ask yourselves if you know no poor and worthy family who might be made comparatively happy by the very crumbs which fall from your Christmas-table. Remember that in the cold and wintry season, there are many on whose lot the unfriendliness of poverty is added to the rigours of the season. Christmas-day, a day of festivity to you, is to many around you a day of weeping and of mourning. While you are enjoying

yourselves, thousands are as it were feeding upon ashes, and their tears their drink. Well, indeed, hath the poet said:

"Ah! little think the gay, licentious, proud,
Whom pleasure, power and affluence surround,
They, who their thoughtless hours on giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot waste-
Ah! little think they while they dance along,
How many feel this very moment death,
In all the sad variety of pain-

How many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery. Sore pierced by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty."

If you would make a merry Christmas to others, and a really happy one to yourselves, on Christian principles, 'feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked,' and give the gospel to the poor.'

6

B.

CLOSING THOUGHTS,

ON THE LATE DREADFUL VISITATION OF PESTI

As our labours for the present volume SOUVENIR will terminate with the article on we are now engaged, we have felt it a sacre to ask the attention of our readers of all class few serious thoughts, on a subject which eith been, or soon may be, of very deep personal in Except among our hitherto exempted breth the eastern states, there is scarcely a section country to be reached by our unpretending v which has not felt the pressure of the 'pes that walketh' comparatively in darkness sure we are, that we may safely venture our readers, before they close the volume, to us, while, for their good as our object, we few suggestions.

Perhaps it may startle some, to find us aver that we consider the cholera' in the light, not of an ordinary, but an extraordinary dispensation of 1 Divine Providence. It bears about it no marks of God's ordinary dispensations. It is peculiar, it is unique, it stands alone in the majesty of its desolations. It is the only pestilence which seems to be modified by no change of climate. It kills on the burnt plains of India, and it kills in frozen Russia; it kills in the temperate, as well as the torrid and frozen zones; and, as if to show that no place on earth may safely calculate on exemption, it has visited in its eccentric course every variety of climate, and slain its thousands, among every variety of people-as if it meant to substantiate its title to the character of a judgment of God, despite of all the theories and all the atheism of men.

Those who would hesitate to adopt this opinion, might ask: Why are some portions of the earth more severely visited than others? Why are some comparatively exempt? Are the inhabitants of the parts thus visited sinners above' all others, 'because they suffer such things?' We answer in the language of the Saviour, Nay, but except ye

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »