chapter  VII
5 Pages

THE MORAL SIGNIFICANOE OF CHRISTMAS DAY

THE historicity of the Birth of the Christ has been placed beyond the nebulous region of doubt and discussion. The impertinences and irrelevancies of carping criticism cannot affect the joyful anniversary of the Holy Babe. By the irrefragable logic of history, the Saviour of mankind breathed two thousand years ago " beneath the Syrian blue." The birth of Jesus is a notorious fact. Profane writers still testify to the genuineness and authenticity of the epoch-making event that once transpired in Bethlehem of Judrea. The sidereal phenomenon, commonly distinguished as the Star in the East; the Heavenly choir invisible with "their radiant minstrelsies;" the sudden appearance and homage of Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar–the three Wise Men; the swaddling clothes and the manger have all become fittingly and justly incorporated with the general and stupendous facts of human history forming the web and woof of life, both sacred and secular. The world to-day realises that an Agnostic is merely the Greek rendering of the Latin Ignoramus, which in the Anglo-Saxon tongue is closely identified with the Fool (mentioned by the Sweet Singer of Israel), who says in his heart THERE IS NO GOD. TO deny Jesus is to obliterate the Annals of Tacitus, the Biographies of Suetonius, the Letters of Pliny, the History of Josephus, the Archaeo- logical explorations and discoveries of the Holy Land, Asia Minor, Cyprus and Greece ; it is to stifle the conscience and deify falsehood. It would, indeed, be a colossal undertak-ing for any one to attempt to rid the world of the tremendous volume of external evidences which affirm in all sincerity and truth that in the reign of Tiberius Cfesar, the Roman Emperor, Christ Jesus lived, wrought signs and wonders, inaugurated a new era, and died by order of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator—a name which from the date of the Crucifixion gained bad pre-eminence and traditional execration. Every Christmas we are vividly reminded of the wonderful story that was designed to transform the world and man. To-morrow, and through-out the Festive Season, we commemorate the glad Evangel for all people; the glorification of poverty once typified by the lowly Manger; the exaltation and Sacredness of Man as such ; the introduction of the Golden Age of Universal Brotherhood, Peace and Good Will. We recall the significant fact that since the events above narrated, no document has been deemed effective and admissible even in our Courts of Justice and elsewhere, wherein the sovereignty of the Saviour was not first acknowledged and openly confessed. We are all guided by the year of our Lord in our Chronology.