Excerpt from A Set of Holiday Sermons
When hearts are truly moved and souls deeply stirred, speech falls but heavily from human lips. Thus tonight with the great past behind us slowly retreating and a greater future before us swiftly approaching, it becomes impossible to frame into words our reﬂections on what has been or pour our hope. Into speech touching what may and shall be. Ours is not the leisure required to voice the thou sand thoughts and memories that crowd our poor, wearied brain, nor yet the mood calmly to survey the contents of the passing year or forecast the tale to be told by the year to come. The remembrance of great joys or great sorrows, quick to summon tears of bitterness or evoke the smile of sweet pleasure, forbids a reposeful review of the myriad events which together make up life; while, on the other hand, our dread uncertainty as to what aspects of life the future may unfold for us, silences the accents of prophecy. Thus wavering as it were between the silence which is naturally begotten of an earnest retrospect of life, and the desire to give full and fitting expression to all the hopes and plans which the outlook into an unknown future invites, an old-time, most familiar and touchingly simple greeting re curs to us, - A happy, happy New Year to you all. In the very simplicity and naturalness of this wish lies its ful ness of charm as well as wealth of meaning. Even as in the hour of parting our lips shape themselves of necessity only into Good-by and God Bless You, or as the music of welcome home alone swells the air in the moment of home-coming and rc-union, so the multitude and the in finite variety of our wishes and yearnings resolve them selves into the unspeakably sweet and simple terms, A happy New Year be thine.
Marvel and mystery lie hidden in this holiday greeting. A marvel of human, God-like sympathy when addressed com passionately to those whom the mere sound of the word 'happiness seems bent upon cruelly mocking, those whose hearts' love and human happiness are buried in some fresh made grave: - the grave of some thrice-loved one, parent, child, spouse, brother with whom happiness, to be hap piness, must needs have been shared. A marvel of vain, blind hope to such as, resting in the fancied security of unending bliss, are forgetful of the coming hour of trial when their happiness shall pass away as if it had not been. A marvel of solemn exhortation to us all, commanding us to remember that, unless our wishes are to be but empty false hood and poor formality, we must strive to rejoice and en rich and beautify the ofttimes sad and dreary lives of one another with that happiness the quintessence of which is to be found in the fragrance of friendship and the perfume of sweet brotherly helpfulness. A mystery of glad promise, too; for the magic of the term happiness loosens the pinions of the many unvoiced prayers and unuttered as pirations which are buried in the deepest recesses of our heart of hearts. A marvel of divine warning and correc tion, above all; for He in whose benign and Fatherly pres ence we give tongue to our wishes for abiding blessedness with the freedom and confidence of children, whispers into our ears His own wish that we may grow in strength of purpose, prosper in grace of spirit and shine forth in ever hightened beauty of character.
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comshow more