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Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on Thee, and in
Thy name we go against this multitude. — 2 Chron. 14 : 11.

Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on Thee, and in
Thy name we go against this multitude. — 2 Chron. 14 : 11.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 10, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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IN THE NAME OF GOD BY GEORGE HODGES Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on Thee, and in Thy name we go against this multitude. — 2 Chron. 14 : 11. The fact that this is the first day of a new-year finds no place in the service of the church. There is no allusion to it in the scripture les-sons ; and no appointed prayer makes its ap-propriate petition. The ancient calendar of the Roman Empire on which Julius and Au-gustus wrote their names at large, is not the calendar of the Christian seasons. Our New Year's Day comes in November, or at the be-ginning of December, with the Feast of St. Andrew, or with the First Sunday in Advent. Sometimes the saints' day begins the Christian year, and sometimes the Sunday, according as they come in order ; but one or other marks the transition from the old year to the new. We turn the leaf to find on the next page either the name of Him who was the first of all disciples, or else the reminder of His com-ing who at the last day shall gather all true disciples under His holy and perpetual protec-
tion. No emphasis is put upon the first of January. 78 IN THE NAME OF GOD 79 Indeed, the beginning of the civil year with the first of January is an arrangement which is much later than the prayer-book, and be-longs, as you remember, to very modern times. Everybody who pronounces the names of the months thoughtfully perceives that Sep-tember means the seventh month, October the eighth, November the ninth, and December the tenth ; while, in fact, these are the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth months. Accord-ing to this reckoning, the year begins with March. So, in truth, it did, in England, up to the middle of the eighteenth century. The first of January was not the legal beginning of the year among English-speaking persons until 1752. That is, New Year's Day is one of the most modern of holidays, being later in
history than Thanksgiving day, and only a little earlier than the Fourth of July : and it has not yet gained admission to the conserva-tive pages of the Book of Common Prayer. In the Prayer-book, the first of January is ob-served as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ. Nevertheless, in all our hearts, this day is New Year's Eve. We are in the spirit of one who is about to enter upon a new undertaking. Instinctively, we assume the attitude of the old God for whom the month of January was 80 THE YEAR OF GRACE named, looking two ways, forward and back, remembering the past and questioning the future. The transition from one year to an-other is, of course, wholly arbitrary. There is no difference in point of fact between to-day and to-morrow. We shall be only twenty-four hours older than we are. But there is a dif-ference in feeling. There is a moral differ-

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