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Old Year Day

Old Year Day

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Published by glennpease
Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.

Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D.


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Published by: glennpease on Jul 20, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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OLD YEAR DAY Compiled by EDWARD M. DEEMS, A.M., PH.D. SUGGESTIVE THOUGHTS AD ILLUSTRATIOS (December 31) OLD YEAR DAY is to be found neither in the lists of legal holidays nor in the church calendars. The same is true of Old Year Sunday, but, as a matter of fact, in the home, in the church, and in society, Old Year Day, especially the night on which the year goes into the past, and the Sunday following, are receiving greater attention every year. Throughout Christendom, thousands of families sit up, and with story and music and conversation " watch the old year die." " Watch ight " services in the churches are held with growing frequency and deepening interest. And there is scarcely a pulpit in the world in which the thoughts in evitably suggested by the season are not expressed and emphasized on the last Sunday of the year, Old Year Sunday. Poets, essayists, and preachers are invari ably stirred by the dying of the old year to the noblest use of their arts and the highest exercise of their talents. The Holy Scriptures abound in passages appropriate to the thoughts of the day. The most prominent theme is Time : Its flight, value, improvement, loss, irrecoverableness, and end. (Ps. xxxix: 4-6; Ps. xc. 4, 6, 9, 10; Job vii: 6, 7, p;
Job ix: 25, 26; Ps. .re: 12; Eph. v: 15, 16; Col. iv: 5; Joel ii: 25; Rev. x: 5, 6.) This line of thought naturally suggests the contemplation of Life: its brevity, frailty, uncertainty, opportunities neglected or improved, purpose, departing youth, advanc ing old age, and approaching end. (2 Cor. iv: 18 ; Ps. ciii: 14-17 ; Isa xl: 6; i Peter i: 24, 25; Job xxix: 2-4; Deut. iv: 32; Job xvii: n; Eccl. Hi: 15; Jer. viii: 20; i John ii: 8; Heb. ix: 27.) The last day of the year, to the thoughtful mind, is also suggestive of the last day of life. (Heb. ix: 27.) And Old Year thoughts of time, and life and death lead up to the consideration of the Day of Judgment, Heaven, Hell, Eternity, and that God to whom all His intelligent creatures must give an account. (John vi: 40; Acts xvii: 31; Rom. ii: 5; / Cor. Hi: 73; Heb. x: 25; Jude 6; 2 Cor. v: i; Rev. xv: 2, 3; Matt, xxv: 41; Isa. Ivii: 15; 2 Cor. iv: 18; Luke xvi: p.) Probably no other holy day, unless we except Easter Sunday, hao suggested as profound thought, as eloquent expression, and as earnest and noble living as the last day of the year. THE IETEETH CETURY On January i, 1900, we enter upon the last year of a century that is marked by greater progress in all that pertains to the material well-being and enlightenment of mankind than all the previous history of the race; and the political, social, and moral advancement has been hardly less striking.
The century opened with all Europe in a state of war, and after the delusive and short-lived peace of Amiens (1802), apo leon as First Consul and then as apoleon Emperor of France, was for thirteen years in almost contin ual conflict with the great powers. The les ser nations Spain, Italy, Holland, Belgium, orway, and Sweden, and some of the German States were submissive under rulers of his choosing, but most of the time Austria, Prussia, Russia, and England were combined against him. His design of invading England was frus trated by" the " sea power " and elson s victory in Trafalgar in 1805, but on land he seemed invincible until 1812, when he under took his ill-fated expedition to Moscow, and the English expelled his forces from Spain. Then the tide turned. Through the varying fortunes of the capture of Paris, the retire ment to Elba, and the " hundred days," he came to Waterloo in 1815, and spent the OLD YEAR DAY 439 remnant of his days until 1821 at St. Helena. The fierce conflict between England and

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