BOOK OF CHRISTMAS - online book

The Customs, Ceremonies, Traditions, Superstitions, Fun, Feeling,
And Festivities Of The Christmas Season.

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THE
BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.
We take no note of time, But from its loss;—to give it, then, a tongue Is wise in man.
Dr. Young.
To give a language to time, for the preservation of its records, and the utterance of its lessons, has been amongst the occupations of man, from the day when first he found himself in its mys­terious presence, down to these latter ages of the world;—and yet, all the resources of his ingenuity, impelled by all the aspira­tions of his heart, have only succeeded in supplying it with an imperfect series of hieroglyphics, difficult in their acquirement and uncertain in their use. Ages upon ages of the young world have passed away, of which the old hath no chronicle. Genera­tions after generations of men have " made their bed in the dark­ness," and left no monuments. Of the crowded memorials reared by others along the stream of time, many (and those the mightiest) are written in a cypher, of which the key is lost. The wrappings of the mummy are letters of a dead language ; and no man can translate the ancient story of the pyramid !
We have learnt to speak of time, because it is that portion of eternity with which we ha.ve presently to do,—as if it were a whit more intelligible—less vague, abstract, and unimaginable—than that eternity of which it is a part. He who can conceive of the one, must be able to embrace the awful image of the other. We                           2
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