In the "Life of Lord Tennyson," by his son, a story is told of a New England clergyman who once wrote to Tennyson telling him how, one Sabbath, he was strangely imprest to drop his sermon, and recite "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The congregation were shocked and later dimissed the pastor. Subsequently, a stranger called upon the clergyman, and told him how on that particular Sunday he had wandered into his church and heard him recite the famous poem; that he was in that charge; had fought at Gettysburg; and felt he had done something, and ought to be a man. Said the New England clergyman to the old England poet: "I lost my pulpit, but I saved a soul."


  The geologist tells us that ages ago vast and horrible creatures filled the air and waters--fierce and hideous monsters swarmed and fought in the primeval slime; but in due time God swept away mastodon, mammoth, megatherium, and filled the world with mild and beautiful forms of life.

To-day we see moral changes wrought far more wonderful than any to which the petrifactions of the geologist witness; we see the power of Christ destroying passions far more terrible than the lizards, serpents, and crocodiles of the antediluvian world, creating graces sweeter and fairer than the choicest forms of perfected nature. --W. L. Watkinson, "The Transfigured Sackcloth."


      This world is turning on its axis once in four and twenty hours; and, besides that, it is moving round the sun in the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. So that we are all moving; we are flitting along through space. And as we are traveling through space, so we are moving through time at an incalculable rate. Oh! what an idea it is could we grasp it! we are all being carried along as if by a giant angel, with broad outstretched wings; which he flaps to the blast, and, flying before the lightening, makes us ride on the wind. The whole multitude of us are hurring along, --whither, remains to be decided by the test of our faith and the grace of God; but certain it is, we are all traveling. Your pulses each moment beat the funeral marches to the tomb. You are chained to the chariot of rolling time. There is no bridling the steeds, or leaping form the chariot; you must be constantly in motion. by Spurgeon.

by D. L. Moody

I do not think it is wrong for us to speculate, and think about and talk about heaven. I was going to meeting once, some time ago, when I was asked by a friend on the way, "What will be the subject of your speech?" I said, "My subject will be heaven." He scowled, and I asked, "Why do you look so?" He said: "I was in hopes you would give us something practical to-night. We cannot know anything about heaven. It is all speculation." Now, all Scripture is given us by the inspiration of God. Some is given for warnings, some for encouragement. If God did not want to think about heaven and talk about it down here, there would not be so much said about heaven in Scripture. There would not be so many promises about it. If we thought more about those mansions God is preparing for us, we would be thinking more of things above, and less of things of this earth.

by Dean Stanley.

As life advances, it does indeed seem to be as a vessel going to pieces, as though we were on the broken fragments of a ship, or in a solitary skiff on the waste of waters; but so long as our existence lasts we must not give up the duty of cheerfulness and hope.

The sense that kept us back in youth
From all intemperate gladness,
That same good instinct now forbids
Unprofitable sadness.

He who has guided us through the day may guide us through the night also. The pillar of darkness often turns into a pillar of fire. Let us hold on though the land be miles away; let us hold on till the morning break. That speck on the distant horizon may be the vessel for which we must shape our course. Forwards, not backwards, must we steer--forwards and forwards, till the speck becomes a mast, and the mast becomes a friendly ship. Have patience and perseverance; believe that there is still a future before us; and we shall at last reach the haven where we would be.

by Bishop M. Simpson, D.D.

It is only for Christ to say, "Peace, be still," and all is well. He comes to dwell within us, He comes to give comfort, to be a joy. Hence, it is said, "Christ in you is the hope of glory." He is with me, the joy of my soul. When I come to die He will take me to Himself.

I was struck very much by the remark which Father Tasker made to me the other day. Many of you know him. He told me of his experience when sick. Some one asked him "what he thought of death." He said he scarcely thought of it. He just said to himself, "Jesus is the only one who has the right to me; the devil has no right to me; I don't know where to go or who ought to take me if Jesus don't, and so I left myself in the hands of Jesus and felt all at peace." If Christ dwells in our hearts there is that unison. If he loves me so much as to come and dwell within me here is safe ground for the future.

"This I do find
We two are so joined;
He'll not live in glory
And leave me behind."

by Edward Young.

Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of Death,
To break the shock blind Nature cannot shun,
And lands Thought smoothly on the farther shore.
Death's terror is the mountain Faith removes,
That mountain-barrier between men and peace.
'Tis Faith disarms Destruction, and absolves
From every clam'rous charge the guiltless tomb.

The chamber where the good man meets his fate
Is privileged beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite in the verge of heaven.
Fly, ye profane! if not, draw near with awe,
Receive the blessing, and adore the chance
That threw in this Bethesda your disease;
If unrestored by this, despair your cure:
For here resistless demonstration dwells.
A death-bed's a detector of the heart;
Here tired Dissimulation drops her mask,
Through life's grimace that mistress of the scene;
Here real and apparent are the same.

What gleams of joy! what more than human peace!
Where the frail mortal? the poor abject worm?
No, not in death the mortal to be found.
His conduct is a legacy for all,
Richer than Mammon's for his single heir.
His comforters he comforts; great in ruin,
With unreluctant grandeur gives, not yields,
His soul sublime, and closes with his fate.
How our hearts burnt within us at the scene.
Whence this brave bound o'er limits fix'd to man?
His God sustains him in his final hour!


Oh, heaven is nearer than mortals think,
When they look with trembling dread,
At the misty future that stretches on,
From the silent home of the dead.

The eye that shuts in a dying hour,
Will open the next in bliss,
The welcome will sound in the heavenly world
Ere the farewell is hushed in this.

We pass from the clasp of mourning friends,
To the arms of the loved and the lost;
And those smiling faces will greet us there,
Which on earth we have valued most.

Yet oft in the hours of holy thought,
To the thirsting soul is given,
That power to pierce through the mist of sense,
To the beauteous scenes of heaven.

I know when the silver cord is loosed,
When the veil is rent away,
Not long and dark shall the passage be,
To the real of endless day.

by Dickens

Though dark and heavy sorrow
Doth cast on thee its spell,
And gloomy seems the morrow,
Remember "all is well;"
Though grief doth hover o'er thee,
And dark clouds lower,
Keep this sweet prayer before thee:
"Father, Thy will be done."

Though when life's bark seems freighted
With happiness for thee,
And with bright hopes elate,
Thy heart with joy may be,
Affliction's dark clouds lower,
And Grief thy heart doth stun,
Then pray, in that sad hour:
"Father, Thy will be done."

And when earth;s sorrows round thee,
Have fallen thick and fast;
When ties which long have bound thee
So fondly to the past,
All sundered are, yet alway
Whate'er to thee may come,
Submissive and resigned, pray:
"Father, Thy will be done."

Whatever in life's pathway
May come of good or ill,
Confiding, thy fond heart may
Bend to thy Father's will;
And when sadly thou doust grieve,
When all seems dark, yet one
Comfort's left for thee, to breathe
"Father, Thy will be done."

by Marian Longfellow.

Nearer my rest with each succeeding day
That bears me still mine own allotted task!
Nearer my rest! the clouds roll swift away,
And nought remains, O, Lord, for me to ask.

If I but bear unflinchingly life's pain,
And humbly lay it at thy feet divine,
Then shall I see each loss a hidden gain,
And thy sweet mercy through the darkness shine!

Nearer my rest! the long, long wear hours
Had well-nigh gained the victory o'er my soul;
Thy mercy, falling soft like summer showers,
Upheld me, fainting near the victor's goal.

Nearer my rest, and as I journey on,
Grant me, dear Lord (my angel-guides to be,
To keep and help ere that rest be won),
Patience, and Faith, and blessed Purity!

Patience,-- that I may never sink dismayed,
However dark and drear may seem that road;
Patience,-- Though doubt, though every cross that's laid
Upon my heart,-- nor sink beneath the load.

Faith,-- that e'en though to mortal eyes be hidden
The reason why this lift be oft opprest,
I only do, with childlike trust, as bidden,
And leave to Thee, confidingly, the rest!

And Purity,-- O, Godlike attribute!
Be thou my standard, shield, and armor bright;
Without thee no tree beareth worthy fruit,--
These three, O Lord! to lead me through the night!

The world may change from old to new,
From new to old again
Yet Hope and Heaven forever true,
Within man's heart remain.
The dreams that bless the weary soul,
The struggles of the strong,
Are steps toward some happy goal,
The story of Hope's song.

E. H. Bickersteth.

Zion is our home;
Jerusalem, the city of our God.
O happy home! O happy children here!
O blissful mansions of our Father's house!
O walks surpassing Eden for delight!
Here are the harvests reap'd once sown in tears.
Here is the rest by ministry enhanced;
Here is the banquet of the wine of heaven
Riches of glory incorruptible,
Crowns, amaranthine crowns of victory,
The voice of harpers harping on their harps,
The anthems of the holy cherubim,
The crystal river of the Spirit's joy,
The bridal palace of the Prince of Peace,
The Holiest of Holies--God is here.

The insect bursting from its tome-like bed--
The grain that in a thousand grains revives--
The trees that seem in wintry torpor dead--
Yet each new year renewing their green lives;
All teach, without the added aid of Faith,
That life still triumphs o'er apparent death!

But dies the insect when the summer dies;
The grain hath perished, though the plant remain;
In death, at last, the oak of ages lies;
Here Reason halts, nor further can attain,
For Reason argues but from what she sees,
Nor traces to their goal these mysteries.

But Faith the dark hiatus can supply--
Teaching, eternal progress still shall reign;
Telling (as these things aid her to espy)
In higher worlds that higher laws obtain;
Pointing, with radiant finger raised on high,
From life that still revives, to life that cannot die.

Softly woo away her breath,
Gentle death!
Let her leave thee with no strife,
Tender, mournful, murmuring life!
She hath seen her happy day--
She had had her bud and blossom;
Now she pales and shrinks away,
Earth, into thy gentle bosom!

She hath done her bidding here,
Angels dear!
Bear her perfect soul above,
Seraph of the skies--sweet love!
Good she was, and fair in youth;
And her mind was seen to soar,
And her heart was wed to truth:
Take her, then, for evermore--
For ever--evermore!

by Barry Cornwall.

Father! Thy wonders do not singly stand,
Nor far removed where feet have seldom
Around us ever lies the enchanted land,
In marvels rich to Thine own sons displayed;
In finding Thee are all things round us found;
In losing Thee are all things lost beside;
Ears have we, but in vain strange voices

And to our eyes the vision is denied;
We wander in the country far remote,
Mid tombs and ruined piles in death to dwell;
Or on the records of past greatness dote,
And for a buried soul the living sell;
While on our path bewildered falls the night
That ne'er returns us to the fields or light.

by Jones Very.

by Cowper.

"Since the dear hour that brought me to thy foot,
And cut up all my follies by the root,
I never trusted in an arm but thine;
Nor hoped but in thy righteousness Divine,
My prayers and alms, imperfect and defiled,
Were but the feeble efforts of a child;
Howe'er perform'd, this was their brightest part,
That they were offerings of a thankful heart;
I cast them at thy feet, my only plea
Is, what it was,--dependence upon thee;
While struggling in the vale of griefs below,
This never failed, nor shall it fail me now."

by C. Huntington.

If I may stand before His throne,
And look upon His face,
What shall I care that oft, alone,
Like Him, I ran my race.

Safe on thy ever blissful plains,
My heart's own treasure gathered there;
Farewell, forever, sins and pains,
Farewell, bereavement, sorrow, care!

At one time I gave a Mohammedan a New Testament on condition that he would read it. He was a Turkish official, but he promised that he would do so. I saw him a year later, when he came to me like Nicodemus by night. I said to him, "Have you read the book I gave you?" He replied, "Yes, I have read it through four times, and it gets hold of me every time right here"-- putting his hand upon his heart. "I believe that it is the religion which must ultimately be accepted by the world as the true religion; it seems to me that it is the only religion." He went out and away and he is to-day an official fo the Turkish Government. He is a represenative of a great class in the Mohammedan world who are beginning to have an intelligent knowledge of Christianity.-- James L. Barton, "Student Volunteer Movement"


      I think if you would look through your Bible carefully, you will find that ten different times He appeared to his disciples, not in the spirit, but in the body, in person. I want to get this thing established in all our minds, that Christ has come out of the grave personally, that His body has gone back to heaven. The same body they crucified, the same body they laid in Joseph's sepulchre has come out of the jaws of death and out of the sepulchre; and he has passed through the heavens and gone back on high. We are told He had an interview with Peter, who is alluded to as Simon and as Cephas. We can imagine what took place at that interview, and that Peter's old difficulty was settled. Peter denied Hm, but at that interview Christ forgave him. What a Sabbath it must have been for Peter! What a blessed day for that poor backslider! And if there is some backslider here to-day, who will have an interview with the Son of God, he will forgive you this Easter morning, and blot out all your wanderings and all your sins, if you will come back; and it will be a joyful day for you. by D. L. Moody

The following story is told of England's Queen:

When Queen Victoria was but a girl they went to instruct her in matters of court etiquette. "You are to go to hear 'the Messiah' to-morrow night, and when they sing through the oratorio and come to the hallelujah chorus, we will all rise, but you are the Queen; sit still." So when they came to the hallelujah chorus the English-men sprang to their feet and cheered, while the Queen sat; but when they came to the place where they sang, "And King of kings and Lord of lords," she rose and bowed her head. That was at the beginning of her reign.
But when she came almost to the end of her reign, and Canon Farrar was preaching on the second coming of Christ, she sent for him to enter the Queen's box, and when he came in, Her Majesty said:
"Dr. Farrar, I wish that the Savior might come while I am still upon the throne, because," she said, "I should like to take the crown of England and lay it at His feet."


Need ideas for your next Christmas party? Our staff is always looking for links to great party ideas for the holiday season too. So if you have any suggestions just drop us a note at the gallery.
Planning for a Christmas office party? These tips are for any type of office Christmas party. Not all of the advice is exactly good for Christians but the ideas are very appropriate in general.

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." If men who are obscure and quiet and tempted to envy the glory of kings they might profitably meditate on the speech that Shakespeare puts into the mouth of Richard II while he abandons his crown:

I give this heavy weight from off my head
And this unwieldy scepter from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous


Christmas Craft Index. This linking list will grow quite large over time. We hope to include projects here that will challenge our visitors. There are many Christmas craft directories that boast of simple, easy-to-do craft projects. We feel it would be more entertaining to provide links to ideas and art projects that are a bit more challenging to those of you who are real craft fanatics! We will include Craft projects for Children under their own category in the future.
Christmas Craft Projects for Kids.

            The Christmas tree is often explained as a Christianization of pagan tradition and ritual surrounding the Winter Solstice, which included the use of evergreen boughs, and an adaptation of pagan tree worship. The English language phrase "Christmas tree" is first recorded in 1835 and represents an importation from the German language. The modern Christmas tree tradition is believed to have begun in Germany in the 18th century though many argue that Martin Luther began the tradition in the 16th century. From Germany the custom was introduced to Britain, first via Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, and then more successfully by Prince Albert during the reign of Queen Victoria, and by 1841 the Christmas tree had become even more widespread throughout Britain. By the 1870s, putting up a Christmas tree had become common in America. Christmas trees may be decorated with lights and ornaments.
            Since the 19th century, the poinsettia, a native plant from Mexico, has been associated with Christmas. Other popular holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, red amaryllis, and Christmas cactus. Along with a Christmas tree, the interior of a home may be decorated with these plants, along with garlands and evergreen foliage.
            In Australia, North and South America, the British Isles, and to a lesser extent continental Europe, it is traditional to decorate the outside of houses with lights and sometimes with illuminated sleighs, snowmen, and other Christmas figures. Municipalities often sponsor decorations as well. Christmas banners may be hung from street lights and Christmas trees placed in the town square.
            In the Western world, rolls of brightly colored paper with secular or religious Christmas motifs are manufactured for the purpose of wrapping gifts. The display of Christmas villages has also become a tradition in many homes during this season. Other traditional decorations include bells, candles, candy canes, stockings, wreaths, and angels.

            In many countries a representation of the Nativity Scene is very popular, and people are encouraged to compete and create most original or realistic ones. Within some families, the pieces used to make the representation are considered a valuable family heirloom.
            Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down on Twelfth Night, the evening of January 5.
            The traditional colors of Christmas are pine green (evergreen), snow white, and heart red.

            Below are a wealth of links to folks who have great ideas for decorating your home this Christmas!

                (video from CBN broadcasters and a planner by Lisa Robertson)

                Advent (from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming") is a season of the Christian church, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus; in other words, the period immediately before Christmas. It is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday. The Eastern churches begin the liturgical year on 1 September. The Eastern Christian equivalent of Advent is called the Nativity Fast but it differs both in length and observances.

                The progression of the season may be marked with an Advent calendar, a practice introduced by German Lutherans. At least in the Roman Catholic and Lutheran calendars, Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25; in other words, the Sunday between November 27 and December 3 inclusive.

                Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a dual reminder of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting that Christians today endure for the second coming of Christ.

                Talking About The Season of Advent (links.)

                Advent Calenders for Internet Use.

                Advent Calenders Kids Can Help Create.
                Advent Calenders Crafted by Adults.