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A Wonderful Night; An Interpretation Of Christmas

A Wonderful Night

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY NEW YORK . BOSTON . CHICHAGO . DALLAS ATLANTA . SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED LONDON . BOMBAY . CALCUTTA MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. TORONTO

[Illustration]

A Wonderful Night

An Interpretation of Christmas

By James H. Snowden

Decorations by Maud and Miska Petersham

[Illustration]

The Macmillan Company Publishers MCMXIX

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1919.

Contents

CHAPTER

I. An Age of Wonders

II. Preparation for the Event

III. A Wonderful Fulfillment of Prophecy

IV. An Historical Event

V. Simplicity of the Narrative

VI. The Town of Bethlehem

VII. The Wonderful Night Draws Near

VIII. The Birth

IX. No Room in the Inn

X. Angel Ministry

XI. Angels and Shepherds

XII. The Concert in a Sheep Pasture

XIII. The First Visitors to Bethlehem

XIV. The Star and the Wise Men

XV. A Frightened King

XVI. An Impotent Destroyer

XVII. Splendid Gifts

XVIII. Was a Child the Best Christmas Gift to the World?

XIX. A World Without Christmas

XX. Has the Christmas Song Survived the World War?

XXI. The Light of the World

O Little town of Bethleham, How still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by: Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light; The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee to-night.

--Phillips Brooks.

[Illustration: A Wonderful Night]

[Illustration: A Wonderful Night]

I. An Age of Wonders

[Transcriber's note: The first letter of each chapter is in the form of an illustrated dropped capital.]

We live in an age of wonders. Great discoveries and startling events crowd upon us so fast that we have scarcely recovered from the bewildering effects of one before another comes, and we are thus kept in a constant whirl of excitement. The heavens are full of shooting stars, and while watching one we are distracted by another. So frequent is this experience that our nerves almost refuse to respond to the shock of a new sensation. We are no longer surprised at surprises. The marvelous has become the commonplace, and the unexpected is what we now expect.

Yet we are not to suppose that our age is the only one that has had its wonders. Other times had theirs also, only these old-time wonders have become familiar to us and ceased to be wonderful; but in their day they were marvelous, and some of them equalled if they did not surpass any wonders we have witnessed. The Great War was the most cataclysmic eruption that has ever convulsed the world, but it was not more revolutionary and sensational in the twentieth century than the French Revolution was in the eighteenth and the Reformation was in the sixteenth century. The discovery of America in the fifteenth century created immense excitement and was relatively a more colossal and startling occurrence than anything that has happened since.


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