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“Lo! now is come our joyful'st feast,Let every man be jolly.Each room with ivy leaves is drest,And every post with holly.Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,And Christmas blocks are burning;Their ovens they with bak't meats choke,And all their spits are turning.” The celebration of Christmas, which was considered by the Puritans to be idolatrous, has for many centuries been so universal that it may prove of interest to contrast the... more...

When we examine the opinions of men, we find that nothing is more uncommon, than common sense; or, in other words, they lack judgment to discover plain truths, or to reject absurdities, and palpable contradictions. We have an example of this in Theology, a system revered in all countries by a great number of men; an object regarded by them as most important, and indispensable to happiness. An examination of the principles upon which this... more...

Eleven years ago my little book on the antiquities of English villages was published. Its object was to interest our rustic neighbours in their surroundings, to record the social life of the people at various times—their feasts and fairs, sports and pastimes, faiths and superstitions—and to describe the scenes which once took place in the fields and lanes they know so well. A friendly reviewer remarked that the wonder was that a book... more...

PART I. EVIDENCES OF REVEALED RELIGION. PREFATORY REMARKS. Many thousands of persons have a full and joyous conviction of the truth of Christianity from their own experience, who yet feel a reasonable desire to examine the historic evidence by which it is confirmed, if not for the strengthening of their own faith, yet for the purpose of silencing gainsayers, and guarding the young against the cavils of infidelity. It is our duty to give to... more...

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION The Origin and Purpose of Festivals—Ideas suggested by Christmas—Pagan and Christian Elements—The Names of the Festival—Foundation of the Feast of the Nativity—Its Relation to the Epiphany—December 25 and the Natalis Invicti—The Kalends of January—Yule and Teutonic Festivals—The Church and Pagan... more...


Christmas Entertainments. Time for Santa Claus. By M. NORA BOYLAN. (To be sung to the tune of "Ta-ra-ra, boom-de-ay.") Now's the time for Santa Claus;Christmas comes with loud huzzas.Hark! the bells! Oh, hear them ring!Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.Cho.—Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling,Ting-a-ling-ling ting-a-ling.See his prancing reindeer brave,Hear him tell them to... more...

PREFACE In gathering material for this handbook I have received valuable help from several friends, whose kindness calls for grateful recognition. My thanks are due, in the first place, to the Rev. W. F. G. Sandwith, Rector of St. Bartholomew-the-Great, and the lay custodians of the church, for the facilities which have allowed me to examine the building in all its parts, and for the readiness with which they have given information, not... more...

CHAPTER I. HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION AND FABRIC OF THE ABBEY CHURCH, AND SOME ACCOUNT OF ITS BENEFACTORS. Tradition, originating in the desire to account for the name of the town, would assign the foundation of a cell or chapel to Theoc, or in Latin form Theocus, in or about 655. In support of this theory Camden and others assert that it was called in Anglo-Saxon times Theocsburg or Theotisbyrg. Others would derive the name from the Greek... more...

THE LORD'S PRAYER Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen. This is the most beautiful and best of all prayers, because Our Lord Himself made it. (Matt. 6:9; Luke 11:2). One day when He was praying... more...

FOREWORD Charles A. Stewart's A Virginia Village is a charming depiction of the early days of Falls Church. It is the earliest attempt to put on paper the story of the Falls Church area. In addition to interesting stories about people and organizations and life generally in the small town of 80 years ago, the book contains photographs of 107 Falls Church houses, stores, and churches then standing. Reading it is a trip into nostalgia for... more...