We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and, secondly, because we find no Scriptural piano coversrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and, consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occured. Fabricius gives a catalogue of 136 different learned opinions upon the matter; and various divines invent weighty arguments for advocating a date in every month of the year.
It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord, and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; while, since the death of our Saviour might be determined with much certainty, therefore superstition shifts the date of its observance every year.
Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert, that if there be any day in the year, of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December.
From a sermon delivered on the Lord's Day morning,
24th December, 1871
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, London
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