"A Happy New Year!"

How often do we hear the familiar greeting, "A Happy New Year!" as we cross the bridge from the old year to the new,—words usually spoken with sincerity, even if with no deep thought as to their intent, yet withal they often awaken new hopes and aspirations with possibilities of good never before realized. On page 330 of "Miscellaneous Writings" Mrs. Eddy says, "With each returning year, higher joys, holier aims, a purer peace and diviner energy, should freshen the fragrance of being." This surely lifts thought above all that is sordid, base, and selfish.

Time was, not so long ago either, when the New Year was ushered in with noisy conviviality, and as men, old and young, went from house to exchange greetings with friends, there were few homes in which intoxicants were not offered to the callers. Many a mother, indeed, trembled lest her young son, just approaching manhood, might on such an occasion acquire an appetite which if indulged afterwards would mean doom. At length, the more thoughtful women saw that they could not longer lend their sanction to anything so wrong in its tendency, and yet it required at first a good deal of courage to protest against that which had through long years been sanctioned by usage and the opinions of respectable and even religious people. In spite of the fact that the protesters who stood most firmly by their convictions were in some cases severely criticized, yet, as must always be the case, the right won and Principle was honored. Now, we may well rejoice that not only on New Year's day, but every day of the year the protest against the indulgence in intoxicants, as well as the manufacture and sale of everything of this nature, gains ground the world over; and the wonderful and beautiful thing is that all honest men have come to recognize this as a divine demand finding its expression through the moral and spiritual nature of those who are lifting their thought of man above materiality and sensuality and beginning to know him to some extent as God knows His own image and likeness.

The year 1918 has perhaps been the most momentous in human history, because it has revealed to the world at large the might and majesty of the Mind that governs the universe and made known to all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear that, as Paul declared so long ago, "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Although at one time it almost seemed as if civilization, Christianity,—everything that makes existence desirable or even possible,—were about to be swept away by a flood tide of mad ambition and utter disregard of divine law, yet the closing months of the year truly brought surprises for which few of us were prepared. It demanded more than human vision to pierce the dense war clouds and see the possibility of peace, but when the firing ceased on the world's battle fields, all thinkers on land or sea could but bow their heads and behold the wonders which God had wrought. And so because the past year has brought more of the uncovering and destruction of evil than we had dared to hope for, and not only so, but has brought the new heaven and the new earth nearer than ever before to human consciousness, we may with hope and assurance look forward to a year of divine possibilities which will make the most strenuous demands upon us for sacrifice and service of the highest sort.

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Among the Churches
January 4, 1919

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