TIMES AND SEASONS
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 warrant 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 the Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. Fabricus 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 until 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 day of 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 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. Nevertheless, since, the current of men’s thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify or condemn, by endeavouring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. Since it is lawful, and ever laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day of the year, it cannot be in the power of other men’s superstitions to render such a meditation improper for today. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.
C. H. Spurgeon.