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O the grip, O the grip of irregular fields. No man escapes. Jupiter look down. I eat the shameful bottom will start Antoinette Quinn, Allen Lane , pp. But that is not enough now. Tell us what life has taught you. To take over the functions of a god in a new fashion. Antoinette Quinn, , p. Third letter to Bentley, 25 Feb It seems probable to me that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportions to space, as most conduced to the end for which He formed them; and that these primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them, even so very hard as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God had made one in the first creation.

It seems to me farther, that these Particles have not only a Vis inertiae , accompanied with such passive Laws of Motion as naturally result from that Force, but also that they are moved by certain active Principles, such as that of Gravity, and that which causes Fermentation, and the Cohesion of Bodies. These Principles I consider, not as occult Qualities, supposed to result from the specifick Forms of Things, but as general Laws of Nature, by which the Things themselves are form'd; their Truth appearing to us by Phaenomena, though their Causes be not yet discover'd.

For these are manifest Qualities, and their Causes only are occult. From Opticks , , 2nd ed. Law 2: A change in motion is proportional to the motive force impressed and takes place along the straight line in which that force is impressed. My Design in this Book is not to explain the Properties of Light by Hypotheses, but to propose and prove them by Reason and Experiments: In order to which, I shall premise the following Definitions and Axioms. Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.

In Isaac Newton and Andrew Motte trans. Newton's comment on his Rules of Reasoning Philosophy, Rule 1. No more causes of natural things should be admitted than are both true, and sufficient to explain their phenomena. Comment made by Newton to William Whiston. Now if Light be reflected, not by impinging on the solid parts of Bodies, but by some other principle; it's probable that as many of its Rays as impinge on the solid parts of Bodies are not reflected but stifled and lost in the Bodies.

For otherwise we must allow two sorts of Reflexions. Should all the Rays be reflected which impinge on the internal parts of clear Water or Crystal, those Substances would rather have a cloudy Colour than a clear Transparency. To make Bodies look black, it's necessary that many Rays be stopp'd, retained, and lost in them; and it seems not probable that any Rays can be stopp'd and stifled in them which do not impinge on their parts. The considerations were from Robert Hooke. Oh Diamond! Purportedly a rebuke to his pet dog, Diamond, which, in Newton's absence, upset a candle and set alight the papers recording much of Newton's work and 'destroyed the almost finished labours of some years'.

The only source for this is Thomas Maude, in his poem, Wensley-Dale; or, Rural Contemplation written a half-century after Newton's death. According to D. Gjertsen, in The Newton Handbook , , Maude's story must be regarded as baseless since no corroboration of such a dog's action exists in the writings of Newton's associates at the time. Our present work sets forth mathematical principles of philosophy. For the basic problem of philosophy seems to be to discover the forces of nature from the phenomena of motions and then to demonstrate the other phenomena from these forces.

It is to these ends that the general propositions in books 1 and 2 are directed, while in book 3 our explanation of the system of the world illustrates these propositions. Bernard Cohen and Anne Whitman , Preface to the first edition, Particular and contingent inventions in the solution of problems, which, though many times more concise than a general method would allow, yet, in my judgment, are less proper to instruct a learner, as acrostics, and such kind of artificial poetry, though never so excellent, would be but improper examples to instruct one that aims at Ovidean poetry.

Philosophy is such an impertinently litigious Lady that a man had as good be engaged in Law suits as have to do with her. Letter to Edmond Halley 20 Jun Pictures, propagated by motion along the fibers of the optic nerves in the brain, are the cause of vision. Seeing therefore the variety of Motion which we find in the World is always decreasing, there is a necessity of conserving and recruiting it by active Principles, such as are the cause of Gravity, by which Planets and Comets keep their Motions in their Orbs, and Bodies acquire great Motion in falling; and the cause of Fermentation, by which the Heart and Blood of Animals are kept in perpetual Motion and Heat; the inward Parts of the Earth are constantly warm'd, and in some places grow very hot; Bodies burn and shine, Mountains take fire, the Caverns of the Earth are blown up, and the Sun continues violently hot and lucid, and warms all things by his Light.

For we meet with very little Motion in the World, besides what is owing to these active Principles. Sir Isaac Newton and Dr. Thus, one might by pure speculation wonder if this quote was passed along in the same way. Was this another anecdote relayed to Watson by his former teacher, Dr. Letter to Richard Bently 17 Jan The best and safest way of philosophising seems to be, first to enquire diligently into the properties of things, and to establish those properties by experiences [experiments] and then to proceed slowly to hypotheses for the explanation of them.

For hypotheses should be employed only in explaining the properties of things, but not assumed in determining them; unless so far as they may furnish experiments. Letter to the French Jesuit, Gaston Pardies. Translation from the original Latin, as in Richard S.

The changing of Bodies into Light, and Light into Bodies, is very conformable to the Course of Nature, which seems delighted with Transmutations. The description of right lines and circles, upon which geometry is founded, belongs to mechanics. Geometry does not teach us to draw these lines, but requires them to be drawn.

The instinct of brutes and insects can be the effect of nothing else than the wisdom and skill of a powerful ever-living agent. The latest authors, like the most ancient, strove to subordinate the phenomena of nature to the laws of mathematics. The qualities of bodies, which admit neither intension nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to fill bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever. The seed of a tree has the nature of a branch or twig or bud. While it grows upon the tree it is a part of the tree: but if separated and set in the earth to be better nourished, the embryo or young tree contained in it takes root and grows into a new tree.

The wonderful arrangement and harmony of the cosmos would only originate in the plan of an almighty omniscient being. This is and remains my greatest comprehension. Therefore to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same causes. Therefore, the causes assigned to natural effects of the same kind must be, so far as possible, the same.

This Excellent Mathematician having given us, in the Transactions of February last, an account of the cause, which induced him to think upon Reflecting Telescopes, instead of Refracting ones, hath thereupon presented the curious world with an Essay of what may be performed by such Telescopes; by which it is found, that Telescopical Tubes may be considerably shortened without prejudice to their magnifiying effect. On his invention of the catadioptrical telescope, as he communicated to the Royal Society. This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

Those qualities of bodies that cannot be intended and remitted [i. Thus far I have explained the phenomena of the heavens and of our sea by the force of gravity, but I have not yet assigned a cause to gravity. Indeed, this force arises from some cause that penetrates as far as the centers of the sun and planets without any diminution of its power to act, and that acts not in proportion to the quantity of the surfaces of the particles on which it acts as mechanical causes are wont to do but in proportion to the quantity of solid matter, and whose action is extended everywhere to immense distances, always decreasing as the squares of the distances.

This is the multiplication of ye stone in vertue. To multiply it in weight ad to it of ye first Gold whether philosophic or vulgar. Praxis c. To any action there is always an opposite and equal reaction; in other words, the actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal and always opposite in direction. To vary the compression of the muscle therefore, and so to swell and shrink it, there needs nothing but to change the consistency of the included ether. Thus may therefore the soul, by determining this ethereal animal spirit or wind into this or that nerve, perhaps with as much ease as air is moved in open spaces, cause all the motions we see in animals.

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. In Frank E. Manuel, The Religion of Isaac Newton , We are not to consider the world as the body of God: he is an uniform being, void of organs, members, or parts; and they are his creatures, subordinate to him, and subservient to his will. We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.

What certainty can there be in a Philosophy which consists in as many Hypotheses as there are Phaenomena to be explained. To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. Quoted in Richard S. Westfall, The Life of Isaac Newton , Whatever things are not derived from objects themselves, whether by the external senses or by the sensation of internal thoughts, are to be taken as hypotheses. Those things which follow from the phenomena neither by demonstration nor by the argument of induction, I hold as hypotheses.

Whence is it that nature does nothing in vain; and whence arises all that order and beauty which we see in the world? See the full quote, and citation, elsewhere in the collection of Newton quotes on this web site. Who, by vigor of mind almost divine, the motions and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, and the tides of the seas, his mathematics first demonstrated. English translation of the epitaph inscribed in Latin on the monument beside his grave in Westminster Abbey.

Why there is one Body in o r System qualified to give Light and Heat to all ye rest, I know no reason, but because ye author of the Systeme thought it convenient. Letter to Bentley 10 Dec You ask me how, with so much study, I manage to retene my health. Morpheous is my last companion ; without 8 or 9 hours of him yr correspondent is not worth one scavenger's peruke.

You sometimes speak of gravity as essential and inherent to matter. Pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know, and therefore would take more time to consider of it. Bentley 17 Jan The highest reach of science is, one may say, an inventive power, a faculty of divination, akin to the highest power exercised in poetry; therefore, a nation whose spirit is characterised by energy may well be eminent in science; and we have Newton.

Shakspeare [sic] and Newton: in the intellectual sphere there can be no higher names. And what that energy, which is the life of genius, above everything demands and insists upon, is freedom; entire independence of all authority, prescription and routine, the fullest room to expand as it will. Super ed. A number of years ago, when I was a freshly-appointed instructor, I met, for the first time, a certain eminent historian of science. At the time I could only regard him with tolerant condescension. I was sorry of the man who, it seemed to me, was forced to hover about the edges of science. He was compelled to shiver endlessly in the outskirts, getting only feeble warmth from the distant sun of science- in-progress; while I, just beginning my research, was bathed in the heady liquid heat up at the very center of the glow.

In a lifetime of being wrong at many a point, I was never more wrong. It was I, not he, who was wandering in the periphery. It was he, not I, who lived in the blaze. But is that true? Because a tree in spring buds and comes greenly into leaf, are those leaves therefore the tree? If the newborn twigs and their leaves were all that existed, they would form a vague halo of green suspended in mid-air, but surely that is not the tree. The leaves, by themselves, are no more than trivial fluttering decoration.

It is the trunk and limbs that give the tree its grandeur and the leaves themselves their meaning. There is not a discovery in science, however revolutionary, however sparkling with insight, that does not arise out of what went before. And make us as Newton was, who in his garden watching The apple falling towards England, became aware Between himself and her of an eternal tie. Mock on, mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau!

Mock on, mock on: 'Tis all in vain! You throw the sand against the wind, And the wind blows it back again. And every sand becomes a gem Reflected in the beams divine; Blown back they blind the mocking eye, But still in Israel's paths they shine. Notebook Drafts c. Stevenson ed. Letter to Thomas Butt 22 Nov In science, address the few; in literature, the many. In science, the few must dictate opinion to the many; in literature, the many, sooner or later, force their judgement on the few.

But the few and the many are not necessarily the few and the many of the passing time: for discoverers in science have not un-often, in their own day, had the few against them; and writers the most permanently popular not unfrequently found, in their own day, a frigid reception from the many.

By the few, I mean those who must ever remain the few, from whose dieta we, the multitude, take fame upon trust; by the many, I mean those who constitute the multitude in the long-run. We take the fame of a Harvey or a Newton upon trust, from the verdict of the few in successive generations; but the few could never persuade us to take poets and novelists on trust.

We, the many, judge for ourselves of Shakespeare and Cervantes. Don Juan , Canto 10, Verse I. In Jerome J. McGann ed. Science would not be what it is if there had not been a Galileo, a Newton or a Lavoisier, any more than music would be what it is if Bach, Beethoven and Wagner had never lived. In science, attempts at formulating hierarchies are always doomed to eventual failure.

Poems about Christmas for Family and Friends

A Newton will always be followed by an Einstein, a Stahl by a Lavoisier; and who can say who will come after us? The 'last words' of the sciences are often replaced, more often forgotten. Science is a relentlessly dialectical process, though it suffers continuously under the necessary relativation of equally indispensable absolutes. It is, however, possible that the ever-growing intellectual and moral pollution of our scientific atmosphere will bring this process to a standstill.

The immense library of ancient Alexandria was both symptom and cause of the ossification of the Greek intellect. Even now I know of some who feel that we know too much about the wrong things. Voices in the Labyrinth: Nature, Man, and Science , All revolutionary advances in science may consist less of sudden and dramatic revelations than a series of transformations, of which the revolutionary significance may not be seen except afterwards, by historians until the last great step.

In many cases the full potentiality and force of a most radical step in such a sequence of transformations may not even be manifest to its author. Bernard Cohen. Letter to Thomas Poole, 23 March In Earl Leslie Griggs ed. The Ptolemaic Astronomy was barely able to prognosticate a lunar eclipse; with Kepler and Newton came Science and Prophecy.

On the Constitution of the Church and State The sublime discoveries of Newton, and, together with these, his not less fruitful than wonderful application, of the higher mathesis to the movement of the celestial bodies, and to the laws of light, gave almost religious sanction to the corpuscular system and mechanical theory. It became synonymous with philosophy itself. It was the sole portal at which truth was permitted to enter. The human body was treated an hydraulic machine In short, from the time of Kepler to that of Newton, and from Newton to Hartley, not only all things in external nature, but the subtlest mysteries of life, organization, and even of the intellect and moral being, were conjured within the magic circle of mathematical formulae.

Jackson and J. Jackson eds. The scientist who recognizes God knows only the God of Newton. To him the God imagined by Laplace and Comte is wholly inadequate. He feels that God is in nature, that the orderly ways in which nature works are themselves the manifestations of God's will and purpose. Its laws are his orderly way of working. Unpublished Manuscript. Newton supposed that the case of the planet was similar to that of [a ball spun around on the end of an elastic string]; that it was always pulled in the direction of the sun, and that this attraction or pulling of the sun produced the revolution of the planet, in the same way that the traction or pulling of the elastic string produces the revolution of the ball.

What there is between the sun and the planet that makes each of them pull the other, Newton did not know; nobody knows to this day; and all we are now able to assert positively is that the known motion of the planet is precisely what would be produced if it were fastened to the sun by an elastic string, having a certain law of elasticity. It begins with an hypothesis, by supposing that there is an analogy between the motion of a planet and the motion of a ball at the end of a string. Science becomes independent of the hypothesis, for we merely use it to investigate the properties of the motion, and do not trouble ourselves further about the cause of it.

What a scale of improvement is comprehended between the faculties of a Fuegian savage and a Sir Isaac Newton. The Mechanization of the World Picture , trans. Dikshoorn , It would be a shock to come across a university where it was the practice of the students to recite adherence to Newton's laws of motion, to Maxwell's equations and to the electromagnetic theory of light. We should not deplore it the less if our own pet theory happened to be included, or if the list were brought up to date every few years.

We should say that the students cannot possibly realise the intention of scientific training if they are taught to look on these results as things to be recited and subscribed to. Science may fall short of its ideal, and although the peril scarcely takes this extreme form, it is not always easy, particularly in popular science, to maintain our stand against creed and dogma. Swarthmore Lecture , Science and the Unseen World , There have been only three epoch-making mathematicians, Archimedes, Newton, and Eisenstein.

This change in the conception of reality is the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton. Refering to James Clerk Maxwell's contributions to physics. The cases of action at a distance are becoming, in a physical point of view, daily more and more important. Sound, light, electricity, magnetism, gravitation, present them as a series. The nature of sound and its dependence on a medium we think we understand, pretty well. The nature of light as dependent on a medium is now very largely accepted. The presence of a medium in the phenomena of electricity and magnetism becomes more and more probable daily.

We employ ourselves, and I think rightly, in endeavouring to elucidate the physical exercise of these forces, or their sets of antecedents and consequents, and surely no one can find fault with the labours which eminent men have entered upon in respect of light, or into which they may enter as regards electricity and magnetism.

Then what is there about gravitation that should exclude it from consideration also? Newton did not shut out the physical view, but had evidently thought deeply of it; and if he thought of it, why should not we, in these advanced days, do so too? Letter to E. Jones, 9 Jun In Michael Faraday, Bence Jones ed.

During the century after Newton, it was still possible for a man of unusual attainments to master all fields of scientific knowledge. But by , this had become entirely impracticable. Attention makes the genius; all learning, fancy, and science depend on it. Newton traced back his discoveries to its unwearied employment. It builds bridges, opens new worlds, and heals diseases; without it Taste is useless, and the beauties of literature are unobserved; as the rarest flowers bloom in vain, if the eye be not fixed upon the bed.

Newton found that a star, examined through a glass tarnished by smoke, was diminished into a speck of light. But no smoke ever breathed so thick a mist as envy or detraction. The history of men of science has one peculiar advantage, as it shows the importance of little things in producing great results. Smeaton learned his principle of constructing a lighthouse, by noticing the trunk of a tree to be diminished from a curve to a cyclinder Pleasures, Objects, and Advantages of Literature , Even the most modish schemes of the day on the origin of things, which captivate as much by their novelty as their truth, may find their precursors in ancient sages, and after a careful analysis of the blended elements of imagination and induction which charaterise the new theories, they will be found mainly to rest on the atom of Epicurus and the monad of Thales.

Scientific, like spiritual truth, has ever from the beginning been descending from heaven to man. As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there. Commenting on Clarke's own three laws. Aldous Huxley , Vol. I'm not smart. I try to observe. Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked 'why. Quoted in New York Post 24 Jun In Alfred J. Kolatch, Great Jewish Quotations , What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work!

While Newton seemed to draw off the veil from some of the mysteries of nature, he showed at the same time the imperfections of the mechanical philosophy; and thereby restored her ultimate secrets to that obscurity, in which they ever did and ever will remain. A million million spermatozoa, All of them alive: Out of their cataclysm but one poor Noah Dare hope to survive. The strangest thing of all is that our ulama these days have divided science into two parts.

One they call Muslim science, and one European science. Because of this they forbid others to teach some of the useful sciences. They have not understood that science is that noble thing that has no connection with any nation, and is not distinguished by anything but itself. Rather, everything that is known is known by science, and every nation that becomes renowned becomes renowned through science. Men must be related to science, not science to men.

How very strange it is that the Muslims study those sciences that are ascribed to Aristotle with the greatest delight, as if Aristotle were one of the pillars of the Muslims. However, if the discussion relates to Galileo, Newton, and Kepler, they consider them infidels. The father and mother of science is proof, and proof is neither Aristotle nor Galileo. The truth is where there is proof, and those who forbid science and knowledge in the belief that they are safeguarding the Islamic religion are really the enemies of that religion. Lecture on Teaching and Learning In Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism , Newton was not the first of the age of reason.

He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10, years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child born with no father on Christmas Day, , was the last wonder child to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.

In 'Newton, the Man' In Geoffrey Keynes ed. The stone that Dr. Johnson once kicked to demonstrate the reality of matter has become dissipated in a diffuse distribution of mathematical probabilities. The ladder that Descartes, Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz erected in order to scale the heavens rests upon a continually shifting, unstable foundation. It is possible that the deepest meaning and aim of Newtonianism, or rather, of the whole scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, of which Newton is the heir and the highest expression, is just to abolish the world of the 'more or less', the world of qualities and sense perception, the world of appreciation of our daily life, and to replace it by the Archimedean universe of precision, of exact measures, of strict determination In Newtonian Studies , Scientific development depends in part on a process of non-incremental or revolutionary change.

Some revolutions are large, like those associated with the names of Copernicus, Newton, or Darwin, but most are much smaller, like the discovery of oxygen or the planet Uranus. The usual prelude to changes of this sort is, I believed, the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require 'putting on a different kind of thinking-cap', one that renders the anomalous lawlike but that, in the process, also transforms the order exhibited by some other phenomena, previously unproblematic.

Break the chains of your prejudices and take up the torch of experience, and you will honour nature in the way she deserves, instead of drawing derogatory conclusions from the ignorance in which she has left you. Simply open your eyes and ignore what you cannot understand, and you will see that a labourer whose mind and knowledge extend no further than the edges of his furrow is no different essentially from the greatest genius, as would have been proved by dissecting the brains of Descartes and Newton; you will be convinced that the imbecile or the idiot are animals in human form, in the same way as the clever ape is a little man in another form; and that, since everything depends absolutely on differences in organisation, a well-constructed animal who has learnt astronomy can predict an eclipse, as he can predict recovery or death when his genius and good eyesight have benefited from some time at the school of Hippocrates and at patients' bedsides.

Machine Man , in Ann Thomson ed. A great revolution of ideas separates the classical mathematics of the 19th century from the modern mathematics of the 20th. Classical mathematics had its roots in the regular geometric structures of Euclid and the continuously evolving dynamics of Newton.

Historically, the revolution was forced by the discovery of mathematical structures that did not fit the patterns of Euclid and Newton. The mathematicians who created the monsters regarded them as important in showing that the world of pure mathematics contains a richness of possibilities going far beyond the simple structures that they saw in Nature. Twentieth-century mathematics flowered in the belief that it had transcended completely the limitations imposed by its natural origins. The 19th-century mathematicians may not have been lacking in imagination, but Nature was not. There are even humorous cards and genres depicting nostalgic scenes of the past such as crinolined shoppers in idealized 19th-century streetscapes.

Some prefer cards with a poem, prayer, or Biblical verse ; while others distance themselves from religion with an all-inclusive "Season's greetings". A number of nations have issued commemorative stamps at Christmastide. Postal customers will often use these stamps to mail Christmas cards , and they are popular with philatelists. These stamps are regular postage stamps , unlike Christmas seals , and are valid for postage year-round.

They usually go on sale some time between early October and early December, and are printed in considerable quantities. The exchanging of gifts is one of the core aspects of the modern Christmas celebration, making it the most profitable time of year for retailers and businesses throughout the world. On Christmas, people exchange gifts based on the Christian tradition associated with Saint Nicholas , [] and the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh which were given to the baby Jesus by the Magi.

A number of figures are associated with Christmas and the seasonal giving of gifts. The Scandinavian tomte also called nisse is sometimes depicted as a gnome instead of Santa Claus. The best known of these figures today is red-dressed Santa Claus, of diverse origins. Nicholas was a 4th-century Greek bishop of Myra , a city in the Roman province of Lycia , whose ruins are 3 kilometres 1. His feast day, December 6, came to be celebrated in many countries with the giving of gifts. Saint Nicholas traditionally appeared in bishop's attire, accompanied by helpers, inquiring about the behaviour of children during the past year before deciding whether they deserved a gift or not.

By the 13th century, Saint Nicholas was well known in the Netherlands, and the practice of gift-giving in his name spread to other parts of central and southern Europe. At the Reformation in 16th—17th-century Europe, many Protestants changed the gift bringer to the Christ Child or Christkindl , corrupted in English to Kris Kringle, and the date of giving gifts changed from December 6 to Christmas Eve.

The transformation was accomplished with the aid of notable contributors including Washington Irving and the German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast — New York had originally been established as the Dutch colonial town of New Amsterdam and the Dutch Sinterklaas tradition was reinvented as Saint Nicholas. However, as new artists took over, Santa Claus developed more secular attire.

By the s, Nast's Santa had evolved into the modern vision of the figure, perhaps based on the English figure of Father Christmas. The image was standardized by advertisers in the s [] and continues through the present day.

Christmas- Mary, The Mother Of Jesus

Father Christmas, a jolly, stout, bearded man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, predates the Santa Claus character. He is first recorded in early 17th century England, but was associated with holiday merrymaking and drunkenness rather than the bringing of gifts. It is said that La Befana set out to bring the baby Jesus gifts, but got lost along the way. Now, she brings gifts to all children.

In other versions, elves make the toys. His wife is referred to as Mrs.

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There has been some opposition to the narrative of the American evolution of Saint Nicholas into the modern Santa. It has been claimed that the Saint Nicholas Society was not founded until , almost half a century after the end of the American War of Independence. Hageman, of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, maintains that the tradition of celebrating Sinterklaas in New York was alive and well from the early settlement of the Hudson Valley on. Current tradition in several Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Colombia holds that while Santa makes the toys, he then gives them to the Baby Jesus, who is the one who actually delivers them to the children's homes, a reconciliation between traditional religious beliefs and the iconography of Santa Claus imported from the United States.

Greek children get their presents from Saint Basil on New Year's Eve, the eve of that saint's liturgical feast. Nikolaus wears a bishop 's dress and still brings small gifts usually candies, nuts, and fruits on December 6 and is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht. Although many parents around the world routinely teach their children about Santa Claus and other gift bringers, some have come to reject this practice, considering it deceptive. Multiple gift-giver figures exist in Poland, varying between regions and individual families.

As of , there is a difference of 13 days between the Julian calendar and the modern Gregorian calendar , which is used internationally for most secular purposes. As a result, December 25 on the Julian calendar currently corresponds to January 7 on the calendar used by most governments and people in everyday life. Therefore, the aforementioned Orthodox Christians mark December 25 and thus Christmas on the day that is internationally considered to be January 7.

However, other Orthodox Christians, such as those belonging to the jurisdictions of Bulgaria , Greece , Romania , Constantinople , Antioch , Alexandria , Albania , Cyprus , Finland , and the Orthodox Church in America , among others, began using the Revised Julian calendar in the early 20th century, which at present corresponds exactly to the Gregorian calendar. A further complication is added by the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church continues the original ancient Eastern Christian practice of celebrating the birth of Christ not as a separate holiday, but on the same day as the celebration of his baptism Theophany , which is on January 6.

This is a public holiday in Armenia, and it is held on the same day that is internationally considered to be January 6, because the Armenian Church in Armenia uses the Gregorian calendar. However, there is also a small Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem , which maintains the traditional Armenian custom of celebrating the birth of Christ on the same day as Theophany January 6 , but uses the Julian calendar for the determination of that date. As a result, this church celebrates "Christmas" more properly called Theophany on the day that is considered January 19 on the Gregorian calendar in use by the majority of the world.

In summary, there are four different dates used by different Christian groups to mark the birth of Christ, given in the table below. Christmas is typically a peak selling season for retailers in many nations around the world. Sales increase dramatically as people purchase gifts, decorations, and supplies to celebrate. In the United States, the "Christmas shopping season" starts as early as October. In the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid-November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on.

In other sectors, the pre-Christmas increase in spending was even greater, there being a November—December buying surge of percent in bookstores and percent in jewelry stores. In the same year employment in American retail stores rose from 1. In most Western nations, Christmas Day is the least active day of the year for business and commerce; almost all retail, commercial and institutional businesses are closed, and almost all industries cease activity more than any other day of the year , whether laws require such or not.

Scotland is currently planning similar legislation. Film studios release many high-budget movies during the holiday season, including Christmas films, fantasy movies or high-tone dramas with high production values to hopes of maximizing the chance of nominations for the Academy Awards. One economist 's analysis calculates that, despite increased overall spending, Christmas is a deadweight loss under orthodox microeconomic theory , because of the effect of gift-giving.

This loss is calculated as the difference between what the gift giver spent on the item and what the gift receiver would have paid for the item. Other deadweight losses include the effects of Christmas on the environment and the fact that material gifts are often perceived as white elephants , imposing cost for upkeep and storage and contributing to clutter.

Christmas has at times been the subject of controversy and attacks from various sources.

Historically it was prohibited by Puritans when they briefly held power in England — , and in Colonial America where the Puritans outlawed the celebration of Christmas in One controversy is the occurrence of Christmas trees being renamed Holiday trees. Supreme Court ruled in Lynch v. Donnelly that a Christmas display which included a Nativity scene owned and displayed by the city of Pawtucket, Rhode Island , did not violate the First Amendment.

The government of the People's Republic of China officially espouses state atheism, [] and has conducted antireligious campaigns to this end. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Christmas disambiguation. For other uses, see Christmas Day disambiguation. For Christmas traditions worldwide, see Christmas traditions. A depiction of the Nativity scene. January 6]: Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem [8]. Main article: Nativity of Jesus. Main article: date of birth of Jesus.

Main article: Christmas traditions. Main article: Christmas decoration. Main article: Nativity play. Main article: Christmas music. The Herald Angels Sing. Main article: Christmas card. Main article: Christmas stamp. Main article: Economics of Christmas. Main article: Christmas controversy. Christmas portal Holidays portal Christianity portal. BBC Learning English. December 29, Retrieved September 30, Gallup, Inc.

December 24, Retrieved December 16, World Religions in Practice. Coptic Orthodox Church Network. Retrieved January 17, Dutchman News. December 17, The New York Times. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved Archived The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Armenian Churches observed the nativity on January 6 even before the Gregorian calendar originated. Pew Research Center. December 18, Retrieved May 23, Who Celebrate It".

Christmas: A Candid History. University of California Press. In the Council of Tours proclaimed that the entire period between Christmas and Epiphany should be considered part of the celebration, creating what became known as the twelve days of Christmas, or what the English called Christmastide. On the last of the twelve days, called Twelfth Night, various cultures developed a wide range of additional special festivities. The variation extends even to the issue of how to count the days. If December 26, the day after Christmas, is the first day, then Twelfth Night falls on January 6, the evening of Epiphany itself.

After Christmas and Epiphany were in place, on December 25 and January 6, with the twelve days of Christmas in between, Christians slowly adopted a period called Advent, as a time of spiritual preparation leading up to Christmas. Introduction to Christian Liturgy. Fortress Press. We noted above that late medieval calendars introduced a reduced three-day octave for Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost that were retained in Roman Catholic and passed into Lutheran and Anglican calendars.

Retrieved November 27, Office of Personnel Management. September 1, December Holiday Customs. Lorenz Educational Press. Retrieved November 18, September 15, The Christmas Encyclopedia 3 ed. Christians believe that a number of passages in the Bible are prophecies about future events in the life of the promised Messiah or Jesus Christ. Most, but not all, of those prophecies are found in the Old Testament Born in Bethlehem Micah : "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Juda, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

The birth narrative in Luke's gospel is one of the most familiar passages in the Bible. Leaving their hometown of Nazareth, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem to pay taxes. Arriving late, they find no vacancy at the inn. They are, however, offered a stable, most likely a second room attached to a family dwelling where animals were sheltered—a room that would offer some privacy from the main family room for cooking, eating, and sleeping.

This "city of David" is the little town of Bethlehem of Christmas-carol fame, a starlit silhouette indelibly etched on Christmas cards. No sooner was the baby born than angels announced the news to shepherds who spread the word. Prendergast, Robert C.

Degenhard, Therese Brown, Robert C. Retrieved November 24, Toward the Origins of Christmas. Peeters Publishers. Roll, p. Thomas Nelson. November 3, Retrieved April 2, Christmas is not really about the celebration of a birth date at all. It is about the celebration of a birth. The fact of the date and the fact of the birth are two different things. The calendrical verification of the feast itself is not really that important What is important to the understanding of a life-changing moment is that it happened, not necessarily where or when it happened.

The message is clear: Christmas is not about marking the actual birth date of Jesus. It is about the Incarnation of the One who became like us in all things but sin Hebrews and who humbled Himself "to the point of death-even death on a cross" Phil. Christmas is a pinnacle feast, yes, but it is not the beginning of the liturgical year. It is a memorial, a remembrance, of the birth of Jesus, not really a celebration of the day itself.

We remember that because the Jesus of history was born, the Resurrection of the Christ of faith could happen. The origins of the celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany, as well as the dates on which they are observed, are rooted deeply in the history of the early church.


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There has been much scholarly debate concerning the exact time of the year when Jesus was born, and even in what year he was born. Actually, we do not know either. The best estimate is that Jesus was probably born in the springtime, somewhere between the years of 6 and 4 BC, as December is in the middle of the cold rainy season in Bethlehem , when the sheep are kept inside and not on pasture as told in the Bible.

The lack of a consistent system of timekeeping in the first century, mistakes in later calendars and calculations, and lack of historical details to cross reference events has led to this imprecision in fixing Jesus' birth.

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This suggests that the Christmas celebration is not an observance of a historical date, but a commemoration of the event in terms of worship. Harvard University. Throughout the Christian world the 25th of December is celebrated as the birthday of Jesus Christ. There was a time when the churches were not united regarding the date of the joyous event. Many Christians kept their Christmas in April, others in May, and still others at the close of September, till finally December 25 was agreed upon as the most appropriate date.

The choice of that day was, of course, wholly arbitrary, for neither the exact date not the period of the year at which the birth of Christ occurred is known. For purposes of commemoration, however, it is unimportant whether the celebration shall fall or not at the precise anniversary of the joyous event. Christianity: An Introduction. For Christians, the precise date of the birth of Jesus is actually something of a non-issue. What really matters is that he was born as a human being, and entered into human history.

West Publishing Company. While the Washington and King birthdays are exclusively secular holidays, Christmas has both secular and religious aspects. Associated Press. December 22, Retrieved December 24, God's human face: the Christ-icon. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Retrieved December BBC News. Retrieved December 12, Oxford University Press. A History of Foreign Words in English. January 22, New Catholic Encyclopedia. Catholic University of America Press. Part Commemorations of the Martyrs. See the first entry.

The Oxford History of Christian Worship. Retrieved February 3, Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 27, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Kessinger Publishing Company. Towards the Origin of Christmas. Kok Pharos Publishing. Retrieved December 25, John A sun connection is possible because Christians considered Jesus to be the "Sun of righteousness" prophesied in Malachi "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.

You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. Biblical Archaeology Society. Retrieved February 24, Therefore let us celebrate the festival Historical Dictionary of Catholicism. The Origins of Christmas. Liturgical Press. Online here [1]. Yale, p. Roll, Susan K. In: Religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen , part 1. Second edition. Note that the first edition, , doesn't have the discussion of Natalis Solis Invicti ; also Sol Invictus The Origins of the Liturgical Year. The Sun in the Art and Religions of Rome.

Archived from the original on May 10, Westerfield The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought. January , pp.

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Retrieved September 10, Christmas in America: a History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. History Today. Retrieved December 28, There is no doubt that A Christmas Carol is first and foremost a story concerned with the Christian gospel of liberation by the grace of God, and with incarnational religion which refuses to drive a wedge between the world of spirit and the world of matter.

Both the Christmas dinners and the Christmas dinner-carriers are blessed; the cornucopia of Christmas food and feasting reflects both the goodness of creation and the joy of heaven. It is a significant sign of a shift in theological emphasis in the nineteenth century from a stress on the Atonement to a stress on the Incarnation, a stress which found outward and visible form in the sacramentalism of the Oxford Movement, the development of richer and more symbolic forms of worship, the building of neo-Gothic churches, and the revival and increasing centrality of the keeping of Christmas itself as a Christian festival.

In the course of the century, under the influence of the Oxford Movement's concern for the better observance of Christian festivals, Christmas became more and more prominent. By the later part of the century cathedrals provided special services and musical events, and might have revived ancient special charities for the poor — though we must not forget the problems for large: parish-church cathedrals like Manchester, which on one Christmas Day had no less than eighty couples coming to be married the signing of the registers lasted until four in the afternoon.

The popularity of Dickens' A Christmas Carol played a significant part in the changing consciousness of Christmas and the way in which it was celebrated. The popularity of his public readings of the story is an indication of how much it resonated with the contemporary mood, and contributed to the increasing place of the Christmas celebration in both secular and religious ways that was firmly established by the end of the nineteenth century. January 11, January 1, John Milton. University Press of Kentucky. Milton was raised an Anglican, trained to become an Anglican minister, and remained an Anglican through the signing of the subscription books of Cambridge University in both and , which demanded an allegiance to the state church and its Thirty-nine Articles.

His father had wanted him to practice law but Milton considered writing poetry his life's work. At 21 years old, he wrote a poem, "On the morning of Christ's Nativity," a work that is still widely read during Christmas. Christmas: Festival of Incarnation. Worship: Reformed According to Scripture. Westminster John Knox Press. Within a few years the Reformed church calendar was fairly well established.

The heart of it was the weekly observance of the resurrection on the Lord's Day. Instead of liturgical seasons being observed, "the five evangelical feast days" were observed: Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost. They were chosen because they were understood to mark the essential stages in the history of salvation.