Saturday Night Thoughts ARTICLE ONE. The Saturday Evening of Time.

The Sixth Day.—Saturday, in Christian lands, is a day set apart for house-cleaning, a time for "putting things to rights," in preparation for the Sabbath, the sacred day of rest. Preliminary to the condition of purity, order and quietness especially desirable on that day, the house, in domestic parlance, is "upset"—"turned topsy-turvy." Furniture is moved and dusted, floors are scrubbed, windows cleaned, and stoves polished; the body is bathed, all rubbish burned, and everything done that ought to be done, so that when night is past and glorious morning dawns, the rising sun can smile approvingly on a renovated, sweet and wholesome scene, and the Lord's Day be kept, as He intended it should be, in cleanliness, which is "next to godliness." Is there not something symbolical in all this—something suggestive of things higher?
All Things Symbolical.—"All things are in a scale," says Plato; "and begin where we will, ascend and ascend. All things are symbolical; and what we call results are beginnings."[1] If this be true, then is there a symbolism in small things as well as in great, in endings as well as beginnings, including the ending and beginning of the week. Saturday and Sunday are both symbolical, each suggesting and pointing to something above and beyond.
The World's Sabbath.—Who among men first recognized in the seventh day a symbol of Christ's Millennial reign, I know not. The reign itself was the theme of a revelation as early as the days of Enoch.[2] But it is obvious that the symbolism of the seventh day does not stand alone. The idea of a greater Sunday carries with it the idea of a greater Saturday, of which all lesser Saturdays are typical; a time of agitation, of strenuous toil and strife, during which all will be made ready for the blest sabbatic era, the period of universal peace. The World's Saturday Night must necessarily precede the World's Sunday Morning.[3]
The Apocalyptic Book.—The symbolism of the Sabbath, and the symbolism of other days as well, is plainly indicated in the writings of Joseph Smith. In one place he says—or the Lord says through him: "All things have their likeness, and are made to bear record of Me."[4] We need not be surprised, therefore, to find among the Prophet's teachings this—I quote now from his Key to the Apocalypse:
"What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?[5]
"We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.
"What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelations?
"We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth; even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things—unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work in the beginning of the seventh thousand years—the preparing of the way before the time of his coming."[6]
Seven Great Days.—The "days" here referred to were not ordinary days of twenty-four hours each, based upon earth's diurnal revolutions. He who "made the world" before placing man upon it, had not then appointed unto Adam his reckoning.[7] They were not man's days, but God's days, each having a duration of a thousand years.
"The book which John saw" represented the real history of the world—what the eye of God has seen, what the recording angel has written; and the seven thousand years, corresponding to the seven seals of the Apocalyptic volume, are as seven great days during which Mother Earth will fulfill her mortal mission, laboring six days and resting upon the seventh, her period of sanctification. These seven days do not include the period of our planet's creation and preparation as a dwelling place for man. They are limited to Earth's "temporal existence," that is, to Time, considered as distinct from Eternity.
According to Kolob.—The Prophet's translation of the Book of Abraham explains that these greater days are "after the time" or according to the reckoning of Kolob, a mighty governing planet nearest the Celestial Throne, a planet revolving once in a thousand years.[8] This period, then, is a day upon Kolob. One might well suppose such a day to have figured in the warning given to Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;"[9] for Adam, after eating of the forbidden fruit, lived on to the age of nine hundred and thirty years.[10] St. Peter may have had the same thing in mind when he wrote: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."[11]
At the Week's End.—According to received chronology—admittedly imperfect, yet approximately correct—four thousand years, or four of the seven great days given to this planet as the period of its "temporal existence," had passed before Christ was crucified; while nearly two thousand years have gone by since. Consequently, Earth's long week is now drawing to a close, and we stand at the present moment in the Saturday Evening of Time, at or near the end of the sixth day of human history. Is it not a time for thought, a season for solemn meditation? Morning will break upon the Millennium, the thousand years of peace, the Sabbath of the World!
House-Cleaning in Progress.—Marvel not, therefore, that all things are in commotion. War, famine, pestilence, earthquake, tempest and tidal wave—these are among the predicted signs of the Savior's second coming.[12] Tyranny and wickedness must be overthrown, and the way prepared for Him who, though gracious and merciful to all, and forgiving to sinners who repent, "cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance."[13] Earth must be freed from oppression and cleansed from all iniquity. It is God's House; and He is coming to live in it, and to make of it a glorified mansion. House-cleaning is in progress, and Saturday's work must be done and out of the way, before the Lord of the Sabbath appears.

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Henri Amiel on Order

What comfort, what strength, what economy there is in order—material order, intellectual order, moral order. To know where one is going and what one wishes—this is order; to keep one's word and one's engagements—again order; to have everything ready under one's hand, to be able to dispose of all one's forces, and to have all one's means of whatever kind under command—still order; to discipline one's habits, one's effort, one's wishes; to organise one's life, to distribute one's time, to take the measure of one's duties and make one's rights respected; to employ one's capital and resources, one's talent and one's chances profitably—all this belongs to and is included in the word order. Order means light and peace, inward liberty and free command over one's self; order is power. Aesthetic and moral beauty consist, the first in a true perception of order, and the second in submission to it, and in the realisation of it, by, in, and around one's self. Order is man's greatest need and his true well-being. - Henri Amiel



It had been raining all day, and the mist hung so heavily over the bay that the vailed waters tossed their troubled billows in unseen restlessness, like the swelling of an aching heart that the mantle of a fair face covers.
Down Pine Street a hundred rills were rushing, as though each had its special and important mission to perform in advancing the prosperity of the queen city of the Pacific. Men passed along fearlessly, cased in the invulnerable armor of India-rubber10 coats and glazed caps, and now and then a woman dared to trust her dainty little feet to the mercy of mud and water.
Minnie Bell had been very uneasy all day, for she had been promised the pleasure of a walk on Montgomery Street, and she intended to choose a few rare gifts from all the Christmas treasures that brightened the gay shop-windows.
Minnie had not yet learned the woman's lesson, to smile when the heart aches, and be gentle in disappointment, so tears filled her large blue eyes, and the rosy lips pouted with vexation, as she looked out on the pouring rain. Her mamma was a fair, dashing woman, who loved Montgomery Street as well as Minnie herself; doated upon the theatre, opera, and every thing gay, but, of all things in the world, disliked to be annoyed by the petulance and nonsense of children. She lay all day upon a luxurious11 couch, reading "Les Miserables," leaving Minnie, poor little miserable of the household, to take care of herself, and thus I found her alone in the hall, picking in pieces the flowers of a pretty worsted lamp-mat, the very spirit of discontent and mischief. It takes so little to make a child happy, that I am always sorry to see a shadow upon their young faces at the time when this life should be all sunshine, so I called the little one to me, and taking her upon my lap, told her the story of Santa Claus and the Christ-child.
More than eighteen hundred years ago, one fair bright night, when the moon was casting her floods of silver light upon the mountains and valleys of Judea, it seemed to pause in worshipful wonder over the little village of Bethlehem.
Diamonds sparkled in the dew-drops, and emeralds in the green grass of the12 meadows, where the shepherds fed their flocks by night. The shepherds were amazed, as the holy light shed its soft brilliancy around them, and even the grazing flocks forgot the dewy grass, as a sweet, unknown voice, from the viewless air, told them how that night the fair Christ-child was born at Bethlehem, and lay cradled in a manger, with horned oxen feeding near him. A thousand angel voices joined in the rich deep melody of praise and gladness, and the first Christmas carol echoed and re-echoed through the mountains and valleys of Judea.
Wise men from the East, brought golden treasure, jewels, and rare perfumes, as offerings to the pure Christ-child. There he lay in the arms of his fair virgin mother, Mary, with all the native beauty of infancy brightening every feature of his lovely face, and that rare halo of divinity13 about him that even the inspiration of Raphael and Murillo has but half portrayed. These immortal artists had only the colors of earth to paint the brightness of heaven. The wise men bowed in adoration before the Christ-child and worshiped him as their temporal king, and for their rich gifts received blessings, and went away well pleased to their luxurious homes. Then came an old man, trembling with timid humility. He was but a poor keeper of the flocks upon the mountains, and brought only the few pale flowers of winter, as tokens of his devoted homage.
"Sweet mother," said he, kneeling, "I have nothing but these poor flowers and the unchanging love of a devoted heart to lay at the feet of the dear Christ-child; but, thrice-blessed mother, do not turn away from this humble offering. I bring thee all I have." Smiles, like the golden14 light of morning, shone upon the face of the fair Christ-child, and he took the flowers more pleased than with all the rich treasures of the East, that lay unnoticed around him.
The holy mother blessed the poor man, and with a voice teeming with maternal love and divine richness, she said: "Thy pure, loving heart is an offering dearer to the Christ-child than all the riches of the world, and these flowers are a fitting token of thy love. Thou shalt not die as other men do, but thou shalt sleep, to awaken each Christmas eve, and gladden young hearts through all time, and in all lands, with thy welcome Christmas gifts, and the blessing of the Christ-child shall rest upon the spirits of childhood through the holy Christmas season."
And thus it is that in all countries we hear of the good Santa Claus, who brings15 such beautiful presents on Christmas eve. In the cold north countries he wraps himself in furs, and rides swiftly over the crusted snow in a sleigh drawn by reindeers, his long beard shining with the frost of winter. In the sunny South he rides in a light car decked with flowers.
"But, May," said the now happy Minnie, smiling; "when Santa Claus comes to San Francisco he'd better bring his India-rubber coat and overshoes."
"I've no doubt he will, darling," said I, kissing the little face beaming with earnestness and beauty; "and perhaps he'll bring his umbrella, too, but 'twill make him no Paul Pry—I'm sure he won't intrude."
"No, indeed," said Minnie, "I want to see him too much for that. Do you think, May, if I sit up till ten o'clock, I shall see dear old Santa Claus?"
"I think, little one, if you go to bed at eight and sleep sweetly, he may come to you in your dreams. He generally manages to come when children are sleeping."
Thus it was that little Minnie forgot all her sorrows and disappointments in the anticipated vision of the good Santa Claus. The rain fell heavily, but in the sunny heart of childhood all was happiness.
Now, a "Merry Christmas" to you all—young and old! May the blessing of the pure Christ-child attend you, and Santa Claus be munificent in his beautiful Christmas gifts!

The Most Successful Man in America

Phineas Taylor "P. T." Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American politician, showman, and businessman remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the Barnum & Bailey Circus.[1] Although Barnum was also an author, publisher, philanthropist, and for some time a politician, he said of himself, "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me",[2] and his personal aim was "to put money in his own coffers".[3] Barnum is widely, but erroneously, credited with coining the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute".[4]
Born in Bethel, Connecticut, Barnum became a small-business owner in his early twenties, and founded a weekly newspaper, before moving to New York City in 1834. He embarked on an entertainment career, first with a variety troupe called "Barnum's Grand Scientific and Musical Theater", and soon after by purchasing Scudder's American Museum, which he renamed after himself. Barnum used the museum as a platform to promote hoaxes and human curiosities such as the Feejee mermaid and General Tom Thumb.[5] In 1850 he promoted the American tour of singer Jenny Lind, paying her an unprecedented $1,000 a night for 150 nights. After economic reversals due to bad investments in the 1850s, and years of litigation and public humiliation, he used a lecture tour, mostly as a temperance speaker, to emerge from debt. His museum added America's first aquarium and expanded the wax-figure department. While in New York, he converted to Universalism and was a member of the Church of the Divine Paternity, now the Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York.
Barnum served two terms in the Connecticut legislature in 1865 as a Republican for Fairfield. With the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution over slavery and African-American suffrage, Barnum spoke before the legislature and said, "A human soul, ‘that God has created and Christ died for,’ is not to be trifled with. It may tenant the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hottentot – it is still an immortal spirit".[6] Elected in 1875 as Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, he worked to improve the water supply, bring gas lighting to streets, and enforce liquor and prostitution laws. Barnum was instrumental in starting Bridgeport Hospital, founded in 1878, and was its first president.[7]
The circus business was the source of much of his enduring fame. He established "P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome", a traveling circus, menagerie and museum of "freaks", which adopted many names over the years. Barnum died in his sleep at home in 1891, and was buried in Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, which he designed himself.

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