December 26, 2013 / 23 Tevet, 5774
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- 1845 – John L. O'Sullivan, in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argued that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country"by the right of our manifest destiny".
- 1904 – The stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by Scottish author and dramatist J. M. Barrie (pictured), about a mischievous little boy who can fly, premiered in London.
- 1922 – The Imperial Japanese Navy commissionedHōshō, the world's first purpose-built aircraft carrier.
- 1997 – Loyalist Volunteer Force leader Billy Wright was assassinated in the Maze prison by members of theIrish National Liberation Army.
- 2009 – During protests in Tehran against the recent presidential election, Iranian security forces opened fireon demonstrators on the Day of Ashura.
- 537 – The Hagia Sophia is completed.
- 1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regard tonative Indians in the New World.
- 1655 – Second Northern War/the Deluge: Monks at the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa are successful in fending off a month-long siege.
- 1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance is signed.
- 1703 – Portugal and England sign the Methuen Treaty which gives preference to Portuguese importedwines into England.
- 1814 – War of 1812: The American schooner USS Carolina is destroyed. It was the last of CommodoreDaniel Patterson's makeshift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson's victory at the Battle of New Orleans.
- 1831 – Charles Darwin embarks on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle, during which he will begin to formulate the theory of evolution.
- 1836 – The worst ever avalanche in England occurs at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.
- 1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia.
- 1845 – Journalist John L. O'Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country "by the right of our manifest destiny".
- 1911 – "Jana Gana Mana", the national anthem of India, is first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.
- 1918 – The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans begins.
- 1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
- 1923 – Daisuke Namba, a Japanese student, tries to assassinate the Prince Regent Hirohito.
- 1927 – Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway.
- 1929 – Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin orders the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class" in an effort to spread socialism to the countryside.
- 1932 – Radio City Music Hall, "Showplace of the Nation", opens in New York, New York.
- 1939 – Erzincan, Turkey is hit by an earthquake, killing 30,000.
- 1939 – Winter War: Finland holds off a Soviet attack in the Battle of Kelja.
- 1942 – The Union of Pioneers of Yugoslavia is founded.
- 1945 – The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.
- 1949 – Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognizes Indonesian independence. End of the Dutch East Indies.
- 1966 – The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.
- 1968 – Apollo program: Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.
- 1978 – Spain becomes a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
- 1979 – The Soviet Union invades the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
- 1983 – Pope John Paul II visits Mehmet Ali Ağca in Rebibbia's prison and personally forgives him for the 1981 attack on him in St. Peter's Square.
- 1985 – Palestinian guerrillas kill eighteen people inside Rome, Italy and Vienna, Austria airports.
- 1989 – The Romanian Revolution concludes, as the last minor street confrontations and stray shootings abruptly end in the country's capital, Bucharest.
- 1996 – Taliban forces retake the strategic Bagram Airfield which solidifies their buffer zone around Kabul, Afghanistan.
- 1997 – Protestant paramilitary leader Billy Wright is assassinated in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.
- 2001 – China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.
- 2002 – Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya,Russia.
- 2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.
- 2007 – Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a shooting incident.
- 2007 – Riots erupt in Mombasa, Kenya, after Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner of the presidential election, triggering a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis.
- 2008 – Israel launches 3-week operation on Gaza - Operation Cast Lead.
- 2009 – Iranian election protests: On the Day of Ashura in Tehran, Iran, government security forces fire upon demonstrators.
- 1390 – Anne de Mortimer, Irish wife of Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge (d. 1411)
- 1571 – Johannes Kepler, German astronomer (d. 1630)
- 1572 – Johannes Vodnianus Campanus, Czech composer, poet, and playwright (d. 1622)
- 1654 – Jacob Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (d. 1705)
- 1683 – Conyers Middleton, English clergyman (d. 1750)
- 1714 – George Whitefield, English-American preacher (d. 1770)
- 1715 – Philippe de Noailles, French soldier (d. 1794)
- 1717 – Pope Pius VI (d. 1799)
- 1721 – François Hemsterhuis, Dutch philosopher (d. 1790)
- 1761 – Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, Russian field marshal (d. 1818)
- 1773 – George Cayley, English engineer (d. 1857)
- 1776 – Nikolay Kamensky, Russian general (d. 1811)
- 1796 – Mirza Ghalib, Indian poet (d. 1869)
- 1803 – François-Marie-Thomas Chevalier de Lorimier, Canadian activist (d. 1839)
- 1822 – Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist (d. 1895)
- 1823 – Mackenzie Bowell, Canadian politician, 5th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1917)
- 1832 – Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and philanthropist, founded the Tretyakov Gallery (d. 1897)
- 1858 – Juan Luis Sanfuentes, Chilean politician, 17th President of Chile (d. 1930)
- 1863 – Louis Lincoln Emmerson, American politician, 27th Governor of Illinois (d. 1941)
- 1864 – Hermann-Paul, French painter and illustrator (d. 1940)
- 1879 – Sydney Greenstreet, English actor (d. 1954)
- 1883 – Cyrus S. Eaton, Canadian-American financier, businessman, and philanthropist (d. 1979)
- 1888 – Thea von Harbou, German author and actress (d. 1954)
- 1892 – Alfred Edwin McKay, Canadian pilot (d. 1917)
- 1896 – Louis Bromfield, American author (d. 1956)
- 1896 – Maurice De Waele, Belgian cyclist (d. 1952)
- 1896 – Carl Zuckmayer, German author and playwright (d. 1977)
- 1900 – Hans Stuck, German race car driver (d. 1978)
- 1901 – Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress and singer (d. 1992)
- 1901 – Irene Handl, English actress (d. 1987)
- 1906 – Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, and actor (d. 1972)
- 1907 – Sebastian Haffner, German journalist and author (d. 1999)
- 1907 – Mary Howard, English author (d. 1991)
- 1907 – Conrad L. Raiford, American baseball player and activist (d. 2002)
- 1907 – Willem van Otterloo, Dutch conductor and composer (d. 1978)
- 1909 – James Riddell, English skier and author (d. 2000)
- 1910 – Charles Olson, American poet (d. 1970)
- 1911 – Anna Russell, English-Canadian singer and actress (d. 2006)
- 1915 – Mary Kornman, American actress (d. 1973)
- 1915 – William H. Masters, American gynecologist (d. 2001)
- 1915 – Gyula Zsengellér, Hungarian footballer (d. 1999)
- 1916 – Werner Baumbach, German pilot (d. 1953)
- 1917 – T. Nadaraja, Sri Lankan Tamil academic and lawyer (d. 2004)
- 1917 – Onni Palaste, Finnish soldier and author (d. 2009)
- 1918 – John Celardo, American illustrator (d. 2012)
- 1919 – Charles Sweeney, American general (d. 2004)
- 1920 – Bruce Hobbs, American jockey (d. 2005)
- 1923 – Bruno Bobak, Polish-Canadian painter (d. 2012)
- 1924 – James A. McClure, American politician (d. 2011)
- 1925 – Maurice Bambier, French politician (d. 1994)
- 1925 – Michel Piccoli, French actor, singer, director, and producer
- 1926 – Jerome Courtland, American actor, director, and producer (d. 2012)
- 1927 – Antony Gardner, English politician (d. 2011)
- 1927 – Nityanand Swami, Indian politician, 1st Chief Minister of Uttarakhand (d. 2012)
- 1927 – Audrey Wagner, American baseball player (d. 1984)
- 1930 – Marshall Sahlins, American anthropologist
- 1930 – Wilfrid Sheed, English-American author (d. 2011)
- 1931 – Scotty Moore, American guitarist (The Blue Moon Boys)
- 1934 – Larisa Latynina, Russian gymnast
- 1936 – Eve Uusmees, Estonian swimmer
- 1938 – Stanislav Stanojevic, Serbian-French director, screenwriter, and actor
- 1939 – John Amos, American actor
- 1941 – Miles Aiken, American basketball player and coach
- 1941 – Mike Pinder, English singer-songwriter and keyboard player (The Moody Blues)
- 1941 – Nolan Richardson, American basketball player and coach
- 1942 – Byron Browne, American baseball player
- 1942 – Charmian Carr, American actress and singer
- 1942 – Thomas Menino, American politician, 53rd Mayor of Boston
- 1942 – Ron Rothstein, American basketball player and coach
- 1943 – Cokie Roberts, American journalist
- 1943 – Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1943 – Peter Sinfield, English songwriter and producer
- 1943 – Roy White, American baseball player
- 1944 – Mick Jones, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer (Foreigner and Spooky Tooth)
- 1944 – Tracy Nelson, American singer (Mother Earth)
- 1946 – Lenny Kaye, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer
- 1946 – Joyce Spiliotis, American politician (d. 2012)
- 1946 – Janet Street-Porter, English journalist and producer
- 1947 – Bill Eadie, American wrestler
- 1947 – Janet Perry, American soprano
- 1947 – Willy Polleunis, Belgian runner
- 1947 – Mickey Redmond, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1948 – Gérard Depardieu, French actor
- 1950 – Haris Alexiou, Greek singer-songwriter
- 1950 – Roberto Bettega, Italian footballer
- 1950 – Terry Bozzio, American drummer and songwriter (Missing Persons UK, and HoBoLeMa)
- 1950 – Morgan Chu, American lawyer
- 1950 – Doug Stone, Canadian voice actor
- 1951 – Ernesto Zedillo, Mexican economist and politician, 54th President of Mexico
- 1952 – Karla Bonoff, American singer-songwriter (Bryndle)
- 1952 – Tovah Feldshuh, American actress and singer
- 1952 – Jay Hill, Canadian politician
- 1952 – David Knopfler, Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Dire Straits)
- 1952 – Raimund Krauth, German footballer (d. 2012)
- 1954 – Mandie Fletcher, English television and film director
- 1955 – E. E. Bell, American actor
- 1955 – Brad Murphey, Australian race car driver
- 1955 – Barbara Olson, American journalist (d. 2001)
- 1957 – Jerry Gaskill, American drummer (King's X)
- 1957 – Greg Mortenson, American author
- 1958 – Barbara Crampton, American actress
- 1958 – Steve Jones, American golfer
- 1958 – Norbert Schmitz, German footballer (d. 1998)
- 1959 – Gerina Dunwich, American author
- 1959 – Andre Tippett, American football player
- 1960 – Maryam d'Abo, English actress
- 1960 – Victoria Paige Meyerink, American actress and producer
- 1960 – Donald Nally, American conductor
- 1962 – Mark Few, American basketball coach
- 1962 – Bill Self, American basketball player and coach
- 1962 – Sherri Steinhauer, American golfer
- 1962 – Pierlucio Tinazzi, Italian security guard (d. 1999)
- 1963 – Gaspar Noé, Argentinian-French director
- 1964 – Ian Gomez, American actor
- 1964 – Theresa Randle, American actress
- 1965 – Salman Khan, Indian actor
- 1965 – Chris Mainwaring, Australian footballer (d. 2007)
- 1966 – Wendy Coakley-Thompson, American author
- 1966 – Bill Goldberg, American football player, wrestler, and actor
- 1966 – Eva LaRue, American actress
- 1966 – Fabian Núñez, American politician
- 1969 – Jean-Christophe Boullion, French race car driver
- 1969 – Sarah Vowell, American author and journalist
- 1970 – Chyna, American wrestler and actress
- 1970 – Brendon Cook, Australian race car driver
- 1970 – Tracey Cherelle Jones, American actress
- 1970 – Lorenzo Neal, American football player
- 1971 – Sergei Bodrov, Jr., Russian actor (d. 2002)
- 1971 – Duncan Ferguson, Scottish footballer
- 1971 – Jason Hawes, American paranormal investigator and author, founded The Atlantic Paranormal Society
- 1971 – Bryan Smolinski, American ice hockey player
- 1971 – Savannah Guthrie, American journalist and co-host of The Today Show
- 1971 – Guthrie Govan, English guitarist and instructor
- 1972 – Thomas Wilson Brown, American actor
- 1972 – Colin Charvis, Welsh rugby player
- 1972 – Kevin Ollie, American basketball player
- 1972 – Matt Slocum, American guitarist and songwriter (Sixpence None the Richer)
- 1973 – Wilson Cruz, Puerto Rican actor
- 1973 – Dee Ferris, English painter
- 1973 – Kristoffer Zegers, Dutch composer and pianist
- 1974 – Masi Oka, Japanese-American actor
- 1974 – Fumiko Orikasa, Japanese voice actress and singer
- 1974 – Jay Pandolfo, American ice hockey player
- 1974 – Edgar Ponce, Mexican actor and dancer (d. 2005)
- 1975 – Heather O'Rourke, American actress (d. 1988)
- 1976 – Nikolaos Georgeas, Greek footballer
- 1976 – Piotr Morawski, Polish mountaineer (d. 2009)
- 1976 – Fernando Pisani, Canadian-Italian ice hockey player
- 1976 – Aaron Stanford, American actor
- 1977 – Jacqueline Pillon, Canadian actress
- 1978 – Deuce McAllister, American football player
- 1979 – David Dunn, English footballer
- 1979 – Carson Palmer, American football player
- 1980 – Bernard Berrian, American football player
- 1980 – Antonio Cesaro, Swiss wrestler
- 1980 – Cas Haley, American singer and guitarist
- 1980 – Dahntay Jones, American basketball player
- 1980 – Meelis Kompus, Estonian radio and television journalist
- 1981 – David Aardsma, American baseball player
- 1981 – Emilie de Ravin, Australian actress
- 1981 – Javine Hylton, English singer
- 1981 – Moise Joseph, American-Haitian runner
- 1981 – Patrick Sharp, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1982 – Erin E. Stead, American children's book illustrator
- 1983 – Anthony Boric, New Zealand rugby player
- 1983 – Cole Hamels, American baseball player
- 1984 – Andrejs Perepļotkins, Ukrainian-Latvian footballer
- 1984 – Pleasure P, American singer-songwriter and producer (Pretty Ricky)
- 1984 – Gilles Simon, French tennis player
- 1985 – Logan Bailly, Belgian footballer
- 1985 – Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Belgian race car driver
- 1985 – Paul Stastny, Canadian-American ice hockey player
- 1988 – Zavon Hines, Jamaican-English footballer
- 1988 – Rick Porcello, American baseball player
- 1988 – Ok Taecyeon, South Korean rapper, dancer, and actor (2PM)
- 1988 – Hayley Williams, American singer-songwriter (Paramore)
- 1989 – Ingrid Várgas Calvo, Peruvian tennis player
- 1990 – Lazaro Arbos, Cuban-American singer
- 1990 – Max Lindholm, Finnish figure skater
- 1990 – Milos Raonic, Canadian tennis player
- 1991 – Chloe Bridges, American actress
- 1991 – Danny Wilson, Scottish footballer
- 1992 – Joel Indermitte, Estonian footballer
- 1992 – Maicel Uibo, Estonian decathlete
- 1997 – Ana Konjuh, Croatian tennis player
- 1076 – Sviatoslav II of Kiev (b. 1027)
- 1087 – Bertha of Savoy, (b. 1051)
- 1381 – Edmund Mortimer, 3rd Earl of March, English politician (b. 1352)
- 1543 – George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (b. 1484)
- 1548 – Francesco Spiera, Italian jurist (b. 1502)
- 1603 – Thomas Cartwright, English clergyman (b. 1535)
- 1704 – Hans Albrecht von Barfus, Prussian field marshal and politician (b. 1635)
- 1707 – Jean Mabillon, French monk and scholar (b. 1632)
- 1737 – William Bowyer, English printer (b. 1663)
- 1743 – Hyacinthe Rigaud, French painter (b. 1659)
- 1771 – Henri Pitot, French engineer, invented the Pitot tube (b. 1695)
- 1782 – Henry Home, Lord Kames, Scottish judge and philosopher (b. 1697)
- 1800 – Hugh Blair, Scottish minister and author (b. 1718)
- 1812 – Joanna Southcott, English prophet (b. 1750)
- 1812 – Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Lithuanian rabbi (b. 1745)
- 1834 – Charles Lamb, English author (b. 1775)
- 1836 – Stephen F. Austin, American army officer and politician (b. 1793)
- 1858 – Alexandre Pierre François Boëly, French composer and pianist (b. 1785)
- 1896 – John Brown, English businessman (b. 1816)
- 1900 – William Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong, English engineer and businessman, founded Armstrong Whitworth (b. 1810)
- 1914 – Charles Martin Hall, American chemist (b. 1863)
- 1923 – Gustave Eiffel, French engineer and architect, co-designed the Eiffel Tower (b. 1832)
- 1925 – Sergei Yesenin, Russian poet (b. 1895)
- 1938 – Calvin Bridges, American geneticist (b. 1889)
- 1938 – Osip Mandelstam, Russian poet (b. 1891)
- 1943 – Ants Kurvits, Estonian military commander (b. 1887)
- 1950 – Max Beckmann, German painter (b. 1884)
- 1952 – Patrick Joseph Hartigan, Australian priest, author, and educator (b. 1878)
- 1953 – Julian Tuwim, Polish poet (b. 1894)
- 1955 – Alfred Carpenter, English navy officer (b. 1881)
- 1956 – Lambert McKenna, Irish lexicographer (b. 1870)
- 1958 – Harry Warner, Polish-American film producer, co-founded Warner Bros. (b. 1881)
- 1965 – Edgar Ende, German painter (b. 1901)
- 1966 – Guillermo Stábile, Argentine footballer (b. 1905)
- 1972 – Lester B. Pearson, Canadian politician, 14th Prime Minister of Canada, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897)
- 1974 – Vladimir Fock, Russian physicist (b. 1898)
- 1974 – Amy Vanderbilt, American etiquette author (b 1908)
- 1978 – Chris Bell American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Big Star) (b. 1951)
- 1978 – Houari Boumediene, Algerian politician, 2nd President of Algeria (b. 1932)
- 1978 – Bob Luman, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1937)
- 1979 – Hafizullah Amin, Afghan politician, 2nd President of Afghanistan (b. 1929)
- 1981 – Hoagy Carmichael, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (b. 1899)
- 1982 – Jack Swigert, American astronaut (b. 1931)
- 1985 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist (b. 1932)
- 1985 – Jean Rondeau, French race car driver and constructor (b. 1946)
- 1986 – George Dangerfield, English-American historian and journalist (b. 1904)
- 1986 – Dumas Malone, American historian and biographer (b. 1892)
- 1988 – Hal Ashby, American director (b. 1929)
- 1992 – Kay Boyle, American author (b. 1902)
- 1993 – Feliks Kibbermann, Estonian chess player and philologist (b. 1902)
- 1993 – Evald Mikson, Estonian footballer and Nazi collaborator (b. 1911)
- 1993 – André Pilette, Belgian race car driver (b. 1918)
- 1994 – Fanny Cradock, English chief, author, and critic (b. 1909)
- 1994 – J. B. L. Reyes, Filipino jurist (b. 1902)
- 1995 – Shura Cherkassky, Ukrainian-American pianist (b. 1909)
- 1995 – Genrikh Kasparyan, Armenian chess player (b. 1910)
- 1997 – Brendan Gill, American journalist (b. 1914)
- 1997 – Billy Wright, English-Irish commander (b. 1960)
- 2002 – George Roy Hill, American director (b. 1922)
- 2003 – Alan Bates, English actor (b. 1934)
- 2003 – Iván Calderón, Puerto Rican baseball player (b. 1962)
- 2003 – Vestal Goodman, American singer (b. 1929)
- 2004 – Hank Garland, American guitarist (b. 1930)
- 2005 – William Doody, Canadian politician (b. 1931)
- 2007 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (b. 1953)
- 2007 – Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Polish director (b. 1922)
- 2007 – Jaan Kross, Estonian author (b. 1920)
- 2008 – Delaney Bramlett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (Delaney & Bonnie) (b. 1939)
- 2008 – Robert Graham, Mexican sculptor (b. 1938)
- 2009 – Isaac Schwartz, Ukrainian composer (b. 1923)
- 2011 – Catê, Brazilian footballer (b. 1973)
- 2011 – Michael Dummett, English philosopher (b. 1925)
- 2011 – Helen Frankenthaler, American abstract expressionist painter (b. 1928)
- 2011 – Johnny Wilson, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1929)
- 2012 – Valentin Boreyko, Russian rower (b. 1933)
- 2012 – Harry Carey, Jr., American actor (b. 1921)
- 2012 – Lloyd Charmers, Jamaican singer, keyboard player, and producer (The Uniques) (b. 1938)
- 2012 – Maurice Paul Delorme, French bishop (b. 1919)
- 2012 – Hamid Ghodse, Iranian-English academic (b. 1938)
- 2012 – Sohrab Hossain, Bangladeshi singer (b. 1922)
- 2012 – Jorma Kortelainen, Finnish skier (b. 1932)
- 2012 – Tingye Li, Chinese-American physicist (b. 1931)
- 2012 – Edgar May, American politician (b. 1929)
- 2012 – John Quimby, American politician (b. 1935)
- 2012 – Albert Riederer, American jurist and politician (b. 1945)
- 2012 – Archie Roy, Scottish astronomer (b. 1924)
- 2012 – Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., American general (b. 1934)
- 2012 – Jesco von Puttkamer, German-American engineer (b. 1933)
- 2012 – Mlađa Veselinović, Serbian actor (b. 1915)
- 2012 – Salt Walther, American race car driver (b. 1947)
Holidays and observances
- Constitution Day (North Korea)
- St. Stephen's Day (Eastern Orthodox Church; a public holiday in Romania)
- The third day of Christmas (Western Christianity)
“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”” Luke 2:28-32 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon
"The last Adam."
1 Corinthians 15:45
1 Corinthians 15:45
Jesus is the federal head of his elect. As in Adam, every heir of flesh and blood has a personal interest, because he is the covenant head and representative of the race as considered under the law of works; so under the law of grace, every redeemed soul is one with the Lord from heaven, since he is the Second Adam, the Sponsor and Substitute of the elect in the new covenant of love. The apostle Paul declares that Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him: it is a certain truth that the believer was in the loins of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, when in old eternity the covenant settlements of grace were decreed, ratified, and made sure forever. Thus, whatever Christ hath done, he hath wrought for the whole body of his Church. We were crucified in him and buried with him (read Col. 2:10-13), and to make it still more wonderful, we are risen with him and even ascended with him to the seats on high (Eph. 2:6). It is thus that the Church has fulfilled the law, and is "accepted in the beloved." It is thus that she is regarded with complacency by the just Jehovah, for he views her in Jesus, and does not look upon her as separate from her covenant head. As the Anointed Redeemer of Israel, Christ Jesus has nothing distinct from his Church, but all that he has he holds for her. Adam's righteousness was ours so long as he maintained it, and his sin was ours the moment that he committed it; and in the same manner, all that the Second Adam is or does, is ours as well as his, seeing that he is our representative. Here is the foundation of the covenant of grace. This gracious system of representation and substitution, which moved Justin Martyr to cry out, "O blessed change, O sweet permutation!" this is the very groundwork of the gospel of our salvation, and is to be received with strong faith and rapturous joy.
"Lo, I am with you alway."
The Lord Jesus is in the midst of his church; he walketh among the golden candlesticks; his promise is, "Lo, I am with you alway." He is as surely with us now as he was with the disciples at the lake, when they saw coals of fire, and fish laid thereon and bread. Not carnally, but still in real truth, Jesus is with us. And a blessed truth it is, for where Jesus is, love becomes inflamed. Of all the things in the world that can set the heart burning, there is nothing like the presence of Jesus! A glimpse of him so overcomes us, that we are ready to say, "Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me." Even the smell of the aloes, and the myrrh, and the cassia, which drop from his perfumed garments, causes the sick and the faint to grow strong. Let there be but a moment's leaning of the head upon that gracious bosom, and a reception of his divine love into our poor cold hearts, and we are cold no longer, but glow like seraphs, equal to every labour, and capable of every suffering. If we know that Jesus is with us, every power will be developed, and every grace will be strengthened, and we shall cast ourselves into the Lord's service with heart, and soul, and strength; therefore is the presence of Christ to be desired above all things. His presence will be most realized by those who are most like him. If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to him. Bring yourself, by the power of the Spirit, into union with Christ's desires, and motives, and plans of action, and you are likely to be favoured with his company. Remember his presence may be had. His promise is as true as ever. He delights to be with us. If he doth not come, it is because we hinder him by our indifference. He will reveal himself to our earnest prayers, and graciously suffer himself to be detained by our entreaties, and by our tears, for these are the golden chains which bind Jesus to his people.
Today's reading: Haggai 1-2, Revelation 17 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: Haggai 1-2
A Call to Build the House of the LORD
1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”
3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it....”
Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 17
Babylon, the Prostitute on the Beast
1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. 2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.”3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries....
WOMAN WITH ISSUE OF BLOOD
The Woman Who Was Healed by a Touch
This sick, anonymous woman must have been emaciated after a hemorrhage lasting for twelve years, which rendered her legally unclean. She could not throw herself, therefore, at the feet of Christ and state her complaint. Her modesty, humility, uncleanness and pressure of the crowd made close contact well-nigh impossible, hence her eagerness to touch in some unnoticed way the hem of His garment. Who was this woman of faith? The primitive church, feeling she was entitled to a name, called her Veronica, who lived in Caesarea Philippi, but in the gospels she is enrolled in the list of anonymous female divines. There are several aspects of her cure worthy of note—
She Was Cured After Many Failures
What this poor woman really endured at the hands of the medical men of the time is left to the imagination. What a touch of reality is given to her story by the knowledge that she had suffered many things of many physicians and was no better but rather “grew worse.” Where men failed, Christ succeeded. Down the ages men and women which no agency could reclaim have been restored by Christ. What is not possible with men is blessedly possible with God. Her disease was of long standing yet she was swiftly healed, for as soon as she touched the hem of His garment, “straight-way the fountain of her blood was dried up.” If a person suffers for a while from a complaint and seeks no medical advice, but in the end goes to the doctor, he invariably says, “You should have come to me sooner.” But it is the glory of Christ that He can heal those who come late to Him.
She Was Cured With the Utmost Rapidity
Mark’s favorite word, “straightway,” which he uses 27 times in his gospel, is in most cases related to Christ’s rapid cures. How swift He was in His relief for the suffering! As at creation, so in His miracles of healing, “He spake and it was done.” Spiritual parallels of His instantaneous power can be seen in the conversions of Matthew, Paul and the dying thief. Many of us, too, can testify to the fact that He can transform character in a moment of time. The term Jesus used in addressing the nameless sufferer suggests that she was still young, though wasted and faded by her malady which made her look older than she was. But the nature of her disease and the age of the one afflicted made no difference to Him in healing the sick and saving the lost. As Jesus passed by the withered fingers of the woman brushed the border of Christ’s sacred dress, and all at once her thin body felt the painless health of her girlhood return. A strength she had not known for 12 years renewed her being, and she knew that Christ had made her whole.
She Acknowledged Receipt of the Benefit Bestowed
As soon as the woman touched Christ’s garment, He felt that “virtue had gone out of Him,” and turned about and said, “Who touched me?” The disciples mildly rebuked Jesus by saying, “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?” Perhaps her touch had been unnoticed by the eyes of those around, and she must have been one of many who touched the Master that day as he proceeded on His errand of love, but a touch of faith could not be hidden from Him. Quickly the Physician saw the patient, and trembling with self-consciousness but too glad and grateful to falter, she confessed to her touch of His robe. “She told him all the truth.” She experienced that open confession is good for the soul. What a glow of gratitude her countenance must have had, as she publicly stated that her burden for twelve years had rolled away!
She Was Commended for Her Faith
The crowd who listened to her confession also heard the Saviour’s benediction, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” As a true daughter of Abraham (Luke 13:16), her faith is crowned by the Master. Hers was not faith without a touch, or a touch without faith. Believing, she appropriated and was healed. “Daughter,” was an endearing term for Jesus to use. Some tender insight of His own must have prompted Him to use it. As Theron Brown puts it so beautifully—
The restored sufferer would never forget the friendly benignity that assailed her with one indulgent epithet or the sympathy in that endearing term by which the Messiah of Israel recognized her as His own.... She cherished her debt to the Man of Galilee.
She Has a Place in Legend
It is said that this woman who was healed of her plague walked with Jesus as He went to His cross, and that seeing His blood and sweat, she drew out her handkerchief and wiped His brow. Later on, as she reverently caressed the piece of linen, she found the image of the blood-stained face of Jesus imprinted on it. Face cloths for the Roman catacombs alleged to hold the impress of His features were called Veronicas. About a.d. 320, Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea and a dependable historian records that when he visited Caesarea Philippi, he heard that the woman healed of her issue of blood out of gratitude for her cure had erected two brazen figures at the gate of her house, one representing a woman bending on her knee in supplication—the other, fashioned in the likeness of Jesus, holding out His hand to help her. The figure had a double cloak of brass. Eusebius adds this explicit statement as to these figures, “They were in existence even in our day and we saw them with our own eyes when we stayed in the city.” The well-known Sankey gospel hymn recalls and applies the story of the nameless woman whom Jesus healed—
She only touched the hem of His garment,
As to His side she stole,
Amid the crowd that gathered around Him,
And straightway she was whole.
It is encouraging to know that His saving power this very hour can give new life to all who by faith take hold of His skirt (Zechariah 8:23).
Jezreel [Jĕz'reel]—god sows.