Gratitude And Hopefulness by T. De Witt Talmage

(A New Year's Sermon)
T. DeWitt Talmage
Acts 28:15

Paul had just landed at Puteoli and was getting off
him the sea dizziness, and was about to cross the
country to Rome. Hospitable Christian people at Rome
heard he was coming and went out to greet him and
escort him up to the city, and if any man ever
deserved a triumphal entrance it was Paul. No sooner
had he looked upon these people than two sentiments
took possession of his soul: Gratitude and
hopefulness. "He thanked God and took courage."
Standing here in the first morning of the new year,
these two sentiments are dominant in my own soul, and
in yours. Gratitude to God for the past--hopefulness
for the future.

It is only a few hours ago, at the midnight, that the
door of eternity opened and let in amid the great
throng of departed centuries the old dying year. Under
the twelfth stroke of the brazen hammer of the city
clock, the old patriarch fell dead, and the stars of
the night were the funeral torches. Three hundred and
sixty-five times hath the clock struck twelve for the
noon, twelve for the night. During that time, how many
marriage garlands have been woven, how many graves
dug, how many fortunes won, how many victories
achieved, how many defeats suffered, how many souls
lost, how many immortals blessed! Year of
assassination and of triumph, of conflagration and of
harvest, of joy and of sorrow, twist a garland half of
amaranth and half of cypress--the amaranth for the joy
and the cypress for the grief--and I put the garland
on the brow of the old dead year. And right beside the
grave of the dead is the cradle of the new year.

This season of the year to me is very suggestive. It
is more than an anniversary to me. The season is full
of suggestiveness and full of solemnity, and full of
gratitude, and full of hopefulness-and kinds of
emotion commingling in my soul. I thank God and I take

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