A Christmas fragment from 1786

editorial image
Have your say

The Leeds Intelligencer of 1786 was smothered in advertisements and public notices but there was this Christmas declaration from the paper two hundred and twenty nine years ago in 1786.

This article was published at the time when Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro had just premiered in Vienna and the British government had approved the establishment of a penal colony at Botany Bay in Australia.

There was also a state lottery prize that was worth a staggering £20,000.

CHRISTMAS - DAY - A Fragment

Let the larder be stuffed with provisions — Let the cellar be stored with liquors and let there be plenty of coal to make roaring fires for Christmas is come.

The above is the general order of the season among those whom Providence has blessed with affluence.

At this festival super abundance appears on every table and it should be so — but why should it be so? because there should not only be enough to eat, and enough to drink, but also enough to give away.

I would have you eat, drink, and be merry ; but I would have you remember— that to-morrow you die.

When your heart rejoices in the hour, of conviviality, I would have you remember, that thousands are oppressed with grief.

When you eat, I would have you receHeft, that thousands are without food — when you drink, that thousands arc parched with thirst; and let the fire that renders you comfortable, at the same time inform you that multitudes are perishing with cold.

If you expect to be forgiven, you must forgive

Yet the prisons are full of debtors— their wives, their children, their friends, cry up to Heaven against you and curses will not fall upon stocks and stones.

This is season of forgiveness — at this season the parent should reconciled to his disobedient child.

If any of you have a daughter who has sinned, even to the infamy of common prostitution, it is your duty to forgive her.

That Power which alone can forgive you, forgave the woman of Samaria.

This is a duty in which your own salvation, as well as the salvation of your child, is concerned.

If angels and saints rejoice at the repentance of a sinner, shall not a parent rejoice at the contrition of a daughter, and receive her to his bosom?

Click here to go to the British Newspaper Archive where you can view and download a huge number of archive pages not only from Yorkshire Post Newspapers Ltd. but also from a large range of nationwide newspapers.