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Years end, but we look for eternal life (1885)

The time is short—this day may be The very last assigned to thee; So speak that should’st thou ne’er s...



Death in Jerusalem of Melania the Younger, known for her charity, and for founding two convents.

Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.


America’s first-known “watch-night” service is held at St. George’s Methodist Church in Philadelphia.

Authority for the date: Harper, Howard V. Days and Customs of All Faiths. New York: Fleet Publishing, 1957.


George Leslie Mackay, first foreign missionary of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, arrives in Taiwan where he will establish over sixty churches, a hospital, and several schools. He will cause controversy by marrying a Taiwanese slave woman, but she will become an indispensable co-evangelist with him.

Authority for the date: Carrie Kellenberger, “The Legacy of George Leslie Mackay.”


Australia’s oldest Roman Catholic church, called the Church on the Hill, is ready for worship.

Authority for the date: Maus, Cynthia Pearl. Christ and the Fine Arts.


Iosif Trifa, anguished at the wickedness of his parishioners, falls to his knees in prayer. He conceives the idea of issuing a call in a magazine he edits—a call for a New Year’s resolution to fight against sin in the coming year. “The Calling to a New Life in Christ” is successful. Trifia becomes a Wesley-like revivalist figure in Romania and suffers at the hands of both church and state.

Authority for the date:


The Feast of the Circumcision [which honors Christ’s circumcision eight days after his birth] becomes known as the Feast of the Holy Name in the revised Book of Common Prayer.

Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.

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