The CCEL Times 4.12 (December 1, 2009)

Submitted by bdv4 on Mon, 2009-11-30 09:14.

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In This Issue:

From the Director

Advent marks the start of the church year, the onset of our longing for a savior and mediator. We’re starting something new at the CCEL as well, to try to inspire your longing. We are going to try a "guided study" of Augustine’s Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love in which we invite you all to participate. Each week for the next eight weeks we’ll send you couple of short chapters to read and think about, and the next week we’ll send questions for reflection. You may either reflect on the study questions individually or read other people’s comments in an online forum.

If you would like to receive these eight e-mails, click here to sign up. We are also making the book available for Kindle and iPhone, and we are releasing the study guide, from which the e-mails will be taken. The mission of the CCEL is to make classic Christian literature available and promote its use, and we hope that you will find this guided study a helpful spur.

Let us know if you find this approach fruitful. If so, we’ll try to do more guided studies like this.

Harry Plantinga
Director of the CCEL

Top Christmas Hymns

Top 20 Most-Published Christmas Hymns in History

Here are the top 20 most-published Christmas hymns of all time, as reported by, using data from the Dictionary of North American Hymnology (DNAH). The numbers following the hymn are the number of hymnals in which it was published in North America before 1979, according to the DNAH.

  1. Joy to the world! (1,387)
  2. Hark! the herald angels sing (974)
  3. When shepherds watched their flocks by night (800)
  4. Brightest and best of the sons of the morning (665)
  5. It came upon the midnight clear (614)

Read the rest of the list »

Learn more about the Hymnary

Christmas Special

Receive A Free CD and 20 Free Downloads

The mission of Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL) is to build up the church by making classic Christian literature widely available and promoting its use for edification and study.
And so we have.

We’ve seen 500 million hits this year alone; over 500,000 people view our Web site each month. And 18 GB of data–the equivalent of about 18,000 books–is served each day. Over 71,000 people receive our monthly newsletter, and there are 18,200 members in our online study group. And we’ve sent more than 8,000 free CDs overseas to ministers, missionaries, and students in Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. The CCEL serves people in more than 200 different countries each year!

However, the CCEL is a non-profit organization, and it is only through the generous contributions of our members and patrons that we are able to continue to serve others. If you value the ministry of the CCEL, please consider helping to support us financially through the next year with your donation or subscription. Each contribution allows us to better serve the global church. We’ve had a wonderful year thanks to your support; help us make next year just as wonderful.

This year the CCEL is offering a Christmas Special of a free CD and a 20-download, one-year subscription for $49.95. In addition to the 20 downloads, you may choose to receive one free copy of one of the following: an audio CD of the Confessions of Saint Augustine, an audio CD of the First Epistle of Clement, an audio CD of the Epistle of Barnabas, an audio CD of A Short And Easy Method Of Prayer, a text Commentaries CD (including Calvin’s and Matthew Henry’s) with the NRSV, or the CCEL Classics text CD. You have the choice of receiving your free product as a free download or a gift-wrapped package shipped to you at no cost.

Thank you for your continued support of the CCEL mission. God bless!
Click here to receive your free CD and downloads as well as to donate.

Featured Book GrouChristian’s Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)

A new discussion group is slated to start shortly that will cover Hannah Whitall Smith’s Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. The group’s leader writes that this book "fits under the general category of sanctification—the process by which the Holy Spirit takes a new Christian, freshly plucked from the mire of sin and cleanses him or her from the inside out, until each one is finally able to stand before the Lord in glory."

Join This Group or Learn More »

Find More Groups from the CCEL

Classic Sermons

Leo the Great on the Incarnation:

Our Savior, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. … Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the Gentile take courage in that he is called to life. For the Son of God in the fullness of time … has taken on him the nature of [humanity], thereby to reconcile it to its Author: in order that the inventor of death, the devil, might be conquered through that which he had conquered. And in this conflict undertaken for us, the fight was fought on great and wondrous principles of fairness; for the Almighty Lord enters the lists with his savage foe not in his own majesty but in our humility, opposing him with the same form and the same nature, which shares indeed our mortality, though it is free from all sin.

– Leo the Great (c.400-461), from Sermon XXI, Feast of the Nativity

Read this classic at the CCEL.

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