Charles Dickens wrote The Life of Our Lord during the years 1846-1849, just about the time he was completing David Copperfield. In this charming, simple retelling of the life of Jesus Christ, (written exclusively for his children) adapted from the Gospel of St. Luke, Dickens hoped to teach his young children about the only begotten Son of God.

He begins his story thusly; "My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him. No one ever lived, who was so good, so kind, so gentle, and so sorry for all people who did wrong, or were in anyway ill or miserable, as he was. And as he is now in Heaven, where we hope to go, and all to meet each other after we are dead, and there be happy always together; you never can think what a good place Heaven is, without knowing who he was and what he did."

Near the end of his life he wrote to a reader: “I have always striven in my writings to express veneration for the life and lessons of Our Saviour; because I feel it; and because I re-wrote that history for my children—every one of whom knew it from having it repeated to them—long before they could read, and almost as soon as they could speak.” But Dickens did not limit his testimony to his children. In his recollections of Christmas, he wrote in his article, "A Christmas Tree," about the associations the decorations on the tree brought to him...

"What images do I associate with the Christmas music as I see them set forth on the Christmas Tree? Known before all the others, keeping far apart from all the others, they gather round my little bed. An angel, speaking to a group of shepherds in a field; some travellers, with eyes uplifted, following a star; a baby in a manger; a child in a spacious temple, talking with grave men; a solemn figure, with a mild and beautiful face, raising a dead girl by the hand; again, near a city gate, calling back the son of a widow, on his bier, to life; a crowd of people looking through the opened roof of a chamber where he sits, and letting down a sick person on a bed, with ropes; the same, in a tempest, walking on the water to a ship; again, on a sea-shore, teaching a great multitude; again, with a child upon his knee, and other children round; again, restoring sight to the blind, speech to the dumb, hearing to the deaf, health to the sick, strength to the lame, knowledge to the ignorant; again, dying upon a Cross, watched by armed soldiers, a thick darkness coming on, the earth beginning to shake, and only one voice heard, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do."

While it is true that his novels were never written to be Christian sermons, he never failed to show the positive influence the Jesus Christ had on society and individuals. And although Dickens had a very low opinion of the clergy and organized religion, he knew the Lord in a personal relationship, and wished to see His beneficial influence and love spread among his fellow men. I am similarly anxious, as was Dickens, that you come to know Him. The Lord Himself is the most anxious of all that you know Him, and has gone to great extremes to reconcile you to God through Himself. It is with that knowledge, and in the Spirit of the Season in which we celebrate His birth, that I present not only my own, but God's invitation to you.

A Christmas Present

Don't you enjoy getting a Christmas present? The happiness on your face when opening it brings even greater joy to the heart of the loved one that gave it. But imagine their disappointment and hurt, if you never opened and accepted their gift, but left it sitting under the tree. Not only would you miss out on the present, but you would bring heartache to the one that made the sacrifice of giving the gift to you.

You would never do that knowingly, would you? Of course not... but keep that in mind as you consider this question...

If someone informed you that you had been given a priceless gift, and you needed only to claim it to possess it, what would you do? You'd rush to get it, wouldn't you? It would be foolish to procrastinate or forget about it.

Now imagine that you had been offered eternal life in heaven, living forever with God in a beautiful city, never to die or suffer pain or loss ever again. All you had to do to get this gift was to accept it. It would be much more foolish to ignore this gift, wouldn't it?

Well, that very thing has been offered to you. Jesus, who was God in the flesh, took upon himself your sin debt, which you could never pay, and paid it in full through his death on the cross. He was raised from the dead to be a living savior, and to offer this gift to you. But it isn't yours until you possess it by believing and receiving the Savior into your heart, by asking. Here are some scriptures concerning this priceless gift that has your name on it.

Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8 and 9

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9

It is the hope of the owner of this site that these scriptures open your eyes to your spiritual condition and eternal destiny, and, if you do not know Christ or have His salvation, that you will open the door of your heart and ask Him to come in. For, in the last book of the Bible, Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20

Accept the free gift of salvation now. For, according to scripture, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Hebrews 9:27

Discover the joy of those who, like Charles Dickens, accepted this gift and found eternal life. And bring joy to the heart of God, who gave His son that you might be with Him in Heaven, by accepting this gift and making that sacrifice worth it.


MENU:
Introduction
Marley's Ghost
The First of the Three Spirits
The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits
The End of It
A Christmas Dinner
A Christmas Present
1939 Radio Broadcast
Other Radio Broadcasts

Related Links:

Extra items and pages that are part of this site:

Christmas Essays by Dickens

"Now, the tree is decorated with bright merriment, and song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held, beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which cast no gloomy shadow!"
-Charles Dickens

So writes Charles Dickens concerning a tradition that even in his day was precious. Enjoy his story, "The Christmas Tree," as he recollects the joy it brought to his youth!

"Who can be insensible to the outpourings of good feeling, and the honest interchange of affectionate attachment, which abound at this season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We know nothing in nature more delightful! There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas."
-Charles Dickens

The family seated around the Christmas dinner table is a treasured time that becomes forever etched in our hearts. Enjoy Dicken's story, "A Christmas Dinner," as he relates the joys it brings.

"Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!"
-Charles Dickens

In his short story, "What Christmas Is As We Grow Older," Dickens encourages us to not forget the past joys and loves we have known, in order to shut out the pain of loss. Rather, we defeat the loss by celebrating the memories of times and people once close to us.


"My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him." -Charles Dickens

Dickens never forgot the Source of the holiday cheer he spread about with his writings, or the meaning of the silent night in Bethlehem so long ago. In this excerpt from his private story written for his children, "The Life of Our Lord," Dickens explains simply in his own words "The Christmas Story."

Radio and Film Versions


Information about the
1951 version with Alastair Sim, with photos, comparisons to the novel and excerpts from the soundtrack.


Information about the
1939 radio version produced by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore.


Information about the
BBC radio version starring Michael Gough.Also the 1975 CBS Radio Mystery Theater version starring E.G. Marshall!


Information about
Disney's "A Christmas Carol" short animated feature


Information about "Scrooge," the
1970 musical version starring Albert Finney


Information about the
Muppet's Christmas Carol


Information about the
upcoming 2009 CG version starring Jim Carrey.


Information about Rich Little's one-man version of
"A Christmas Carol."

New!

Information about the
1971 Chuck Jones animated film featuring Alastair Sim as the voice of Scrooge!

New!

Information about Patrick Stewart's one-man performance of the book, as well as his 1999 movie adaptation.

Artwork


Complete scan of "A Christmas Carol"
comic book adaptation from the 70's by Marvel Comics!


Enjoy scenes from the story in these
antique illustrations!


Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #1.


Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #2.


Pendulum's Illustrated Stories "A Christmas Carol"
cover.


A Dean Morrissey
painting of Scrooge outside his London business. The print can be bought here.


Montage of
scenes from the novel by artist Jeffrey Bedrick made for a puzzle, which can be bought here.

Other resources outside of this site:

Read the story behind of the writing of this most-loved Christmas story here, as originally published in Reader's Digest.

Christmas According to Dickens: A series of articles by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts.

Dickens and Christmas: an excellent site!

View an incredible table-top reproduction of Dicken's London on this page.

In an essay on his favorite Christmas videos, columnist C. W. Oberleitner examines the best adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" on film.

Introduction /Marley's Ghost / The First of the Three Spirits / The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits / The End of It / A Christmas Dinner /A Christmas Present /1939 Radio Broadcast