The Inner Temple

Home building, like the building of a city, has its problems of deepest significance. A new house, for example, is carefully planned,—the architect gives of his best, the builder tries to excel in his calling, and the owner finally takes possession. Nothing that skilful handicraft can devise is omitted. Because of its newness, its appointments, its outlook, the place is a model in design and workmanship. Still, there seems to be something lacking, something that brings to remembrance the home which has just been vacated. Perhaps it was old-fashioned, the windows and doors timeworn and sagging, the thresholds paintless, but within that old home, the scene of countless struggles, victories, and defeats, a character temple had been builded of rarest worth.

Homes that constantly reflect the spirit of divine Love are living evidences of God's word made manifest. One needs no other shrine of domestic fealty. The most searching, just, and rational laws known to men have been enacted to protect, uplift, and perpetuate the home. But can any human law, however drastic, do this? God's law requires no reenactment; it needs but to be lived. A lavish display of riches, rare works of art, liveried servants, or high social standing, have little in common with the temple we build within our homes, however humble or stately they may be.

To carry this line of thought farther, what of our church edifices? Frequently do we hear the regrettable remark: "Oh, but we used to have such dear heart-to-heart gatherings in our little church over yonder." Yes, we do truly miss those old-time associations, when our warmest desires and friendships were united in the memorable struggle of building our first house of worship. That early undertaking seemed almost like an untimely venture; some shrank from it, while others forged fearlessly ahead, but at last the simple chapel was finished. So long and earnestly had we striven to make the demonstration, that even before the work was complete there had been an inner temple builded,—of love, forbearance, unison of purpose, and unfaltering faith in God. Perhaps it will take us many years to build again an inner temple, within our new and more splendid church edifice.

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April 11, 1914

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