Rebuilding the Temple

Standing in the presence of the pathetic ruins of the Parthenon, one is impressed with the splendor of its ideal, with the greatness of the people who conceived it and gave it such superb expression, and with the loss to all the world which was inflicted by a grossly stupid vandalism. Here an incomparably glorious concept bloomed into concrete form, and as one thinks of the decades, yes centuries, of studious development which must have preceded the attainment of such a masterful technique, and of the vast expenditure of patient labor which without any modern facilities reproduced the artist's vision in this pure stone, he is likely to feel a sense of protesting grief that these peerless columns should ever have fallen and this exquisite entablature lie crumbling upon the ground. From the human point of view it is all very saddening, and one finds relief only as he turns away from distressing thoughts of decay and gains the realization that the ideal, the ultimate and abiding fact, has not been and can not be mutilated or even marred, but remains the eternal possession of all those who love its appearing.

With kindred sorrow and solicitude unnumbered people are looking today upon what they speak of as "all that is left" of another wondrous temple, the Christian church, conceived and projected by a yet greater than Phidias, and to the erection and adornment of which the apostles, saints, and Christian heroes of the past freely gave their all. One can hardly take up a current religious periodical which does not comment grievingly upon "the decay of the church," "the passing of vital religion," or "the failure of Christianity." In so far as we fail to discriminate between "the structure of Truth and Love, whatever proceeds from divine Principle" (Science and Health, p. 583), and the church of creedal beliefs, we are likely to accept the status of the Christian church thus publicly enlarged upon by its best friends, and therefore concede the fitness of the symbol of its departed glories which is found upon the summit of the Acropolis.

April 15, 1916

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