Within the Sanctuary

Those who love birds have sorrowed over the wanton destruction of them which has caused some varieties practically to disappear. They rejoice, therefore, that in order to give them respite from harassment on their migrations, bird sanctuaries have been established where the winged travelers may find safety and freedom and legal protection. The word sanctuary is broadly used now to mean a place of refuge and protection, though at first applied to the consecrated place devoted to the keeping of sacred things.

In Biblical use the word means "a place set apart." In the ninety-sixth psalm it is said: "All the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." God's sanctuary, however, does not necessarily mean an edifice, because we find the promise in Ezekiel: "Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord God; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come." It is true, then, that we may expect to find a sanctuary in a building dedicated to the worship of God; and yet without this, we may find a sanctuary in the consciousness of God's goodness though in heathen surroundings. Churches in a Christian land should manifestly offer both refuge and consolation. Mrs. Eddy clearly recognized that this need could be supplied when she placed Article XVII, entitled "Services Uninterrupted," in the Manual and began its first section with the direction: "The services of The Mother Church shall be continued twelve months each year."

November 2, 1918

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