Cleansing the Temple

All students of the Bible are familiar with the story of Jesus driving out of the temple at Jerusalem the money changers, but the modern thought is disposed to regard this as applying to an outgrown condition, since material sacrifices are no longer offered to God in the way that they were at one time. The Christian Scientist, however, seeks the deeper meaning of this incident, and its importance is brought out in our Leader's teachings. On page 142 of Science and Health she says, "The strong cords of scientific demonstration, as twisted and wielded by Jesus, are still needed to purge the temples of their vain traffic in worldly worship and to make them meet dwelling-places for the Most High." The Christian Scientist would readily admit the rightness of this statement, would indeed see it as a vital demand resting upon all who are members of Christian Science churches. It cannot be denied that the church itself is a divine idea, and it rests with us to maintain the purity of its human expression, so that nothing can enter into it which defileth or maketh a lie.

The human tendency always has been to assume readily the wrongness of what some other person has done or is doing, while the individual censor shrinks from the probing of his own errors of belief. In the present age a good many talk about worldliness and the worship of mammon, quite forgetful of the fact that if all professed Christians sought after moral and spiritual purity above all else, every other question would take care of itself. There can be no permanent prosperity for churches, individuals, or nations except that which expresses the absolute purity demanded by Christ Jesus in all his teachings, and which is also the demand throughout our Leader's entire writings. Our Master said, "Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God." To the earnest student of Christian Science this means that the pure in heart shall see good and good only, and love good and good only at every advancing step of his experience. He will also find that on the human plane this will call for constant purification of his own consciousness,—the temple in which he must worship God,—and as each one strives after this, our churches will be made pure from selfishness, sensuality, and everything unlike God.

At this period the whole world is passing through a baptism of fire which will without doubt result in such a moral purification as has never before been experienced by humanity. If our hope rested on anything less than this it would seem as if humanity would faint and fall while undergoing the terrible birth throes, but we have a distinct promise of perfect deliverance if only we endure unto the end; and there can be no question that those who hold fast to divine Principle will so endure. In the third chapter of Malachi we read of the divine messenger coming to the temple and of the gladness with which his approach is regarded. This announcement is followed by the searching question: "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." Then we have the divine judgment presented,—not that which was supposed to come at the end of the world, but instead the judgment of Truth which is going on continually and which is being felt as never before when people begin to awaken from the long dream of sinful belief. The pronouncement of the Most High reads: "And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts."

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Times and Seasons
April 6, 1918

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