"Go, stand and speak in the temple"

In the fifth chapter of Acts is given an account of Peter's healing work, an account which contains a demonstration of understanding that is among the greatest recorded as having been performed by the apostles. It states that the multitude "were healed every one," and that the effect of this wonderful work upon that entire community was very great. So great was the impression made upon the people of that time that the record goes on to say the indignation or envy of the sect of the Sadducees was excited, and they placed the apostles in the common prison. The Sadducees were then the so-called aristocracy of the church, opposed to the Pharisees' methods and doctrines, believing neither in the resurrection nor in any teaching which did not definitely originate with Moses. It will be seen how eagerly such a mental state would seek to restrain, and even imprison, those who expressed such spiritual understanding and demonstrated such power to heal as did Peter and the other apostles.

But the thought that could serve in such healing work is necessarily receptive to the angel-thought that would free the prisoner; and so the Scripture says, "The angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life." The prompt obedience of the apostles was followed by more teaching in the temple and by a repetition of the Sadducees' attempt to stop the work, by the wise counsel of Gamaliel, the Pharisee, and by the release of the apostles after suffering violent persecution, but not death.

There are many wonderful lessons in this experience which may be an inspiration and comfort to every Christian Scientist. Among the more helpful ones is the lesson to be gained from the angel's words, "Go, stand and speak in the temple." Even as the angel of the Lord came to those prisoners in the night, so is the same angel bidding us daily leave the prison of erroneous thinking and "go, stand and speak in the temple." It may be that we, too, sometimes experience the "darkness; doubt; fear," which Mrs. Eddy says on page 592 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" constitute the belief of night. But, even so, right there in the night stands our angel. And when we contrast the atmosphere of the temple, "the superstructure of Truth; the shrine of Love" (ibid., p. 595), with the atmosphere of our false imprisoning beliefs, we should be only too glad to enter into the temple "early in the morning," as did the apostles. Once there, our efforts along the line of good activity must bring our ultimate release and our increased usefulness, as surely as it brought those merited rewards to Peter and his companions.

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"Praise ye the Lord"
July 3, 1926

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