The Spiritual Sanctuary

In ancient days the sanctuary, or Holy of Holies, was the place where the presence of God was made manifest. It was the most holy place in the tabernacle of Moses and in the temple at Jerusalem; and near this place the Israelites assembled and worshiped God. Often pilgrimages were made from some distant part of the country or some far-off land in order to worship at this sanctuary. If this was impossible, prayers were made, as in the case of Daniel, toward the temple in Jerusalem, a custom that was alluded to by Solomon in his prayer at the dedication of the temple.

The advent of Christ Jesus gradually brought a changed concept of the sanctuary; for he said that the kingdom of heaven is within us, clearly setting forth the great spiritual fact that God is with all those who understandingly recognize His presence. It was into the Holy of Holies that the high priest entered once a year to make an atonement for his people. But at the time of Jesus' crucifixion the veil which separated the sanctuary from the rest of the temple was rent from top to bottom, and all were free to enter the holy place. The sanctuary was no more to be in a single spot or place, but in individual consciousness, so that God's presence could be demonstrated anywhere, and by everyone. As Mrs. Eddy says on page 481 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "Like the archpriests of yore, man is free 'to enter into the holiest,'—the realm of God." The true sanctuary is therefore wholly spiritual and mental. That being true, each one of us may, through spiritual understanding, enter therein and commune with God at all times.

All true worship of God has but one purpose, namely, to bring every thought into agreement with Spirit or Truth; to make God the Rock or the true foundation of all right thinking. Paul speaks of spiritual power as "casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Is it not plain, then, that all true thought, in harmony with God, must partake of Life, Truth, and Love? The sanctuary, therefore, has evidently the one great purpose of establishing most firmly in our thinking the truth of the allness of God, Spirit, and of man's eternal at-one-ment with God.

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Sacrifice, the Price of Freedom
November 23, 1929

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