From time immemorial man has built a temple in which to worship. Before he learned of the one God - our Heavenly Father - he built altars and temples to those mysterious beings that brought the sun, the lightning, thunder; that ruled the harvest; that brought every good gift to man. It is truly man's nature to worship. It is comforting to know that, in this changing world, when the Demon of Greed and Lust for Power has gathered his forces to destroy, the ancient temples to God still stands. In my Bible concordance it reminds us that the word "temple" is symbolical of the body of Christ. All the events of Passion Week tell us that that temple cannot be permanently destroyed. I learned today - this beautiful Easter Sabbath - that more churches are active - with larger attendance than ever before - at least in this vicinity. Isn't it true that it is only when our strongholds of religion are being threatened by a deranged foe, that we really begin to rally our forces to shield the sacred things? In reading the concordance, one learns that the temple at Jerusalem was:
In David's heart to build.
Forbidden of David to build.
Built by Solomon.
Plundered by Shisak, King of Egypt.
Restored by Noash.
Cleansed by Hezekiah.
Polluted by Manasseh.
Repaired by Josiah.
Spoiled by the Chaldeans.
Decreed by Cyrus and Darius for rebuilding.
Suspended by order of Artaxerxes.
Resumed under Darius.
Purified by Nehemiah.
Made a den of thieves. (Matt. 21,12).
And there Jesus taught just before his death; there the apostles prayed and taught; and there was Paul assaulted. History is a long, shameful record of strife - between the forces of good and evil. But this war is proving that you cannot crush, nor smother, nor cut out the heart of religion. For every man who is tortured and annihilated because of his religious beliefs, there are ten thousand who rally to the cause he was willing to die for. For every church bombed in England there are free-will offerings in staunch little churches to build ten more churches.
Somewhere I read this illuminating reminder, that the mighty Roman empire, which enslaved its subjects and crucified the gentle Jesus, is no more. But the cause of Christ has grown - to encircle the world. As I grow older, I feel, more and more, that the "name" of the temple doesn't matter. Frank Stewart, a writer on the staff of the Cleveland Press was made Church Editor about four or five years ago. He goes about, visiting every kind of church in the city; and then he tells about it in Monday's paper. He grows more tolerant, year by year. He was brought up, like myself, a good United Presbyterian, but he is able to worship in any church. And that, I think, is the true spirit of religion.
I wish there were time to tell you many things on my mind and heart. Before I close I must make apology for using the wrong word last week in writing of trying to pattern after the Perfect One - Jesus Christ. I meant just that - to try to follow his example; but, without checking in the dictionary, I used the word "emulate" - which is something we mortals cannot do, where the Perfect One is concerned. He understands, for I used it innocently - as well as in ignorance. But please check me when I err.
Yours for Victory,
Florence B. Taylor
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