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Pulpit and Press (6th Edition)

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First pastor of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass.,Delivered Jan. 6, 1895.

TEXT—Psalms xxxvi, 8. "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures."

A new year is a nursling, a babe of time, a prophecy and promise clad in white raiment, kissed—and encumbered with greetings—redolent with grief and gratitude.

An old year is time's adult, and 1893 was a distinguished character, notable for good and evil. Time past and time present, both, may pain us, but time IMPROVED is eloquent in God's praise. For due refreshment garner the memory of 1894; for if wiser by reason of its large lessons, and records deeply engraven, great is the value thereof.

  Pass on returnless year!  The path behind thee is with glory crowned;  This spot whereon thou troddest was holy ground;          Pass proudly to thy bier!

To-day being with you in spirit, what need that I should be present in propria persona? Were I present, methinks I should be much like the Queen of Sheba, when she saw the house Solomon had erected. In the expressive language of Holy Writ, "there was no more spirit in her;" and she said: "Behold, the half was not told me; thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard." Both without and within, the spirit of beauty dominates the Mother Church, from its mosaic flooring to the soft shimmer of its starlit dome.

Nevertheless, there is a thought higher and deeper than the edifice. Material light and shade are temporal, not eternal. Turning the attention from sublunary views, however enchanting, think for a moment with me of the house wherewith "they shall be abundantly satisfied," "Even the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." With the mind's eye glance at the direful scenes of the war between China and Japan. Imagine yourselves in a poorly barricaded fort, fiercely besieged by the enemy. Would you rush forth single-handed to combat the foe? Nay, would you not rather strengthen your citadel by every means in your power, and remain within the walls for its defense? Likewise should we do as metaphysicians and Christian Scientists. The real house in which "we live, move, and have our being" is Spirit, God, the eternal harmony of infinite Soul. The enemy we confront would overthrow this sublime fortress, and it behooves us to defend our heritage.

How can we do this christianly scientific work? By intrenching ourselves in the knowledge that our true temple is no human fabrication, but the superstructure of Truth, reared on the foundation of Love, and pinnacled in Life. Such being its nature, how can our godly temple possibly be demolished, or even disturbed? Can eternity end? Can Life die? Can Truth be uncertain? Can Love be less than boundless? Referring to this temple our Master said: "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." He also said: "The kingdom of God is already within you." Know then that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly,—and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love....