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Temple Views of Winter.

Temple Views of Winter.

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Published by glennpease
BY HENRY J. BEVIS.


" And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication^ and it
was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon^s
porch'—JOHN X. 22, 23.
BY HENRY J. BEVIS.


" And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication^ and it
was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon^s
porch'—JOHN X. 22, 23.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 09, 2013
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TEMPLE VIEWS OF WITER.BY HERY J. BEVIS." And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication^ and itwas winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon^sporch'—JOH X. 22, 23.ational humiliation and national rejoicing mayat times be every way fit and proper. Events maycall for them, — their propriety may be universallyrecognised; but if annually perpetuated, they may be-come unmeaning— the memorials of worn-out andobsolete things. Antiochus had defiled the templeby offering swine upon the altar. Judas Maccabeushad purified it, and the "feast of the dedication " wasthe annual commemoration of this event in Jewishhistory. In addition to fasts and festivals of Divineappointment, others were appended, and these, thoughnot binding on men's consciences, appear to havebeen scrupulously observed. It is instructive toobserve with how much more reverence men treatChurch institutions than those ordained and sanc-tioned by God.What a contrast there is between Christianity andJudaism I Christianity is a religion without fastsand festivals. It is not an outward religion. It isTemple Views of Winter. 99not meats and drinks. It does not consist in outwardobservances. It says nothing about "times andseasons." It does not attach sanctity to days andyears. It has little to do with the letter — muchwith the spirit. It insists on a correspondence be-tween the inward life and the outward expression.
 
An ecclesiastical body has no right to enjoin out-ward signs of an unusual state of feeling. We cannotrejoice or be sorrowful because we are commanded ;and we may therefore conscientiously decline to fallin with observances which to us would not be utter-ances of truth. Still, in the exercise of the excellentgrace of charity, while we claim liberty for ourselves,we have no right to condemn others. " Let not himwhich eateth not judge him that eateth." We haveno rule over men's consciences. The man who actsfrom conviction demands our reverence, though hisconvictions be founded on error. God is the judge of conscience ; He has not delegated this prerogative tous, or to any body of men. What hast thou to dowith another man's conscience, or what has anotherman to do with thine ? " He that eateth, eateth tothe Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he thateateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and givethGod thanks." A man who makes God's glory hisaim is not to be condemned by us ; but if he wouldsubvert the Gospel by attaching unreal value to bodilyservice, we are bound to utter our protest.Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch,H 2100 TempU Views of Winter.and it was the feast of the dedication. He, the gloryof the temple, had come to it, and in its porch menseek to stone Him, because He asserts His onenesswith the Father. Symbolism may be more yalnedthan truth. Men may attach greater importance tothe sanctuary than to the Gospel. Before the Jewscame round about Christ, and asked Him how longthey were to be kept in doubt, Jesus was walking inthe porch, and it is natural for us to form some idea
 
of the thoughts that might have been passing throughHis mind — suggested in all probability by the eccle-siastical arrangements and institutions then in thecourse of observance, or by the season of the year,for the Evangelist tells us " it was winter." Christ'sthoughts could not be fully expressed in words — they could only be breathed to His Father ; but theyappear frequently to have been suggested by outwardthings, and on this occasion He may have thoughtof the contrast between the outward beauty of thetemple and the real condition of the Church, — or thelittle moral influence the Church had yet brought tobear upon the world, for the world's winter was onlythe symbol of its spiritual state. But whatever thethoughts of Jesus, we may gather lessons of greatspiritual import from the thoughts suggested to usin the sanctuary by the season of the year.Our subject is, "Temple Views of Winter."The ritualism of nature is most expressive, — itfurnishes us with types of spiritual ideas. Our wordsTemple Views of Winter^ loiare nature*s pictures, and the outward world is thegrand volume of God*s utterances of His thoughts.See how spiritual truths are illustrated. We havelife, death, burial, and resurrection. We see thatthe death of one form of life is introductory to another.What silent and unseen influences produce changesin the world, well fitted to portray the greaterchanges wrought by moral power. Christ, the greatestTeacher, used nature's illustrations. He wants a typeof His spiritual kingdom ; He looks round ; He doesnot borrow from art, or from science, from any of theworld's institutions, but from nature. The smallestseed containing the germ of life, is His apt and beau-tiful illustration of that spiritual kingdom, which, how-ever feeble and small in its commencement, has life,

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