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THE SPIRITUAL TEMPLE.
The Saints above are stars in heaven;
What are the Saints on earth?
Our Eden's happy birth.
Hope, their unfading flower;
The glory of their bower.
When the Almighty ruler of the Universe called Abraham out of a world, then sunk a second time into vice and idolatry, to be the father of the people to whom He was untimely to give laws for the guidance of all the nations of the earth, we are told by the Sacred Historian the reason of his being thus chosen. “And the Lord said, shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him ? For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abruham that which he hath spoken of him.” *
We thus may learn the manner in which a “ Tree of Righteousness,” may be a pillar in the Spiritual Temple. And if we could imagine 144 thousand such heads of families, each a king and a priest in his own well regulated household, occupying the best portions of land, north, south, east, and west of their “Inheritance of Peace," we might imagine a temple erected, well pleasing in the sight of him who said, “ The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool ; where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest ? For
* Gen. xviii. 17, 18, 19.
all those things hath my hands made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord : but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word.”* St. Peter addressed his first Epistle to the,“ Strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : grace unto you and peace be multiplied. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation ; because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.” † The rest of the chapter contains much practical Christianity; and the second chapter, after encouraging believers to study the word of God, thus describes the manner in which the Spiritual Temple is to be formed by unity amongst Christians.” “ If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also. as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture. Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious ; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. I Unto you therefore which believe he is precious : but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed the same is made the head of the corner,ş and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient ; whereunto also they were appointed, but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light : which in times past were not a people, but now are the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” * The remainder of the Epistle as well as the second, contain practical advice to believers, and he concludes with a prophecy of the destruction of part of the world by fire, which he exhorts them to consider, as an additional reason for living a holy life. “ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye. to be in all holy conversation and godliness ; looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the Heavens, being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ? Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”+ The rational sources of earthly happiness, within the reach of Christians, who resolve to come out from “Babylon the Great," and unite in erecting the Spiritual Temple in Australia, are thus described by one of the brightest ornaments of the Church of Christ, who has ever lived in any Christian nation since the days of the Apostles. Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray, was indeed richly endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and in his works, which have been the means of turning many to righteousness, he will always, although sleeping in the dust of the earth himself, shine as a star for ever and ever. I
* Isaiah lxvi. 1, 2. 1 Peter. i. 1, 2, 15, 16,
Isaiah xxviii. 16. Matthew xxi 42.
In his beautiful work “Telemachus," he thus gives a description of the manners and customs of the inhabitants of Boetica, which is now a part of Spain.
"In the mean time, Telemachus addressed himself to Adoam : 'I remember,' said he, that you mentioned a voyage you made to Boetica, since we returned toge
* 1 Peter ii. 3–10. t 1 Peter iii, 11, 12, 13,
Daniel xii. 2, 3.
ther from Egypt: Boetica is a country, concerning which many wonders are related, which it is difficult to believe : tell me, therefore, whether they are true ?"_“I shall be glad,” said Adoam,“ to describe that country to you; for it is well worthy your curiosity, and is yet more extraordinary than fame has reported it.
“The river Bætis flows through a fertile country, where the air is always temperate, and the sky serene. This river, which gives name to the country, falls into the ocean near the pillars of Hercules; not far from the place where the sea heretofore, breaking its bounds, separated the country of Tarsis from the vast continent of Africa. This region seems to have preserved all the felicity of the golden age. In the winter, the freezing breath of the north is never felt, and the season is, therefore, mild; but in summer, there are always refreshing gales from the west, which blow about the middle of the day, and in this season, therefore the heat is never intense; so that spring and autumn, espoused as it were to each other, walk hand in hand through the year. The valleys and the plains yield annually a double harvest; the hedges consist of laurels, pomegranates, jasmines, and other trees, that are not only always green, but in flower; the mountains are covered with flocks, whose wool, for its superior fineness, is sought by all nations. This beautiful country contains also many mines of gold and silver; but the inhabitants, happy in their simplicity, disdain to count silver or gold among their riches; and value that only which contributes to supply the real and natural wants of mankind.
“When we first traded with the people, we found gold and silver used for ploughshares; and, in general, employed promiscuously with iron. As they carried on no foreign trade, they had no need of money; they were,
almost all, either shepherds or husband men ; for as they suffered no arts to be exercised among them, but such as tended immediately to answer the necessities of life, the number of artificers was consequently small: besides, a greater part, even of those that live by husbandry, or keeping of sheep, are skilful in the exercise of such arts, as are necessary to manners so simple and frugal.
“ The women are employed in spinning the wool, and manufacturing it into stuffs, that are remarkably fine and white: they also make the bread, and dress the victuals, which costs them very little trouble, for they live chiefly upon fruits and milk, animal food being seldom eaten among them; of the skins of their sheep they make a light sort of covering for their legs and feet, with which they furnish their husbands and children; the women also make the habitations, which are a kind of tents, covered either with waxed skins or the bark of trees; they make and wash all the clothes of the family, and keep their houses in great neatness and order; their clothes, indeed, are easily made; for, in that temperate climate, they wear only a piece of fine white stuff, which is not formed to the shape of the body, but wrapped round it so as to fall in long plaits, and take what figure the wearer thinks fit.
“ The men cultivate the ground, and manage their flocks; and the other arts which they practise, are those only of forming wood and iron into necessary utensils ; and of iron they make very little use, except in instruments of tillage : all the arts that relate to architecture, are useless to them; for they build no houses. It shows too mueh regard to the earth, say they, to erect a building upon it which will last longer than ourselves; if we are defended from the weather, it is sufficient. As to other arts, which are so highly esteemed in Greece, in