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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES




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THE TEMPLE



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

NEW YORK • BOSTON • CHICAGO
ATLANTA • SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

LONDON • BOMBAY • CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.

TORONTO



THE TEMPLE



BY
LYMAN ABBOTT

r



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1919 ,

AU rights reserved,



PV SARY

R 19^0



COPTRIGHT, 1909,

Bt the ma CMtLLAN- company.
Set up aildcciectrot^ped. Published lyo-Tji-ber, 7909.



J. 8. Gushing Co. — Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwootl, Mass., U.S.A.



PREFACE

This volume is one of three volumes which
make one book: "The Great Companion";
" The Other Room "; " The Temple." They
are not books of Theology; they are books of
Religion. Religion is the life of God in the
soul of man; Theology is what men have
thought about that life. The object of these
books is not to define, but to describe; not to
defend, but to portray.

The object of " The Great Companion " is
to describe the Christian's faith in God. This
faith is not an opinion; it is an experience.
It is not the belief that there is a Great First
Cause; it is personal acquaintance with an
Infinite Father. It is an experience of the
Friendliness of God.

The object of "The Other Room" is not



PREFACE

to prove immortality, but to describe it. Faith
in immortality is not belief in life after death;
it is life now. It is not an opinion that the
spirit will live after the body decays. It is
a life untouched by disaster to the body. It
is a habit of mind; the habit of looking on
the things that are unseen and are eternal.

The object of "The Temple" is not to
expound the philosophies of either the psy-
chologist or the physiologist. It is to describe
human experience: as it is and as it ought
to be; to interpret the laws both of the body
and of the spirit. It is to describe human
nature.

The first volume portrays the Christian's
faith in God ; the second volume, his faith in
life ; the third volume, his faith in man.

All these books are interpretations. They
claim no originality. They interpret the
Bible, that is the treasured experience of de-
vout souls. The spirit of the first is "Say



PREFACE

Our Father"; that of the second is "I give

unto them Eternal Life"; that of the third

is " Thou hast made him Httle lower than

God, thou hast crowned him with glory and

honor."

LYMAN ABBOTT.

The Knoll,

CORNWALL-OK-HUDSON, NeW YoRK,

October, 1909.



tH



CONTENTS



I.


The Body.


II.


The Eye .


III.


The Ear .


IV.


The Ear .


V.


The Tongue


VI.


The Hand


VII.


The Feet .


VIII.


The Appetites .


IX.


The Passions .


X.


Imagination


XI.


The Conscience


XII.


The Intuition .


XIII.


The Reason


XIV.


Love .



1

9

17

27

39

53

65

79

93

103

113

127

141

157



I

THE BODY



THE TEMPLE



THE BODY

Know ye not that your body is a temple of a holy spirit
which is in you, which ye have from God ?

My God, I heard this day
That none doth build a stately habitation

But he that means to dwell therein.

What house more stately hath there been
Or can be, than is Man ? To whose creation

All things are in decay.

Since then, my God, thou hast
So brave a Palace built, O dwell in it,

That it may dwell with thee at last !

TiU thou afford us so much wit
That, as the world serve us, we may serve thee,

And both thy servants be.

— George Herbert.

rilHE body is a temple; in the temple
dwells a spirit; this spirit came forth
from God, is in the image of God, partakes
the nature of God. "We are his offspring."
How to keep the temple holy, that is, clean

3



THE TEMPLE

and healthy; how to keep this spirit that
dwells within the temple a worthy occupant
and the spiritual master of the body, is the
problem of life. To answer those two ques-
tions would be to answer all the questions
of religion; would be to solve all the prob-
lems of life: the problem of the mother with
her child, of the teacher with her pupil, of
the citizen with the State, of the man of
affairs in his affairs, of the individual with
himself. Life is making men and women.
To know how so to live as to help, not hin-
der life, to make the result of its businesses,
its conflicts, its temptations, a pure soul in a
pure body, is to possess all knowledge and
to achieve all success that is of worth, for
all knowledge is to be measured by its con-
tribution to life, and the end of all achieve-
ment is character.

A pure soul in a pure body.

There are philosophers who would have
us believe that there is no soul, only body;
and there are philosophers who would have
us believe that there is no body, only soul.

4



THE BODY

But neither have ever succeeded in making
any headway against the common experi-
ence and the common sense of mankind.
Whatever philosophy may say in the school-
room, we all have to act in life as though
both matter and spirit were realities. In
vain the idealist assures us that the body is
not; that all we know of matter is derived
from our own consciousness; that for aught
we know that consciousness is all; that
what we call life may be but a dream from
which we shall presently awake to discover
its unreality. The idealist, like his neigh-
bors, hungers and eats food; is cold and
seeks the fire. To him, as to his fellows, the
rock is an impenetrable barrier, and he must
tunnel it or climb over it or go around it. In
vain the materialist assures us that the spirit
is not; that consciousness is a material
product of a material brain; that man is a
machine and does as the forces within him
and about him compel. "We know we're
free, and that's the end on't." The mate-
rialist, like his neighbor, when he suffers

5



THE TEMPLE

wrong, feels indignation; when he does
wrong, suffers remorse. And no argument
of a philosopher avails to make him treat
himself or his neighbor as a machine that
merely needs repairing. When the careless
chauffeur runs down a little child, the wrath
of the materialist flames out against the
chauffeur, not against the automobile.

I am I. The body is the house in which
I dwell. My body is a machine, a very deli-
cate machine, whose subtle forces science is
still engaged in studying with varying degrees
of success. I am not a machine, but the
master of the machine, in some measure the
maker of the machine — maker of it as maker
of the garden which nature and I unite in
producing. The relations between me and
my house are intimate — so intimate that
the two make one earthly personality, as the
serpent is one with his skin, though presently
he will cast off his skin; as the bird is one
with her feathers, though by and by she will
lose them in moulting. If this spirit makes
the body, this body also helps to make the



THE BODY



spirit. The eye and the ear receive impres-
sions which minister to the life of the spirit;
the spirit puts forth activities which minister
to the life of the body. What corrupts the
body degrades the spirit. This is what Paul
means by the saying: "If any one destroys
the temple of God, him God will destroy."
God has so connected body and spirit, house
and tenant, the temple and its divine in-
habitant, that if the spirit corrupts the body,
the body in turn corrupts the spirit ; the ten-
ant in destroying the house destroys himself.
Health of body is not merely muscular
strength. An athlete is not the perfect model.
That is a truly healthy body which in all its
parts is promptly, cordially, unquestioningly
obedient to a noble tenant which dwells
within. The bodily organs are like the in-
struments in an orchestra, the spirit like the
conductor; when each instrument plays as
the conductor directs, life is harmonious. A
healthy body is an obedient body; the eye
sees what the spirit bids it see; the ear hears
what the spirit bids it hear; the hand does

7



THE TEMPLE

what the spirit bids it do. But a healthy
man is more than a healthy body. He is
a healthy body obedient to a healthy spirit —
that is, to a spirit obedient to the laws of God,
which are the laws of health. If the body
has an errant, lawless, or vicious master, it
obeys to its own undoing and the undoing
of its master. The laws of health are the
laws of God. Obedience to the laws of
health is obedience to God. Disobedience
to the laws of health is disobedience to God.
To know what are the laws of health — of
body and of spirit, of the individual and of
society, of human life and of the world we
live in — this is the sum of all knowledge.
To obey those laws is the whole of religion.
In this volume it is my aim, as an interpreter
of the Biblical writers, to point out some of
the laws of health of both body and spirit, to
interpret some of the counsels which those writ-
ers have given us as to the right use of both
body and spirit, some of the conditions which
they have indicated of a healthy, that is holy,
tenant, in a healthy, that is an obedient, body.

8



II

THE EYE



II

THE EYE

If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from
thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members
should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast
into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and
cast it from thee : for it is profitable that one of thy members
should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast
into hell.

f MHE eye receives impressions; the hand
performs actions. Christ tells his dis-
ciples that to receive an evil impression may
be as sinful and as dangerous as to perform
an evil action.

This is not generally believed. We are
accustomed to think of sin as doing some-
thing sinful ; to regard sin and wrongdoing
as nearly synonymous expressions. To sin
passively appears almost a contradiction in
terms. Not so to Christ. We may sin in
receiving impressions no less than in doing
deeds. Sin is lawlessness. And law applies

11



THE TEMPLE

to the eye as well as to the hand; to the
organs which receive as well as to the organs
which act. To look on a neighbor's watch
and desire to transfer it to one's own pocket
is to be a thief; to look on a woman to lust
after her is to be an adulterer; to look on an
enemy with desire to take vengeance on him
is to be a murderer. To desire evil is to be
evil; and the evil eye inspires the evil desire.
We are made by the impressions we receive
and the actions we perform; and not less by
the impressions than by the actions. Man
may be compared to a phonograph that
gives back to the ear the impressions which
have been received and recorded upon the
plate within. Or to a photographic plate
that receives an invisible impression from
the outside world, w^hich, after it has been
fixed in the bath, is given back to the world
again. "The whole nervous system," says
Dr. W. H. Thomson, "in every animal, man
included, is first organized by habit. Physi-
ologists, when they speak of nerve-centres
being organized to perform such and such

12



THE EYE

functions, mean, not that the nerve-centres
have been created so from the beginning,
but that habit has so organized them. But
the important principle to bear in mind is
that it is the segment of the nervous system
which is acted upon by stimuli from the out-
side world which is the ultimate source of
this great fashioner of the nervous system,
Habit." ^ Thus every impression received,
even more than every action performed, tends
to make us what we are.

It is physiologically true that environment
tends to determine character. The child
brought up among vulgar associates neces-
sarily becomes vulgar; brought up among
impure associates necessarily becomes im-
pure. Necessarily — unless vigorous and eflS-
cient measures are taken to counteract the
environment ; that is, unless an efficient coun-
teracting environment can be produced. Un-
less, for example, the father and mother can
erase the vicious impression by substituting

• Quoted and condensed from " Brain and Personality,"
pp. 14i, 142.

13



THE TEMPLE

in its place a virtuous one, or can arouse the
will of the child to abhor the vicious picture
and so prevent the picture from exerting a
vicious influence on the will. And even then
in later life the picture will return at times
to plague him.

It is for this reason that modern reformers
are putting great stress on a change of en-
vironment, are demanding for the poor the
external symbols of internal cleanliness.
Clean streets, pure water, bright sunlight,
are not only physically hygienic, they tend
to moral hygiene as well. The boy brought
up in a physically clean tenement is more
likely to be morally clean than the boy brought
up in a dark, dismal, and dirty tenement. It
is for this reason we are putting fine pictures
on the walls of our schoolrooms. They are
not mere ornaments; they do not merely
promote a good artistic sense in the pupils.
They give through the eye impressions of
"sweetness and light," and so help to make
the pupil pure, by creating in him a habit of
pure taste and pure imagination. They are

14



THE EYE

literally helping to determine the convolutions
of his brain. The barkeepers are not scien-
tific psychologists; but they understand prac-
tically this law of life. Therefore they hang
upon their walls lewd pictures in order to
stimulate a habit of sensual self-indulgence;
for one form of self-indulgence tends to
develop a craving for all other forms of self-
indulgence. Lust creates appetite, appetite
creates lust.

To receive vicious impressions does not
merely incite to vicious actions. It does
more, much more; it creates vicious char-
acter. It is true that seeing, to affect the
mind, must be with the mind. It is only
when the will consents as well as the eye
sees that the character is impressed. "The
eye does not see," says Dr. Thomson, "any
more than an opera-glass sees." The person
sees; the eye, like the opera-glass, is the
instrument which he uses. Two persons may
read th« same book, look at the same picture,
listen to the same opera, and receive very
different impressions. It is the impression

15



THE TEMPLE



which impresses. But every vicious picture,
vicious play, vicious book, vicious article,
vicious jest, viciously enjoyed, goes to the
making of a vicious character. The eye
that looks lawlessly is as sinful and as perilous
to character as the hand that acts lawlessly.



16



Ill

THE EAR



Ill

THE EAR

Take heed what you hear.

I^EVER did people more need this ad-
monition than we Americans in this
beginning of the twentieth century. For we
have the defects of our qualities, and indis-
criminating curiosity is the defect of an in-
tellectually enterprising people. Our curi-
osity is omnivorous. Like the babe who puts
everything to his mouth to test it, we open
our ears to everything: how can we judge if
we do not know.? All questions interest us.
There are, however, some questions to
which there is no answer. A little child the
other day asked his teacher, " When was God
born.?" He was an early metaphysician.
There has been and there still is a great deal
of useless speculation. It is more important
to know what the Ten Commandments mean

19



THE TEMPLE

as adapted to American society to-day than
to know the date when they were first given
to the world, and a great deal more important
than to know what the writer of Exodus
meant by saying that they were written on
tables of stone by the finger of God. It is
much more important to know how to exer-
cise myself so as to "have always a con-
science void of offence toward God and
toward men" than it is to form a reasonable
hypothesis as to the method by which that
conscience has been developed from a lower
animal instinct. Too large a proportion of
our academic instruction is imparting specu-
lation, not knowledge, or a knowledge of
speculations that never were of any value
and might as well be forgotten.

There are some knowledges that are real
and are important to the few but are valueless
to the majority. The doctor needs to learn
the names and places of all the bones in the
body; but the layman does not. If I call
him when I am sick, he needs to study my
symptoms and understand what is the disease.

20



THE EAR

But the less I study my symptoms and think
about my disease the speedier will be the re-
covery. Expert knowledge is valuable to the
expert and dangerous to the inexpert, for "a
little knowledge is a dangerous thing," and
inexpert knowledge is little knowledge. Most
of us would better leave psychic research to
specialists who have time and talent for it.
Half-knowledge is often the worst form of
ignorance.

There are also some knowledges which
are useless and some which are worse than
useless. Generally knowledge of gossip is
useless, knowledge of vice is vicious. I say
generally, for gossip is sometimes both true
and important, and ignorance of vice is not
a protection from vice. In America we are
prone to make the exception the rule and the
rule the exception; to assume that gossip is
valuable because it is interesting and that
knowledge of vice is valuable because it is
knowledge. A good motto for the editors of
our daily press would be this sentence from
Thomas a Kempis: "It is wisdom not to

21



THE TEMPLE

believe everything that men say, nor presently
to pour into the ears of others the things that
we have heard or believed." Many editors
assume that we are more interested in gossip
than in news, and in crimes and accidents
than in achievements. Perhaps they are right.
Perhaps our curiosity demands what our con-
science and our taste condemn, and the
worldly-wise editor pays more attention to
the demand than to the condemnation. How
the blame for the present condition of much
of our daily press is to be divided between the
editor and the readers I will not undertake
to determine. But it is certain that if the
editor does not select our reading as we wish
he did, the selection each reader can make
for himself. It is not a difficult matter to look
through the daily paper and select for our
reading what is worth reading. Take heed
what ye read would be a good danger-signal
to print in large type across the front page of
every daily paper.

But this danger-signal is also needed in our
libraries. It is reported that a few months

22



THE EAR

ago a class of young women in one of our
colleges signed a protest against a list of fic-
tion which had been prescribed for them to
read. Their protest was successful and the
list was revised. I sympathize with them.
There are books that never ought to have
been written; and they ought never to be
read. Some knowledge of vice is necessary
to a complete education; but familiarity with
vice is not. And reading vice in fiction gives
not knowledge, but familiarity. If we must
acquaint ourselves or our children with the
fact that there is vice in the world, as I think
we must, let us do it so as to guard them
against vice, not so as to attract them to vice ;
let us not do it romantically. The reading of
vicious literature cannot be defended on the
ground that it gives information; in fact, it
gives misinformation. Says Barrett Wendell
in his admirable volume on "The France of
To-Day": "The persistent irregularities of
conduct incessant in French literature may
most sensibly be regarded as the intellectual
counterpart of lives benumbing in their gen-

23



THE TEMPLE

eral regularity." If so, the reader of De
Maupassant does not get information, he gets
misinformation, concerning French life and
manners.

Fiction has three functions: entertainment,
instruction, inspiration. The story may sim-
ply serve to pass an hour. One may read
a book as he plays golf — for pleasure. Most
of our magazine stories have this useful but
not very ambitious purpose. The story may
instruct. From Turgenieff or Tolstoy one
may get a more vivid picture of Russian
society than from Wallace or Leroy-Beaulieu ;
from "Lorna Doone" a more vivid picture
of English life in the seventeenth century than
from Green. The so-called problem novel
sometimes renders this service. It enables
one half the world to know how the other
half lives. The story may inspire. It may
put before the mind, through the imagination,
an ideal of life and character which arouses
aspiration and incites to action. If it only
arouses aspiration, it is of doubtful value, and
may be injurious; if it also incites to action,

24



THE EAR

it is useful. To put before the reader a high
ideal that can be realized, and so inspire him
to attempt its realization, this is the highest
function of works of imagination. If the
story entertains and gives false information,
it is bad. If it entertains and gives false
ideals — that is, ideals that cannot be realized
— it is worse. If it entertains and at the
same time degrades instead of inspires, if it
makes vice attractive and virtue repulsive, if
its ideals are not only false but vicious, it is
a powerful instrument of vice. For we never
rise higher than the ideals which we set before
ourselves as the aim of our aspirations. What
Charles Dickens has said on this subject in his
preface to "Oliver Twist" is worth recalling:

I had read of thieves by scores ; seductive fellows (amiable
for the most part), faultless in dress, plump in pocket, choice
in horseflesh, bold in bearing, fortunate in gallantry, great at
a song, a bottle, pack of cards or dice-box, and fit companion
for the bravest. But I had never met (except in Hogarth)
with the miserable reality. It appeared to me that to draw
a knot of such associates in crime as really do exist; to paint
them in all their deformity, in all their wretchedness, in all
the squalid poverty of their lives ; to show them as they really
are, forever skulking uneasily through the dirtiest paths of
life, with the great, black, ghastly gallows closing up their

25



THE TEMPLE

prospect, turn them where they might; it appeared to me
that to do this would be to attempt a something which was
greatly needed and which would be a service to society.

The story which depicts vice as anything
else than disappointing to the hopes and de-
grading to the character lies; and acquaint-
ance with lies is not valuable knowledge. It
may be necessary for a few experts to know
such books; but the less the rest of us know
of them the better our education. To read
what is not worth reading, in order to gratify
either a prurient or an indiscriminating curi-
osity, does not contribute to culture.

Take heed what ye read.

It is not less important to take heed how
we read. Of that I speak in the next
chapter.



26



IV
THE EAR



IV
THE EAR

Take heed therefore how ye hear.

TXOW to hear is as important as what we
hear. Every public speaker recognizes
this truth. For to the speaker there is as
much difference in audiences as to the audi-
ences there is in speakers. Some are not
audiences; they are merely congregations;
the speaker has to compel their attention.
Others bring their attention with them. This
is the charm of a college congregation : it is
composed of men and women who come to
get something, and therefore listen from the
opening sentence. When I first went to
Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, to succeed Henry
Ward Beecher, it was with great apprehen-
sion. I found him an easy man to follow,
for I spoke to a congregation trained to listen,
and their habit of expectancy inspired the
preacher. Who has not discovered this in

29



THE TEMPLE

society, where a good listener is as good a
member as a good talker? Who has not
labored with a dinner companion whose eyes
no less than his monosyllabic words said
plainly, I am not listening ?

A book is a speaker; reading is listening.
Take heed how you read is as important as
Take heed what you read. The Germans
have a proverb that reading is an excuse for
not thinking. Some one has characterized
a certain type of book as a stop-thought.
Sometimes one wants an excuse for not think-
ing; sometimes one wants a stop-thought.
The wearied mother, pulled in a score of
contradictory directions by conflicting de-
mands, gets ten minutes for repose. This is
a time, not for thought, but for rest. But
the overcrowded brain will not rest if it is left
alone. She must find for it occupation enough
to keep it from serious occupation. She wants
a stop-thought. The business or professional
man whose brain has toiled in the office for
eight or ten hours needs sleep. But his brain
has acquired a momentum and will not in-


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