Building the Temple

An Exercise For Children’s Day, Illustrated By A Temple And An Arch

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” – John

“Giving all diligence add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. He that lacketh these things is blind.” Peter.

It was the good fortune of the author to be called to serve as chorister and superintendent of rural Sunday schools, and leader of the choir of the Church, in his early youth. At the beginning of his ministry, he discovered the relative importance of this work among the young, by reading the observation of the sainted Samuel Miller to the effect; if he could repeat the period of his ministry, he would give ten times more time and attention to the work among the children. This importance was very acceptably emphasized during the eighties, by the enthusiasm of Rev. James A. Wooden, D. D., of our Sunday school Board, and the appointment of a Sabbath in June, to be annually observed as Children’s Day.

One of the most prominent features of our ministry has been, a persistently active participation in the work among the children and young people. Other engagements have not been permitted to interfere with attendance at Sunday school and Endeavor meetings, or an appointment to meet the children at any of the regular times of rehearsal of songs and exercises for Easter, Christmas, Children’s Day and other anniversaries. All the young people were encouraged to participate in the effort to make these rallying days, occasions of special instruction and delight. A number of pretty, and sometimes elaborate, designs were devised to add their illuminating effect to the exercises. Two of these designs, a temple and an arch, both having for their object, a visible representation of the divinely appointed elements of a good character, according to the apostle Peter, and animating power of the indwelling spirit, manifested by a conscientious observance of the command to remember the Sabbath, have been deemed worthy of an illustration in this volume, that those who participated in them, and others, may be able to reproduce them for the instruction and delight of others.

Exercises, that consist of passages from the Scriptures, are more valuable than others to the children, when committed to memory, and they learn them very readily, when an immediate use is to be made of them at a public service. The passages suggested for use in these exercises include many of the most important ones in the Bible, and as they practice, in the presence of each other, all become more or less familiar with every one of them. The superintendent or leader is expected to arrange the length and number of the exercises, to suit the number and ages of those available to participate in them. A single verse may be best for the child: but a glance over the additional passages may be very helpful to the pastor or other person, delivering a short address at the close of the children’s exercises.

A very pleasing feature of these designs is the fact, they are constructed by the children as one after the other, or two together, carry their part to the platform and render their exercise. One or two are appointed to serve as Master-builders to receive the stones or tablets, when delivered, and place them in their proper position.
A good character is an enduring monument. A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.

Walking in the Truth

An Enduring Temple

An Enduring Temple

A temple for time and eternity, showing the divinely appointed elements of a good character (2 Peter 1:5-8), their sure foundations; the person and work of our Lord Jesus and the inspired Word of God; and their crowning bond, the Sabbath.

An Exercise For Children’s Day

(The two master builders standing together)
Master Builder: Dear friends: The Bible tells us that all are builders. That some are wise and others are foolish. That some are building on the sand, without any protection against the storms and floods that will surely cause their fall. That some are building with wood, hay or stubble; or with gold, silver and precious stones, without any protection against the day, when the fire will consume these perishable materials. That others, however are building safely and securely, with divinely appointed materials, on the Rock of Ages and the unchanging, impregnable Word of God. That the indwelling Spirit, commonly called the Comforter, is the occupant, strength and life of their temple; and their conscientious observance of the Sabbath, is to them the pledge of Divine favor and the visible sign of their sure protection.

Assistant Builder: All of you no doubt are familiar with the words of the poet, Longfellow:

“All are architects of fate
Building on the walls of time;
Some with massive deeds and great,
Others with the ornaments of rhyme.
For the structures that we raise
God’s Word is with materials filled;
And our todays and yesterdays
Reveal the materials with which we build.”
“We have planned today to build
A temple-on earth, a heaven;
A temple on rocks so solid,
And with materials divinely given,
That all who hear the Master’s call
To service and an endless life,
May of this be sure, whatever befall
They have builded for time aright.”

Life is what we make it out of what God puts within our reach, and every act is a foundation stone for the next one. Walking in the truth, adding to our faith and building a temple all mean advancing one step or stone at a time.

Master Builder: The white stone referred to in Revelation was an emblem of pardon and a badge of friendship.

The stone ordinarily is an emblem of solidity and enduring strength. In this sense it is an emblem of an eternal truth, or principle. When Peter confessed, “Thou art the Christ,” Jesus said in regard to his confession, “Thou art Peter, and on this rock” or fundamental truth, “I am Christ,” “I will build my Church; and the gates of hell (hades) shall not prevail against it.”

David tells us “The Lord set his feet upon a rock.” He calls the Lord a rock, a fortress and a high tower; and entreats the Lord to “lead him to the rock that is higher than I.” Peter speaks of Jesus as a living stone, and of believers as lively stones that form a spiritual house, an holy priesthood.

We are now ready for the foundation.
“And as we build, let each one pray,
That we may build aright;
That all we do on earth may be
Well pleasing in God’s sight.”
Chorus. “We’re building up the temple,
Building up the temple
Building up the temple of the Lord.”

Bearer: We bring the corner stone on which our temple rests.

Master Builder: This stone represents our Lord Jesus, the sure foundation. Let us hear of this stone, the Rock of Ages, what the Bible may tell.

Bearer: “Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious; but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner. Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

He said of himself, I am the light of the world. I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Without me ye can do nothing. My grace is sufficient for thee.

Paul said of him, “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

Asst. Bearer: Peter said: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought by you builders-the Jews-which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved.”

Bearer: We bring another stone for the foundation.

M. B.: This stone represents the Word of God that endureth forever. Let us hear of this stone what the Bible may tell.

Bearer: “Thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect; thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The law of the Lord is perfect; converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Asst. Bearer: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
“Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed when he shall come in his own glory, and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

“Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord, for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” See John 1. 4,14.

M. B.: The two fold foundation of our glorious temple has now been laid. It consists of the Rock of Ages and the Word of God that endureth forever. We are now ready for those good materials for the walls of the temple that are better than wood, hay or stubble, gold, silver or precious stones.

Faith. Bearer: We bring the stone that represents Faith.

Master Builder: Faith is a goodly stone, and it fits right well. Let us hear of Faith what the Bible may tell.

(Adjust and repeat for the other stones.)
Bearer: By grace are ye saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life.

Asst. Bearer: Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. They which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful. Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life. See also Rom. 10:8-10.

Virtue-Courage. B: Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just; whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Thou therefore my son, Timothy, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus and endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Asst. B: The Lord said unto Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage: that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses, my servant commanded thee; that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” See also Eph. 6:10-17.

Knowledge. B: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. See Prov. 4:7-8; 3:16-17

Temperance. Abstain from all appearance of evil. If meat make my brother to offend I will eat no meat while the world standeth. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And 2 Pet. 1:5-6.

Patience. In your patience possess ye your souls. Let us run with patience the race that is set before us; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Godliness. “Great is the mystery of Godliness: God manifest in the flesh, believed on in the world and received up into glory. Godliness with contentment is great gain. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

Kindness. “Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Love ye your enemies, and do good; lend hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

Charity. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long and is kind. Charity envieth not; beareth all things, believeth all things, endureth all things. And now abideth faith, hope and charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.” Luke 10:27. I John 3:17.

All repeat 2 Pet. 1:5-8, and review the foundations.

The Sabbath. “The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath: therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath, and the apostle John calls it the Lord’s day.”
“From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.”

“And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever.”
Isaiah refers to the Sabbath as a pledge of divine favor. “If thou call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord and shalt honor it, not doing thine own ways; I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father.”

Ezekiel, a prophet of the captivity, older than Daniel and faithful even unto death, refers four times to the pollution of the Sabbath as one of the principal causes of the captivity. “The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, I gave them my Sabbaths to be a sign between me and them that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them. But the house of Israel walked not in my statutes, and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would greatly pour out my fury upon them to consume them and scatter them among the heathen.”

Abraham Lincoln very truly observed, “As we keep or break the Sabbath day, we nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope by which man rises.”

Washington and Lincoln, apart from what they did, were great men. The divine element of a God given character belonged to each. Goodness is the basis of greatness, and greatness is character; the ability and willingness to serve.

All unite in repeating the fourth commandment.

The Design. It can be ornamented with a gilt cross and decorated with evergreen festoons pendant over the ends. Bouquets of the same color can be laid at the corresponding angles.

The Cross. “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”-Paul.

The children bringing bouquets can be supplied with short exercises like the following.
I bring these flowers: Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

These beautiful flowers I bring,
A grateful offering to my king.
I bring these pretty flowers,
A fragrant relic of Eden’s bowers.
I bring these roses fair
To Him who hears my evening prayer.
I bring to him this pretty rose,
Who died and from the dead arose,
To save us all from all our foes.
These flowers I bring to him of whom it was said,
“I am the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys.”
“By their fruits ye shall know them.”

This is the present test of character; of men, their teachings and institutions.

Fruit, Fruit, More Fruit.
Every branch that beareth not
He taketh away; every branch that beareth
He purgeth it, that it may bring forth
More Fruit

“In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea.
With a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.”

See also Math. 7:30; John 15:5-8, 14, 15.

Repeat in unison the call of Jesus for the children:
“Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Opportunity For Decision

Daniel in his youth, purposed in his heart, not to defile himself by eating the king’s meat or the wine which he drank. Joshua expressed his decision to all Israel, saying, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Choose ye this day whom ye will serve? While the congregation is standing and singing an appropriate, familiar hymn, encourage every undecided person present, to accept Jesus as their savior; and to indicate with the uplifted hand, their decision to live a Christian life.

Provide testaments or bibles for those needing them.

Building Day By Day

“We are building in sorrow and building in joy
A temple the world cannot see.
But we know it will stand, if we found it on a rock,
Through the ages of eternity.
Cho. We are building day by day
As the moments glide away,
Our temple which the world may not see.
Every victory won by grace
Will be sure to find a place
In our building for eternity.
Every deed forms a part in this building of ours,
That is done in the name of the Lord;
For the love that we show
And the kindness we bestow
He has promised us a bright reward.
Then be watchful and wise
Let the temple we rear
Be one that no tempest can shock;
For the Master has said
And He taught us in His word
We must build upon the solid rock.”
-H. E. Blair

Growing Up For Jesus

“Growing up for Jesus, we are truly blest,
In His smile is welcome, in His arms our rest,
In His truth our treasure, in His word our rule,
Growing up for Jesus, in our Sunday School.
Growing up for Jesus, till in Him complete,
Growing up for Jesus, oh! His work is sweet;
In His truth our treasure, in His word our rule,
Growing up for Jesus, in our Sunday School.
Not too young to love Him, little hearts beat true,
Not too young to serve Him, as the dew drops do.
Not too young to praise Him, singing as we come,
Not too young to answer, when He calls us home.
Growing up for Jesus, learning day by day,
How to follow onward in the narrow way;
Seeking holy treasure, finding precious truth,
Growing up for Jesus in our happy youth.”
-Pres. Board Publication.

Our Happy Land

A Favorite Children’s Chorus.

Land of children, birds and flowers,
What a happy land is ours!
Here the gladdest bells are rung,
Here the sweetest songs are sung.
With Thy banner o’er us,
Join we all in chorus,
Land of children, birds and flowers
What a happy land is ours.
Let us keep it so we pray,
Drive the clouds of sin away;
Father by Thy love divine
Make us, keep us ever Thine.
With Thy banner o’er us, etc.
Keep us Lord from day to day
In the straight and narrow way.
May it be our chief delight,
To walk upright in Thy sight;
With Thy banner o’er us, etc.
What a happy land
What a happy land is ours,
Here the gladdest bells are rung,
Here the sweetest songs are sung;
Freedom’s banner o’er us,
Join we all in chorus,
Land of children, birds and flowers,
What a happy land is ours.

The Arch

The arch, which appears on another page, illustrates in a very striking manner the mutual dependence of all the stones, representing the divinely appointed elements of character, on their crown, the keystone, which represents the Sabbath or fourth commandment, the connecting link between the first and second tables of the law and the visible bond of every man and nation to his Creator.

When the keystone has been placed in position the arch will sustain considerable weight, but if it be removed nearly all of the other stones tumble to the floor in a confused heap. Those who do not remember the Sabbath to keep it holy unto the Lord, may manifest some of these divinely appointed elements of character, but every one who conscientiously observes the Sabbath as a day for public worship, reading and teaching the Word of God, endeavors to develop all of them. The indwelling spirit is dependent on an intelligent knowledge of the Word, and the strengthening influence of the Sabbath is usually according to the good use that is made of it.


A couple of cracker boxes inverted serve for the two foundation stones. The parts of the temple consist of frames made of thin strips, about five inches wide. Each stone is about three inches shorter and one and one-half inches narrower than the one below it, and it rests on supporting strips inserted in the top of the lower one. All can be set aside in the lower one when they are inverted. All are covered with white printing paper and the letters are fastened with little tacks.

The large letters are 2½x1¼ and the small ones 1½x7-8 inches. A bright red color is essential in order to produce the nicest effect. They can be cut very speedily and uniformly if the cardboard is first ruled with a pen, into squares the size of the letters, and then ruled with a pencil one-fourth of an inch distant from the ink rulings.

The arch is four feet wide at the base. The inner circle is described with a radius of two and the outer one of three feet. The curved edges of each are cut with a scroll saw. Strips of orange boxes or sheets of card board, one foot long, are used to nail on their straight edges. All are covered with cheese cloth or muslin and the letters are placed on a curved line. The arch and temple can both be built on a smaller scale with box board. The lifting of the keystone of the arch, when first inserted is a very interesting performance.

Temple: 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Math. 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; James 1:22-24; Rev. 2:17; Ps. 18:2; 31:2-3; 71:35; 40:2; 61:2; 62:2.

Jesus. Isa. 28:16; 1 Peter 2:6; Math. 16:15-18; John 1:1-2-14; Dan. 2:34-35; 1 Cor. 8:11; Math 21:42-44; Acts 4:10-12; 1 Peter 2:4-6.

Word. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:20-21; Ps. 19:7,10; Heb. 4:12; Ps. 119:105,130; Isa. 40:8; Math. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 9:26; Eph. 2:19-22.

Faith. John 3:16, 36; Heb. 11:1-3; Eph. 2:4-8; Acts 16:31; Heb. 11:23-26; Mark 11:22-23; Gal. 3:6-9; Luke 16:10.

Virtue. Phil. 4:8; Josh. 1:6-9; 2 Tim 2:1-3; 1 John 2:13-14.

Knowledge. John 17:3; 1 Cor. 3:16-17; Prov. 1:7; Isa. 11:1-2, 33, 6; Prov. 4:7-8; 3:16-17.

Temperance. Gal. 5:22-24; 1 Cor. 8:13; 2 Peter 1:5-6; Gen. 2:16-17; Dan. 1:8; Thess. 5:22.

Patience. Luke 21:19; James 5:11; Heb. 10:35-36; 12:1-2.

Godliness. 1 Tim. 4:8; 6:6-7; 3:16; Ec. 12:13-14.

Kindness. Eph. 4:32; Luke 6:35; Ps. 103:2-4.

Charity. 1 Cor. 13:4-8; 13:1-3; 2 Peter 1:5-8.

Sabbath. Ex. 20:8-11; Mark 2:27-28; Ex. 31:13-17; Isa. 58:13-14; Ezek. 20:13, 16, 20, 24; Luke 4:16:18; Rev. 1:10.

Flickinger, Robert Elliott. Choctaw Freedmen and Oak Hill Industrial Academy, Valliant, Oklahoma. Presbyterian Board of Missions for Freedmen. Pittsburgh. 1914

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