1 Kings 7:22

No features in Solomon's temple have given rise to so much controversy as these two famous pillars; the beauty of which Jewish writers are never tired of recounting. They were marvels of the glyptic skill for which the Phoenician workmen were distinguished. Homer speaks of such metallic work. In Il. 23. 741-744, he thus describes the prize assigned by Achilles for the foot race at the funeral of Patroclus -

"A bowl of solid silver, deftly wrought,
That held six measures, and in beauty far
Surpassed whatever else the world could boast;
Since men of Sidon, skilled in glyptic art,
Had made it, and Phoenician mariners
Had brought it with them over the dark sea." (See also his description of Menelaus' gift to Telemachus, Od. 4:614-618.) Hiram, the Phoenician artificer, lent by the king of Type to Solomon, was specially skilled in such work (2 Chronicles 2:14). "In the plain of Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan," he cast these two great bronze pillars, each 17.5 cubits high, with capitals five cubits high, adorned with pomegranates, and "nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work." They were placed on the right and left of the porch of the temple, and probably were not obelisks, but were necessary as "pillars" to support the roof, which was thirty feet in width. That these were symbolic is evident from their names, which may be rendered, "Stability" and" Strength." The reference is not so much to the material building, but to the kingdom of God in Israel, which was embodied in the temple. They pointed then, and now, to the beauty and strength of the dwelling of God.

I. THE FASHIONING OF THE PILLARS. Made of bronze cast in the earth. None but the initiated would expect such an issue from such a process. Picture the anxiety of those in charge when the morea was constructed, when the metal was molten, etc. Apply to the anxiety and care of those rearing the spiritual temple.

1. They were the product of human skill. This skill was devoutly recognized as the of God. Compare ver. 14 with the description of Bezaleel's artistic "gifts." If wisdom of that kind is from God, how much more is the highest wisdom needed for the upbuilding of the true temple (1 Corinthians 3:12-17). Turn to the promises of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, and of wisdom to all who seek. Refer to times of difficulty and anxiety in which only this heavenly help could avail the teachers and rulers of the Church. Observe such expressions as that in which Paul speaks of himself as "a wise master builder." Indicate special gifts still required by those who succeed to this work. "If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God," etc.

2. They were the result of marvellous diligence. Years and generations of effort had made these artificers what they were, and now daily they applied themselves to their toil, nor was it without reward. Nothing great can be attained in this world without work. God has not made things pleasant by ordaining that the way to them should be easy, but He has made them precious by ordaining that the way should be hard. The hardships endured by miners, pearl divers, agricultural labourers, etc. The strenuous toil of the student, the man of business, the explorer, the scientist, etc. No wonder that in the highest sphere diligence is essential. It is required for the upbuilding of our Christian character; e.g., "Give diligence to to make your calling... sure," etc. "Work out your own salvation," etc., "Not as though I had already attained," etc. Similar diligence is required by the Church for the evangelization of the world. Contrast the diligence shown in other pursuits with the indolence in this.

3. They were the product of combined effort. The wealth of Solomon was added to the skill of Hiram. Observe the diversity of workmen essential for the designing, moulding, fashioning, uprearing of these pillars. Each did his own work, did it heartily, completely. All was not equally honourable, easy, remunerative; yet none neglected his share of the toil. Speak of the millions now constructing God's spiritual temple; how the various races of men, how the differing sects of Christians, how the peculiar tastes and gifts of individuals, are rearing "the house not made with hands," "the habitation of God, through the Spirit."


1. Stability (Jachin). In this the temple was a contrast to the tabernacle. Yet even the temple and all that was material of the old worship passed away to make room for the spiritual realities which abide eternally. In Hebrews 12:27 we read of "the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Show how, amidst the fall of empires, the Church has lived, in spite of all that evil powers could do (Matthew 16:18). Speak of the safety, for time and eternity, of those who are in Christ (John 10:28), etc.

2. Strength. The Church needs more than endurance, it wants vigour. Resistance must be supplemented by aggression. Far more than the Jewish Church the Christian Church is to be characterized by this. The apostles were not merely to hold their own, but to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Only the active Church, only the active Christian, has a robust and wholesome life. Let "Boaz" stand beside "Jachin."

3. Beauty. The lilies and pomegranates adorning the pillars not only showed that there should be beauty in the worship of God, and that the noblest art should be consecrated to Him, but symbolized the truth declared in Psalm 96:6, "Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." Strength needs beauty to adorn it. Beauty needs strength to support it. Illustration: the ivy clustering round the oak. Let the courageous man be gentle; the stalwart man tender; the sweet girl morally strong, etc. If we would have it so, we shall find those graces in the holy place of God, the sacred place of prayer, whether public or secret, for strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Emblems of stability and strength, yet exquisite in their beauty, let Jachin and Boaz, in the porch of the temple, remind us of what God would see in the Christian Church, and in every Christian character. - A.R.

Upon the top the pillars was lily-work.
1. Strength. These pillars were deemed of such importance as to deserve a name, a name for each. The one was called Jachin, which means "He will establish"; and the other was called Boaz, which means "in strength." The two ideas are near akin, and together express stable strength. Why these names were given we are not told; whether to indicate the magnitude and fixedness of the pillars, or the stability of the religion which was to be represented in that temple, we cannot say. But we read — and probably in allusion to these pillars with their crowns of lily-work — "strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." These pillars are symbolic, or may be considered as symbolic, of truth, not merely in the world of grace, but in the world of nature. The world in which we live may be justly regarded as a temple reared gradually and progressively through long ages under the ever-active hand of the Divine Architect. But look at the order. It did not begin with what we call beauty. No doubt every atom of it was beautiful to Him whose eye seeth all things, but relatively to us the beauty was not at the beginning. The strength and firmness came first. "The world is established that it cannot be moved." "The earth He hath established for ever." Here, indeed, you have the Jachin and Boaz of our text, the two kindred and complementary ideas of "strength" and "stability." You have the firm, deep, compact rock, hidden for the most part beneath your feet, or piled in massive mountains. Then in due time come the living things, which could only live on firm foundations. Let the foundations be destroyed, and all the beauty will perish with them; as when an earthquake swallows in its devouring abyss gardens and orchards which were laden with the richest flowers and the sweetest perfumes. Now man is a temple, as the earth may be viewed as a temple. He is designed to be the temple of the Holy Ghost; and in this temple are meant to be strength and beauty, the pillars of Jachin and Boaz, and on their top "lily-work." And the religion of Christ starts with the conceptions of strength and stability. Its very first notion and foundation-idea is that of "a stone laid in Zion, a sure foundation-stone, a stone elect and precious." It is a rock on which God builds His Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Great pains are taken to set forth this as the first idea, on which all the others depend. The same idea in another form is found in the fact that the Gospel is called a kingdom and therefore a thing of power and strength. The Christian, therefore, is to be, and must be in proportion as he is a Christian, a man in whom strength and stability are to be found in conspicuous force and play. For he is in a world in which he cannot hold his ground without them. It is not an uncommon thing for men of the world to look on the Christian Church as if it were a refuge for the weaklings of the race. What is it that the Christian does which shows his weakness? He confesses his sins; but is that weakness or is it strength when a man is a sinner and brazens it out before the face of Almighty God? He asks for mercy; but is that weakness when to ask for mercy is to acknowledge the righteous claims of God? He seeks for Divine guidance; but is that a weakness in a world like this in which it is so easy to err and lose oneself, and in which "it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps"? And what are these robuster graces, these rocky principles of the Christian life? There must be truth, the lip that will not lie. There must be honour and justice, which will not swerve to the right hand or left from fear or for reward. These things there must be as the primary formation at the basis of a Christian life. The pillar of the Christian character must be upright whatever else it be, and sound in its structure from base to capital and from side to side. Jachin and Boaz were of this character.

2. Beauty. We have looked at the elements of strength, let us now glance at the elements of beauty as set forth in the lily-work which crowned and glorified the heads of the two columns. As we have seen, the world itself has grown up from strength to beauty. Hiram did not invent his decorations. They were furnished to his hand from another and more skilful hand. "Behold the lilies of the field, how they grow," etc. He borrowed his art from nature, that is, from God, from whom, indeed, all the noblest and purest art has ever been borrowed, and must be to the end of time. The Greeks, pagan though they were, seem to have seized this secret with a firm hand, for their name for the world was "Beauty." They saw beauty everywhere, and they saw it because it was there. They saw what God had seen before them, and had put there that it might be seen by them. Oh, what infinite beauty there must be in the Divine nature, seeing that all the beauty of the world comes from it as from a fountain, and still comes from year to year! And just as the world has grown from strength to beauty, and just as the pillars of Jachin and Boaz were not finished till their capitals bloomed, as it were, in "lily-work," so must it be with a true human life and character. This is not completed without its capital, a capital which need not be of lily-work, but must be the reproduction of some Divine flower. It is a still more mournful imperfection and defect when men are dead to the sense of what is beautiful in the moral and religious life. And some are thus dead. They believe, and they do well to believe, in the sterner qualities of that life. They believe in the firm grit of character, granitic compactness and strength. They like the heroic nerve which never shakes, the eye which blenches at no danger, the tongue which can utter boldly unwelcome words to an age which needs them though it hates them, the valiant courage which dares not lie, but dares to die. These are the only forms of character for which they care. They have a touch about them of stern sublimity, like bold headlands that shatter the waves into spray, or mountains that challenge and defy the storms of heaven. Still it must be repeated that Christian character is very incomplete until it rises up to the efflorescence which crowns strength with beauty. It may be thought that the two are incompatible, that you may have your choice between men whose characteristics are those of strength or those of beauty, but you cannot have them both in one. But this is a mistake. We have them both in one, and in perfect union and harmony in Him who is the Son of man, and the type of that perfect humanity which by His redemptive work He came to create. The full, true man was Christ, and to become a perfect man in Christ is to become transformed into His image, and to re-embody in ourselves all the elements of His character. And what were these elements? Were they not strength and beauty? Now, the more tender, gracious, and softer aspects of the Christian life are to find their authority, inspiration, and nourishment in the example and work of our blessed Lord. And if you read the Epistles carefully, you will observe how deeply their writers had drunk into the spirit of their Lord. The strength is there, and also the beauty. We are not to lie, to defraud; we are to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul; we are to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; we are to put on the whole armour of God, to watch, to stand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, These ideas form the pillar of the Christian life. But the lily-work is also set forth again and again. "Be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, even as God in Christ hath forgiven you." "Above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves, which is the bond of perfectness." "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." "Be courteous." "Use hospitality one towards another without grudging." It is not enough to speak the truth, we must speak it in love. It is not enough to be just, the justice must be tempered with compassion.

(E. Mellor, D. D.)

In the porch of this building were two pillars, strength and "beauty." Even they, besides their immediate purpose, would suggest meanings to the reverent observer. Solomon was not what we should call a utilitarian. The pillars could and Should be made beautiful as well as useful. People might say, "Why this waste?" But he did not think it waste at all, and he was right. God has given to some men special genius for things of beauty, men like Aholiab and Bezaleel and Hiram. And such genius can hardly be better employed than in making God's house beautiful. But the temple was used by prophets and by apostles as a type of the great spiritual church. And do not these pillars, divinely designed, in the material temple, bring home to ministers and all church officers, the pillars of our churches, some qualities which they also should possess?


1. Strength. The pillars had to uphold, to give security to the building. They must be strong enough to sustain the weight which is to rest upon them. So pillars of the church should be strong men, with a faith in God which makes them upright, reliable characters. They should be men who do not need propping and persuading, but with an independent and tenacious strength.

2. Soundness. Some hidden flaw in a pillar might one day be the cause of disaster to the whole edifice. The discovery of a serious flaw in the moral character of a leading man in a church has sometimes wrought irremediable mischief.

3. Suitable and staunch material. Any substance will not do for a pillar. Wood will not. It is not stern enough, and it is liable to catch fire. But it would be madness to use unseasoned wood for such a purpose. So all members are not made for pillars. There needs endurance and firmness. A pillar must always be there — should uphold his church in good report and evil report, should be present when. ever possible, night as well as morning, week-night as well as Sunday. This steadiness and fidelity is an invaluable quality in a pillar. Between the pillars Hiram made five mouldings in imitation of pomegranates. There should be a connection of mutual trust and reciprocal courtesies between the officers of a church. Now on the top of the pillars was lily-work.

II. NON-ESSENTIAL BUT VERY DESIRABLE QUALITIES. The lily-work did not add to the strength of the pillar. There have been very useful pillars of the church who had little enough lily-work about them. But these men would have been still more useful if their characters had been winsome too. A church is not like a prison. It needs to attract men. For this it should be beautiful as well as strong.

(David Brook, M. A.)

I. GOD FINDS ROOM FOR STRENGTH AND BEAUTY. Is it not by these that God makes the world what it is to us? The rugged rock affords a home for the soft mosses and the plumes of ferns as if these things paid for board and lodging by their adorning. The trees with roots thrust deep into the earth, with thick black branches, stretching into heaven — how are they decked with the leaves, and how are they now gay with blossoms and now rich with fruit, Strength and beauty. Is it not the very picture and the very perfection of the home? Here comes the man stained and soiled by his day's toil; and here is she who keeps home sweet and clean, and makes his heart bless her as he sets foot within the place. Strength and beauty — yet more complete if possible as the toiling father and the busy mother bend over the little one that looks and laughs its music at them. So God blesses the world with strength and beauty.

II. FIRST STRENGTH, THEN BEAUTY. The constant emblem of our religion is the rock. The house built upon the rock, against which the winds blow and rains beat, but the house abides, for that its foundation standeth sure. The Church of God is built upon the rock, the Rock of Ages, that abideth for ever. Religion is not a matter of sentiment, of feeling, of changeful emotion. It is rooted and grounded in the everlasting Word of the living God. What triumphant strength is begotten within the soul when it can cry, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." That first, always and everywhere — strength. Is there any. thing in the world more miserable than religion without any bones, a thing that you can squeeze into any shape you like? — religious sentiment that can talk piously and yet is not exact in its sayings and doings, that can be particular about its creed, and yet slipshod in business? There are some people who affect to despise beauty, and consider it a weakness. "Give me a brass pillar," say they, "solid and substantial. I don't want any nonsensical lily-work about the top of it." Now such people may do much harm in the world — more harm than good. Strength and beauty — how shall we combine the two? In one way, and in one way only. Love is both. He that loveth hath the secret. For is there any strength like love? Is there any endurance like love's? Is there any defiance like the defiance of love? Love is strength and love is beauty. And love is ours as nothing else could make it ours but the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is love compelling love that sustains our strongest service and our tenderest thought. How graciously are these two combined in that word concerning Jesus Christ: "As many as received Him to them gave He power to become the children of God." Authority and strength to become children, simple, trustful, loving, obedient. Strong that we may be made beautiful. Thus doth our God seek to make us pillars in His temple, strong with His strength, beautiful with the beauty of the Lord our God.

(M. G. Pearse.)

I. THE HANDIWORK OF GOD in the wide field of nature. The rocky steeps of the mountain are belted with pines; the rivers that fertilise the soft nourish the flowers which grow on their banks; "the great wide sea" is often surpassingly lovely on its surface, and there are beautiful-corals in its depths, brilliant shells on Its shores; on the broad, unmeasured plains and moors are the blue-bell and the purple heather. If this earth be a temple in which God manifests His presence, His wisdom, and His power, then are the mighty and massive objects upon it the pillars of that temple, and all exquisite and delicate things are the flowers His hand has fashioned upon them. We have it also in —

II. THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. In the Gospel are many mighty and massive truths which may be said to be the very pillars of the sacred edifice: such as the leading truth that "God Is a Spirit," etc.; but in close connection with these great and solid truths is that which is exquisite, delicate, beautiful. Such is the truth that the faintest whisper of prayer that comes from the lips of the little child may enter the ear and touch the hand of God, and bring down His benediction; or that the first sigh of the relenting human spirit is dearer to the Father's heart than the finest anthems of the angels; or that the cherishing of a pure feeling of forgiveness or the doing one act of real peace-making brings us further into the likeness and childhood of God than would the accomplishment of the most brilliant intellectual achievement.

III. CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. We have in our churches strong men, helpful, influential, sustaining — men who are pillars. They may be strong in virtue of adventitious aids, or of natural endowments, or of acquired, powers, or of spiritual acquisition: and these "pillars" may be either as beams m a mine, rude, rough, unpolished; or they may be as the fluted columns of a cathedral, as these pillars of Solomon's temple with lily-work on the top of them.

IV. CHRISTIAN SERVICE. The worship of God, the service of Jesus Christ, is the power for good in human society; it upholds the goodness and the happiness of the world. Its strength and its beauty are determined partly by the stage to which we here come in our Christian course.

1. The strength of service in age is in submission, willingness to decline, to take the lower place, to be of diminishing account; and the beauty of submission is cheerfulness of spirit.

2. The strength of service in prime is in activity, in usefulness, in putting out our "talents" for the glory of Christ and the well-being of the world; and the beauty of activity is thoroughness, regularity, punctuality, heartiness, doing effectively and continuously what has been undertaken.

3. The strength of service in childhood and youth is obedience and self-denial; and the beauty of this is alacrity, promptness, rendering it not tardily and reluctantly, but readily and sweetly, with willing feet and cheerful voice. It is well to have strength and beauty in our Christian buildings; it is far better, in the estimate of Christ, to have these two harmoniously combined in the character we are forming and the life we are living.

(W. Clarkson.)

In this divinely planned structure I know of nothing outside the Holy of Holies more impressive than the pillars built by Hiram. These were of the finest brass, of great height, splendid in symmetry and crowned with lilies. It is a law of art that the most perfect and enduring effects are produced by the combination of things unlike each other. A painter throws into his picture the darkest shadows that he may intensify his clearest lights. A sculptor carves for the top of his columns capitals of delicate design, An architect relieves the heavy masonry of his walls with items of exquisite device and forms of sculptured beauty. God Himself is our original teacher; for whilst He "setteth fast the mountains, being girded with power," He hath woven around their summits tender vines and rooted in their crevices sweet scented flowers that warmly clasp and colour the cold grey cliffs. That widow's son from Tyre was not a stranger to this alliance, and so wrought his pillars as to adorn the sanctuary of the Highest with both strength and beauty. Observe that the strength was first and the beauty of lilies afterward. We have here the uplifting of those two qualites which are worshipped by the soul of man the world over. Power and beauty alike win his homage, but not unfrequently he yields himself to that which is but the sham of strength, and renders service to that which has but the semblance of beauty; to power ungifted with love, and to beauty unadorned by holiness. It is the lie of the world, often uttered and often believed, that the righteous must needs be the weak and the pure the uncomely. God declares the right to be the only strong, and the good, the only beautiful. The power that enters human life to rule it within and without must be a power of conquest, having the inherent qualities of stability. Man is born in battle. His cradle is rocked by his own strugglings. His history is that of a shifting factor in a shifting world. He can neither command himself nor control his surroundings. Antagonisms swarm on his path. Struggling alone, he can have but one experience: the shame that comes of perpetual impotency and the confusion that arises from continued defeat. Sooner or later he learns this truth, that "all power is of God," and that the strength that conquers for the spiritual — that takes hold of eternal things and abides, that elevates life into firmness of character and adorns it with real beauty, is possible only through the patient, helpful, regenerative ministry of Jesus Christ.

(R. W. Davis.)

1. The Divinity of labour. Hiram, who wrought these pillars, was the son of a widow in Tyre. To him labour was a divinely ordered force, which a man took into his life and into his faculties, and which taught him that he was a workman, not simply for himself, or for some taskmaster, who was set over him to watch him; but that he was a workman for God, and that the fidelity of his toil must represent the purity of his worship. Whether he sculptured a column, carved lilies, drove a nail, or set the plough in the furrow, he believed he was doing a Divine thing. The curse of labour to-day is that men have lost God out of it. The highest conception of Christianity is the idea that Christianity can get itself down into the ordinary processes of life, can find a God there, and, grasping the details of things, can change them and beautify them as life goes on; that no matter what our work may be, it is worship, and if faithfully done, every day that comes and goes will leave behind it something in the reservoir of life, some deposit of character which, when all days are over, shall constitute our treasure laid up in heaven.

2. Beauty without strength. In our day there is a great desire for the lily work without the pillars, a vain longing for the graces of life and for the beauties of character without the supporting power of truth and duty. There are thousands of men who would like the virtues of the fathers, but who do not want the faith which made them virtuous. They would like to have reproduced in their life the qualities of soul which marked the early Christians, the Reformers, and the Puritans; but not their sturdy faith, nor their tenacity of conviction, not their majestic conscience or their tremendous hold on things unseen. They want the simplicity and affection of the Waldenses, but not their faith in God; the audacity and fearlessness of John Knox and Oliver Cromwell, without their vivid sense of the Divine Presence; the morality of John Robinson and Miles Standish, without their heroic creed; the integrity of Washington and Lincoln, without their trust in a sustaining and over-ruling God. Mothers are anxious that their daughters should shine in every social accomplishment; that their sons should be men of talent and of skill; that their homes should be beautiful with music and art and all kindly grace. But they are not so solicitous about the solid foundations of character. The spirit of the time is to dwell on the surface. To dig deep is to contradict the age. Glittering pinnacles on In. secure foundations! Remember all skaters are not navigators. It is one thing to skim the surface of a pond, and quite another to sail upon the angry deep. The twittering sparrow has as many wings as the eagle, but he cannot dip them in the glory which burns just beneath the sun. A candle is not a comet. The keels of mighty ships are not built of mushrooms. Depth of character first, not ornament, is to be sought for. In house building digging must precede decoration. You do not begin with the painter and the gilder, but with the stone-layer. A pasteboard hut is not a castle, it will be borne away by the mocking winds. It is dangerous to reckon the virtues of a man's character by buttons on his coat, for some are all coat and no character. The looking-glass is the only book some people read. They are splendid advertisements for their tailor, but a sorry disgrace to their schoolmaster. Never mistake the mystery of an echo for the originality of a voice.

3. The foundation of faith. I tell you the quickest way to produce a sweet and beautiful life, either individual or national, is by placing underneath it a strong, unwavering faith. "The Parthenon, which lifts toward the golden-tinted sky the whiteness of its untarnished front, must repose on the immovable Acropolis of truth and goodness." The modern professor of fine arts, who prefers form and finish to substance and thought, who, forgetting all that is greatest in architecture and sculpture, in painting and music and poetry, asserts that ethics and aesthetics have nothing in common, who prates about "art for art's sake," who scorns the teaching of Schelling that the aesthetic lies in character, and of Dante that art is a descendant of God, is the apostle of the unwholesome, the tawdry, and the lustful, the art of literary fops and the disciples of what Carlyle called the gospel and the philosophy of dirt. But the highest art, which lifts us to the joy of elevated thoughts as in imagination we watch the hand that pencilled Madonna, or the greater —

Hand that rounded Peter's dome,

And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,

is always found the friend and promoter of truth and goodness, of aspiration and of faith. "The highest art," as Professor Blackie has said, "is always the most religious. A scoffing Raphael or an irreverent Michael Angelo is not conceivable." We must have the strength first, and beauty afterward. It is disaster to reverse this order — to try to get beauty and then have strength. The magnificent Brooklyn Bridge, when viewed at a distance, is a beautiful poem. But the beauty is dependent on the strength of mighty abutments which reach down far below the river bed, and take hold of the foundations of the earth. In everything, both artistic and moral, strength is the stalk; beauty is the flower that blooms on it.

4. Divine deliberation. The Almighty shows great deliberation in all His works. Haste, a hurry, fussy activity is always an evidence of weakness. The six days of creation may have been six sunsets or six millenniums; but the days moved slowly and majestically forward toward man as a child of God's infinite Spirit, and in that result the process finds its climax and its justification. If God pronounces each of these days of creation to be very good, it is because He beholds them in the unclouded light of that seventh glorious morning when He finds Himself not Creator merely, but, since He can commune with a spirit kindred to His own, finds Himself a Father of immortals. Study the bases of the mountains and the foundations of the everlasting hills. He who is girded with power has settled them in their sockets unchangingly. Then He gave the earth beauty, the forests and ferns, the waving grasses and the flowers. And the young woman who concentrates all her life on attitudes, effects, sensations, impressions, striving to get the ornamentation, oblivious to the sterling, splendid qualities that should be wrought into the womanly character — she asks only for lilies. But there are no lilies worth having that do not come out of columns. If you were to knock the pillars from under the globe, where would your flower-gardens be next morning? We have most excellent illustrations of strength and beauty in the study of two national characteristics — Hebraism and Hellenism. It is in the ultimate realisation of a union of the Hebraistic and Hellenistic elements that ultimate perfection is to be found; the son of Abraham is to join hands with the son of Hellas. The Hebrew furnished the indispensable basis of faith, of conduct, of self-control; the immovable foundation upon which alone the perfection aimed at by Greece was to come to bloom. The Hebrew Bible is not wanting in suggestions of the radiant beauty of God's thoughts and works, but there the beauty is subordinate to morality, it is a blossom on the stalk of strength. As the indestructible azure in sea and sky, as the golden ghory of the sunshine, so this characteristic of beauty shines forth from strength all through the Bible, immortal in God.

5. God's love of beauty. There are qualities aside from strength and truth and courage that every life ought to cultivate. We see that He who setteth fast the mountains also garnishes the heavens and the hills. Charles Kingsley used to say, "Study matter as the countenance of God." "Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." And God wants beauty incorporated into religion. Strength and beauty have been divinely joined — what God hath joined together let no man put asunder.

6. The transforming power of beauty. Beauty dwells in and finds its basis in strength, as sunshine breaks into glory through the mist, as life beats and blushes in the flesh, as an impassioned thought breathes out of a thinker's face. There are numberless analogies in human life — if we could stop to consider them — of the way in in which one life can influence another by the impartation of strength or beauty. Here is a man who has been always stern, truthful, moral, cold — a human pillar. Some day he loves a noble woman, full of all womanly and lovely graces. That transforms and transfigures him. Under her influence his sternness flowers into grace. And Tennyson shows us how the ideal union will be that one where —

The man is more of woman, she of man;

He gain in sweetness and in moral height,

Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;

Till at the last she set herself to man,

Like perfect music unto noble words.With every man the real man is the woman he carries in his heart. He is her strength; she is his grace. He upholds; she adorns. The one is the complement of the other. History is full of the names of men who had strength; how few there are who had both strength and beauty. I shall never forget the lessons I learned at the tombs of two men born in almost the same year, men equally though differently famous — Napoleon Bonaparte and Walter Scott. Napoleon was born two years before Scott, in the same month and on the same day of the month, August 15. The years passed by. Both do their work and die. I have stood under the "Column of Napoleon," built by himself from twelve hundred pieces of cannon taken from the Austrian and the Prussian, and crowned with a statue of the emperor in his imperial robes, and I could not help contrasting it with that noble monument in Edinburgh, not built by Scott to commemorate his own glory, but by the generosity and love of his fellow-countrymen to honour one they loved. And when I stood at the tomb of that great soldier, guarded by the stained flags of so many battlefields, arranged in his fated number of nine, I could but think how many burning cities had been laid waste, with suffering and starving populace, and all for one man's glory. How different from all this hollow mockery and fictitious grandeur is the hallowed peace of St. Mary's ruined aisle in the Abbey of Dryburgh. In May 1871 the "Column of Napoleon" was hurled to the ground by his own infuriated countrymen, though since rebuilt. And in the same year Scott's magnificent monument at Edinburgh was wreathed with flowers. Napoleon had only strength, and lives mainly in the recollection of the ruin he wrought and his blasted ambitions. Scott had both strength and beauty. He did something good and lasting for mankind. His life was a real blessing to humanity. He never wrote an impure or hateful or revengeful word. Amid crushing financial disaster he kept his temper and his faith in God.

7. Goodness and grace. As all adornment of life finds its basis in truth, it is equally necessary that all truth should find expression in a noble life, that all the pillars should blossom at last in lily work. Nature is full of genuine reality as one true existence, yet manifested in the endless variety with which the earth teems. There is the solemn, stately mountain standing in its serene strength — but upon the mountain nature takes up endless incarnations of loveliness. The bird sings, the lily blossoms, the sunbeam dances, the brook flashes — and they are all one, while yet our eyes and ears and all our senses are tingling with the tidings of the difference which they always express. The mountain, the ocean, and the man — first strong each in its own way, and then each beautiful with the superadded things, great and gracious. That is what makes life so full of fascination to the man who has eyes — the eternal, undivided unity of strength, of permanence, of Divine stability, ever unfolding itself "into one glory of the sun, and another glory of the stars," and all together fill the radiant sky. And when Paul comes to speak of the flowering of Christian character, he shows how healthy and rational he is when he says it is a change from glory to glory.

(F. L. Goodspeed, A. B. , S. T. B.)

The lily referred to as adorning the capitals of Solomon's temple pillars was the lotus or water-lily. Graceful in form and delicately beautiful in colour, serenely floating on the surface of the rising Nile, the sacred Ganges, and inland lakes of the old world, apparently anchored to the soft yet rising and falling with the flood, and opening its peerlessly fair petals to the sun, the mystic ship-flower of the waters naturally found a place in the ornamental symbolism of every temple-building race. To the Egyptians it was a token of blessing because it appeared with the annual overflow of the Nile, a type of immortality, of the creation of the world, of the Deluge and the Ark, and other sacred mysteries. It adorned and finished the capitals of Jachin and Boaz in Jehovah's temple at Jerusalem. It was an emblem of purity. Over the gateway of the temple of Phocis was written, "Let no one enter here whose hands are unclean." David says, "I will wash my hands in innocency: so will I compass Thine altar, O Jehovah." Purity of heart and life was the lesson of the lily work over the pillars of God s house in Solomon's day, as it is in ours.

(W. Balgarnie.)

Tytler's History.
The character of sublimity is chaste and simple. In the arts dependent on design, if the artist aim at this character, he must disregard all trivial decorations, nor must the eye be distracted by a multiplicity of parts. In architecture there must. be few divisions of the principal members of the building, and the parts must be large and of ample relief; there must be a modesty of decoration, contemning all minuteness of ornament, which distracts the eye that ought to be filled with the general mass and with the proportions of the greater parts to each other. In this respect the Doric is confessedly superior to all the other orders of architecture, as it unites strength and majesty with a becoming simplicity, and the utmost symmetry of proportions.

(Tytler's History.)

Beauty is ever seen to best advantage in its natural alliance with strength. The lotus on the river, the dove in the cleft of the rock, the wife by her husband's side at church, the infant in the parent's arms, the voices of young men and maidens... blended, in harmony in the praise of the sanctuary, the wrestling power and child-like pleading at the throne, the force and tenderness of the Gospel, are combinations in nature and grace that are doubtless intended to teach us how all forms of strength may become beautiful, and all that is beautiful may become strong. Is it not when our Lord is seen in the might of His Deity and the peerless beauty of His humanity that He becomes to us all our salvation and all our desire? God in Christ is Omnipotence become beautiful to us in its condescension and love; Christ in God is our security and strength. When at last the Bridegroom shall come to take his Bride to Himself, and the Church puts on "her beautiful garments" to receive Him, when they enter the Father's house together, then strength and beauty in their completeness will be seen in the sanctuary. On the top of the pillars there will be lily work, and the work of the pillars will be finished.

(W. Balgarnie.)

I am sorry for persons who always see the bad first, and the good last, or never. Whether it be in art, or whether it be the conduct of affairs, or whether it be in social life, one should know what is harmony and what is discord, what is straight and what is crooked, what is right and what is wrong. A man that is strongly sensitive to the beautiful, and true, and right, is in a healthy condition of mind — and health is the most. beautiful thing in the world. In the plant, in its place; in the animal, in its place; in society, in its place; in all parts of the mental economy, a healthy, normal condition — that is the thing which is the most beautiful, and which ought to be the most attractive.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Character is not determined by a single act, but by habitual conduct, says the Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, D.D. It is a fabric made up of thousands of threads, and put together by uncounted stitches. Some characters are stoutly sewed, others are only basted. A Christian ought not only to have his spiritual garments well sewed, but kept clean — in fact, as a representative of Jesus Christ, he ought to present such an attractive apparel before the world that others should say to him: "Where did you get this? I want one just like it."

Boaz, David, Hiram, Huram, Jachin, Naphtali, Pharaoh, Solomon
Hall of Judgment, Hall of Pillars, Hall of the Throne, House of the Forest of Lebanon, Jordan River, Most Holy Place, Succoth, Tyre, Zarethan
Complete, Completed, Design, Finished, Flowers, Lilies, Lily, Lily-work, Making, Pillars, Shape, Thus, Tops
1. The building of Solomon's house
2. Of the house of Lebanon
6. Of the porch of pillars
7. Of the porch of judgment
8. Of the house for Pharaoh's daughter
13. Hiram's work of the two pillars,
23. Of the molten sea
27. Of the ten bases
38. Of the ten lavers
40. and all the vessels

Dictionary of Bible Themes
1 Kings 7:22

     4472   lily

1 Kings 7:13-22

     5211   art

1 Kings 7:13-45

     5272   craftsmen

1 Kings 7:13-50

     4348   mining

1 Kings 7:15-22

     4446   flowers

There was a double Gadara. One at the shore of the Mediterranean sea: that was first called Gezer, 1 Kings 9:15. In Josephus, "Simon destroyed the city Gazara, and Joppe, and Jamnia."--And in the Book of the Maccabees, "And he fortified Joppe, which is on the sea, and Gazara, which is on the borders of Azotus." At length, according to the idiom of the Syrian dialect, Zain passed into Daleth; and instead of Gazara, it was called Gadara. Hence Strabo, after the mention of Jamnia, saith, "and there
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Hiram, the Inspired Artificer
BY REV. W. J. TOWNSEND, D.D. The Temple of Solomon was the crown of art in the old world. There were temples on a larger scale, and of more massive construction, but the enormous masses of masonry of the oldest nations were not comparable with the artistic grace, the luxurious adornments, and the harmonious proportions of this glorious House of God. David had laid up money and material for the great work, but he was not permitted to carry it out. He was a man of war, and blood-stained hands were
George Milligan—Men of the Bible; Some Lesser-Known

Whether any Preparation and Disposition for Grace is Required on Man's Part?
Objection 1: It would seem that no preparation or disposition for grace is required on man's part, since, as the Apostle says (Rom. 4:4), "To him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt." Now a man's preparation by free-will can only be through some operation. Hence it would do away with the notion of grace. Objection 2: Further, whoever is going on sinning, is not preparing himself to have grace. But to some who are going on sinning grace is given, as is
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

A Discourse of the House and Forest of Lebanon
OF THE HOUSE OF THE FOREST OF LEBANON. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. That part of Palestine in which the celebrated mountains of Lebanon are situated, is the border country adjoining Syria, having Sidon for its seaport, and Land, nearly adjoining the city of Damascus, on the north. This metropolitan city of Syria, and capital of the kingdom of Damascus, was strongly fortified; and during the border conflicts it served as a cover to the Assyrian army. Bunyan, with great reason, supposes that, to keep
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Adam and Zaretan, Joshua 3
I suspect a double error in some maps, while they place these two towns in Perea; much more, while they place them at so little a distance. We do not deny, indeed, that the city Adam was in Perea; but Zaretan was not so. Of Adam is mention, Joshua 3:16; where discourse is had of the cutting-off, or cutting in two, the waters of Jordan, that they might afford a passage to Israel; The waters rose up upon a heap afar off in Adam. For the textual reading "In Adam," the marginal hath "From Adam." You
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

That the Ruler Should be a Near Neighbour to Every one in Compassion, and Exalted Above all in Contemplation.
The ruler should be a near neighbour to every one in sympathy, and exalted above all in contemplation, so that through the bowels of loving-kindness he may transfer the infirmities of others to himself, and by loftiness of speculation transcend even himself in his aspiration after the invisible; lest either in seeking high things he despise the weak things of his neighbours, or in suiting himself to the weak things of his neighbours he relinquish his aspiration after high things. For hence it is
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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