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dated empires, or solitary occupant
truths of Christ's mediatorial perof the temple of fame, or the son and kingdom. Among these popular idol of a hundred worlds. we will find the figure of the text Some derive their honour from not the least helpful. beautiful poems, products of ima
I. A DOOR AT ONCE SUGGESTS THE * gination; some from discoveries,
IDEA OF ENTRANCE products of invention; some from
INCLOSURE. philosophical treatises, products of reason; some from victories and An inclosure conveys the conconquests, products of valour; but ception of separation and excluthe honour which shall tide the sion from all surrounding space. tomb, awake the minstrelsy of an- It may be a home filled with the gelic choirs, and win the laurel of heart-treasures of a happy houseimmortality is that honour which hold; or it may be a sanctuary of shall come from Christ-likeness, God receiving through its open the product of grace.
doors those who “enter into His A word to those to whom these
gates with thanksgiving, and into letters are addressed. Do you read
His courts with praise,” • to them ? or, rather, do you not read behold the beauty of the Lord the perversions which sin has made and to inquire in His temple.”. of them, the postscripts which sin The inclosure to which Christ has added, and the forged epistles declares Himself to be “the Door" which the enemy of Christ has is-perpetrated ? I think it a shame 1. The Church on earth, composed that men of the world should make of all believing and redeemed sinmerry over the foul blots which ners. He declares plainly, “Verily, human infirmity has let fall on the verily, I say unto you, I am the fair writing of Christ. Let them door of the sheep.' “I am the learn that the consistency of the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” consistent is of grace, and cease He is the Door of the Church by taunting Christ with the lapses and virtue of His atonement for sin, frailties which erring man is ever through whom all must enter to falling into. Find somewhere a pardon and spiritual life. godly Christian, eliminate the hu- 2. Christ is likewise the Door of man frailty-the rest is the letter heaven. He is the Door of heaven of Christ to you. Read it! It has by virtue of His being the Door message of strength and message of the Church ; for the Church of hope for you. The ray, how- and heaven are both in the same ever feeble, which some Christian
inclosure, the kingdom of God's light emits, may serve to guide grace and love, with only the your footsteps to Him who is the
partition - wall of time between light of the world; and some them. The Church on earth is epistle, written not with ink, but the vestibule of heaven. The door with the Spirit of the living God; of the Church is the outer door of not upon stone, but upon the
fleshly heaven. Those who have entered tables of the heart, may be Christ's through the outer door into the call to you, summoning you to vestibule will find the inner doors better things, aye, even to Himself.
open to receive them when the E. S. P.
day of their departure is at hand.
Meanwhile they will realize that Christ the Door.
they have begun the life of heaven JOHN X. 9.
on earth, by entering, through “ I am the Door.”
Christ, into the Church. - Не This tenth chapter of John con- that believeth on the Son hath tains some of the most precious eternal life.” And to pass from
the Church into the full revelation single sin. But it was broad of eternal life needs but the hand enough to admit Saul of Tarsus, of death to put aside the thin “thechief of sinners,” when he came curtain of time, and behold, we with a heart broken with penitence. are in the midst of the vision of 2. This Door is both
easy the unutterable glory!
di fficult to open. There are gates
and doors so skilfully and exactly II. A DOOR HAS ITS DISTINCTIVE
arranged that the pressure of a CHARACTERISTICS.
child's finger on some spring or 1. This Door of heaven is both latch will cause them to swing BROAD and NARROW.
wide open, when otherwise all the Certainly there is this apparent force of a strong man could not paradox in the Scriptures. In move them. So there is a latch to some instances the door to salva
this Door, which will yield to the tion and heaven represented weakest touch of faith, and yet as very wide, and then, again, as will prove an immovable bar to very narrow. · God so loved the
any who would seek to open the world,” &c. “Whosoever”--this Door by any other means. That is a wide door to life. Again, latch is faith ; and prayer is the He declares, “Whosoever he be of spring that never fails to lift it. you that forsaketh not all that he See this illustrated in the case of hath cannot be My disciple.” This the publican and the Pharisee. would seem to represent the Door The publican comes in the deepest as very narrow.
Read the words self-abasement, and but feebly and of Revelation : “ The Spirit and tremblingly touches the latch of the bride say, Come,” &c. Broad as faith, and instantly the Door opens the human race is the door in this
and he enters in justified.' The invitation. But, in seeming con- Pharisee approaches fully confitrast with this, read these words dent that he can open in his of Jesus : “ Strait is the gate and own strength. What an array of narrow is the way,
Many forces he brings to bear against other Scriptures could be sum- this Door? But when he has done moned to bear apparently the his best, he has not moved it a
contradictory testimony: hair's breadth upon its hinges. The reconciliation is to be found
How easy, and yet how difficult in the fact that this Door is to open! The tear of a true viewed from two different stand
penitent falling on it may cause it points. One class of Scriptures to swing wide open, when the weight contemplates it in the light of of a throne would not move it. the ample provisions made for salvation. And this view makes
III. CHRIST IS THE ONLY DOOR. the Door as wide as the world, and His own testimony declares, as high as all time. But, when * No man cometh unto the Father viewed in its attitude toward sin, but by Me.” Peter utters the this Door, in one sense,
becomes same truth : “ Neither is there very narrow, for not even
the salvation in any other; for there smallest sin can enter. Let the true is no other name,” &c. And Paul penitent come, and he will find the confirms it: “For other foundaentrance as wide as the infinite tion can no man lay,” &c. Jesus Christ. But he who comes to is the one and only Door to heaven. enter with his sins will find it so True, John, in his vision of the narrow that he shall not be able so heavenly Jerusalem, saw twelve much as to thrust his hand within. gates leading into the city. One The rich young moralist found it Door into the Church, and many too narrow to enter with but a doors from the Church into
heaven. From the Church heaven tion and exposure. But no Samson will be open on every side to will ever be able to pull down receive the pardoned and justified this Door; for its posts and believer. John declares : And hinges cleave fast to the eternal the twelve gates
twelve throne, so that the same omnipopearls ; and every several gate tent power keeps the Door that was of one pearl.” Each gate of keeps the throne. Hence the heaven will be some one beautiful words of Jesus : “ And I give pearl of Christ's grace. One gate unto them, My sheep, eternal life; will be the pearl of His love, and they shall never perish, neither another will be the pearl of His shall any man pluck them out of wisdom, another the pearl of His My hand.” faithfulness, &c. * Every several 1. Let the truly penitent be engate of one pearl.” And so there couraged to seek this Door; for he will be three gates” on every will find it amply wide. But let side, but all will be one in Christ. the presumptive sinner beware; Their pearly arches will all centre for he will find it very narrow. in Him, and their foundations will 2. Let those of timid faith draw all be joined together as they rest near; for they shall find it very in unbroken circle upon Him, “the easy to open. But let the proud chief corner - stone." And if the and self-righteous remember that redeemed saint should be the against themitis immovably bolted. judge, the gate of His love will be 3. Let all be forewarned that this the most beautiful. Upon it will is the only Door of life. rest the brightest sunlight; about 4. And let those who are safe it will be gathered the sweetest within this Door rejoice in their angel singers; and beneath its safety.
M. W. HAMMA, D.D. shining arch shall
the happiest souls of the redeemed. Shall we not call it “ The Beauti- Character Building. ful Gate” of heaven?
JUDE 20. IV. THIS DOOR AFFORDS A SURE
Building up yourselves on your most DEFENCE TO THOSE WHO HAVE
holy faith.” TAKEN REFUGE WITHIN IT.
HOLY SCRIPTURE is fond of exNo enemy shall ever be able to pressing truth by metaphors drawn force an entrance. “The gates of from society, from the most comhell shall not prevail against it.” mon scenes of daily life. From the No feudal castle or military fort soldier and the slave, from agriever built has been absolutely culture, from architecture, espeimpregnable. But what enemy of cially from the architecture of God or man can force or break Greece, has it drawn some of its this Door, which is the omnipotent
most beautiful illustrations. The Christ. “ For I am persuaded cities of Greece had many great that neither death, nor life, nor edifices. From the great heathen angels, nor principalities, &c. temples it speaks to the Athenians The people of Gaza of old thought of the Temple not made with hands, they had rendered their city and and of that God who is Lord of its gates impregnable to every
heaven and earth. attack, when along came Samson, The apostle looks upon men, their dreaded foe, and pulled up mentally and morally, as so many the gate, posts and all, and carried structures or edifices in course of them to the top of a neighbouring erection. Self is identical with hill, leaving the people to awake character, so a man's true self is in the morning to their humilia- his true character.
Of this character building of man 3. The position of the superstrucit is to be remarked
ture is also important. This you are I. EVERY MAN IS
to build under the guidance of the ARCHITECT OF HIS OWN CHA- Holy Spirit. Every stone we lay
must bear a relation to Christ and
Him crucified. The centre of It is often said that a man is the architect of his own fortune. If a
gravity must fall within the base. man build a fortune, he has to do
This principle in physical philoit with his own hands and his own
sophy is equally applicable to
spiritual things. The centre of brains. One thing is certain, nobody else is going to do it for him.
the heart's gravity must fall within
the base, which is Christ. OtherJust so every man is the builder of his own character. Sometimes a
wise, the edifice cannot stand. The fortune may be made suddenly, the
great leaning tower of Pisa is a result of an accident; but never is
wonder to all who see it, because this true of character. It is im
it does not fall, for it leans fifteen
feet over the base. The centre of portant to distinguish between character and reputation. Repu
gravity is still ten feet within the
base, hence it cannot fall. It has tation is only the opinion that other men hold of us, while cha
stood for ages, and will stand for racter is the actual condition, good
ages to come, if the centre of or bad, of our moral nature. When
gravity does not overreach the
base. There are some characters the apostle says, build up yourselves, he implies that the work is
that are leaning towers; they are
so strange and eccentric in many a man's own.
things, so far out of plumb, that II. WE MUST NOTICE THE IM
we wonder why they do not fall to PARTS
utter destruction. Ah, here is the STRUCTURE.
grand secret: the centre of the 1. The foundation is essential. If heart's gravity still falls within it be ill said, no subsequent care, Christ. toil, or expense can avail. Human
III. CHARACTER BUILDING IS A nature is a quicksand, in which
PROGRESSIVE WORK. are thrown all man's efforts, his works, his wisdom, his piety; Character is the result of small but all of them put together actions, the accumulation of long cannot furnish
founda- years of labour. In heathen mythtion for character.
ology it is said that the goddess such a foundation, it were
Minerva sprung from the head of to fall; but founded upon the Jupiter, at once full grown and solid rock, even faith in Christ, no glorious; but character, like a storms of earth can overthrow it. great edifice, is of slow growth. “ Other foundation can no man lay As the builder lays brick after than that which is laid, which is brick, stone after stone, erects Christ Jesus."
beam after beam, so, slowly and 2. This foundation Rock once se- laboriously, this character work adcured, we are to be careful to build
There is not an act of our upon it--not near or about it, but lives, however small, not a thought upon it, and upon nothing else. even, that does not add a stone to Think of an architect carefully lay- that edifice. If it be a false stone, ing a foundation, and then build- an unworthy beam, you can no ing on one side of it. Let all the more take it out of your character overgrowth and rubbish of man's than you can take a stone out of the efforts be cleared away till you solid wall of a building. Noman can get right down to this Rock of ages. put a bad stone into my house unless
I will it. No evil companions can time, and for all eternity. The influence me to do wrong unless I wicked are not happy because they am one of the party. The whole have such uncomfortable houses to world combined cannot ruin the live in. edifice of my character or pull it VI. WE ILD FOR INSPECTION. down, unless I will it.
How careful were the old catheIV. THE MATERIALS TO BE USED
dral builders that the most distant ARE IMPORTANT.
work should be as well done as The apostle emphasizes the mat- that nearest the eye. The gilded ter of materials. Be the founda- spire on the highest pinnacle was tion never so fine and the plan just as carefully finished as the never so correct, it will 'all be of
moulding around the altar or the no avail if the materials are bad.
ornaments on the door posts. No It is not every quarry that can one can understand, who has not furnish materials for a cathedral.
seen them, the wonderful beauty There are gold and silver and pre- and perfection of these old struccious stones, and there are wood tures. Why is it ? Because they and hay and stubble. “Every man's were built, not for man's eye, but work shall be made manifest, for for the eye of God, who sees all. the day shall declare it, because it So in character building this should shall be tested by fire, and the fire be our motto, Not for man, but shall try every man's work of what for God, whose eye sees the most sort it is.” I have great respect trifling act or thought. for the old cathedral builders of VII. WE MUST NOT MISTAKE THE Europe; they did not build for
SCAFFOLDING FOR THE BUILDING. their own day or time, but they
Wealth, position in society, embuilt for all time. Character will stand longer than
ployment, education, are nothing
but the scaffolding. The great even stone, or gold, or silver. If a man is to build for the future, he
question does not concern the scafmust select material that will last.
folding, but it is, How is the buildGold, silver, precious stones—love,
ing getting on? There is a vast
difference between the two. Take faith, hope, self-denial, and patience, these are the materials for
away the wealth, position, family, a lasting character.
and the building-the character
remains. V. WE MUST BUILD FOR ETERNITY.
We meet a friend and ask, How We must live in the house we is your business, your health, your build. Character, not circum- family?-- this is all scaffolding. stances, makes a man happy or Instead, we should ask, How is miserable. If a man has a pure your character getting on, the and holy character, do what you inner man ?—then we should get will you cannot make him un- at the heart of the thing. Scafhappy. Silvio Pellico, a Catholic folding may be swept away by the priest who lived in the middle ages, storm, but character remains just was confined twelve years in a as we form it, unchanged for ever. dreary prison, and there is nothing Oh, may you all so build your more beautiful or affecting than houses, not on the sand, but on his life; it was the happiest life I the sure foundation, that when the ever read. He drew happiness from floods come and the winds blow the sunbeam that came through and the rains descend and beat the bars of his cell, and when he upon it, it may not fall, but stand had not that he did not seem to bright in the sunshine of heaven need it. We are building a house through time and eternity! that we must live in always, for all JOHN STAMFORD HOLME, D.D.