Somewhat disheartened, he patiently seeks another
dwelling, - only to find its inmates asleep at noontide!
Robust forms, with manly brow nodding on cushioned
chairs, their feet resting on footstools, or, flat on their
backs, lie stretched on the floor, dreaming away the
hours. Balancing on one foot, with eyes half open,
the porter starts up in blank amazement and looks at
the Stranger, calls out, rubs his eyes, - amazed beyond
measure that anybody is animated with a purpose, and
seen working for it!
They in this house are those that "provoke Him in
the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert." Away
from this charnel-house of the so-called living, the Stranger
turns quickly, and wipes off the dust from his feet as a
testimony against sensualism in its myriad forms. As
he departs, he sees robbers finding ready ingress to that
dwelling of sleepers in the midst of murderous hordes,
without watchers and the doors unbarred!
Next he enters a place of worship, and saith unto them,
"Go ye into all the world; preach the gospel, heal the
sick, cast out devils, raise the dead; for the Scripture
saith the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath
made you free from the law of sin and death." And they
cast him out.
Once more he seeks the dwelling-place of mortals and
knocks loudly. The door is burst open, and sufferers
shriek for help: that house is on fire! The flames caught
in the dwelling of luxury, where the blind saw them not,
but the flesh at length did feel them; thence they spread
to the house of slumberers who heeded them not, until
they became unmanageable; fed by the fat of hypocrisy
and vainglory, they consumed the next dwelling; then
crept unseen into the synagogue, licking up the blood
of martyrs and wrapping their altars in ruins. "God is a
Thus are all mortals, under every hue of circumstances,
driven out of their houses of clay and, homeless wanderers
in a beleaguered city, forced to seek the Father's
house, if they would be led to the valley and up the
Seeing the wisdom of withdrawing from those who
persistently rejected him, the Stranger returned to the
valley; first, to meet with joy his own, to wash their
feet, and take them up the mountain. Well might this
heavenly messenger exclaim, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which
are sent unto thee, . . . Behold, your house is left unto
Discerning in his path the penitent one who had groped
his way from the dwelling of luxury, the Stranger saith
unto him, "Wherefore comest thou hither?"
He answered, "The sight of thee unveiled my sins, and
turned my misnamed joys to sorrow. When I went back
into the house to take something out of it, my misery
increased; so I came hither, hoping that I might follow
thee whithersoever thou goest."
And the Stranger saith unto him, "Wilt thou climb
the mountain, and take nothing of thine own with thee?"
He answered, "I will."
"Then," saith the Stranger, "thou hast chosen the
good part; follow me."
Many there were who had entered the valley to speculate
in worldly policy, religion, politics, finance, and to
search for wealth and fame. These had heavy baggage
of their own, and insisted upon taking all of it with them,
which must greatly hinder their ascent.
The journey commences. The encumbered travellers
halt and disagree. They stoutly belay those who, having
less baggage, ascend faster than themselves, and