THE ROAD TO THE CITY.
“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; and the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”—Isaiah xxxv: 8-10.
There are hundreds of people in this house this morning who want to find the right road. You sometimes see a person halting at cross roads, and you can tell by his looks that he wishes to ask a question as to what direction he had better take. And I stand in your presence this morning conscious of the fact that there are many of you here who realize that there are a thousand wrong roads, but only one right one; and I take it for granted that you have come in to ask which one it is. Here is one road that opens widely, but I have not much faith in it. There are a great many expensive toll-gates scattered all along that way. Indeed at every road you must pay in tears, or pay in genuflexions, or pay in flagellations. On that road, if you get through it at all, you have to pay your own way; and since this differs so much from what I have heard in regard to the right way, I believe it is the wrong way.
Here is another road. On either side of it are houses of sinful entertainment, and invitations to come in, and dine and rest; but, from the looks of the people who stand on the piazza I am very certain that it is the wrong house and the wrong way. Here is another road. It is very beautiful and macadamized. The horses’ hoofs clatter and ring, and they who ride over it spin along the highway, until suddenly they find that the road breaks over an embankment, and they try to halt, and they saw the bit in the mouth of the fiery steed, and cry “Ho! ho!” But it is too late, and—crash!—they go over the embankment. We shall turn, this morning, and see if we can not find a different kind of a road.
You have heard of the Appian Way. It was three hundred and fifty miles long. It was twenty-four feet wide, and on either side the road was a path for foot passengers. It was made out of rocks cut in hexagonal shape and fitted together. What a road it must have been! Made of smooth, hard rock, three hundred and fifty miles long. No wonder that in the construction of it the treasures of a whole empire were exhausted. Because of invaders, and the elements, and time—the old conqueror who tears up a road as he goes over it—there is nothing left of that structure excepting a ruin. But I have this morning to tell you of a road built before the Appian Way, and yet it is as good as when first constructed. Millions of souls have gone over it. Millions more will come.