T H E
"Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the
way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which
leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."– Matthew 7:13, 14
By J O H N.B U N Y A N.
THE STRAIT GATE.
"STRIVE TO ENTER IN AT THE STRAIT GATE; FOR MANY, I SAY UNTO YOU, WILL SEEK TO ENTER IN, AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE."–LUKE 13:24
hese are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and are, therefore, in especial manner to be heeded; besides, the subject matter of the words is the most weighty, to wit, how we should attain salvation, and therefore also to be heeded.
The occasion of the words was a question which one that was at this time in the company of the disciples put to Jesus Christ; the question was this, "Lord, are there few that be saved?" (verse 23) A serious question, not such as tended to the subversion of the hearers, as too many now-a-days do; but such as in its own nature tended to the awakening of the company to good, and that called for such an answer that might profit the people also. This question also well pleased Jesus Christ, and he prepareth and giveth such an answer as was without the least retort, or show of distaste; such an answer, I say, as carried in it the most full resolve to the question itself, and help to the persons questioning. "And he said unto them, Strive to enter in," &c. The words are an answer, and an instruction also. First. An answer, and that in the affirmative; the gate is strait–many that seek will not be able, therefore but few shall be saved. Second. The answer is an instruction also; "strive to enter in," &c., good counsel and instruction; pray God help me, and my reader, and all that love their own salvation, to take it.
My manner of handling the words will be–[FIRST], By way of explication; and then [SECOND], By way of observation.