Dedication of the Western Portal

Dedication of the Western Portal

Sermon on the Mount. St Matthew.

(The Gospel History, Section 43*)

Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many be they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few be they that find it.

Dedication of the Western Portal

(The Saviour of the World, Vol II Book III Poem LVII)

Now, having laid due shapen stone on stone,
(This, writ with precept plain, and that, with tale,
On these, surpassing poems of the world),
And built that Western Portal, narrow way,—
Then spake the Lord: “Take heed how ye shall tread
That portal, which excludes inflated pride,
And heavy-laden greed, and lingering lust;
Which lets in only love, of eager step,—
Treading the entrance court with ready feet
So it may reach the greater things beyond,
The body of the Church, where God is all.”—
This portal having builded for His Church
On the first day of founding:—“Take ye heed,”
Saith Christ, our Founder, “that ye enter in:
For every man goes searching for a way
To lead him to fulfilment: On every side
Are broad and open roads which promise ease,
And that imagined thing a man hath not,
And must have for completion. Many go
Down this or that broad road, of pilgrims full:
But, what the end of all this sedulous zeal,
Or, easy-going pleasure in the path?
Who journey takes, except to destination
His steps would reach? But these go on their way,
Nor ask themselves the end. Yet, every day,
Approach they closer verge of that abyss
Where lost souls sink who have not come to God.
There is none other final goal for men
Save the kingdom of God Who made them for Himself;
And he who heedless takes some easy path,
That leads not to the kingdom, what for him?
His hopes, desires, ambitions, ways of thought,
His wealth, his pleasures, lusts, indulgences—
All of them things that perish in the using!
What then survives of all he made himself?
Of all the toys he got to please himself?
The man has won his goal—and perisheth!

“See then ye enter through this narrow porch
To-day I have constructed in your sight:
Only meek, sweet submissive souls find room,—
The pitiful and peaceable and sad,
For sins of all men and their own; and these
Must labour, love and learn, and pray alway!”
The wistful Passion in the Master’s tones
Moved every heart; and lo, they all gat up
(In purpose), pressing to the narrow Way,—
A multitude moved as a single man!
What is within the Portal, they shall know
Who follow on to know the Lord; but now,—
Eye hath not seen, nor heart of man conceived
The riches of that Church the Lord had founded.

St. Matthew vi. 13, 14