The road to Heaven

(Horatius Bonar, "The Surety's Cross")

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone would
 come after Me, he must deny himself and take up
 his cross and follow Me
." Matthew 16:24

"Follow Me," Jesus says; and we cannot but yield to
His almighty voice. He draws us out of the world—and
we follow Him. He leads us in at the strait gate—and
we follow Him. He guides us along the narrow way
and we follow Him—our cross upon our shoulder and
the crown before our eye!

Smoothness, and brightness, and greenness—are not
the features of the narrow way; but rather thorns and
briars, darkness and dust, and ruggedness, all along;
fightings without, and fears within.

The road to Heaven is not so pleasant, and comfortable,
and easy, and flowery—as many dream. It is not a bright,
sunny, flowery path. It is not paved with triumph—though
it is to end in victory. The termination is glory, honor, and
immortality; but on the way—there is the thorn in the flesh,
the sackcloth, and the cross. Recompense yonder—but labor
here! Rest yonder—but weariness here! Joy and security
yonder—but here endurance and watchfulness, the race,
the battle, the burden, and ofttimes the heavy heart.