"Rooms shalt thou make in the ark."--(GEN. vi. 14): but the literal Hebrew (see margin of Authorized Version) says not "rooms" but "nests."
NOW without for one moment calling in question that these particular "nests" were rooms, the special word employed does yet suggest a special train of thought.
The Ark: the Church. Destruction without, safety within. "A dispensation of the Gospel" is vouchsafed to man, and woe is us if we accept not the offered salvation.
We do (please God) accept it. However unworthily, we occupy rooms in the spiritual Ark: there we live, and there we hope to die.
The rooms being commodiously and thoroughly furnished unto good works, the tenants are thereby invited to perform such good works as belong to their several vocations.
So to do becomes our duty. And it is constituted no less our privilege, seeing that to crown all it has promise of a reward.
Christian duties, Christian privileges: some honest Christians do much, and upbraid themselves for not doing more. They labor and are heavy laden, they are careful and cumbered; making a task of duty, a task of privilege, a task of life, and a most formidable task of death.
The vastness and still more the loftiness of their "room" overwhelms them: "Who is sufficient for these things?" is their prevalent forlorn feeling. At times they would almost be ready (if they dared) to say: "It were better to dwell in the corner of the housetop."
They comport themselves as if too little for their own greatness. They appear like savage man consumed and dwindling away in the face of a civilization too high for him.
But wherefore contemplate their allotted room as a lofty and vast palace of wellnigh uninhabitable grandeur: as this, and as nothing more?
Our room, as God builds and makes it for us, is likewise our nest: and a nest is surely the very homeliest idea of a home.