A Simple Story

A man built a house and the name of the house was Human Sense, and he set about making it very beautiful, expecting to find great happiness in it when it should be completed. The largest of the rooms was a magnificent apartment filled with musical instruments, paintings, and statuary, and the name of the room was called Music and Art. Another room, whose walls were lined with shelves of books which the man had spent years in collecting, was called Intellectuality. There were other rooms, among them a superb dining hall where sumptuous repasts were to be served, and these rooms were called The Pleasures of Sense. But the best room of all and dearest to the man's heart was one which had been fitted up especially for his daughter, whom he idolized, and this room was called Human Affection. When the house was completed the man was proud and pleased, and he said, "Now I shall know perfect happiness." And so after carefully closing all the doors and windows to keep out intruders, he set himself to enjoy the house which he had built. But after a time he noticed that his daughter grew thin and pale and he began to have a great fear at his heart.

One day on glancing out of the window she caught a glimpse of Truth, and she said to her father, "Open the door and let Truth enter." But the father refused. Then one morning he found his daughter missing. Every room was searched in vain, she had gone to seek after Truth. The father wept bitterly and closed up the room called Human Affection. The only thing now remaining to him was a violent hatred of Truth which caused him to bolt and bar every window and door of his house so that Truth could have no chance to creep in. But when the winter came and the man sat before his fire, Truth smiled at him from the midst of the flames. Then a great rage took possession of the man and he ordered the chimney to be sealed up so that Truth could not continue to torment him. But when this was done the room was so filled with smoke that the man could not breathe, and sooner than let Truth in he put out the fire and sat shivering with cold and alone, for all his servants and friends had left him. And the man's heart was sad and he said within himself, "What has my goodly house profited me, and all its beautiful rooms? And he was very cold and very lonely, so that when finally Truth knocked softly on the door he answered, "Come in." "But the door is locked," said Truth. Then the man rose reluctantly and unlocked the door. But Truth still waited without, saying, "Open the door." Now the door had been closed so long that it was very hard to open, but after much effort and many struggles the man at last succeeded in opening it a few inches, and when he saw Truth standing without, all his hatred and sorrow and loneliness vanished. With renewed strength he flung the door open wide and bade Truth enter, but Truth said, "Come and follow me," and the man's heart was filled with love and joy, and he went gladly, leaving his beautiful house and following after Truth.

"O Taste and See that the Lord is Good."
November 27, 1902

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