And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: you have set my feet in a large room.
I. THE CHRISTIAN CREED PLACES US IN A VERY EXTENDED REALM. Suppose the case of one puzzled by the mysteries of existence, learning the creed of the Christian Church. Such a man contrasts the narrow material ideas that had become familiar to his thoughts, the insoluble riddle that the great universe presented to his mind as he tried to reduce all its wonder and glory to modifications of blind matter; he contrasts all this with the rest he feels as he repeats to himself the articles of Christian belief. And as he thinks of the old unsatisfying guesses and the present blessed and well-attested creed, tie has to join in the inspired song — "Thou hast set my feet in a large room."
II. Contrast the sphere of interest Of one who lives for mere natural objects, with THE WIDENED HORIZON OF ONE WHO HAS RECEIVED "THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION, WHEREBY WE CRY, ABBA, FATHER!" Gradually or suddenly you are made ashamed of your self-seeking life. The Spirit's holy strivings with your spirit are felt, and prevail; you are drawn as a penitent to the Cross of Christ. The knowledge of His pardon gladdens your heart. Longings for goodness, for purity, for holiness, for usefulness, swell within you. Then what a grand extension takes place in your mental horizon. How dull, petty, and narrow that world-centred life now seems I What a number of new interests, new objects for endeavour, hope and aspiration, rise before you! Little pleasures and innocent amusements and pleasant laughter are still enjoyed — enjoyed with a much fresher kind of enjoyment than before. But they have taken their place now as little things. Life has become to you a much broader, more varied, more intensely interesting drama than it used to be; for you are taken out of self. You are longing to please the Divine Friend. You are a member of a great community, a great company of dear brethren and sisters. Every one with whom you have intercourse is one for whom Christ died, and whom you want to help upwards.
III. TAKE ONE MORE MENTAL STEP, AND ANTICIPATE THE TIME WHEN THERE WILL BE A STILL FURTHER ENLARGEMENT. During its larva life the caterpillar seems to have all its powers busied in creeping from leaf to leaf, and gathering in its monotonous nourishment. But there are growing within it all the while organs foreign to its present environment — strange powers, prophecies of an entirely different sphere of existence for which they prepare. In due time the environment changes. The chrysalis shell is broken; the great coloured wings shake themselves free. The "image," the ideal being, rises up into the air, glittering and palpitating, a beautiful butterfly, gleaming in the sunshine, and winging its way from flower to flower. This is an old illustration of a fact ere long to be new in the experience of each of us. Here, as we try to do our duty, to bear our cross, to run our race, "looking unto Jesus," spiritual powers are developing within us; heavenly capacities are gradually growing. In God's good time the bodily organization will be broken up. A new departure in life will be taken. Then, when we come to be with Christ, when we join in the great company whom no man can number, when we serve in the holy temple of which God Himself and the Lamb are the Light, when we follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, then in the freedom of that heavenly life, in the wide domains opened for our energies by that heavenly service, we shall know the full meaning of the song of thanksgiving, "Thou hast set my feet in a large room."
Parallel VersesKJV: And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.