Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the
And so, difficult to enter in at; and when entered, the way is unpleasant to the flesh to walk in, being hedged up on each side with afflictions and tribulations; and moreover, is like the "narrow place", or (stenov topov) , "the strait place", as the Septuagint in ( Numbers 22:26 ) render it; in which the angel that met Balaam stood; and in which there was no turning to the right hand or the left; and such is the way to eternal happiness. The great encouragement to walk on in it is, because it is that way
which leadeth unto life:
unto eternal life: it certainly leads thither; it never fails of bringing persons to it; believers in Christ, all that walk in Christ the way, though they are said to be "scarcely" saved, by reason of their afflictions and trials, they meet with in their way to the kingdom; yet they are, and shall be certainly saved: they shall be safely brought to glory; which will be an abundant recompense for all the troubles and sorrows that have attended them in their journey.
And few there be that find it;
the way, and so consequently the life it leads to. "The gate is strait"; small and little, and so unobserved: there is but one way to heaven, and the generality of men neglect it. "The way is narrow", and so disagreeable; the company few, and not engaging. Men choose large gates, broad ways, and much company. The flesh loves to walk at liberty, unconfined, and uncontrolled, and with a multitude to do evil: hence, Zion's ways are thin of passengers; a small number, comparatively speaking, walk thereto, and will be saved; a remnant, a little flock, a little city, and few men in it. It is asked in the Talmud F17,
``why is the world to come created with "jod?" (the least of the letters in the "Hebrew alphabet") the answer is, because (Myjewm wbv Myqydu) , "the righteous which are in it are few".''Some read the words, as the Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate Latin, with a note of admiration, "how strait is the gate!" &c. and so some copies.
F17 T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 29. 2.