The Seven Angels1. We are on that narrow pathway
    Leading to our home above;
Marching forward, ever upward,
    Filled with hope and filled with love.
Though the clouds may rise and thicken
    From the darkness down below,
They can never overcome us
    While we press toward the goal.

2. There’s a light that shines behind us,
    It is called the Midnight Cry;
When the chosen, faithful virgins
    Rose to see their Lord draw nigh.
They put on the wedding garment,
    Made a perfect sacrifice;
Had the union Jesus prayed for,
    They will walk with Him in white.

3. When we’re weak, confused and weary,
    Jesus lifts His glorious arm;
Sends us messages of comfort,
    Sends us messages to warn.
Still His Spirit urges, “Onward!
    Do not stumble in the way.
Jesus walked this path before you,
    And it leads to endless day.”

4. Now the struggle is before us,
    The resistance unto blood;
Jacob’s trouble, Armageddon,
    Horses bridles crest the flood.
Grasp the cord of faith completely,
    Now a voice cries, “It is done!”
Swing across death’s yawning chasm,
    And eternity’s begun.


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The Narrow Pathway
This song is based on a vision that Ellen White had, which is recorded in the book, Life Sketches:

While at the Battle Creek in August, 1868, I dreamed of being with a large body of people. A portion of this assembly started out prepared to journey. We had heavily loaded wagons. As we journeyed, the road seemed to ascend. On one side of this road was a deep precipice; on the other was a high, smooth, white wall, like the hard finish upon plastered rooms.

As we journeyed on, the road grew narrower and steeper. In some places it seemed so very narrow that we concluded that we could no longer travel with the loaded wagons. We then loosed them from the horses, took a portion of the luggage from the wagons and placed it upon the horses, and journeyed on horseback.

As we progressed, the path still continued to grow narrow. We were obliged to press close to the wall, to save ourselves from falling off the narrow road down the steep precipice. As we did this, the luggage on the horses pressed against the wall, and caused us to sway toward the precipice. We feared that we should fall, and be dashed in pieces on the rocks. We then cut the luggage from the horses, and it fell over the precipice. We continued on horseback, greatly fearing, as we came to the narrower places in the road, that we should lose our balance, and fall. At such times, a hand seemed to take the bridle, and guide us over the perilous way.

As the path grew more narrow, we decided that we could no longer go with safety on horseback, and we left the horses and went on foot, in single file, one following in the footsteps of another. At this point small cords were let down from the top of the pure white wall; these we eagerly grasped, to aid us in keeping our balance upon the path. As we traveled, the cord moved along with us. The path finally became so narrow that we concluded that we could travel more safely without our shoes; so we slipped them from our feet, and went on some distance without them. Soon it was decided that we could travel more safely without our stockings; these were removed, and we journeyed on with bare feet.

We then thought of those who had not accustomed themselves to privations and hardships. Where were such now? They were not in the company. At every change, some were left behind, and those only remained who had accustomed themselves to endure hardships. The privations of the way only made these more eager to press on to the end.

Our danger of falling from the pathway increased. We pressed close to the white wall, yet could not place our feet fully upon the path, for it was too narrow. We then suspended nearly our whole weight upon the cords, exclaiming: “We have hold from above! We have hold from above!” The same words were uttered by all the company in the narrow pathway. As we heard the sounds of mirth and revelry that seemed to come from the abyss below, we shuddered. We heard the profane oath, the vulgar jest, and low, vile songs. We heard the war song and the dance song. We heard instrumental music, and loud laughter, mingled with cursing and cries of anguish and bitter wailing, and were more anxious than ever to keep upon the narrow, difficult pathway. Much of the time we were compelled to suspend our whole weight upon the cords, which increased in size as we progressed.

I noticed that the beautiful white wall was stained with blood. It caused a feeling of regret to see the wall thus stained. This feeling, however, lasted but for a moment, as I soon thought that it was all as it should be. Those who are following after will know that others have passed the narrow, difficult way before them, and will conclude that if others were able to pursue their onward course, they can do the same. And as the blood shall be pressed from their aching feet, they will not faint with discouragement; but, seeing the blood upon the wall, they will know that others have endured the same pain.

At length we came to a large chasm, at which our path ended. There was nothing now to guide the feet, nothing upon which to rest them. Our whole reliance must be upon the cords, which had increased in size, until they were as large as our bodies. Here we were for a time thrown into perplexity and distress. We inquired in fearful whispers, “To what is the cord attached?” My husband was just before me. Large drops of sweat were falling from his brow, the veins in his neck and temples were increased to double their usual size, and suppressed, agonizing groans came from his lips. The sweat was dropping from my face, and I felt such anguish as I had never felt before. A fearful struggle was before us. Should we fail here, all the difficulties of our journey had been experienced for naught.

Before us, on the other side of the chasm, was a beautiful field of green grass, about six inches high. I could not see the sun, but bright, soft beams of light, resembling fine gold and silver, were resting upon this field. Nothing I had seen upon earth could compare in beauty and glory with this field. But could we succeed in reaching it? was the anxious inquiry. Should the cord break, we must perish.

Again, in whispered anguish, the words were breathed, “What holds the cord?” For a moment we hesitated to venture. Then we exclaimed: “Our only hope is to trust wholly to the cord. It has been our dependence all the difficult way. It will not fail us now.” Still we were hesitating and distressed. The words were then spoken: “God holds the cord. We need not fear.” These words were repeated by those behind us, accompanied with: “He will not fail us now. He has brought us thus far in safety.”

My husband then swung himself over the fearful abyss into the beautiful field beyond. I immediately followed. And oh, what a sense of relief and gratitude to God we felt! I heard voices raised in triumphant praise to God. I was happy, perfectly happy.
Life Sketches, chapter 30, “Traveling the Narrow Way,” p. 190-193

The last verse of this song describes the “battle of Armageddon,” “horse’s bridles,” and “Jacob’s trouble.” These events are more clearly explained in the book, The Seven Angels (click the link or the picture of the book at the top right of this page).

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2 Comments on The Narrow Pathway

  1. Tim Poirier says:

    We’ve received an inquiry about who owns the painting of the Narrow Pathway displayed on your website: http://www.practicapoetica.com.....w-pathway/

    Someone would like to use it. Please let us know. Thank you.

    Tim Poirier
    E. G. White Estate

  2. pp2300 says:

    Tim,

    Others have asked about this picture in the past. For all who are interested, the picture was drawn by Heinrich Halman, a Romanian artist who lives and works in Germany.

    Anyone wishing to use the picture (in a book or such) for publication, should have a credit something like this:

    “Image on page xx used by permission of Heinrich Halmen, Sabbath Rest Advent Church (www.srac.de)”

    The largest size available (on my website) is 1024×768. You can get that by clicking on the image first (to load the larger size) and then downloading it.

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