When we got our charter for the city of Chicago, there was one clause in the constitution that allowed the mayor to appoint all the police. It worked well when it was a small city; but when it had three or four hundred thousand inhabitants, it put too much power in the hands of one man. So our citizens got a new bill passed that put the power into the hands of commissioners appointed by government.
There was one clause in the new law that no man should be a policeman who was not a certain height—five feet six inches, let us say.
When the commissioners got into power, they advertised for men as candidates, and stated that no man need apply who could not bring good credentials to recommend him.
I remember going past the office one day, and there was a crowd of them waiting to get in. They were comparing notes as to their chances of success.
One says, "I have got a good letter of recommendation from the mayor, and one from the supreme judge."
Another says, "And I have got a good letter from Senator So-and-so. I'm sure to get in."
The two men come on together, and lay their letters down on the commissioners' desk. "Well," say the officials, "you have certainly a good many letters, but we won't read them till we measure you."
Ah! they forgot all about that. So the first man is measured, and he is only five feet.
"No chance for you, sir; the law says the men must be five feet six inches, and you don't come up to the standard."
The other says, "My chance is better than his, I am a good bit taller."
That is what people are always doing, measuring them-selves by others. Measure yourself by the law of God, or by the Son of God Himself; and if you do that, you will find you have come short.
He goes up to the officers, and they measure him; he is five feet, five inches, and nine tenths of an inch. "No good," they tell him, "you're not up to the standard."
"But I'm only one tenth of an inch short," he remonstrates.
"It's no matter," they say, "there is no difference."
He goes with the man who was five feet. One comes short six inches, and the other only one tenth of an inch; but the law cannot be changed. And the law of God is, that no man shall go into the kingdom of heaven with one sin on him.
D. L. Moody