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Gal. iii. 27. and to buy of him white rayment to cover us, that the shame of our nakedness
may not appear, Rev. iii. 17, 18. And in order to this, he hath brought in everlasting righteousness
, which is the garment we are to have on.
2. The graces of the Spirit to be exercised in sitting with the king at his table, are also included in the wedding garment. It is as dressed in these, that the king's daughter is all-glorious within, these jewels and ornaments which are to be
These two things may be expressed by one wedding garment, because they go together
, and are never parted. The righteosness of Christ is never put on a soul utterly unfanctified and in its natural unconverted state: And where any, by being in Christ is a new creature, having him made to him fanctification, that soul has him for righteousness too.
Without the wedding garment denoting the graces of the Spirit, the soul is not suited to the feast prepared. How can he discern Christ's body, that is destitute of faith? Or feed upon
him that hath no spiritual appetite ? Or have communion with him that is as opposite to him as light is to darkness? But when these our ornaments are on,
in cise, it is, as found interested in the righteousness of Christ, that we are to be accepted as to our persons, and then as to what we fincerely perform ; and to have our failures overlooked, our infirmities pitied, and the king smile upon us, through him in whom he is always well pleased. Having on Christ, and being made partakers of a new nature, that is, being washed and justified, and sanctified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God, is having on the wedding garment, in which we are to come to the feast
prepared, and so as to be approved.
IV. God will assuredly find out, and discover every one that comes without it.
It is said, when the king came in to see the guests, be saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment : which does not signify, that there was but one unfound; but plainly intimates, that if there is but one among niultitudes of others, God will surely discover him, and sooner or later single him out, by saying, Friend, how camest thou in bither, not baving on a wedding garment?
Though many are to be called into the church, it is required that they come as Christians indeed, and so attend upon the ordinances of the gospel, ; denoted by the feast prepared. When any
think to cover a carnal heart and life under a formal specious profession, God will sooner or later find him out.
This may be concluded, 1. From his all-discerning eye, as the searcher of hearts, and trier of the reins, and one well knowing who they are that say, They are Fews or Christians, when they are not, but do lie. As it is God with whom carnal professors have to do, there is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity can hide themselves, Job xxxiv. 22.
(2.) It may be concluded, as hypocrisy is most hateful to God, and what he seems concerned, in vindication of his unspotted purity, to detect These things thou hast done, and I kept filence : thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself, but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thee, Pfalm l. 21. The delusion Thall be exposed, and the wickedness shewn.
This God has various ways of doing : for example, by trying judgments, which are represented as the fan in Christ's hand, by which he will thoroughly purge his floor, Matth. iii. 12. and with reference to his making use of these, he threatens to search Jerusalem with candles, Zeph. i. 12.
By suffering errors and divisions to rise up and prevail in the church ; or by permitting persecution for righteousness fake, Matth. xviii. 7. 1 Cor.
unto US :
Often by death, when men usually awake out of their delusion: but, at farthest, at judgment. Then it will be in vain for such as have no oil in their vessels, to come and cry, Lord, Lord, open
we have eaten and drunk in thy prefence; for he will profess, I never knew you, depart from me ye workers of iniquity.
V. Sinners shall be struck dumb when God comes to deal with them. The king said, Friend, bow camest thou in bither, not having on a wedding garment? And be was speechless.
The finners in Sion will be confounded at last.
1. They shall not be able to object, That under the gospel they were not acquainted, that a wedding garment was neceffary.
2. They shall not be able to object against the patience of God, as not long enough bearing with them,
3. They 3. They shall have nothing to object against the goodness of God, as not striving with them by his Spirit.
4. They shall have nothing to plead to cover their perfidiousness, that under the name of friends they should nourish enmity in their hearts.
5. They shall have nothing to plead to extenuate the guilt of endeavouring to mock God, by intruding into his house under a disguise.
6. They shall have nothing to say in excuse for their folly and madness in all this.
Lastly, They shall have nothing to plead against the justice of God, and in bar to their being sentenced by it to the wrath deferved.
VI. Their case is fad who shall be found without the wedding garment, they being liable to the forest punishment;
for concerning each of them the judge will say, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
1. How awful are such words as these: Bind bim hand and foot, noting the seizure of justice, and the finner deprived of all power to resist it, or of finding means of escaping it?
2. Take him away, i, e. from the company of the friends of God, and all the privileges he without ground laid claim to in this world, and from the delusive hope he had of happiness in another.
3. Caft him into outer darkness, the place of horror and despair, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
APPLICATION. 1. Be not satisfied in putting yourselves among the friends of God, and going as guests to the feast prepared for such, without some comfortable hope of having a wedding garment on.
Examine yourselves if you have the wedding garment; and if
you have it, how you came by it. (1.) Have you been made to fee
your own vileness as clothed in filthy garments, and made willing to change them, and put them off?
(2.) Have you applied to the Lord Jesus Christ, as poor and miserable, blind and naked, to buy of him the white raiment, the righteousness of the saints? Have you been waiting upon him in the way of his appointments, to be made partakers of what
need ? If you have on the wedding garment, you can say something to this, it being the way in which it was obtained.
If not, this is the course you are to take : and as ever you would shew yourselves the friends indeed of the bridegroom; as you would not be Christians only in name, and make a profession only to your greater condemnation; as you would be welcome to the great Lord of the feast, and have a holy confidence before him, speedily do
2. Doth the king take notice of every one that comes (to the ordinance of the Lord's supper particularly) without the wedding garment? So he also observes who they are, that having a wedding garment stay away. And as the presumption of the one is inexcusable ; so also is the dejection and absence of the other.