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there a man not clad in the Wedding Dress which was required. Addressing one, he says, “ Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment ?” The man is conscience-stricken, and answers not a word. He feels that he is there without having arrayed himself in the proper attire of a guest.
And was it reasonable, you may ask, to expect that one who had been brought in from the highways should provide himself with a fit dress to sit down at the king's table? Yes, it was reasonable ; for it was customary at great feasts of this kind not only to furnish provisions, but also a fit dress which every guest might put on. The person therefore in the Parable who was not clothed in the wedding robe was without excuse. He might have obtained it. There was a garinent for him, and he had only to put it on.
Now, what are we to understand by this robe—this wedding garment? What is it intended to signify? It means, I think, just that preparation of heart, without which no man can enter heaven. We must "put on Christ.” We must be “clothed with the
ments of salvation.” We must be covered
with the robe of righteousness. And if we are not thus clothed, there will be no heaven for us.
Such is the teaching of this beautiful Parable. It teaches us that God has abundantly provided for our souls' hunger—that He invites all to partake of His gospel blessings; but that many refuse, and that, of those who seem to accept the invitation, there are some who will never enter in, not having the wedding garment—or in other words, not having “put on Christ.”
Now let us try and apply this to ourselves.
Have we heartily accepted the Gospel Invitation ?
Some, like the Jews of old, absolutely rebel against God's way of salvation. Their hearts are too proud to submit to the Saviour's yoke. They not only see no beauty in Him, but their hearts are filled with enmity against Him.
Others there are, who do not oppose; but they feel altogether unconcerned about the offer made to them. They "neglect” the “great salvation." Like certain of those in the Parable, they “make light of it.” They have their farms or their merchandise to attend to, and this takes up all their time and their thoughts. But oh how sad—to have souls, and not to care for them—to have an eternity before us, and to let earthly things keep it out of our thoughts—to have a Saviour who has died for us, and not to be saying to Him, “Lord, save
There are others again, who have had some earnest feelings, and have come to Christ as their only refuge. They know and feel that “there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” And yet they have but a very feeble grasp of salvation. They cannot say, “ Christ is mine; eternal life is mine; heaven is mine." No, there is still a clinging to the world. Their hearts are not wholly given to Christ. They follow Him, but it is afar off.
How is it with you? Have you heartilyyes, heartily-accepted the Gospel invitation ? Are you following the Lamb whithersoever He goeth ?
Once more, when the King looks down from heaven, does He see us with the Weddinggarment on ? Without faith it is impossible to please God—without love we are but as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal—without holiness we cannot see the Lord—without Christ, in short, we are naked and destitute. It is a solemn thought that many, who seem to be right, will be found wanting in that great day. Ministers may not detect them. How can they ? For this garment is worn not on the body, but on the heart. Their friends may imagine that all is well with them. They themselves may fancy that they are in the way of safety. And yet He-He who looks through every false covering—He whose eye pierces the very heart-He will one day say to them, “I never knew you. How camest thou in hither, not having the wedding garment? You have not the mark of my people. You are among the many called, but not among the few chosen."
Oh that you and I may not deceive ourselves ! May our hearts beat true to Christ! May we enjoy His happy service now, and hereafter sit down together at the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven!
THE FORGIVEN DEBTOR.
LUKE VII. 40–43. “ And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have
somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors : the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And wlien they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most ? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.”
The circumstance which led to this short and simple Parable was this-Jesus, happening to be at Bethany, was invited to the house of one of the Pharisees, named Simon. This man had probably some kind feeling towards our Lord, or he would not have received Him into his house. Perhaps, like Nicodemus, he was an inquirer after the truth, and therefore was glad to welcome the Saviour under his roof.