93. The Wedding Garment

“C. T.” The parable of the marriage feast, in Matt. 22, is designed to set forth not the Church of God, but “the kingdom of heaven.” This is a most necessary distinction, if you would understand this parable, or indeed any of the parables in the gospel of Matthew. As to your difficulty with respect to the man nut having on a wedding garment, it arises, in our judgment, from the fact of your thinking of the Church in connection with the passage, whereas it simply refers to the kingdom of heaven, or the gospel dispensation. God is about to make a marriage for His Son. The Jews were first invited during the life and ministry of Christ. Again, a testimony went forth by the ministry of the Holy Ghost in the apostles. Both these invitations being refused by the nation, destruction came upon Jerusalem, and the invitation to the supper has gone forth into the wide Gentile world. But here another question arises. Many make a profession, but few have really put on Christ. Many are called, but few give genuine evidence of their election of God. There must be the wedding garment, the spotless robe of divine righteousness, Christ Himself. Nothing else will do when the King comes in to see the guests. The garment is freely provided —just as freely as the feast; and hence the guilt of any who presume to take their place professedly among the guests without that precious and freely offered robe. There is a testing time coming, when the vast mass of hollow profession will be weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, and all lifeless professors east into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Oh! dear friend, let us he real, earnest, whole-hearted, and, withal, solemn in our dealing with our fellows. We deeply deplore what you say as to the backsliding of so many young converts. Alas! alas we fear it is too true in ninny other places also. We long to see a deeper work in the souls of the young—more real exercise of heart and conscience before God—more thorough self-knowledge and self-conquest. We bless God for what you are able to say as to the blessing resulting to yourself and others from this little work.