A wedding garment.—Matthew 22:11.
My soul! let thine evening’s meditations be directed to this subject proposed in these few words: “a wedding-garment.” Very many are the instructions which the passage contains. The Lord Jesus is representing, under the similitude of a wedding-feast, the rich provision God the Father hath made in the gospel, on account of the marriage of his dear Son with our nature. And most beautiful indeed is the representation. For what feast, in point of fulness, riches, and satisfaction, can come up to that which is furnished for the poor, needy, and perishing circumstances of famished and dying sinners? This feast of fat things (as the Scripture calls it) is indeed a rich feast, a royal feast, and a true wedding-feast: for as Jesus, on whose account it is made, hath united our nature in general to himself, so hath he united each individual of that nature in particular to himself, who is truly, and in reality, made a partaker of it. But the parable supposes (which, though not said, is implied) that the rich and bountiful Donor not only provides a feast for the hungry, but a covering for the naked; and that the very entrance to his table is inadmissible without this wedding-garment being accepted, put on, and worn by every individual who partakes of the supper. The case is here stated of one unworthy creature (and that one is a representative of all in like circumstances) who, when the King came in to see the guests, was found deficient of this covering. My soul! pause over this part. This man, it should seem, was not observed by any around him. He had come in with the crowd, and gained admittance with the rest. It was only when the King came in that he was discovered, and that by the King himself. What a volume of instruction is here in this short representation! So Jesus comes in the midst of his Churches. He presides at his table. Every individual is seen, is known by him, with every secret motive for which each cometh. It should seem, that at this supper there were great multitudes present, and but one without a wedding-garment. And yet that one could not be hidden from the King’s eye. My soul! while this furnisheth a subject for awful consideration, so doth it no less for joyful thought. Hast thou been at this gospel feast? Wert thou clothed in this wedding-garment? Surely, if so, thou art not at a loss to know. If the feast and the garment were both of the King’s providing, thou must know whether thou earnest to be clothed as well as fed; and whether the Lord, that provided the food, gave thee also raiment? Say then, when Jesus invited thee to his supper, didst thou go to it, as those in the highway, poor, and maimed, and halt, and blind? And while he bade thee come, didst thou regard his counsel; and “buy of him,” as he had said, without money, and without price, “white raiment, that thou mightst be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness should not appear?” (Rev. 3:18.) Oh! it is blessed, very blessed, to go hungry to such a feast, and clothed in the wedding-garment of Jesus’s righteousness, and to have the robe put on by God the Holy Ghost. Sure will be the acceptance, and gracious the reception, to every poor, famishing, naked sinner, that thus comes to the gospel feast. Do remark, my soul, one circumstance more in this man’s case: it doth not appear that he was naked; for then it would have been said so; and, if conscious of it, the bountiful Lord that made the feast would have clothed him. He had a garment, but not a wedding-garment. One of his own providing: like those who have a righteousness of their own, of whom the Lord elsewhere speaks: “Wo to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.” (Isa. 30:1.) Precious Lord Jesus! clothe me with the wedding-garment of “thy righteousness,” and feed me with the rich food of “thy body and blood;” yea, Lord! be thou my covering, my joy, my all; that when at thy Church, at thy table, at thine house of prayer below, and at thy kingdom of glory above, the King cometh in to see his guests, my soul may cry out in thine own blessed words, and with a joy unspeakable and full of glory: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10.)
 Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 203–205). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.