And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God…
I. White robes remind us of INNOCENCE. It is a grand thing to be innocent; it is more glorious to be virtuous. Each part of yonder powerful locomotive and of that stupendous tubular bridge has been tried by great pressure, and stood the test. So a man who has been tried by the pressure of temptation, and has stood the test, is virtuous. Never blame any human bridge or broken human engine unless you have been tested with a similar pressure. But what a blessing to know that though a man has fallen, God does not lay him aside as useless! The glory of the gospel is that it offers the white robes of innocence to guilty men and women. The sinner is not only forgiven, but transformed. His second nature is of a higher kind than the first.
II. White robes also remind us of SUCCESS. It is only the few who seem to succeed in this world. Carlyle speaks of men as being "mostly fools," while another writer describes the world as being "strewn with human wrecks." As a rule, a successful man possesses genius and enthusiasm. How seldom one sees a perfect man or a perfect work! How grand to be successful as a man, a father, a brother, a friend! Alas! how few are really successful! You set forth to be a pure and honourable man; as such, have you been a success? Are you a failure? Alas! it is true; the world is strewn with the wrecks of human resolves and aims. But the white robe of success is placed once more within your reach. The Lord will work in you to will and to do of His good pleasure, and you shall be successful as a Christian.
III. White robes also remind us of BEAUTY.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: