Romans 13:13
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.
Sermons
Christ-LikenessR.M. Edgar Romans 13:8-14
A CallJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Approaching SalvationJ. Parsons.Romans 13:11-14
Beware of SleepingRomans 13:11-14
Cause for Spiritual RejoicingHomiletic MonthlyRomans 13:11-14
Desidia and AlacritasR. F. Horton, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Dressing in the MorningC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
High Time to AwakeT. Hammond.Romans 13:11-14
High Time to Awake Out of SleepJ. Parsons.Romans 13:11-14
Knowledge of TimeBiblical MuseumRomans 13:11-14
Knowledge of TimeG. McMichael, B.A.Romans 13:11-14
Preparation for Christ's ComingD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Present and FutureWeekly PulpitRomans 13:11-14
SleepJ. Beeby.Romans 13:11-14
Sleeping ChristiansC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
The Approach of DayS.R. Aldridge Romans 13:11-14
The Breaking DayJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Christian's Duty in the Present AgeC.H. Irwin Romans 13:11-14
The Dawn of the Great DayW. B. Pope, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Day Breaketh!T.F. Lockyer Romans 13:11-14
The Earthly and the Heavenly State of the GoodD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Nearness of Salvation a Motive to VigilanceH. Belfrage, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Need of Special ExertionJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
The Peril of SleepT. Davidson.Romans 13:11-14
The Sleeper ArousedW. W. Wythe.Romans 13:11-14
The Wakeful ChristianA. J. Parry.Romans 13:11-14
Time Closing in Upon UsA. Maclaren, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Time to AwakeH. Melvill, B.D.Romans 13:11-14
Time to AwakeJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:11-14
Timely ReflectionsC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
Wake Up! Wake UpC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:11-14
Christian SincerityC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:13-14
Christ's Character the Soul's True GarmentD. Thomas, D.D.Romans 13:13-14
How and Why We are to Put on ChristRobert Hall, M.A.Romans 13:13-14
How the Christian Ought to WalkJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:13-14
Persuasives and DissuasivesJ. Lyth, D.D.Romans 13:13-14
Put on ChristMatthew Wilks.Romans 13:13-14
Putting on ChristArchdn. Farrar.Romans 13:13-14
Putting on ChristJ. Benson.Romans 13:13-14
Putting on ChristT. Binney, LL.D.Romans 13:13-14
Putting on the Lord Jesus ChristC. A. Bartol.Romans 13:13-14
Robed in Christ's RighteousnessC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 13:13-14
Rules .For Walking in the DayRomans 13:13-14
The Believer's DressT. Robinson, D.D.Romans 13:13-14
The Best DressJ. Edmond, D.D.Romans 13:13-14
The Drama of LifeT. R. Stephenson.Romans 13:13-14
The Garment of SalvationR. Cecil, M.A.Romans 13:13-14
The Christian is not to be insensible to the movements of the world. "Knowing the time," says the apostle (ver. 11). Mr. Spurgeon says he reads the newspapers to see how God is governing the world. It is well for us to know what are the current beliefs and motives of our fellow-men.

I. THE CHRISTIAN'S CONFIDENCE.

1. "The night is far spent.

(1) The forces of evil are far spent. Some Christians are always looking on the dark side of things. They see no traces of the breaking day. With them it is always night. They would have us believe, with Canon Taylor, that missions are a failure. They would have us believe, with Lord Wemyss, that prohibition of the liquor traffic is a failure. They would have us believe that Sunday closing is a failure. But it is those who want such movements to fail that usually originate such a cry. There is no failure in the forces of right. Failure is written on the forces of sin. Its night is far spent.

(2) The clouds of mystery will soon be lifted. There are difficulties in reconciling religion and science. Yet the. difficulties are only apparent. They are only temporary clouds. There are difficulties in God's providence that we cannot understand. But by-and-by they will all be made plain. Every mystery will be solved. Now we know in part; but then shall we know even as also we are known."

(3) The dark hours of pain and sorrow will soon be over. How dark is the hour of sickness! how dark the hour of bereavement! What shadows disappointment causes to pass over our lives! But the night is far spent. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

2. "The day is at hand. The day of our Saviour's coming is rapidly drawing nearer. Already we may hear the sound of his chariot-wheels. Gradually his kingdom has been making progress in the earth, his truth has been gaining the victory over error. The Reformation shook off the dust of centuries from the Word of God. The discovery of printing had already prepared the way for the spread of the emancipated Bible. Old kingdoms that encouraged error and fostered ecclesiastical despotism have been falling. New nations have arisen to sway the destinies of the world - the nations of the Bible-loving, liberty-loving, Anglo-Saxon race. Old wrongs have been redressed. Our King is coming. The day is at hand."

II. THE CHRISTIAN'S CALL.

1. A call to activity. "Now it is high time to awake out of sleep" (ver. 11). It is plain that this exhortation is addressed to Christians, for the writer adds, "for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Many Christians are asleep. They are inactive and idle, and are doing nothing to prepare the way of the Lord. It may be addressed also to the unconverted. This very passage, the closing part of this thirteenth chapter, was the means of converting St. Augustine.

2. A call to amendment. "Let us cast off the works of darkness" (ver. 12). Some works are literally works of darkness, as for example those specified in the thirteenth verse. Drunkenness and impurity are most practised in the night. "They that be drunken are drunken in the night." But "works of darkness" may be regarded as including all sinful works. Sin loves concealment. The Christian is to cast off everything that will not bear the light, to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. "The day is at hand." How shall we abide the day of our Lord's coming if we do not, by Divine help, separate ourselves from sin?

3. A call to conflict. "Let us put on the armour of light" (ver. 12). We are to wage war with our own temptations, and with the evil that is in the world. Let our armour be the armour of light. Let us not fight the world with its own weapons - with hatred, or bitterness, or deceit. Let our weapons be good weapons - the weapons of truth, justice, love. They will conquer. Let us never do evil that good may come.

4. A call to Christ-likeness. "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ" (ver. 14). That is to say, "Be clothed with his spirit." This is the secret of strength. Like Sir Galahad, whose strength was as the strength of ten because his heart was pure, the man who is Christ-like in spirit will overcome all temptations, and will grapple victoriously with all difficulties. This is emphatically a call which the Christian needs to hear in the present age, when there is so much in the Church as well as in the world that is contrary to the spirit of Christ. Let us, then, hear the trumpet-call of duty, and, as we go forth, let us brace up our spirits with the inspiring thought that "the night is far spent, and the day is at hand." - C.H.I.







Let us walk honestly, as in the day.
I. IN GENERAL. Walk honestly (Titus 2:12).

1. Soberly.

2. Righteously.

3. Godly.

II. IN PARTICULAR.

1. Not in rioting and drunkenness (Isaiah 5:13).

(1)This deprives us of the use of reason.

(2)And so, for the present, blots out the image of God.

(3)Makes men unfit for duty (Luke 21:34; Hosea 4:11).

(4)Exposeth a man to all other sin.

(5)Hath a particular curse entailed upon it (Isaiah 5:11; Proverbs 23:1. 29, 30, etc.).

2. Not in chambering and wantonness (Hebrews 13:4). To avoid this —

(1)Be careful to keep a good conscience (Genesis 39:9).

(2)Watch over your spirits (Malachi 2:16).

(3)Pray against it (Psalm 119:37).

3. Strife and envying.

(1)They are signs of a carnal mind (1 Corinthians 3:3; Galatians 5:19, 20; James 3:14, 15).

(2)Proceed only from pride and ignorance (1 Timothy 6:4).

(3)Produce confusion and evil works (James 3:16, 17).

4. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

(1)By baptism (Galatians 3:27).

(2)By faith, we put on —

(a)His righteousness.

(i)Christ took our nature upon Him (John 1:14).

(ii)Suffered for our sins (Isaiah 53:5. 6).

(iii)By this He expiated our sins, and purchased righteousness for us (1 John 2:2).

(iv)All believers are interested in all His sufferings and righteousness (Galatians 2:16).

(v)Hence their sins are hid, as it were, from the eyes of God (Romans 8:33, 34; Philippians 3:8, 9).

(b)His graces.

(i)Humility (1 Peter 5:5; Matthew 11:29).

(ii)Self-denial (Matthew 16:24).

(iii)Temperance (1 Corinthians 7:31).

(iv)Patience (Luke 21:19; James 1:3).

(v)Thankfulness (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

(vi)Heavenly-mindedness (Philippians 3:20).

(vii)Charity (Acts 10:38; James 1:27).

(viii)Constancy and perseverance (Revelation 2:26).

III. USE.

1. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider —

(1)Your sins are many, and it is only by Him they can be pardoned (1 John 2:1).

(2)Your sins are strong, and only by Him subdued,

(3)God angry, only by Him appeased (Matthew 3:17).

(4)Your hearts corrupted, only by Him cleansed (1 Corinthians 1:2).

(5)Your souls are immortal, and it is only by Him that they can be saved (Acts 16:30, 31).

(Bp. Beveridge.)

I. CONSISTENTLY — as in the day.

II. TEMPERATELY — subjecting —

1. Appetite.

2. Sense.

3. Passion.

III. LIKE CHRIST.

1. Denying himself.

2. Condemning sin in the flesh.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Standing near the remarkable spring at Ewell, in Surrey, and watching the uprising of the waters, one sees at the bottom of the pool innumerable circles with smaller circles within them, from which extremely fine sand is continually being upheaved by the force of the rising water. Tiny geysers upheave their little founts, and from a myriad openings bubble up with the clear crystal. The perpetual motion of the water and the leaping of the sand are most interesting. It is not like the spring-head in the field, where the cooling liquid pours forth perpetually from a spout, all unseen, till it plunges into its channel; nor like the river head where the stream weeps from a mass of mossy rock; but here are the fountains of earth's hidden deeps all unveiled and laid bare, the very veins of nature opened to the public gaze. How would it amaze us if we could in this fashion peer into the springs of human character and see whence words and actions flow! What man would wish to have his designs and aims exposed to every onlooker? But why this aversion to being known and read of all men? The Christian's motives and springs of action should be so honest and pure that he might safely defy inspection. He who has nothing to be ashamed of has nothing to conceal. Sincerity can afford, like our first parents in Paradise, to be naked and not ashamed.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ
I. THERE IS A WONDERFUL FITNESS IN CHRIST'S CHARACTER TO MEET THE CONDITION OF SINNERS. Put on Christ as —

1. Your hope before God.

2. Your sanctification.

3. Your help.

4. Your exemplar.

II. THERE IS THIS FITNESS IN NOTHING ELSE THAN CHRIST.

III. THEREFORE, IF WE WOULD BE HAPPY, WE MUST MAKE USE OF CHRIST FOR OURSELVES. Put Him on in your —

1. Thoughts.

2. Affections.

3. Conversation.

4. Profession.

(Matthew Wilks.)

I. WHAT IS INTENDED BY "PUTTING ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST." In the East garments are of greater importance than with us. The finest were there accumulated, preserved with the greatest care, and constituted a considerable part of wealth. Hence more frequent allusions are made to this than we are accustomed to use. In the Bible, qualities of character are often represented by clothing. Job says, "I put on righteousness as a robe." In Isaiah the Messiah is introduced as "clad with zeal as with a cloak." Our Lord represents the accepted character of a believer by the wedding garment of a guest, and Peter exhorts us to be "clothed with humility," etc. We put on Christ —

1. When we make an open profession of His name. It is not enough to believe. Latent faith can at the best only edify its possessor. But the Church is intended to be the light of the world. Whoever conceals his religion must accept the consequence. "Whoso is ashamed of Me," etc.

2. By cultivating an acquaintance with the doctrines, imbuing our minds with the spirit and sentiments, of the gospel. All the doctrines of Christianity are intended to expel our native corruption, and raise us nearer to the character and will of God. We cannot then put on Christ, without the serious perusal of the Scriptures, and the devout contemplation of the Cross.

3. When we imitate His example. Other models are imperfect, and unsafe for universal imitation: but that challenges our entire pursuit. One great end of His obedience unto death was that He might leave us an example whose steps we might follow. In order to obey the will of God you cannot adopt any method so simple and sure as to inquire, "How can I this day act in a manner most consonant to the mind of Christ?"

II. WHY ARE WE TO PUT ON CHRIST?

1. That Christ may be glorified by us. If we love Him, we shall desire to glorify Him: but what can tend so much to His glory, as to let men see the efficacy of His doctrine on our character? Nothing can be so calculated to counteract infidelity and convince men that there is a Saviour.

2. That we may experience religious peace and joy, by making it clear to ourselves that we belong to Him. You never knew a person, however depressed by poverty or sickness, who, if he sincerely served the Lord, was not happy.

3. That we may best prepare for a dying hour, and for the solemn scenes beyond. This is to put on the wedding garment; the want of this, in the day when the King comes in to see the guests, will leave a man speechless!

(Robert Hall, M.A.)

The Hebrew language one continual picture. Every fact and emotion rendered by an image. The truth, e.g., that Christ is life, and that apart from Christ is no life, is act forth most often by vivid metaphors. The general significance of the present metaphor is that the old sinful life is to be doffed like a soiled and sordid garment, and the new nature which Christ gives and inspires, is to be put on like a new and shining robe.

I. TRY TO BE LIKE CHRIST. Love what Christ loved, hate what Christ hated. The next clause helps to explain this part of the meaning, by giving us its opposite.

II. But perhaps you will say, "If that be all, any moralist might, in other language, tell us the same. We read something like it in every noble teacher. We know in our best moments that we arc mean, guilty creatures, but we do not know how to be otherwise. You bid us seek for nobler manners and purer tastes; you might as well bid the snared bird to fly, or the worm to throw off the rock which is crushing it to earth." Well, the gospel of Christ has broken the snare, and rolled away the rock. To put on Christ is TO SHARE HIS MIGHT, to come into quickening electric personal contact with Him, to derive magnetic force from His personality, to live by His Spirit, and so to be born again and to become a new creature.

III. We look at our ruined selves, our corrupted hearts, our wasted lives, and "abhor ourselves in dust and ashes." How can we ever stand before God, who chargeth even the angels with folly, and in whose sight the very heavens are not clean? Ah, but there is yet another and more blessed meaning of "putting on Christ," and it is TO BE FOUND IN HIM; not trusting in our own righteousness which is as filthy rags, but BEING CLAD IN THE WHITE ROBE OF HIS FORGIVING GRACE. How heart-broken have been the last utterances of even the greatest men! (Grotius. Bacon and Shakespeare in their wills.) Conclusion: Such, then, is the meaning of this Divine message. Break with your past self; come to Christ for strength, and by prayer to Him and earnestly seeking Him, be quickened and transformed. And as it means this hope for the future, and this strength in the present, so also it means forgiveness for the past. Say not, then, that the meaning is not clear; strive rather to make it yours by blessed experience.

(Archdn. Farrar.)

I. WHAT IS IMPLIED IN THIS? This is a figurative expression for an interest in Christ, union with Him, and conformity to Him.

1. As our wisdom, for our illumination.

(1)To give light to our understanding in the knowledge of the Scriptures.

(2)To correct and rectify our judgment on all points of necessary belief.

(3)To inform our conscience in all matters of practice.

(4)To guide our will, and influence our affections, in the subjects of our choice, desire, pursuit, and expectation.

2. As our righteousness, for our justification.

3. As the source of the Spirit, and of grace, for our sanctification.

4. As our example, for our direction and improvement in holiness. This is considered by interpreters as the chief thing meant. remarks, "It is a common phrase that a person has put him on, whom he imitates." The kings of Persia, on their coronation-day, put on a robe which the first Cyrus wore before he was king, to remind them of imitating his exemplary temper and behaviour. Certainly one grand end of the appearance of Christ in our nature, was to set us an example of blamelessness, usefulness, holiness (John 12:26; Colossians 2:6; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6). Hence, those that have put on Christ will conduct themselves as directed in the context. They will walk "honestly," in a manner becoming their privileges.

II. WHY WE OUGHT TO DO SO.

1. That "being clothed, we may not be found naked," destitute of the robe of righteousness, and garment of salvation.

2. For decency, it being a shame to be unclothed, especially garments being provided for us.

3. For defence against error, sin, misery, the wrath of God, an accusing conscience, and all the consequences of neglect.

4. For ornament; that we may not be without the wedding garment, and therefore be excluded from the marriage feast.

(J. Benson.)

I. THE DUTY ENFORCED.

1. Toput on Christ is to endeavour to be like Him, to have Him on is to succeed in the attempt. It is the investment of the soul with the virtues which adorned His character, just as a man clothes his body with articles of dress. Many a man has so done this as to put others in mind of Christ; he was so Christlike; just as if one of His followers after His departure had put on the garments which Christ had worn. Does any one of us put others in mind of Jesus?

2. To put on Christ does not mean any mechanical attempts after mere external likeness, as clothes may be put on a lay figure, or a portrait wrought on canvas. What is meant is not so much a studied imitation of what in Him may have met the eye of observers, as the culture of a deep internal sympathy with His Spirit which manifested itself in words and deeds. You may put royal robes on a corpse, and in particular lights and distances it may seem alive. In the same way a mere simulated likeness to Christ may be put on a dead spiritual nature; but this, so far from representing Him, presents only an aggravated image of His worst enemies whom He denounced as "whited sepulchres." Christ is not to be put on over the natural man, but the natural man becoming spiritual, a visible Christ comes out as an emanation from within; just as His inward essential glory came out on the Mount of Transfiguration.

3. To put on Christ is not synonymous with the being clothed with Christ's justifying righteousness, and so hiding our sins from the sight of God; it rather refers to sanctification — a subjective participation of life through Christ, and the consequent outgrowth of conformity to Him. It comes after justification. "As many as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ," etc.

4. The precept suggests the moral perfection of Christ. No caution is given, as if there were some things which were not to be put on. There is no fear of your being too much like Him. It would not do to speak thus of any one else, however distinguished. In every other character there is something to be excepted, e.g., Abraham's duplicity, David's bloodguiltiness, etc. Nevertheless(1) There were things in Christ we cannot and must not imitate. Here we distinguish between an example and a pattern. The latter is to be literally traced, just as the engraver produces the facsimile of a painting; the former may be something whose form we cannot repeat, but whose principle we may imbibe and infuse into other acts different in form but of the same kind. Thus we cannot like Christ perform miracles, but we can cultivate the spirit of love which moved Him to do what He did. We shall not be tempted as He was; but the same parts of our nature will be assailed; and we can learn to resist as He resisted, with the sword of the Spirit. It might not be right for us to go into the company of sinners as He did, nor employ His terrible invectives; but we can cherish the spirit which led Him to seek the lost, and sympathise with His repugnance to evil. We have not Christ's personal religion which had no repentance.(2) There were many acts of personal holiness and relative virtue which our Lord could not exercise. He was not a merchant, magistrate, or head of a household. But He embodied the principle of universal obedience, and fulfilled every obligation arising from all the relations which He could or did sustain towards God and man. This is what we are to do, and to learn from Him to do.

II. TO WHOM THE DUTY APPERTAINS. The words are addressed to a Christian Church, who have received the gospel. Those who believe in Christ, and are reconciled to God by Him, are required to put Him on. But let no man go on sinning in the supposition that some day by Divine grace he may become converted and then put on Christ. This should be remembered by the children of Christian families particularly. Let their earliest lesson be to strive to be like Christ, and after many a failure they may gradually come to a sense of forgiving mercy which will not be lessened by their endeavours before they knew the precise nature cf their obligations to Him.

III. HOW IT IS TO BE CARRIED OUT. To put on Christ there must be —

1. A thoroughly honest desire to be like Him. This needs deep consideration and prayer for the grace of the Holy Spirit.

2. A frequent and devout study of the character of Jesus in order to understand both its form and spirit.

3. A study of what Christ taught and required.

4. A deliberate and habitual effort to realise all this in personal character and life.

5. Seasons of special self-examination as to likeness or unlikeness to Christ.

6. Carefulness to guard against religious acts becoming formalities.

IV. THE BLESSEDNESS OF FULFILLING THIS DUTY.

1. It constitutes the most solid and satisfactory proof of inward religion. The spiritual processes of contrition, faith, forgiveness, dec., are all inward and secret, and so there is a necessity for the practical fruits of these in likeness to Christ, to be brought forth, so that the Christian and others may have full demonstration that he is born of God.

2. It is the only way of securing that peace and comfort which specifically belong to the religious life. The peace of the sinner flows into him entirely from without; the peace of a saint from purified affections and Godlikeness, and in proportion as he puts on Christ will this be secured to him in Christ's companionship.

3. It is the great secret of spiritual strength, safety, and perseverance. The text gives us the meaning of "the armour of light."

4. It is the best preparation for the day of His coming, when they only who are like Him will be able to see Him as He is.

(T. Binney, LL.D.)

The soul requires a garment as well as the body, and the true garment of the soul is the character of Christ. This is —

I. A MOST INDISPENSABLE GARMENT. Sin has stripped the soul of its true attire, and three things mark its history everywhere.

1. Moral shame. It shrinks from the eye of scrutiny.

2. Painful exposure. It is at the mercy of the elements around it.

3. Robing expedients. From the time that our first parents sewed their fig leaves, every, soul has been busy at some garment. The old Pagan world was full of such manufactures, nor is the modern religious world destitute of such self-made robes, but they are all "filthy rags."

II. A MOST PRECIOUS GARMENT. The most valuable thing in the world is moral goodness, whose most perfect form is the character of Christ. This garment is —

1. Ever beautiful. "How great is His beauty." "We beheld His glory," etc. The highest beings in the universe admire this robe.

2. Ever enduring. The costly robes of princes shall rot, even the heavens themselves shall be folded up as a vesture, but the character of Christ shall last for ever.

III. A MOST AVAILABLE GARMENT. We are constantly putting on the characters of others. This assimilation is a law of our social being. Our characters are formed on the principle of imitation. The character of Him is most easily attainable by us. He has the most —

1. Lovableness. He whom we love most we shall imitate most. Christ is infinitely lovable.

2. Accessibleness. He, if lovable, with whom we can have the most free, constant, and uninterrupted access, will impress us most easily with his characteristics. Christ is ever with us. "Our fellowship is indeed with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."

(D. Thomas, D.D.)

I. WHAT IS IT TO PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST? It implies the taking of —

1. His merit.

2. His spirit and temper.

3. His badge, and making a public profession of being His servants.

II. HOW ARE WE TO DO THIS? By —

1. An internal application of Him. Thus we put on Christ before God, and make Him our only —

(1)Plea.

(2)Ground of justification.

(3)Hope of glory.

2. An external profession of Him, by works before men.

(R. Cecil, M.A.)

cast every other in the shade.

I.COSTLY. It cost the King of Glory His life and death (Philippians 2:6-8).

II.COMFORTABLE. It fills the soul with peace and joy (Romans 15:13).

III.COMPLETE. It leaves not part of body or soul exposed (Colossians 2:10).

IV.COMELY, in the eyes of God, angels, and men (Ezekiel 16:14).

V.GLORIOUS (2 Corinthians 3:18).

VI.DURABLE (Hebrews 13:8).

VII.DIVINE (Jeremiah 23:6).

(T. Robinson, D.D.)

(Children's Sermon): — It is —

I. A NEW DRESS.

1. It is not our natural dress.

2. It is of peculiar excellence.

II. A RICH DRESS. To put on Christ is to put on —

1. Humility, as the tunic, always worn, fitting the body close.

2. Love, as the cloak, often taken off to cast round others.

3. Truth, as the girdle, making the wearer strong and ready for work.

4. Obedience, as the sandals.

III. A CHURCH DRESS, because —

1. It is the best. It is right to wear the best dress in church.

2. It is sacred.

IV. A COURT DRESS. You will wear this dress in heaven. Keep it well, then; you are to see the King in it.

(J. Edmond, D.D.)

The apostle meant, "Personify Christ; act His part" Never it is true, shall we be perfect as the Master was; but by patience, prayer, and effort we may come to resemble Him closely. A young artist may be twitted as he sits before his model with, "Are you vain enough to think that you can paint as well as Titian or Turner?" He will reply, "No, but I hope by industry to make fair copies of their pictures."

I. DIRECTIONS.

1. Study your part well. No success without this. Alexander carried a copy of Homer with him in all his campaigns. Eminent orators have studied Demosthenes and Cicero. Lord Wolseley has made war his one study. How widely Dickens observed! So success in our line cannot be achieved without habitual regard to Christ. "Beholding as in a glass," etc. A saint had a vision of Christ on which he gazed so long that he afterwards found in his own hands and feet the marks of the nails. A mere fable, but one with an impressive moral.

2. Attend to private preparation. Solitary discipline has ever preceded public proficiency in musicians, soldiers, etc. Communion with God will keep us right in our fellowship with man.

3. Be an enthusiast. He who has no higher ambition than to get through his part will never be a good actor. "How comes it," asked a bishop of Garrick, "that I, in expounding Divine truths, produce so little effect, while you so easily rouse the deepest feelings of your audience by the representation of your fiction?" "Because," said the actor, "I recite fiction as if it were truth, while you deliver truth as if it were fiction."

II. ENCOURAGEMENTS.

1. You have a prompter — the Holy Ghost, "He shall bring all things to your remembrance," etc. Napoleon III. wrote, "I always make my great uncle my model, his spirit accompanying me, and enabling me to succeed in the same." We may make a higher boast than that.

2. Others have acted their part well.

3. Never mind though you act badly at first. When Kemble made his first appearance he was laughed down; so was Disraeli.

4. You will be applauded if you act your part well — by God and the good.

(T. R. Stephenson.)

Here is —

I. A PERSUASIVE TO HOLINESS — put on Christ.

1. His humility and self-denial.

2. His meekness and patience.

3. His purity and fervent zeal.

II. A DISSUASIVE FROM SIN.

1. Guard against its occasions.

2. Check the first desire.

3. Mortify its lusts.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

There are two methods of moral improvement: first, acting from ourselves according to an abstract principle; and, secondly, living over again the example of actual excellence. It is the latter method to which the text points. It is certainly a very remarkable power which God has given us, of realising in ourselves a character different from our own. We cannot fail to see in such a constitution the Divine purpose, not only that we should enter into the feeling of others, but moreover that we should enrich our own nature; not be confined strictly to our native tendencies and original biases, but borrow others' wisdom, copy others' virtue, and incorporate into our own being a thousand exotic excellences. A consideration of some of the modes in which this representing, realising power operates may help us to understand it as a moral faculty, and consecrate it to the highest uses. Do we not see a very familiar display of it in the genius of the poet, by which he conceives of characters — creatures of his imagination, yet true to nature — distinguished from one another and from himself in their modes of thought and actuating passions, and, through all the variety of situations in which they may be placed, severally well sustained? Nothing is more common than this representation in the Bible itself. Sacred historian, psalmist, and prophet are continually figuring certain characters before our minds as examples or warnings. The parables of our Lord are commonly but portraitures to our spiritual fancy of diverse moral characters; and we can learn the lesson He intends only by a vigorous use of this representing and reproducing power. The exercises, too, of the human voice in recitation and oratory, only set before us in tones what the pen has first traced in simple words. From the child that is taught to speak the sentiments of some saint or martyr in his earliest declamations at school, to the grave debater in legislative halls; from the narrator at the fireside, to the lively rehearser of inspired pages of human composition, or the edifying reader of the sacred Word of God, what do we see throughout but this very endeavour of the soul to personate and put on the meaning and feeling of some other character, and, so far as it is understood and believed to be a noble character, to adopt, appropriate, and live over again its nobleness? Or, to illustrate the subject from more homely, universally known facts, the strong working of this assimilating power of the soul will not be doubted by any who have noticed how in daily life we continually fashion each other, and are fashioned by those we are with; who have observed the contagion of custom in a community, the transfer of manners, the mutual likeness often obtaining both of moral traits and visible expression between husband and wife, and more or less all the dwellers under a single roof, and, in short, the transforming force upon our own hearts from the scenes we enter, the presence we stand in, the books we read, the images we contemplate. This impersonation of the soul, in the use and actual bearing of every man, exceeds in subtlety and extent all the imaginations that poetry has ever expressed. Therefore is not the Divine wisdom toward us shown, when the Scripture fixes on this fundamental instinct as a moral power to be dedicated, for its main employment, to our spiritual growth? Like the painter who drew in a single likeness the transcript of what was best in each selected countenance, we shall be continually transferring from the vast galleries of Providence and Holy Writ, from the society of the present and the past, and from the face of those on earth or in heaven, the manifold moral beauty which is "every creature's best," and thus put that imitative and personating faculty, by which we pass into another's heart, to its highest designed use. The justice we admire, the charity we love, the holy zeal and endurance we revere, the fervent adoration and self-devotion which makes our hearts burn — all these we possess and become. The whole gospel is preached and summed up in that single exhortation. "To put on Christ"; "to be found in Him, not having our own righteousness"; to be "clothed" with His meekness and humility; to have "His spirit," and "the same mind in us that was also in Him"; to open our hearts for His "abode," and have Him "formed within us, the hope of glory" — who but recognises at once, in this so controverted and abused language, the burden of the New Testament? And wherein is the sense of this language, if not in the appropriation of His worth to our nature, by the force of sympathy, and of a twofold spiritual consciousness operating to unite Him to ourselves? Thus the Divine graces of His character are not impressed in the way of mere commandment alone; but, as the beauty of the landscape and the fragrance of flowers possess our outward senses, so these finer influences sink into the deeper perceptions of the spirit. No poet's imagination, no speaker's expression, no artist's fancy, no friendship's experience, and no other character on the historic pages can work on us the elevating transformation which we feel in gazing on our Master as He appears in the artless evangelic accounts, till our whole thought becomes identified with the object of our regard, and He appears to us, not in human articles of theoretic belief, but shines with a living glory into our real knowledge and love. Neither can any simple self-culture, which has perhaps been too much our method, any laborious efforts of will, any works or merits of ours, suffice for our salvation, and lift us into the highest Divine frame, without this admiring absorption of mind into the model and mould of perfection, by which we "put on Jesus Christ."

(C. A. Bartol.)

The moment the man believes in Jesus Christ he is in the righteousness of Christ — perfectly righteous; he has put upon him the Saviour's garments. You heard Mr. Weaver say on this platform — I thought it was a good illustration — that one day he met with a very poor man who was in rags. This man being a Christian, he wished to befriend him; he told him if he would go home with him, he would give him a suit of clothes. "So," said Richard, "I went upstairs and took off my second best, and put on my Sunday best, for I did not want to give him my best. I sent the man upstairs, and told him he would find a suit which he could put on; it was my second best. So after he had put on the clothes, and left his rags behind, he came down and said, 'Well, Mr. Weaver, what do you think of me?' 'Well,' I said, 'I think you look very respectable.' 'Oh, yes, but, Mr. Weaver, it is not me; I am not respectable, it is your clothes that are respectable.' And so," added Mr. Weaver, "so is it with the Lord Jesus Christ; He meets us covered with the rags and filth of sin, and He tells us to go and put on not His second best, but the best robe of His perfect righteousness; and when we come down with that on, we say, 'Lord, what dost Thou think of me?' and He says, 'Why, thou art all fair, My love; there is no spot in thee.' We answer, 'No, it is not me, it is Thy righteousness; I am comely because Thou art comely; I am beautiful because Thou art beautiful.'"

(C. H. Spurgeon.).

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