“The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. “—Revelation 19:7,8
Behold, my soul, behold that day, that glorious day, in which redemption is to be consummated, and in the kingdom of heaven; when the Son of God brings home his bride, the church, the full celebration of God’s glory in the happiness of the redeemed in Jesus, everlasting joy will burst forth. See how thy nature is then to be adorned. The whole body, the church, is then to be arrayed in the robes of Jesus’s righteousness, having been washed from all their sins in his blood. And these nuptial ornaments are to be granted or given to the church; for she hath no righteousness of her own; but as all along in this world she had professed, so there in the upper world she triumphantly sings,” 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 the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a’ bride adorneth herself with her jewels. “Isa. lxi. 10. Pause, my soul, over this view. Is this to be thy adorning in glory? See to it then, my soul, that it becomes thy covering now. How suited is it to all thy circumstances! Thou hast no fine linen, nothing clean, nothing white. Think how comely Jesus’s robe of righteousness must be to appear in. This is the wedding garment, by faith worn at his supper upon earth, and the same in fruition in which thou art to sit down at his table above. And Oh how suitable a covering to hide all thy deformity, to conceal and take away all thy pollution. And will not this procure thee favour and acceptance with God? Is it not thus that Jesus’s followers are distinguished from men of the world? Art thou now clothed with it? Hath God the Spirit put it on? Doth Jesus now send thee his love-tokens as his betrothed; and, in the ordinances of his grace, doth he grant thee many sweet espousals? Oh then, my soul, see to it, that thy righteousness is that of Jesus’s own, with which his church is arrayed, and that these robes are always clean and white, which are washed in the blood of the Lamb: for, ere long, the midnight cry will be heard; “Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him!” Oh precious Lord Jesus! give me to hear that voice with joy, that, with holy wings of love, in the last office of faith, to be then swallowed up in sight, I may arise to enter with thee into the marriage, to sit down with thee for ever.
Robert Hawker (1753-1827) was an Anglican (High-Calvinist) preacher who served as Vicar of Charles Church, Plymouth. John Hazelton wrote of him:
“The prominent features…in Robert Hawker's testimony…was the Person of Christ….Dr. Hawker delighted to speak of his Lord as "My most glorious Christ.” What anxious heart but finds at times in the perusal of the doctor's writings a measure of relief, a softening, and a mellowing? an almost imperceptible yet secret and constraining power in leading out of self and off from the misery and bondage of the flesh into a contemplation of the Person and preciousness of Christ as "the chiefest among ten thousand and the altogether lovely." Christ and Him crucified was emphatically the burden of his song and the keynote of his ministry. He preached his last sermon in Charles Church on March 18th, 1827, and on April 6th he died, after being six years curate and forty-three years vicar of the parish. On the last day of his life he repeated a part of Ephesians 1, from the 6th to the 12th verses, and as he proceeded he enlarged on the verses, but dwelt more fully on these words: "To the praise of His glory Who first trusted in Christ." He paused and asked, "Who first trusted in Christ?" And then made this answer: "It was God the Father Who first trusted in Christ."