1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.
5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.
9 Kings' daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.
10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house;
11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.
12 And the daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift; even the rich among the people shall intreat thy favour.
13 The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.
14 She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee.
Needlework brings the idea of thought, carefulness, preparation, toil. We are all familiar with the idea of character being represented by clothing. The nature of the former is indicated by the quality of the latter, while sin is figuratively described as nakedness.
The Spirit has chosen in this way to show that all mankind naturally possess a character so opposed to his standard of righteousness, that he will not regard them unless their thoughts become percolated with his wisdom and their wills intertwined with his, so that two distinct materials become woven into one.
This was perfectly effected by Christ, who of "twain made one new man." He was figuratively, as well as literally, clothed in a vesture without seam, woven throughout. There seems nothing in the whole Scriptures that more beautifully expresses the process of development from filthy garments to wrought gold than this raiment of needlework.
We know how it was fashioned-the piercing needle slowly and surely tearing away the old fabric to make way for the new, the threads of purple and blue and scarlet, day by day wrenched from their firmly fastened settings, to be replaced by the gold whose interweavings at last obliterated the gaudy old pattern, and in its stead presented a robe of purest gold.
It is reserved in heaven, awaiting the presentation of her who prepares raiment of needlework. When the fire has tried the last golden thread, and the needle has woven the last encircling stitch, the King will return to invest her with his own clothing of wrought gold, so that she will be all glorious within.
The question comes, what are we doing in this matter? Are we daubing patches on our old filthy garments? Or are we buying gold tried in the fire for "needlework"? Are we complacently appropriating garments of divers colours? Whose moth eaten texture for lack of strength and durability, is the counterpart of the apron of fig leaves-mere vegetation of a season? Or are we tearing into shreds the old Adamic nature with the golden strands of "faith" and the piercing needle of "works"?
Those who have chosen the latter course tell us that it is a daily, hourly, work of many details. The robe is formed of minute fibres. Character is made up of little things. Our minds may be storehouses of golden grain, or pestilential graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. In mind, as in matter, the great depends on the small. Who can estimate the importance of the apostolic counsel,
"Bring every thought into subjection."
What wandering, vain, we may say, vacant thoughts we let go constantly, forgetting that they may be converted into fragments of gold, and that we should ply the needle much more readily for having a good accumulation of material at hand. If we are to become rooted and grounded in our "work," it will be by whipping our leisure thoughts into the channel of divine wisdom.
We have all traced the robe in outline,-taken many difficult curves and followed the divine pattern strictly,-heedless of the numerous counterfeits offered by friendly counsel, until we thought we had arrived at the pinnacle of the divine command when we emerged from the waters of baptism "clothed," and were ready to stand in the King's presence.
We see now the robe had to be filled in. Springing from its outline, we see tribulation, patience, experience, hope, love of God, resulting in a wealth of sweetness and beauty. Dare we say that without these the robe would have been perfect? And can we tell how much more is necessary? We agonise for its completion-but-we remember the injunction,
"Occupy till I come."
The Christadelphian, Jan 1886
15 With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace.
16 Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth.
17 I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.