Scudder on Getting Dressed

Scudder on Getting Dressed

From The Christian’s Daily Walk


Why We Need Clothing

When you arise and dress yourself, lose not that precious time (when your mind is freshest) with impertinent and fruitless thoughts, as is the custom of many. This is a fit time to think upon the reason why you have need of apparel, which stems from the fall and sin of your first parents.  Their sin is passed on to you.  Before their fall, their nakedness was their comeliness [attractiveness], Gen 1:31, and seeing it, they were not ashamed, Gen 2:25.

It will likewise be good to consider what the wise providence of God appointed to be the substance of your apparel: the rinds of plants, the skins, hair, or wool of brute beasts, and the bowels of the silkworm; the very excretions and superfluous apparel of unreasonable creatures. Which, since it magnifies the wisdom, power, and goodness of God, in choosing and turning such mean things to such an excellent use: so it should humble and suppress the pride of man. For what man in his senses would be proud of the badge of his shame, even of that apparel, for which (under God) he is beholden even to plants and beasts?

Practical Matters in Dressing

Now also is a good time to call to mind what rules are to be observed, that you may dress yourself as becomes one that professes godliness, namely:

  1. Make sure your apparel, as to matter and fashion, is in accord with your general and special calling, 1 Tim 2:9-10, and with your estate, sex, and age, Deut 12:5.
  2. Make sure your apparel is consistent with health and comeliness, 1 Cor 11:14-15, 1st Cor 12:23.
  3. Make sure you go with the lowest rather than the highest of your state and place.
  4. Ensure your fashion is neither strange, immodest, singular [strange or odd], nor ridiculous, Zeph 1:8.
  5. Do not take up too much time in putting it on or even considering your dress.
  6. Make sure neither the making or wearing of your apparel savours of pride, lightness, curiosity, lasciviousness, prodigality, or base covetousness, Isa 3:18-24. But rather ensure it becomes holiness, wisdom, and honesty, and such as is well reported of, Phil. 4:8, 1st Cor 11:4-5.
  7. Follow the example of those of your rank and means, who are most sober, most frugal and most discreet.

Things to Ponder While Dressing

While you dress yourself, it will be seasonable and profitable to raise your thoughts, Rev 3:18, and fix them upon that apparel which clothes and adorns your inward man, 1 Pet 3:4, which is spiritual and of a divine matter; which never is out of fashion; which never wears out, but is always the better for the wearing. Think thus: If I go naked without bodily apparel, it will be to the shame of my person and to the hazard of my health and life. But how much more will the filthy nakedness of my soul appear to the eyes of men, of angels, and of God himself, Rev. 3:17, Rev. 16:15, Exod. 32:25, whose pure eyes cannot abide filthiness, Hab. 1:13, whereby my soul will be exposed to the deadliest of temptations, and my whole person to God’s most severe judgments, unless I have put and keep on me the white linen of Christ’s spouse, the righteousness of the saints, Rev 19:8, that is, justification by faith in Christ and sanctification by the Spirit of Christ?

And because every day you will be assaulted with the world, the flesh, and the devil, you will do well to consider whether you have put on, and do improve your coat of mail, that complete armour prescribed Eph. 6:11-18.

When you use your looking-glass [mirror], Jas 1:23-25, which you ordinarily use to discover and direct you how to reform whatever is uncomely and out of place in your body, you should also remember the necessity and admirable use of the glass of God’s word and gospel of Christ, both read and preached for the good of your soul.  For, this being understood and believed, not only shows what is amiss in the soul and how it may be amended, but in some measure will enable you to amend.  For, it {the Word] does not only show you your own face but the very face and glory of God in Christ Jesus, which by reflection upon you, will, through the Spirit, work on you a more excellent effect than on Moses’s face in the mount, Exod 34:29-30, which yet was so glorious that the people could not endure to behold it. For by this glory of God, which by faith you behold in the word, you will be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor 3:18.

These Are Not Firm Rules

Concerning these things which I have directed to be thought upon, when you arise and put on your apparel in the morning, my meaning is not to urge them as necessary, as if it were sin to omit any of these particulars, but to be used, except better alternatives be found, as most convenient.