8But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
8 Verse 8. A man clothed in soft raiment?] A second excellency
in John was, his sober and mortified life. A preacher of the
Gospel should have nothing about him which savours of effeminacy
and worldly pomp: he is awfully mistaken who thinks to prevail on
the world to hear him and receive the truth, by conforming himself
to its fashions and manners. Excepting the mere colour of his
clothes, we can scarcely now distinguish a preacher of the Gospel,
whether in the establishment of the country, or out of it, from
the merest worldly man. Ruffles, powder, and fribble seem
universally to prevail. Thus the Church and the world begin to
shake hands, the latter still retaining its enmity to God. How
can those who profess to preach the doctrine of the cross act in
this way? Is not a worldly-minded preacher, in the most peculiar
sense, an abomination in the eyes of the Lord?
Are in kings' houses.] A third excellency in John was, he did
not affect high things. He was contented to live in the desert,
and to announce the solemn and severe truths of his doctrine to
the simple inhabitants of the country. Let it be well observed,
that the preacher who conforms to the world in his clothing, is
never in his element but when he is frequenting the houses and
tables of the rich and great.