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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : June 29. A New Garment

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"No man sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment." Mark 2:21

Christ did not come into this world to patch up an old religion, merely to mend a hole here, and beautify a spot there, and a touch to this part or that. He came to make all things new. And when He saves a sinner, He does not propose merely to mend him up a little here and there, to cover over some bad spots in him, and to close up rents in this character by strong patches of the new cloth of grace. Gospel work is not patchwork. Christ does not sew on pieces; He weaved a new garment without seam throughout.

So we may try from without — to make human character lovely; but there is sin in its very fibre, and the blemishes will ever work out and mar all. The only way is to have a new heart, and then the beauty will be real and will endure.

A mother lost a lovely and precious child by death — her only child. To occupy her heart and hand in some way, about her vanished treasure, and thus fill the empty hours — she took up a photograph of her child and began to touch it with her skillful fingers. Soon, as she wrought, the features became almost lifelike. The picture was then laid away for a few days, and when she sought it again, the eyes were dimmed and the face was marred with ugly blotches. Patiently she went over it a second time, and the bewitching beauty came again. A second time it was laid away, and again the blotches appeared. There was something wrong in the paper on which the photograph had been taken. There were chemicals lurking in it which in some way marred the delicate colors, and no amount of repainting could correct the faults. So is it in human lives. No outside reform is enough, for all the while the heart is evil within, and it sends up its pollution, staining the fairest beauty. The change that is permanent, must be wrought in the heart.

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