top of page

Vincent Alsop: "The Sinfulness of Strange Apparel"

Vincent Alsop, an English nonconformist preacher, who lived from 1630 to 1703, preached a sermon, published and still available to read on Zephaniah 1:8, which reads: “And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.” The title of the sermon was fittingly, “The Sinfulness of Strange Apparel.”

I know when we read “strange,” we may think of something that clashes and looks very weird. “Strange” in the King James Version, read at the time, meant “foreign” or “worldly.” Zephaniah spoke of apparel in Israel that did not conform to godliness. When some might hear a sermon with the title such as Alsop’s, they might think no apparel could be sinful. Yet, Zephaniah wrote that he will punish the princes and the king’s children for what they wore.

Someone can go wrong with dress or appearance to the extent that God would punish for these mere externals. Alsop said a lot in this one sermon, but of that, he made at least these three following statements:

(1) “That the present generation is lamentably intoxicated with novelties, and as sadly degenerated from the gravity of some former ages, can neither be denied, nor concealed, nor defended, nor, I fear, reformed.” (2) “That there may be a case put, wherein in some exigency it may be lawful for the woman to wear the apparel of the man . . . What particular form of apparel shall distinguish the one sex from the other, must be determined by the custom of particular countries.” (3) “Whatever pretends to ornament, which is inconsistent with modesty, gravity, and sobriety, and whatever is according to godliness, is no ornament, but a defilement.”

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

How and Why Satan Attacks Scripture

As much as anything, Satan attacks scripture. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom 10:17), and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). This negative outcome proceeds from the

A Church Business Meeting

The Bible doesn’t command a church business meeting, but principles there do provide the basis. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 16:2-4: “2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you

Boundaries or Borders

Paul said in Acts 17:26: "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation."


bottom of page