by Thomas Watson
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (v.8)
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Let us put ourselves on TRIAL whether we are pure-hearted or not. Here I shall show the signs of an impure heart; and then, signs of a pure heart.
II. I shall next show you the signs of a PURE heart. Continued
Let me persuade Christians to heart purity. The harlot ‘wipes her mouth’ (Proverbs 30:20). But that is not enough. ‘Wash your heart, O Jerusalem’ (Jeremiah 4:14). And here I shall lay down some arguments or motives to persuade to heart purity.
1. The NECESSITY of heart-purity.
 Heart-purity is necessary, in respect of OURSELVES. Until the heart is pure, all our holy things (that is, our religious duties) are polluted. They are but splendid sins! ‘Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled’ (Titus 1:15). Their offering is unclean. Under the law, if a man who was unclean by a dead body, and carried a piece of holy meat, the holy meat could not cleanse him—but the dead body polluted that. (Haggai 2:12,13). He who had the leprosy, whatever he touched was unclean. If he had touched the altar or sacrifice, the altar would not cleanse him—but he would defiled the altar. A filthy hand defiles the purest water. An impure heart defiles all religious duties—he drops poison upon them all. A pure stream running through muddy ground, is polluted. Just so, the holiest duties, running through an impure heart, are polluted. A sinner’s works are called ‘dead works’ (Hebrews 6:1). And those works which are dead cannot please God. A dead wife cannot please her husband.
 Heart purity is necessary, in respect of GOD. God is holy. Purity is the chief robe with which God adorns himself. ‘You are of purer eyes than to behold evil’ (Habakkuk 1:13). And will this holy God endure to have an impure heart come near him? Will a man lay a viper in his bosom! The holy God and the unrepentant sinner, cannot dwell together. None can dwell together but friends but there is no friendship between God and the sinner, both of them being of a contrary judgment and disposition. An impure heart is more odious to God than a serpent! God gave the serpent its venom—but Satan fills the heart with sin. ‘Satan has filled your heart!’ (Acts 5:3). The Lord abhors a sinner. He will not come near him, having his plague-sores running. ‘My soul loathed them!’ (Zechariah 11:8).
 Heart purity is necessary, in regard of ANGELS. They are pure creatures. The Cherubim, which typified the angels, were made of fine gold to denote the purity of their essence. No unholy thought enters into the angels, therefore there must be purity of heart that there may be some resemblance between us and them. What would unholy hearts do, among those pure angelic spirits?
 Heart purity is necessary, in regard of the GLORIFIED SAINTS. They are pure, being refined from all the dregs of sin. They are ‘spirits of just men made perfect’ (Hebrews 12:23). Now what would profane spirits do among ‘spirits made perfect’? I tell you, if you who wallow in your sins, could come near God and angels and spirits of men made perfect, and have a sight of their luster—you would soon wish yourselves out of their company. As a man who is dirty and in his rags, if he should stand before the king and his nobles and see them glistening in their cloth of gold and sparkling with their jewels—he would be ashamed of himself, and wish himself out of their presence.
 Heart purity is necessary, in regard of HEAVEN. Heaven is a pure place. It is an ‘undefiled inheritance’ (1 Peter 1:4). No unclean beasts come into the heavenly ark! ‘Nothing evil will be allowed to enter!’ (Revelation 21:27). The Lord will not put the new wine of glory, into a musty impure heart! All these things considered, shows the necessity of heart purity.
2. It is the will of God that we should be pure in heart. ‘This is the will of God—your sanctification’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Are you low in the world? Perhaps it is not the will of God that you should be rich. But it is the will of God that you should be holy. ‘This is the will of God—your sanctification.’ Let God have his will by being holy—and you shall have your will by being happy. God’s will must either be fulfilled by us or upon us!
3. Purity of heart is the characteristic note of God’s people. ‘God is good to Israel—to those whose hearts are pure’ (Psalm 73:1). Heart-purity denominates us, the ‘Israel of God’. It is not profession which makes us the Israel of God. ‘Not all who are descended from Israel, are Israel’ (Romans 9:6). Purity of heart is the jewel which is hung only upon the elect! Chastity distinguishes a virtuous woman from a harlot. Just so, the true Christian is distinguished from the hypocrite—by his heart-purity. This is like the nobleman’s star, which is a peculiar ensign of honor, differing him from the vulgar. When the bright star of purity shines in a Christian’s heart, it distinguishes him from a formal professor.
4. Purity of heart makes us like God. It was Adam’s unhappiness once, that he aspired to be like God in omniscience; but we must endeavor to be like God in sanctity. God’s image consists in holiness. To those who do not have this image and superscription upon them, he will say ‘I never knew you!’ God delights in no heart but where he may see his own face and likeness. You cannot see your face in a looking-glass when it is dusty. God’s face cannot be seen in a dusty impure soul. A pure heart (like a clean looking-glass) gives forth some idea and representation of God. There is little comfort in being like God in other things besides purity. Are we like God in that we have a being? So have stones. Are we like him in that we have motion? So have stars. Are we like him in that we have life? So have trees and birds. Are we like him in that we have knowledge? So have devils. There is no likeness to God, which will prove comfortable and blissful—but our being like him in purity. God loves the pure in heart. Love is founded upon likeness.
5. The excellency of the heart, lies in the purity of it. Purity was the glory of the soul in innocence. The purer a thing is—the better. The purer the air is, and the more free from noxious vapors—the better it is. Pure water is most sweet. The purer the gold is, the more valuable. The purer the wine is when it is taken off from the lees and dregs—the more excellent it is. The more the soul is purified by grace and taken off from the lees and dregs of sin—the more precious in God’s eyes. The purer the heart is—the more spiritual it is; and the more spiritual it is—the more fit to entertain him who is pure Spirit.
6. God is good to the pure in heart. ‘God is good to Israel—to those whose hearts are pure’ (Psalm 73:1). We all desire that God should be good to us. It is the sick man’s prayer, ‘May the Lord be good to me’. God is good to those whose hearts are pure. But how is God good to them? Two ways—
 To those who are pure, all things are sanctified. ‘To the pure—all things are pure’ (Titus 1:15). Estate is sanctified, relations are sanctified—just as the temple sanctified the gold and the altar sanctified the offering. To the unclean—nothing is clean. Their table is a snare; and their devotions are sin. There is a curse entailed upon a wicked man (Deuteronomy 28:15-20)—but holiness removes the curse and cuts off the punishment. ‘To the pure all things are pure’.
 The pure-hearted have all things work for their good (Romans 8:28). Mercies and afflictions shall turn to their good. The most poisonous drug shall be medicinal. The most cross providence shall carry on the design of their salvation. Who then would not be pure in heart? ‘God is good to those who are pure in heart’.
7. Heart purity makes way for heaven. The pure in heart ‘shall see God’. Happiness is nothing but the quintessence of holiness. Purity of heart is heaven begun in a man. Holiness is called in Scripture ‘the anointing of God’ (1 John 2:27). Solomon was first anointed with the holy oil, and then he was made king (1 Kings 1:39). Just so, the people of God are first anointed with the oil of the Spirit and made pure in heart, and then the crown of glory is set upon their head. And is not purity to be highly valued? It lays a path for glory. ‘Purity of heart’ and ‘seeing of God’ are linked together.
8. Note the examples of those who have been eminent for heart-purity. The Lord Jesus was a pattern of purity. ‘Who of you convicts me of sin?’ (John 8:46). In this we are to imitate Christ. We are not to imitate him in raising the dead or in working miracles—but in being holy (1 Peter 1:16).
Besides this golden pattern of Christ, we are to write after the fair copy of those saints who have been of a dove-like purity. David was so pure in heart, that he was a man ‘after God’s heart’. Abraham was so purified by faith that he was one of God’s cabinet-counsel (Genesis 18:17). Moses was so holy that God spoke with him face to face. What were the rest of the patriarchs but so many plants of renown, flourishing in holiness? The fathers in the primitive church were exemplary for purity. Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Augustine, they were so inlaid and adorned with purity, that envy itself could not tax them. We wish we had such saints as were in the primitive times, so just were they in their dealings, so decent in their attire, so true in their promises, so devout in their religion, so unblamable in their lives, that they were living sermons, walking Bibles, genuine pictures of Christ, and helped to keep up the credit of godliness in the world.
9. Heart-purity is the only jewel you can carry out of the world. Have you a child you delight in, or an estate? You can ‘carry nothing out of the world’ (1 Timothy 6:7). Purity of heart is the only commodity that can be with comfort transported. This is that which will stay longest with you. Usually we love those things which last longest. We prize a diamond or piece of gold above the most beautiful flower, because the flower is fading. Heart-purity has perpetuity! It will go with us beyond the grave!