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.
See the misery of an IMPURE sinner.
He shall never be admitted to the blessed sight of God. Only the pure in heart shall see God. Such as live in sin, whose souls are dyed black with the filth of hell—they shall never come where God is. They shall have an affrighting vision of God—but not a beatific vision. They shall see the flaming sword and the burning lake—but not the mercy-seat! God in Scripture is sometimes called a ‘consuming fire’, sometimes the ‘Father of lights’. The wicked shall feel the fire—but not see the light. Impure souls shall be covered with shame and darkness as with a mantle, and shall never see the king’s face. Those who would not see God in his Word and ordinances—shall not see him in his glory.
Is there such a blessed privilege after this life? Then let me persuade all who hear me this day:
1. To get into Christ. We can come to God—only by Christ. Moses when he was in the rock saw God (Exodus 33:32). Only in this blessed rock, Christ—shall we see God.
2. To be purified people. It is only the pure in heart, who shall see God. It is only a clear eye, which can behold a bright transparent object. Only those who have their hearts cleansed from sin, can have this blessed sight of God. Sin is such a cloud as, if it is not removed, will forever hinder us from seeing the Sun of Righteousness. Christian, have you upon your heart ‘holiness to the Lord’? Then you shall see God. ‘There are many,’ says Augustine, ‘who want to go to heaven—but they will not take the holy way which alone leads there!’
There are several sorts of eyes which shall never see God—the ignorant eye, the unchaste eye, the scornful eye, the malicious eye, the covetous eye. If you would see God when you die, you must be purified people while you live! ‘We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.’ (1 John 3:2, 3).
Let me turn myself to the PURE in heart.
1. Stand amazed at this privilege—that you who are worms crept out of the dust—should be admitted to the blessed sight of God, for all eternity! It was Moses’ prayer, ‘I beseech you, show me your glory’ (Exodus 33:18). The saints shall behold God’s glory! The pure in heart shall have the same blessedness that God himself has. For what is the blessedness of God—but the contemplating his own infinite glory and beauty!
2. Begin your sight of God here on earth. Let the eye of your faith be ever upon God. Moses by faith ‘saw him who is invisible’ (Hebrews 11:27). Often look upon him with believing eyes—whom you hope to see with glorified eyes. ‘My eyes are ever towards the Lord’ (Psalm 25:15). While others are looking towards the earth as if they would fetch all their comforts thence—let us look up to heaven! There is the best sight. The sight of God by faith would let in much joy to the soul. ‘You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy!’ (1 Peter 1:8).
3. Let this be a cordial, to revive the pure in heart. Be comforted with this—you shall shortly see God! The godly have many sights here on earth, which they do not desire to see. They see a body of death; they see evil and sin; they see unholy people wearing the mask of religion; they see the white devil. These sights occasion sorrow. But there is a blessed sight a-coming! ‘They shall see God!’ And in him, are all sparkling beauties and ravishing joys to be found!
4. Do not be discouraged at sufferings. All the hurt that affliction and death can do—is to give you a sight of God. As one said to his fellow-martyr, ‘One half-hour in glory, will make us forget all our pain!’ When the sun rises—all the dark shadows of the night flee away. When the pleasant beams of God’s countenance begin to shine upon the soul in heaven—then sorrows and sufferings shall be no more! The dark shadows of the night, shall fly away. The thoughts of this coming beatific vision, should carry a Christian full sail with joy through the waters of affliction! This made Job so willing to embrace death: ‘But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives! And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes! I am overwhelmed at the thought!’ (Job 19:25-27)
Thus ends the text on Heart Purity next is the text Concerning Peaceableness