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We see, then, who they are whom God accounts " the pure in heart." There is a generation that are pure
in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their filthiness. But there is also another generation, who, though they be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary, yet prepare their heart to seek the Lord God. They who have a new heart, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; they who have a contrite heart, and feel that sin is “exceeding sinful;" they who have a believing heart, assured that what God has spoken he will make good, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him ; they who have an understanding heart, and esteem all his precepts concerning all things to be right, and hate every false way; they who have a loving heart, and delight in what he loves, and in his law meditate day and night,—these
in heart." These are they also who “shall see God.” The stones of that spiritual temple which the living God has chosen for his habitation must be hewn and prepared below. “ Ye shall be holy, for 1, the Lord your God, am holy.” Can two walk together except they be agreed? What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness ? and what communion hath light with darkness?
Every kind of good implies a corresponding taste or relish in the recipient. There must be an adaptation of the person to the object. Nothing, however desirable or perfect in itself, is of any value to him who is without capacity to appreciate it. For a man who is blind, the fairest prospect possesses no charms whatever. To a deaf man the sweetest harmony is as a thing of naught. The ambitious man seeks his happiness in the pursuit of worldly fame and honour; the avaricious in the accumulation of wealth; the sensual in the gratification of his carnal appetites; and the spiritual man in the pleasures at God's right hand.
There must be a communion with God on earth, and a loving of the things that he loves, and a hating of the things that he hates, in order to be satisfied with his likeness when we behold his face in righteousness. Place a man devoid of heavenly tastes in the midst of that company who rest not in their praises day and night,--it would be no heaven to him, but the reverse. Το shrink from spiritual intercourse with God on earth, and yet expect to find our delight in it in heaven ;-to seek our happiness here in the ways of the world, and yet hope to find it above in the paths of righteousness,--this is a contradiction to
common sense. It is as wise for a man to sow weeds and look for wheat, as to sow to the flesh, and expect of the Spirit to reap life everlasting.
There must be a meetness for partaking of the inheritance of the saints in light. It is the upright in heart who shall inherit glory, for nothing that defiles shall enter the new Jerusalem. It is they who have clean hands and a pure heart, who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, and stand in his holy place. It is they who set the Lord always before them, who shall find fulness of joy in his presence. And though corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, yet the bodies also of the pure in heart shall be prepared for the vision of the Most High, being changed and fashioned like Christ's glorious body. Though it doth not yet appear what they shall be, when that which is perfect is come, they shall see face to face; yea, even in their flesh they shall see God.
Brethren, are you following that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord ? Though you may not be able to say, and no man can say, “I have made my heart clean ; I am pure from my sin;" though the truth is not in us, if we say we have none, yet are you aiming at these things, following on to know the Lord, and entering into
no truce with any evil thing, -sanctifying the Lord God in your heart, and studying through grace to purify yourself, as he is pure ? Are you keeping your heart with all diligence, knowing that out of it are the issues of life,—that you cannot take fire in your bosom, and not burn your garments ? Remember, it is written again ; "He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, that shutteth his eyes from beholding evil,”—this is the man who “shall dwell on high, and whose eyes shall see the King in his beauty.”
THE INHERITORS OF BLESSING.
“Blessed are the peace-makers; for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”—Matt. v. 9, 10.
THESE are the two concluding blessings of the eight with which the Son of God commenced his Sermon on the mount. We have already considered the former six. May we hear his voice, apply our heart to understanding, and seek our happiness where the Light of the world has revealed it. For this cause he came into the world, that he might bear witness unto the truth; and every one that is of the truth hears his voice. Thus only shall we see the felicity of his chosen, rejoice in the gladness of his people, and give thanks with his inheritance.
Blessed,” he continues, “are the peace-makers ; for they shall be called the children of God.” This blessing, like that also pronounced upon " the merciful,” has reference to the communica