Purity of Heart

Matthew 5:8

We all know what is meant by being pure. When we talk about the purity of things around us, we mean that they are clean and unadulterated. That is, that they are not only without dirt or filthiness, but have no inferior substance mixed with them.

Sin is spoken of in the Bible as filthiness or defilement of the body, mind or spirit. Purity in religion must mean, therefore, the absence of such things. In short, to be pure in soul signifies deliverance from everything which the Lord shows you to be opposed to His holy will.

We all like material purity. I am sure that everyone reading this letter prefers to have a clean body. You like clean clothes and clean linen, do you not? You like a clean home. See how the housewife scrubs and washes and brushes and dusts to keep the floor and windows and furniture clean.

You like a clean city. What a laborious and costly sweeping of the streets, carrying away of rubbish, and money spent on keeping our towns sweet and pure.

We like this sort of purity because it is pleasant to the eye and good for health. But all right-minded beings admire the purity of the soul far more than they do the purity of the body, or the clothes, the home or anything else; and that, because it is so much more important.

God loves soul purity. It is His nature to do so. I have no doubt, like us He prefers to see His children also outwardly clean. His dwelling place is pure. Its inhabitants are pure.

As the heart in your body is the great driving force of the natural man, so the heart we are talking about is the great driving force of the spiritual man. In this sense it is your heart that feels joy or sorrow. It is the heart that chooses between right and wrong. It is the heart that molds the character, guides the choice and masters all the course and conduct of a man’s life. The heart is the captain of the ship. How important it is to each one of us that we should have a good—a right—

a pure heart.

But what is a pure heart? A pure heart is a heart that has been cleansed by the Holy Spirit from all sin, and enabled to please God in all it does: to love Him with all its powers, and its neighbor as itself.

To those who know that they do not possess a pure heart, God is waiting to cleanse you. Now is the accepted time.

William Booth, Purity of Heart


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