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Purity and Its Safeguards.

Purity and Its Safeguards.

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Published by glennpease
BY Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D.D.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see Q-od." —
St. Matthew v. 8.
BY Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D.D.

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see Q-od." —
St. Matthew v. 8.

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Published by: glennpease on Dec 05, 2013
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12/05/2013

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PURITY AND ITS SAFEGUARDS.BY Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D.D."Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see Q-od." — St. Matthew v. 8. The warnings of this Sunday are against sins of sensual passion. They are represented as coming by " evil thoughts which assault and hurt the soul." Good men will not be satisfied with escaping the disgrace of public crime. If our minds are set with any reverence towards the right, we shall be asking nothing less than positive purity, or an inward life growing up from a Divine principle, clean from all moral disease, strong with Christian health. Any kind of disease has two effects ; it defiles the body it belongs to, and delilitates it. It pollutes the substance and weakens the energies. Sin is the soul's disease. If the disease is there, then, " from within," out of the foul heart will proceed all the foul things which the Saviour named as defiling the whole man. The question, therefore, is the practical one, how to keep the heart healthy, or clean. The pure in heart are blessed : — not the pure by
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profession; not those who are pure according to that standard of purity demanded by the prevalent social morality. Christ says of these, knowing just liow much and how little they have, — Doubtless they have their reward. But it is not the glorious privilege of the pure 220 PURITY AND ITS SAFEGUARDS. in heart They and they alone have what the saints of old used to call the " beatific vision." They alone will see that sight which makes any soul completely blessed,  — God's full glory in the face of Jesus Christ. Throughout the appointed Scriptures for Lent, it is very noticeable how prominent and plain-spoken are the Divine rebukes of this one particular kind of transgression,  — the sins of the bodily senses. And this is not surprising, for when we look underneath the mere ceremonial sur-face we see that there must be some deep connection between such a set time of physical self-denial and those special temptations which have their origin in the animal appetites. These appetites, however, remember, are not
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a separate section of us, lying by itself, cut oif from the rest of our nature. They are mysteriously and perilously intertangled with some higher and nobler passions, — like artistic enthusiasm, generous affections, intellectual ambition, and even religious excitement. Apart from the principles of Christian morality, neither what is beautiful in any of the fine arts, nor what is true in science or eloquent in letters, has any effectual restrain-ing power over the sensual propensities, — as is seen by awful demonstration in the ages of Pericles, of the Greek Olympics, of Leo X., and of Louis XIY. This alliance with mental curiosity and aesthetic delight is really the most insidious feature of that species of vice. To the better-born and better-bred classes, such vice, in its coarser shapes, is not tempting, because it is disgusting. Many a young man of natural or cultured refinement is protected from some of the worst forms of immorality simply by their vulgarity. But the fearful flimsiness of that shield is shown the moment the tempter exchanges rags and filth for elegance, accomplishments, and literary luxury. In fact, it is the belief of many thoughtful
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